J. Alberto 2012 is a field blend of 95% Malbec and 5% Merlot with:
-13,5 % Alcohol
- pH 3,80
- 6,07 g/l of Titratable acidity
Only 14,451 bottles (1,204 cases) and 30 Magnum were produced.
NB. As the wine is a 100% natural and unfiltered; it may present some harmless deposits in the bottle.
We began harvesting J. Alberto the 16th and finished the 26th of March 2012. We divided the 4 hectares into 5 different parcels, meaning that we separated the plots following the different types of soil. We also picked them at different times according to their phenolic and sugar concentrations. What does this mean? It really means that we are getting to know our vineyards better and experience is truly the main factor in making the best wines possible with the lowest alcohol percentage possible. We find that a high alcohol (more than 14,5%) can sometimes mask the true nature of the wine and affects the flavors of the soils and sites, which contribute to the wine.
After the fermentation, the wine was decanted by gravity into second passage French oak barrels and the remaining15% in cement vat and “Nomblot eggs” for a period of in total 9 months.
The malolactic also occurred naturally in the same barrels and vats and “eggs” for about 1 month. No batonnage.
The wine was racked and blended the 18th of December 2012, which was a Flower day (by the biodynamic calendar) on a low moon.
The wine was then bottled unfiltered the 2nd of January 2013 which was a fruit day in the calendar, a very favorable day. It was actually one of the rare fruit days available for the month of January; we were still recovering from the New Year festivities!
Matching the wine
J. Alberto tastes at its best with white meat and game but can also be appreciated with the sturdier types of fish!
It is best to serve the wine at 16 Celsius; the equivalent of 60 Fahrenheit.
The wine will continue to improve 12 hours after being uncorked.
The estate is situated in Rio Negro Valley, which is 620 miles South of Buenos Aires, 280 miles east of the Andes, 310 miles west of the Atlantic and a further 1240 miles from Tierra del Fuego. In other words, it is located in the middle of the desert. The valley’s microclimate is under the influence of two rivers deriving from the Andes, the Neuquen and the Limay which form into the Rio Negro, which throws itself into the Atlantic. The Rio Negro valley is an ex glacier which is 310 miles long and 15,5 miles large at 250 yards above sea level. In 1828, the British colonies, having observed the large amounts of water flowing down the river, decided to create channels which would irrigate the valley thus forming a type of oasis in the middle of the desert.
The winter 2011 was very cold and humid, usually the winters in Rio-Negro are very cold and dry, this marks a start of a humid cycle for the area. The spring was somewhat windy and cool and lasted until beginning December, very long. The summer only began in January but came in force as it was hotter than usual and was so for the entire month and all of February as well. Then harvest started and March was cool again but wet, much wetter than usual, it rained almost every week end, not a very common thing for the area. The autumn went straight into winter, it got cold quite soon, we got our first frost as early as the 27th of March, which forced us to pick the Noemía grapes a bit earlier.
All in all, we would call 2012 a very good vintage with very variable weather patterns.
These 4 hectares of vines were planted in 1955, the vines are Massale selection on original rootstocks, nothing clonal about these little vines, they are all genetically different from one another. The vineyard is composed of field mixed 95% Malbec and 5% Merlot. They are irrigated up to four times a year. The vines have received no treatment whatsoever, no sprays, no Copper Sulfate, nothing. This vineyard is certified Organic and Biodynamic, please see below.
All of our 11 hectare estate grown vineyards are cultivated organically & Bio-Dynamically and are certified by Argencer & Demeter. On the farm we produce ourselves 7 out of 8 Bio-Dynamic preparations (502,503,504,506,507) with exclusively our own raw material. We also do our own horn manure (500) and Bio-Dynamic composts.
Planted in 1955 with 95% Malbec pre Phelloxera pied- Franco vines complemented with a 5% Merlot amongst the Malbec vines. We pick both varieties at the same time, this adds to complexity.
The grapes were picked in the morning and brought to the winery in a cool truck in order to preserve the “soul” of the grapes. Something we learned from the valley where they grow some of the best Pears in the world, the only way to keep them so good: the cold. All the grapes were destemmed at the winery into small 2,500 litre cement vats. The grapes were then cold soaked for 7 days before the indigenous fermentation started, we ferment our J.Alberto with its own yeasts. The alcoholic fermentation lasted 2,5 weeks, using the “pigeage” or “plunging” method to extract the color and tannins, this is the gentler way to extract in any form of winemaking.