The whole world knows that Argentina makes excellent wines from the Malbec grape, but not many people are familiar with its superb late harvest and fortified Malbecs. These wines are made from super-ripe grapes harvested late in the autumn in the high altitude vineyards of the foothills of the Andes. Sometimes snow falls before the grapes are picked.
Antracita is an exceptional, late harvest Malbec sourced from over 100 year old vineyards in Alto Agrelo. Opaque ruby violet in colour, it shows aromas and flavors of violets, dark chocolate, ripe figs, and dark cherry. It is unctuous in texture with a lush, velvet like mouthfeel. It finishes very long and rich with persistent chocolate and cherry notes. Aged in new French Allier oak sur lie for 24 months, it has 93 g/l sugar and 14.5% alcohol.
Grapes are left on the vines a long time tend to desiccate, resulting in juice with high sugar content and ripe, Port-like flavors. The juice is allowed to ferment to the desired level of sweetness, and then fermentation is stopped. In the case of late harvest wines, fermentation is most commonly stopped by cooling the wine sufficiently. The wine ends up moderately sweet but with relatively low alcohol.
Belasco de Baquedano is situated on a spectacular location, in the foothills of the Andes mountains, a place of particular beauty. The winery is surrounded by 70 hectares of Malbec vineyards in the Agrelo and Perdriel districts, department of Luján de Cuyo.