WA95 The 2018 Concreto Malbec is a selection of the stonier parts of their estate vineyards in Paraje Altamira, and they want the expression of the chalk in the soils to avoid any sweetness (that none of the wines have anyway). This is a wine that works very well in the cooler years like 2014, 2016 or this 2018. It fermented with full clusters, but they don’t want a carbonic fermentation, so they break the grapes with their feet. All of this is destined to produce an austere and cold wine, cold and savory. The night before I tasted this, I had a bottle of the 2014 that is evolving at a glacial pace; it’s still young and fresh, very primary. I think this is going to have a similar evolution in bottle. This is an incredible value.
Zuccardi keeps working the origin of their wines, aiming to show the place in their wines while looking for balance. They’re also simplifying things, doing less in the winery and more in the vineyards. I tasted 2016, a cool and wet year when they learned a lot: the wines have less alcohol and are better in the Valle de Uco than in the classical zone of Mendoza. For Zuccardi, it might be their finest vintage to date, where the top of the range really excels; the Finca Piedra Infinita really blew me away. 2017 was warmer and, together with 2016, very low yielding. 2018 was cooler than 2017; the wines are fresher, and it’s a more homogeneous year. Most people talk about a classical Mendoza vintage. I didn’t taste anything from the 2019 vintage, which was dry and cool (with temperatures almost as cold as 2016)—something unusual, as the vintages tend to be warm and dry or cold and wet. So, let’s wait for the 2019s, but in the meantime, there are some exceptional wines in the current offering.
JS95 This is very linear and tight with so much blue fruit and violets. Some raspberries, too. Medium body, fine tannins and a long, long finish. Electric at the end. Drink or hold.