Ayni is the Quechua term for the principle of reciprocity, practiced for centuries by the Andean people - "in order to receive, you first have to give." Chakana's renowned Paraje Altamira vineyard, which sits 3,300 feet above sea level, bears the name Ayni & is the source of the Ayni wines.
Ayni Malbec 'Parcela Gravas' was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira's terroir. The goal with this particular wine, which comes from a single parcel of the Ayni vineyard, is to show a markedly calcareous profile that results in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great aging potential. This differs from the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.
Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Vino de la Parcela Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.
Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.
"“Pure stones” is how Gabriel Bloise describes the soil that supplied the grapes for this impressive Malbec. Herbal, spicy and chiselled, it was picked two weeks earlier than the rest of the vineyard and is perfumed, intense and savoury, with very subtle wood, grainy tannins and wonderful palate length."
- Tim Atkin MW (March 2020), 94 pts
"There is a new 2017 Ayni Parcela Gravas, a selection of Malbec from their Ayni vineyard in Paraje Altamira from very shallow plots with a high content of limestone. The nature of the soils might have resulted in some stress in a warm and dry year like 2017, and the wine felt a bit ripe and with harsher tannins than the regular Ayni. For the rest, the production and élevage remained more or less the same. I look forward to seeing the results in a cooler year. For now, the tannins need a little bit of time in bottle. 3,000 bottles were filled in March 2019. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts
"Dark medium ruby. Enticing violet lift to the aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and licorice; wild but not excessively so. Juicy and fine-grained, with penetrating chalky minerality enlivening the flavors of crushed blackberry, flowers and spices. In a very savory, almost salty style, finishing dry and firm, with fresh, fine-grained tannins and lovely energy and length. (just 12.5% alcohol; from the same vineyard as the Ayni Vineyard Paraje Altamira but from a selection of soils) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 91 pts
"The grapes for this wine come from Chakana’s Altamira vineyards, a selection of the property’s most stony/gravel soils (shallow). It’s aged in untoasted wooden vats (foudres) for a full year and today is the new brother of Ayni, Chakana’s traditional red. As seen in recent releases from this producer, especially in the last two vintages that we’ve tasted at “Descorchados”, it’s the red fruit, bracing, and with zip that predominates. Rather than make a more ambitious ripe & woody monster, they opted to lengthen it, to make in more linear, more vertical. This is a little stunner from one of the wineries to keep track of today in Mendoza."
- Descorchads 2018, 95 pts
"This limited release from Paraje Altamira is much more mineral than the other Ayni Malbec bottling. It’s a tad austere at the moment, as well as showing more oak, but there’s plenty of structure here, with savoury tannins, dense fruit and a chalky finish. Just needs more time in bottle. 2019-28"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2017), 94 pts
"Red-plum, pomegranate and wild-berry aromas make for a potpourri of fruit on the nose of this Malbec from gravelly soils in the Altamira district of the Uco Valley. A tight sinewy palate is structured, while this deals a hardy mix of plum and berry flavors with no interference from oak. A racy tight finish is mildly astringent. This should benefit from more time in the cellar. Drink from 2019–2030. - Michael Schachner"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (November 1st 2018), 92 pts + Cellar Selection
#99 in the Wine Enthusiast "Top 100 Cellar Selection Wines for 2018".
Chakana is a family owned winery located 960 meters (3,149 feet) above sea level at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Agrelo, Mendoza. It is one of the leading ...