Rich, dark violet in color with a nose of dark chocolate, berry, plum and herb. Explosively rich on the palate with long, structured tannins.
Chañar Punco is a unique sub-region surrounded by the Quilmes Mountains, located southwest within the Calchaquí Valley. The Calchaquí Valley is Argentina's best-known wine growing region after Mendoza. At 6500 feet above sea level, this terroir displays unique characteristics. Poor, rocky and calcareous soil combined with the scarce heat load, radiation, in the months prior to harvest, allows the grape to slowly develop its maximum expression. Vineyard orientation runs from North to South allowing moderate winds from the north to improve the microclimate of the canopy. Distilled water is pumped deep from the soil and drip irrigation is used.
Thanks to its remote, high-altitude terroir, the Chañar Punco possesses great personality and structure, delivering unique characteristics. Harvest is done manually early in the morning, selecting the best rows of the parcel. Pre-fermentative maceration is carried on at 45°F, and native yeasts are used for the alcoholic fermentation. Before malolactic fermentation each variety is racked into new French oak barrels of 225 liters where the fermentation process is carried out and aged for 18 months. The blend is defined after an intense selection of the best 8 barrels. The wine is bottled without stabilization and filtration in order to maintain the essence of the wine.
The powerful 2013 Chañar Punco was quite impressive because of its balance and elegance within the ripe style of the northern, high-altitude vineyards. It's a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from a place called Chañar Punco in the Valle Calchaqui but in the province of Catamarca, not in Salt, from a 16-year-old vineyard planted on stony glacial soils rich in calcium carbonate (limestone). It fermented in new oak barrels with native yeasts and a total maceration time of 25 days. It matured in those barrels for a period of 18 months. This still needs more time in bottle, as the chalky tannins are still pretty present, but has all the stuffing and balance to develop nicely. If you want a powerful, XXL red, this is for you. 6,000 bottles were filled in December 2015. - Robert Parker 94 Points