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Bodega Alta Vista
The French a nationalistic bunch. They stick to their own, they know what they like and they like it like that. Bodega Alta Vista is testament to that: owned by Count Patrick d’Aulan of Piper Heidsieck, Alta Vista is a petit piece of the home pays. French-run with French owners, a French winemaker, wine is aged in French barriques and it even houses the French consulate. And who said the Fench don’t travel?
Torrontes à la Française
Unsurprisingly, there is a very français vibe to Alta Vista. Since its inception in Mendoza in 1998, Alta Vista has striven to bring the best French practices to their Bodega. Their focus is on Malbec, naturally, and they bespoke manage each of their individual vineyards according to altitude. Quite a feat considering the estate is around 200-hectares! Over half of this is planted with Malbec, but a satellite vineyard in Cafayete is planted with Torrontes which has proved excellent in recent years, scoring high (low nineties) from both Antonio Galloni and Bob Campbell. This white wine (aged in stainless steel contrary to the cement vats for the red) is something of a rarity for the region and interestingly has yet to catch up to the prices of its finer sisters. Overall, of Alta Vistas xxx wines, they produce about 140,000 cases annually, with 60% being exported to various countries.
However, it is, of course, the Malbec that interests us here, and in particular the trio of single-vineyard wines: Alizarine, Serenade and Temis, along with their flagship fine wine, Alto. This latter wine was the first ever wine to be produced by the estate and is now considered an Argentine icon. Only produced in better years (the last was in 2013), when they do produce it, it is in minute quantities of about 100 cases. While the proportion of each grape varies, Alto is always a blend of Malbec, from the Alizarine vineyard, and Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Temis vineyard. A bottle the inaugural vintage can set you back anything from €100-200 (the wine is twice the price in the UK than in the US), while later vintages can be as low as €50 on the secondary market. Market performance of Alto fell dramatically during 2018; yet enjoyed a sharp rise in Q1 2019 and showed continued climbing in Q2 of the same year.