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Achával Ferrer

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Argentina.

the wines

Achával Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2006
From three of the four estate vineyards, vines for this entry-level wine are harvested at 33 hl/ha, which basically means one vine per bottle. There's lots of uplifting florality here, with intense blueberry and a lot of elegance. Fresh, crisp, lively fruit floods the palate, never losing that elegance. Fairly straightforward, but very nice quality. 87/100. Around £15.

Achával Ferrer Quimera 2005
Achával Ferrer's Bordeaux-blend is made from 40% Malbec, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc aged in all French oak, 40% of which is new. It has a delightful nose, with plenty of freshness, but there was possibly a hint of TCA in this bottle (with no replacement available as I couldn't visit the winery on this trip, and the wines were brought to me). Has real intensity, but I'm not convinced this bottle was 100% sound. £24

Achával Ferrer Finca Mirador 2005
100% Malbec from the Finca Mirador vineyard in Medrano, which produced 577 cases in 2005. Aged in 100% new French oak, this is nevertheless fresh, racy and vital, with cherry fruit that is very poised with gorgeous ripeness. On the palate that racy, energetic character continues, with some black olive savoury character and racy, crisp raspberry fruit and acidity into a long finish. Lovely, and around £60. 92/100

Achával Ferrer Finca Altamira 2005
There are 669 cases of this old vine Malbec from Finca Altamira in La Consulta in the Uco Valley. It spent 16 months in 100% new French oak. A notch of extra plushness over the Mirador on the nose, but retains that freshness and raciness. Fantastic stuff, with a hint of minerality. Very fine indeed, with a medium-bodied finesse and a raciness. Great length - concentration without extraction. £60. 95/100.

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