Super Early Bird Ends
December 10, 2020
April 23, 2021
2021 Judging Date
May 16, 2021
Altocedro is a terroir-driven winery in La Consulta,a unique spot in the Uco Valley,famous for the high quality grapes from ancient vines.They make wine that speaks distinctly of this place of origin since 1999,based on their balance,elegance and aging capacity.Karim was the first pilgrim in La Consulta that positioned the place through this "born and raised" wines,conceived to be the "paragon" of the Uco Valley.
The winery and vineyards of Altocedro are located in the premier region of La Consulta, Valle de Uco, Mendoza.
Winemaker and owner Karim Mussi Saffie uses sustainable growing practices to produce limited amounts of terroir-driven wines.The vines range up to 100 years of age.Vineyard management focuses on vine health,homogeneous growth and a balanced canopy,allowing nature to run its course with little human intervention.
All harvesting, sorting,and crushing are done in individual batches by hand.Fermentation occurs either in small cement tanks or in barrels.Altocedro has become synonymous with outstanding La Consulta wine.
Altocedro has been through some big transformations in its history,beginning as a grape growing operation and becoming one of Mendoza’s most recognized small wineries.Started in 1989 by Mario Mussi,with the purchase of an old winery surrounded by 27 beautiful but old towering cedars in the La Consulta region of the Uco Valley,Altocedro was originally intended to produce concentrated grape must for export.Ten years later son Karim Mussi,a recent trained oenologist,took over the daily running of the farm and started converting it back into a working winery.
The first vintage of Altocedro took place in 2001,and Karim and the team follow an artisanal approach to winemaking,showing utmost respect for soil and fruit and doing everything by hand. They live passionately, as one would expect,and they express their love for the La Consulta region in the wine they make.La Consulta is recognized as being one of the best regions for growing in Malbec, with its high altitude,desert location.Ample water is provided by the snowmelt from the nearby Andes,and the temperature swing from day to night allows for grapes with balanced sugars and acids.
After starting as a “one man army”,and trying to build the best team possible for an argentine winery, it took me more than 20 years to find enough crazy people with commitment and values, to be part of the challenging and “glamorous” wine business.Fortunately “nobody passes a psychological test” I liked to say,very proud about how every team member came on board.We all work hard, but keeping the individual engagement with quality, work ethics and obsession about details says winemaker and owner Karim mussi.
Karim is a winemaker and entrepreneur by vocation and training. He has presided over Altocedro since 1999 and Alandes since 2012. Besides heading up his wineries, Karim also runs his Salta project, Abras in Cafayate Valley and acts as winemaker consultant, also giving advice to emerging projects in the most promising Argentine wine areas. He is more than happy to discuss world politics, current events, 17th Century British philosophy, seventies rock (The Doors and Led Zeppelin are his favorites) and the genius of Ayn Rand. During harvest, you can find him at El Cielo in La Consulta enjoying their lomito especial and a Stella. As everyone knows, it takes a lot of beer to make a good wine.
Altocedro have won many awards for their delightful wines including the Sommeliers Choice Awards 2020. This time Gold medal winner with 95 is Altocedro Malbec Reserva 2015.
Altocedro Malbec Reserva 2015 is big and rich-tasting,with concentrated flavors of dark plum, dried blackberry and dark currant,flanked by luscious Asian spice notes.Very creamy as well, offering a plush, open-textured finish of dark chocolate and mocha.