Producer Profile: Invariably described as one of the ‘breakout stars’ of winegrowing in Mendoza, Argentina is Matías Riccitelli. Only fitting, perhaps, given his father Jorge Riccitelli’s own longtime prominence as one of the most skilled winegrowers of the region. It perhaps would have been ‘easy’ to follow directly in his father’s footsteps, but the influence is more of mentor/mentee in terms of style rather than inherited mimesis. Matías has begun focusing on own-rooted, very old, very high-elevation vineyard sites throughout the Lujan de Cuyo subregion. This is mountainous, awe-inspiring terrain – the kind of place that, in Matías’s mind, only a fearlessly low-interventionist approach in the cellar could do justice to; how else to transparently express the mountain forests of one of the world’s most famous ranges, the Andes? And so here you get a purview into the combination of feeling, audacity, old-vine organic-cultivation, and a playfulness or mischief in the cellar: so long to the chaptalizations and additives of the past, so long to the ‘Lovely’ Malbecs and Rosés of the region, and welcome to the new-old Mendoza, what’s always been here.
Vinification: 100% Malbec. Grapes were hand-harvested, and fermented using wild yeasts, 50% whole cluster and 50% destemmed. The wine ferments in concrete with daily punchdowns, and then rests in concrete for a few months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, with no SO2.
Tasting: This is a super fresh take on an Argentinian Malbec. Slightly inky in color but light-bodied, bursting with sour cherry acidity and red currant, with an earthy, smoky backbone. Serve chilled.