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The wines of Viñas de Altura, Argentina

Viñas de Altura, Godoy Cruz 3236, 1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: +54 11 4771 9298 Fax: +54 11 4775 9733
E-mail: akemeny@lavaque.com

New to the UK, Viñas de Altura is the new name for Bodegas Lavaque. It’s a big operation, with 874 ha of vines, encompassing the San Rafael (Mendoza), Cafayate Valley (Salta) and Santa María Valley (Catamarca) wine regions. There are three separate wineries, one each in these three regions. I was extremely impressed by these wines, which represent brilliant commercial winemaking. It should be added that these are all tank samples: I hope that the final wines are equally as impressive. For the quality on offer, these represent great bargains, weighing in at around £5 (the most expensive wines here will be £5.99).

Viñas de Altura Barbera 2002 Cafayate
Intense purple colour. Juicy, liquoricey fruit on the nose. Concentrated palate with firm tannins and good acidity. Good concentration of vivid juicy berry fruit: brilliant fruit intensity. A striking wine. Very good+

Viñas de Altura Merlot 2002 Cafayate
Quite intense pure, leafy edge to the classy blackcurrant fruit on the nose. The palate shows lovely intense fruit: ripe but classy. Beautiful balance and concentration here. Very good/excellent

Viñas de Altura Malbec 2002 Cafayate
Restrained nose shows good balance and nice spicy herby character. Vivid juicy fruit on the palate with an attractive spiciness and herbal richness. Quite brilliant. Very good/excellent

Viñas de Altura Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 Cafayate
Bright-edged blackcurrant fruit dominates the nose, with a steak of herbal character. The palate displays juicy pure fruit with good acidity: tasty and pure. Very good+

Viñas de Altura Tannat 2002 Cafayate
Opaque purple/black colour. Lovely spicy-edged, inky liquoricey fruit on the nose. The palate displays delicious juicy sweet berry fruit with a savoury edge and a spicy finish. A big, full-hearted wine. Very good/excellent

Viñas de Altura Torrontés 2002 Cafayate
Extremely aromatic with floral grapey notes. Quite a light fruity palate with a herby edge. Very good

Lavaque Bonarda 2002 Mendoza
Very deep purple colour. Chocolatey edge to the berry fruit on the nose. Palate is very appealing with high acidity the dominant character. A great food wine with pure fruit characters. Very good+

Lavaque Syrah Tempranillo 2002 Mendoza
Attractive rich juicy fruit with a savoury edge. Good concentration of pure fruit here. Some oak chips used. Good/very good

Lavaque Merlot 2002 Mendoza
Very deep coloured. Nice varietal character on the nose, with leafy blackcurrant fruit. The palate is vivid with ripe pure fruit. Juicy acidity. Lovely. Very good+

Lavaque Syrah 2002 Mendoza
Nice liquoricey edge to the savoury, spicy berry fruit. Lovely juicy rich fruit on the palate with good acidity and a spicy edge. Very good+

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