This morning we are delighted to offer our inaugural release of Zuccardi Piedra Infinita Malbec 2016. It could not be a more perfect start, the wine ordained with 100 points from Luis Gutierrez of The Wine Advocate. This is an exceptional achievement, making it only the second 100 point scoring Argentinean Malbec in history, the other heralding from the Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones of the same vintage, which now trades at £600 per case of six. Gutierrez describes himself as being ‘blown away by the 2016 Finca Piedra Infinita, a wine I have been anticipating because I’ve seen the progression of the wine over the last few years….The wine has reached a stratospheric level of precision, symmetry and elegance in 2016 that is really captivating. Everything seems to be in its place; there is great harmony, the aromatics are clean and pure and the texture is like liquid chalk. There is power and elegance, energy and finesse’.
Taken together it marks an exceptional achievement for Zuccardi, and also Argentinean wine and the Malbec grape. It confirms its place on the global stage, drawing a line in the sand, that it will not back away from. The desire to push the envelope of quality and the pursuit of perfection has reached its goal. Moreover, the price on release today is consistent with past pricing, no premium, though the wine would sell out at double the price. It is released today at £240 per case of three, an exceptional offering, considering only 530 cases of 12 were made for the entire globe. We are restricting clients to one case, a perfect scoring Wine Advocate wine at £80 is a unicorn in a bottle.
The progeny of the Zuccardi wines see the marrying of science and winemaking in special way. The founder Alberto ‘Titio’ Zuccardi arrived in Mendoza from the Tucuman province as an engineer. He was brought in to work on an irrigation system, a method which helps support this otherwise dry region. In 1963, to realise the potential of his irrigation system, he planted a vineyard in Maipu. Thus the Zuccardi family had arrived on the stage of winemaking. In 1968 they built their first winery. The line continues, the baton being passed first to his son Jose and in 1976 to his son Sebastian, who joined the family business in 2002 and is now the winemaker.
The Zuccardi winery is sited in the Valle de Uco, where stands their winery which they built in new in 2013 in Paraje Altamira. Sebastian more than carries the torch, rather runs with it at high speed, collecting numerous accolades; Decanter highlighting him as ‘South Americas most exciting winemaker’ and Zuccardi Valle de Uco ‘The World’s Best Vineyard.’ The Valle de Uco vineyard is located at the foot of the Andes. Zuccardi have several other vineyards which they use to cultivate balance and harmony in their orchestra of wines. Up to 35% of these are certified organic, the others sustainably managed.
Zuccardi Piedra Infinita is made from 100% Malbec and sourced from a small parcel of vines in the Paraje Altamira vineyard. The wine is made from 40 components and small plots deriving from a mixture of terroir. It is famous for its alluvial soil with limestone-covered rocks from the surface down. These are called ‘supercalcáreo’ or super limestone. Other soil is given the name ‘gravas calcareas’ or limestone gravels. They do not use any grapes from the deeper soils, the selection is draconian. The plots are located at an altitude of 1100 metres above sea level. They hand-harvest, vinify the wine in concrete and use only indigenous yeasts. The wine is aged in used 500 litre wooden barrels. The result is exceptional, a Malbec masterpiece!