It takes at least 40 years for vines to begin making truly exceptional wines.
Young vines typically produce an abundance of grapes that may deliver inconsistent quality from one year to the next. After a rainy season, the shallow root systems of young vines absorb surface water, bloating grapes and diluting the juice. Too little pruning can result in poor quality fruit, while too much pruning can result in too little fruit.
But the quality of old vine fruit is constant. A deeper root system means protection from heavy rains as well as droughts. With a reduced sap flow, old vines yield smaller clusters of grapes and smaller berries. This means a higher ratio of skin to juice, and proper management can result in richer wines with more sumptuous balance.
Algodon’s oldest Malbec and Bonarda vineyards were planted in 1946, and it is from these vineyards that our reserve wines are created. Only grapes harvested from our 1960 and 1946 vines are used in our microvinification process, which are then used to make Algodon’s “black label” reserve wines such as our PIMA, Grand Cuvee and Cabernet Franc-Malbec blends.
Among our 1946 vines, of particular note is a Malbec-Bonarda “field blend”. This is a special section of vines that have been planted together in alternating rows. Though these grapes mature at different times, the Malbec three weeks before the Bonarda, we harvest this field blend together. This means this field blend Malbec ends up being harvested ten days later than the rest of our Malbec vineyards, while this field blend Bonarda ends up being harvested ten days earlier than the rest of our Bonarda vineyards. Algodon’s unique 1946 Malbec-Bonarda vineyard blend reserve was designed with this in mind, even though it took us many years before we realized what our predecessors were aiming to achieve. Algodon’s Malbec and Bonarda reserve is the only Malbec-Bonarda field blend from 1946 vines in Argentina.
Algodon’s prized 60 year old vines, planted in 1960, contain our Syrah vineyards, whose grapes are also microvinified for use in our PIMA and Grand Cuvee Blend.
Indeed, these “old vines” are rare, and we have been fortunate to preserve these patriarchs of the past, which we believe can make our future great. This is a strategic advantage that differentiates Algodon from the crowd.
Conduction: Low trail system, original roots pre filoxeric, low yield production, canals irrigation system.