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Teho Tomal Vineyard La Consulta Malbec 2015

Red Wine from Argentina
Made from a vineyard planted in 1940, in the cool La Consulta region, this is dense, powerful and structured Argentine malbec yet the tannins are soft and sweet and the fruit is generous and welcoming.Teho means "blood of the earth" in the local Huarpe indian language of Mendoza.
Price: £44.00 Bottle
Price: £264.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: AR3861

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Malbec/Cot
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2031
  • 75cl
  • Cork, diam

Argentina

It may have been making wine since the mid-16th century (and is the fifth-largest wine-producing country), but it is only in the past decade or so that Argentina has shown wine drinkers around the world what it is capable of. Historically, Argentina has had a healthy domestic market, so exports were never the country's top priority. But as consumption at home slowed, more and more wineries have strived to make an impression overseas.

Argentina has now established a reputation for top-quality reds, and has attracted its fair share of foreign investment, from the likes of Château Lafite, LVMH (owner of Krug Champagne and Château d'Yquem in Sauternes, among others), and top wine consultant Michel Rolland.

The heart of the Argentine wine industry is Mendoza, in the far west of the country, where more than 80% of Argentina's wine is made. Altitude is a great marker of quality, and above 900m the climate is cool enough to produce fine wines. Within Mendoza, sub-regions to look out for include ...
It may have been making wine since the mid-16th century (and is the fifth-largest wine-producing country), but it is only in the past decade or so that Argentina has shown wine drinkers around the world what it is capable of. Historically, Argentina has had a healthy domestic market, so exports were never the country's top priority. But as consumption at home slowed, more and more wineries have strived to make an impression overseas.

Argentina has now established a reputation for top-quality reds, and has attracted its fair share of foreign investment, from the likes of Château Lafite, LVMH (owner of Krug Champagne and Château d'Yquem in Sauternes, among others), and top wine consultant Michel Rolland.

The heart of the Argentine wine industry is Mendoza, in the far west of the country, where more than 80% of Argentina's wine is made. Altitude is a great marker of quality, and above 900m the climate is cool enough to produce fine wines. Within Mendoza, sub-regions to look out for include Luján de Cuyo in the Upper Mendoza Valley, and the Uco Valley, to the south-west of the city of Mendoza.

One of the strengths of the region is the quantity of old vineyards, planted to a relatively high density. The climate here is semi-desert and vines could not survive on the low levels of rainfall alone. The Huarpe Indians, who were in the area before the arrival of the Spanish, long ago built a sophisticated system of irrigation channels, many of which form the basis for the modern structures. What rain there is has the unhappy habit of falling in February and March and the harvest takes place in late March, so many vineyards are planted on free draining soils to mitigate against the effects. Flood irrigation is used where the land is flat enough and drip irrigation is increasingly used to give large but infrequent doses of water to the vines. Hail is a significant risk too, with 30% of vines damaged every year.

There is less regional diversity in Argentina than you might imagine, because the climatic differences are often negated by the effects of altitude. For example, the region of Salta, in the north of the country, has some of the highest vineyards in the world, at around 2,000m, but the region's northerly location means its climate is similar to Mendoza. The altitude here, and in Mendoza, provides the vines with plenty of ultraviolet light which encourages the development of anthocyanins and therefore colour in the red grapes, hence the rich, deep colour of many Argentine malbecs. When these anthocyanins combine with tannins during fermentation the result is the velvety, opulent texture one associates with the best malbecs. It is one of the chief reasons for the difference between the Argentine malbecs and the firmer, drier versions from the grape’s natural home at Cahors in south-west France.

Salta province, more than 1,000 kilometres north of Mendoza, also makes very fine malbec and other reds at altitudes over 1,500 metres, but is also the heartland of torrontés production in Argentina. This cross between país and muscat is a source of wonderfully aromatic and fresh white wines. Many vines here are pergola trained, allowing the grapes to hang down beneath the canopy, shaded from the sun to prevent burning.

Soils throughout Argentina’s wine regions vary: alluvial soils such as gravel, silts sand and clay are common around Mendoza and in the Rio Negro area in Patagonia, Argentina’s other major wine-producing area.

Rio Negro is also a semi-desert area, far from the cooling effects of altitude in the Andes and the sea, which is 500 kilometres to the east. The Rio Negro, meaning ‘black river’, runs east on a glacial bed that lies beneath the arid plateau. The waters of the river irrigate the area via channels initially built by British engineers in 1828. Frost is a major risk here and it is not unusual to see the smudge pots often used in Chablis employed in the vineyards of Rio Negro. Soils are varied but generally alluvial with some limestone cropping up amongst the pebbles

A wide range of grape varieties are cultivated in the Rio Negro and, apart from one or two exceptions, the region has yet to earn the reputation for quality that Mendoza and the other mountain vineyards have achieved.
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55malbec

55malbec is a company founded by Alejandro Sejanovich and Jeff Mausbach in about 2009. Both had worked together at Catena, Alejandro in viticulture and winemaking, and Jeff in marketing. They make small quantities of two wines called Teho and Zaha, aiming to express the unique terroirs of their estate vineyards. Based on co-fermentation – making blends by mixing different varieties together during fermentation – the wines reflect subtle nuances and complexities of each vineyard. Co-fermentation helps bind tannin and colouring matter together by polymerisation. Short tannin-colour chains are rougher and spikier, longer ones are more gentle and velvety. Malbec has a lot of colour but not much tannin, so fermenting with say cabernet which has a lot of tannin, can help bind more of malbec's colour than if fermented separately. The binding also happens when blended post fermentation but is less effective.

