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swirl and savor

Wine of the Moment: Alta Vista Premium Malbec

Beth Ribblett

Argentina's Luján de Cuyo is a part of the Mendoza River high region (along with Maipú). The majority of the vineyards in Luján de Cuyo are planted with red varietals with Malbec making up the majority of the plantings . Considered by many winemakers as a viticultural 'promised land,' Luján de Cuyo was the first region to institute the DOC (Denominacion de Origin Controlada) for Argentine Malbec. Approximately 40 minutes southwest of the city of Mendoza, many Argentine wine experts regard Luján de Cuyo as the birthplace of the movement that put Argentina on the map as a serious player on the international stage.

Located in a region known as the Northern Oasis, an odd name considering the region is technically a desert, this appellation sits in the foothills of the Andes where it receives very little rainfall and extremely large differences between day and night temperatures, two key characteristics that make for excellent growing conditions. Most vineyards lie in a relatively wide band between 1500 and 4000 feet in altitude.

The d'Aulan family oversees the Alta Vista winery, one of Argentina's largest independently owned wine producers. They pride themselves on being "Terroir Oriented Winemakers" and have invested considerable time and finances in researching and understanding their homeland. Extensive study was put into the area immediately surrounding Mendoza City, as well as that of Salta, a region in the north that lies in the Andes foothills. Their efforts in Mendoza led to the first comparative study of single vineyard Malbec wines from that region, which then led to the development of their flagship ALTO red wines. Robert Parker has named Alta Vista as one of the top 5 wineries in Argentina.

Alta Vista’s Premium line is made from a careful selection of their old vines mainly from the Serenade Vineyard, in the Lujan de Cuyo region. Their Premium Malbec is quite elegant, the bouquet is concentrated and dense, filled with black raspberry, licorice and spice. The fruit is powerful yet smooth on the palate and it keeps unfolding for ages revealing layers of savory black berries and cocoa touched by a note of earthy minerality.

$18.89/bottle with case discount
$17.75/bottle with club swirl case discount