What connects a good cigar with a big wine? They took a pull on a Partagás series E no. 2 and they drank Malbec from the Argentine finca Ambrosia when they thought about it: Daniel Pi, the winemaker, Hans Niedermann, the owner of the winery, and Daniel Caro, the wine producer. The genius-fast trio was reminded of fine roasted aromas and subtle tobacco notes in the glass and soon made a number of other parallels between the two stimulants: their diversity, for example, the elemental importance of maturing and storage, the refined craft which underlies the products or the influence of soil and climate.
At the end of the conversation, the three wine pros knew one thing above all else: they wanted to pay tribute to the two natural products and their closeness. For this purpose, the brand Mendoza Club was created with four different quality ranges of Malbecs. The grapes thrive on Niedermann's Finca, at 1,250 meters above sea level, in a high desert at the foot of the Andes, are handpicked, fermented with wild yeasts and mature in steel tanks or in finest French barrels.
The reference to the cigar, to the actual motive for the wines, is already evident when looking at the bottles: their label is a clear reference to a picturesque cigar banderole from past times. The creators also prove their clear format when it comes to naming their wines: the four quality ranges of Malbec's are Robusto, Siglo, Torpedo and Presidente, delightful names for cigar lovers.
The total Ambrosia Estate consists of 65 ha and is purposefully divided into specialized plots. The division of the estate was in accordance to the results of an exhaustive land study overseen by Pedro Parra, allowing the Ambrosia Estate to maximize the quality of each wine produced whilst ensuring each grape variety has the essential conditions for a strong yield.
The division of the current productive area of the estate is:
27.89ha Malbec, 7.37ha Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.836ha Cabernet Franc, 7.16ha Chardonnay, 2.36ha Merlot, 1.33ha Pinot Noir and 2.75ha Sauvignon Blanc.
A new piece of land of 7.54ha was recently acquired. A total of 5.51ha of it will be planted with Malbec (4ha) and Cabernet Franc (1.51ha).
For many years, Finca Ambrosia has been working with Ph.D Pedro Parra, the well-known terroir expert, who is consulting Ambrosia on a regular basis on how to maximize the impact of terroir on the wine.
Ambrosia vineyards are located in the Gualtallary area of Tupungato department. Its geological condition makes it a unique terroir in Argentina. It has cool climate and altitude, offering balanced pH and acidity that are optimal when the grapes reach their maturation.
The area is the ideal land for vines cultivation because of its peculiar formation of soils. They are based on pure limestone over quaternary gravels and the presence of clay in the ground is another important factor in the development of vines. Combined with low clay content, the area is the perfect ecosystem to allow the plant to grow with a naturally controlled vigor.
Soil at the Finca consists 70% to 80% sand, 10% to 20% lime and 10% to 20% surface rocks
Altitude has a positive impact on the quality of the grapes. Ambrosia’s vineyards are between located 1,200 and 1,300 m above sea level, while Mendoza valley is approximately 800 m above sea level and places like Agrelo 1,000 m above sea level. At the Ambrosia Estate, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are present in a high concentration resulting in more exposure of the grapes to the sun’s rays delivering thicker and darker skin on the grapes for greater protection. During the process, the grapes’ colour concentration, aromas and flavours all increase creating more anthocyanins within the grape itself, which are the famous antioxidant components.
After the hand-picked harvest the grapes get destemmed and go through a spontaneous and cool maceration. Mendoza Club Malbec is produced using high quality grapes from our estate. The structure of the wine, specifically the mineral character, is typical of Ambrosia wines and of the soil composition where we grow our grapes. Mendoza Club is fermented with native yeasts, besides a soft maceration during 25 days, before pneumatic pressing. During the fermentation the wine receives several times a day a gentle “Bâtonnage” . For the Siglo, Torpedo and the Presidente the Malolactic fermentation takes place in new French oak barrels, in which it then ages for several months.