Their Tomal and Toko vineyards are in the southern part of the Uco Valley in La Consulta, and its sub region Paraje Altamira. This is a very cool area being closer to the mountains and further south than vineyards closer to Mendoza. Some of the most aromatic and finest textured wines are coming from this area.

The name 55malbec derives from a 4ha vineyard they bought in about 2009, now named Tomal. When purchased they thought it was planted in 1955. They have since discovered one half was, but the other was planted in 1940. It is situated in the cool La Consulta region at 900m, a ...
55malbec is a company founded by Alejandro Sejanovich and Jeff Mausbach in about 2009. Both had worked together at Catena, Alejandro in viticulture and winemaking, and Jeff in marketing. They make small quantities of two wines called Teho and Zaha, aiming to express the unique terroirs of their estate vineyards. Based on co-fermentation – making blends by mixing different varieties together during fermentation – the wines reflect subtle nuances and complexities of each vineyard. Co-fermentation helps bind tannin and colouring matter together by polymerisation. Short tannin-colour chains are rougher and spikier, longer ones are more gentle and velvety. Malbec has a lot of colour but not much tannin, so fermenting with say cabernet which has a lot of tannin, can help bind more of malbec's colour than if fermented separately. The binding also happens when blended post fermentation but is less effective.

Their Tomal and Toko vineyards are in the southern part of the Uco Valley in La Consulta, and its sub region Paraje Altamira. This is a very cool area being closer to the mountains and further south than vineyards closer to Mendoza. Some of the most aromatic and finest textured wines are coming from this area.

The name 55malbec derives from a 4ha vineyard they bought in about 2009, now named Tomal. When purchased they thought it was planted in 1955. They have since discovered one half was, but the other was planted in 1940. It is situated in the cool La Consulta region at 900m, a kilometre or so from Paraje Altamira. The soil profile is shallow, light silt, with a rocky sub soil. There are some patches of rocky top soil and surface stones in the upper southwest corner. Plantation density is the traditional number for Mendoza, 5,500 plants per hectare. Orientation is also the traditional north – south. Teho is made from the part of the vineyard planted in 1940. Teho means ‘Blood of the Earth’ in Huarpe, the name of the tribe of the indigenous population who lived in the Mendoza area.

Zaha comes from the Toko vineyard in Paraje Altamira which was bought in 2003 and planted in 2004. It is planted with an orientation 15°, north-east to south-west. Plantation density is 6,536 per hectare. The altitude 1,100 metres The vineyard is planted to petit verdot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and malbec. The soil is a mixture of rock, sand and silt with some limestone. Zaha means ‘Heart’ in Huarpe.
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Tomal Vineyard

Teho is produced from the Tomal vineyard in La Consulta. The name of the company producing this wine, 55malbec, derives from a 4ha vineyard the company bought in about 2009, now named Tomal. When purchased they thought it was planted in 1955, hence the company name. They have since discovered one half was, but the other was planted in 1940. It is situated in the cool La Consulta region at 900m, a kilometre or so from Paraje Altamira.

The soil profile is shallow, light silt, with a rocky subsoil. There are some patches of rocky topsoil and surface stones in the upper south-west corner. Plantation density is the traditional number for Mendoza, 5,500 plants per hectare. Orientation is also the traditional north – south. Teho is made from the part of the vineyard planted in 1940.

Teho means ‘Blood of the Earth’ in Huarpe, the name of the tribe of the indigenous population who lived in the Mendoza area

Argentina Vintage 2015

Argentina only gets about 300mm of rain year, and indeed its classified as a semi-desert. The problem is the timing of the rain which is usually February to March, just before or at vintage. About 250mm fell in March in Mendoza, though this is not an infrequent occurrence. However this is not an infrequent pattern and most vineyards are planted on well drained silty soils to mitigate this unfortunate occurence. The Uco Valley, now perhaps the major area in Mendoza, is particularly blessed with such free-draining soils, and vineyards there escaped with little or no damage. The worst affected area was Agrelo, whose clay soils retained the water and there was huge quantities of rot. However, we will still be able to produce our two own label malbecs and find lovely wines from the Uco Valley.
2015 vintage reviews
2014 vintage reviews

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