The Phoenician Malbec 2022

Producer: Altocedro
Region: Mendoza
Appellation: Uco Valley
Country: Argentina
Classification: GI
Wine Type: Red
Variety: Malbec
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 14.5%
Soil: Alluvial (silt, clay, sand, gravel)
Farming Practices: Sustainably farmed. Pressurized drip irrigation. Hand-harvested.
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Cellar Profile

Since 1999, Karim Mussi has been crafting sublime wines in the La Consulta region of the Uco Valley in Argentina. Mussi believes in terroir and seeks to bring out the the distinct nature of the vineyard and it’s original old-vine rootstocks in his finished wines. He has adhered to sustainable farming methods since the winery’s inception, takes a minimalist approach in the cellar and utilizes indigenous yeasts, in 100 year-old concrete vats, during fermentation. Altocedro’s work helped establish the La Consulta region, which was awarded one of the few Argentinean “Geographic Indication” Appellations in 2019. La Consulta vineyards sit as high as 1700m, allowing for plenty of sunlight, limited rainfall (particularly during the growing season) and huge diurnal temperature drops in the evenings to maintain acidity. The wines deliver purity of fruit, varietal character, balancing acidity and, in the case of the reds, silky, but apparent tannic structure. There is a touch of saline minerality on the finish to these that is the hallmark of high-altitude wines.


With near-dessert conditions, extreme elevation and wide diurnal shift, grape vines have proven to thrive in various regions of Argentina. Plantings in the Uco Valley date to the 1920s. This fruit was originally used to add colour and acidity to the wines of warmer areas until winemakers in the 1990s saw larger potential for the region. Today, Uco Valley is producing some of the most influential wines of Argentina. The valley, which runs north to south, is 70 KM long and 40 KM at its widest in the south. It is capped by desert conditions, with cold winds blowing in from Patagonia. At its north end, hills reach 1400 metres+. To the east, the region runs into a series of gorges and dry riverbeds. Vintage Notes: 2022 was a particularly strong vintage, despite a few spring frosts that caused issues during bud break. The yields were 10-20% lower than normal, but the fruit showed great acidity, concentration and ripeness of polyphenols.


La Consulta is one of the lowest laying and coolest vineyards in the Uco Valley, sitting at 900 masl. Split by the Tunuyan river and sitting in the shadow of the San José volcano, the area benefits from the supply of meltwater coming directly from the peaks of the Andes, as well as from long days full of sunlight. The soil is mainly alluvial, comprised of clay, rocks and sand, ideal for drainage while forcing the vines to dig deep for nutrients thereby creating strong roots and concentrated fruit Vines range in age from 4 to 49 years and have been grown on a trellising system of high vertical shoot positioning and pergola.


Malbec—a thick-skinned, full-bodied grape—has made its home in the foothills of the Andes. Owning more than 75% of the world’s planted Malbec, Argentina is known for having reinvigorated this variety, which has been returned to the list of the top 18 noble grapes.


Hand-harvested grapes from Altocedro’s high elevation, sustainable vineyards. The fruit is gently crushed into concrete vats for fermentation using indigenous yeasts, followed by aging in a combination of concrete vats and French oak.

Tasting Notes 

Ripe red and black fruit on the nose, along with a touch of bramble. The palate is surprisingly medium-bodied, despite its hefty alcohol content, with more of the red berry elements, along with notes of black cherry, anise and bakers chocolate. The tannins are restrained and supple. Balance comes from marked mid-palate acidity. This is delightful to sip on its own on a cold evening, or to pair with brisket or a football Sunday meal!