For the wine-lover who has everything.
Barry Weinman: 4th December 2015
According to Gaston William, the Sales Director for Argentinian winery Achaval Ferrer, the winery was started in 1999 by the Achaval and Ferrer families in conjunction with Roberto Cipresso. Hailing from a winery in Montalcino, Cipresso brought vinous expertise to the venture while the Achaval and Ferrer families injected the capital.
Situated in Mendoza, The three main vineyards that supply Malbec for the winery are over 100 years old, with a fourth planted in 1999. Malbec is clearly the focus, with single vineyard wines made from each of the old sites.
The aim is to express the differences between the vineyards, with a minimal intervention approach taken in the winery . There is also a stated aim of capturing old-world elegance, whilst retaining a core of ripe fruit.
Yields are low, with the single vineyard wines in the range of 12 hectolitres per hectare.
The wines have been highly acclaimed from the likes of Parker and the Wine Spectator.
Having tried a cross-section of their wines, they are clearly of very high quality, though there is a catch. The wines are very expensive in Australia. The entry level Malbec and Cabernet are around $65 per bottle, with the range-topping Single Vineyard wines sitting above $300.
At these prices, the wines have not exactly flown out the wholesaler’s door, which is good news for consumers. The wines currently available in Australia have a couple of extra years’ bottle age, which has allowed the wines to open up a little.
If you are looking for a gift for a wine-lover who has everything, then this may be your answer.
Achaval Ferrer – Malbec – 2013 (18). Inky, deep colour in the glass. Intense plum-like fruit on the nose with spice and dusty, earthy notes. The palate is dense, soft, supple and intense, with fine tannins and excellent length. The mouth-feel is a highlight. From a blend of vineyards, this spent 9 months in older oak. ($65).
Achaval Ferrer – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2013 (17.5). Clean and fresh fruit on the nose. The palate is vibrant and juicy, with soft, supple tannins and gentle acidity. With a dusty texture to close, this is balanced, long and a delight to drink now. ($65).
Achaval Ferrer – Malbec/Cabernet Franc etc – Quimera – 2009 (18.5). Very intense fruit on the nose, with a lovely earthy undercurrent courtesy of the Malbec. Again, there is plum and spice. The palate is intense and long. The fruit is elegant and refined, and there is a lovely supple mouth-feel. The oak is seamlessly integrated on the finish. So easy to drink, yet will last for some years. . ($135).
Achaval Ferrer – Malbec/Cabernet Franc etc – Quimera – 2011. (18.3) The fruit here is more vibrant and lifted. The palate has dusty yet intense fruit, with hints of fennel and aniseed. There are slightly chewy tannins on a long, supple and very fine finish. (4000 cases made; $135).
Achaval Ferrer – Malbec – Finca Altamira – 2011. (18.7) This is really refined and silky. There is more purity to the fruit, with the earthy notes sitting firmly in the background. The palate is taut and refined and the fruit subdued. The finish is very elegant, as the oak, tannins and acid are incredibly refined and the balance superb. (1000 cases made; $350).