Manos Negras, Chardonnay, Los Arboles, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, 2022
Alejandro Sejanovich is arguably Argentina's most knowledgeable viticulturist, having worked as vineyard director for Bodega Catena Zapata for 16 years, he pioneered high-altitude vineyard planting and conducted groundbreaking research on Mendoza Malbec clones.
With Manos Negras he combines his love of minerality, and altitude with a magical touch in the winery to produce some of the region’s most terroir-driven wines. Not only altitude, but also latitude play a part in the wines from Manos Negras. With plantings of Torrontes in the northern stretches of Cadayate in Salta, Pinot Noir in the southernmost region of Neuquen in Patagonia, and old vine Malbec in the prized Altamira appellation in the Uco Valley, capturing the spirit of Manos Negras through a myriad of soils and ultimate wine expressions.
Sourced from the high altitude Los Arboles district of the Uco Valley, located at 1200 meters asl. Situated in the Tunuyan county, Los Arboles is right in the middle of the Uco Valley, nestled in the Andean foothills. The “El Presidente” vineyard was planted in 1998 and boasts a mountain vineyard soil profile of shallow, light sand with about 15% surface stones. The sub soil is made up of round rocks with a high content of calcium carbonate – imparting stony minerality to the fruit. The area cool yet sunny days, and cold mountain nights.
Gentle whole cluster pressing followed by cold decantation at 6° C. Natural yeast fermentation, with gentle lees mixing, and maximum temperature. of 20° C. The total fermentation time was 11 days.
No oak ageing
The Chardonnay fruit shows bright white stone fruit flavours with a touch of tropicality. The very cold nights help to retain natural acidity for a crisp, clean finish.
This will work with most seafoods, as well as chicken, whether grilled or stir fried.
6 x 75cl
Award: James Suckling 90 Points