Zuccardi Single Vineyard Malbecs
Gravascal & Supercal 2018 with another 100 point score
The Zuccardi family’s primary focus is to produce wines that share a sense of place from their home in the Uco Valley, at the foot of the Andes in Mendoza. The Uco Valley is the highest elevation of any cultivated valley in the region and it benefits from a cool, dry climate and a wide temperature range, as well as a broad range of microclimates, altitudes and soil types.
Three generations of the Zuccardi family have spent their lives in the Uco Valley working the land to best express all of the unique terroir they find, and their Piedra Infinita vineyard is the jewel in the family crown and home to their winery. The vineyard sits at 1100m above sea level in the IG Paraje Altamira, and is a remarkable example of the family’s pursuit of faithful interpretation of their home – the effort and determination to clear the surface stones from the vineyard for the winery building and vine planting alone led the family to name it Piedra Infinita, or Infinite Stones in English.
Sebastián Zuccardi took the initiative in 2008 to establish a research and development area in the winery with a sole purpose of studying the terroir and diverse variables that affect wine quality in scientific detail – the goal in his own words was “not to strive for perfect wines, but wines that express the place, the region”. The Piedra Infinita vineyard is located in the heart of the alluvial plain of the Tunuyán River, and the soil composition, depth and concentration of calcium varies significantly. In this vineyard everything is managed precisely, from pruning to harvesting, not just block-by-block, but row-by-row.
The studies intensive work has so far revealed not only can the family produce the perfect 100pt Piedra Infinita 2016 (LG, WA), but by identifying the sheer diversity within the vineyard they can produce perfect 100pt wines from tiny parcels of incredible wines that tell their own story from within the ‘world’s best vineyard’
This wine comes from a small plot of just 0.78ha from the West side of the Piedra Infinita vineyard, which has unique alluvial soil with limestone covered rocks from the surface down; "supercalcáreo" (super limestone).
Again from a small parcel, this time just 0.73ha on the Northeast the Piedra Infinita vineyard, the key difference here is that the limestone covered rocks begin at a depth of 60cm below the surface; "gravas calcáreas" (limestone gravels).
Both wines undergo manual grape selection, fermentation in non-epoxy lined concrete tanks using native yeasts, and ageing in used 500l old oak barrels.
2018 was a cold and dry vintage, which resulted in very healthy grapes and wines of elegance, finesse, and exceptional quality.
Luis Gutierrez (WA) has said of the 2018 wines that the Zuccardi family “…have fine-tuned these single-plot wines tremendously since the initial and almost experimental 2015; in this 2018 wine, I found lots of similarities with the Finca Piedra Infinita bottling—it really excels”