COUNTRY/REGION: Argentina/Paraje Altamira.
GRAPES: 85% Malbec and 15% Cabernet Franc.
The 2017 Tito Zuccardi is a co-fermentation of 80% Malbec and 15% Cabernet Franc, a blend that changes with the vintage, but the fruit is always from Altamira. It's a tasty expression of Altamira, with the chalky tannins and structure of the Cabernet Franc and the floral qualities of Malbec. They had never done this kind of blend before, and it feels like it works very nicely. This could be the finest Tito to date, despite the higher ripeness of the year. 25,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.
Zuccardi keeps working the origin of their wines, aiming to show the place in their wines while looking for balance. They're also simplifying things, doing less in the winery and more in the vineyards.
I tasted 2016, a cool and wet year when they learned a lot: the wines have less alcohol and are better in the Valle de Uco than in the classical zone of Mendoza. For Zuccardi, it might be their finest vintage to date, where the top of the range really excels; the Finca Piedra Infinita really blew me away. 2017 was warmer and, together with 2016, very low yielding. 2018 was cooler than 2017; the wines are fresher, and it's a more homogeneous year. Most people talk about a classical Mendoza vintage. I didn't taste anything from the 2019 vintage, which was dry and cool (with temperatures almost as cold as 2016)—something unusual, as the vintages tend to be warm and dry or cold and wet. So, let's wait for the 2019s, but in the meantime, there are some exceptional wines in the current offering - Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate, 31st Oct 2019.