100% Malbec, all from a single vineyard planted in 2008. Thanks to biodynamic treatments that focus on using the soils own nutrients, the young vines grew and developed in balance. The grapes (only the top 20%) are manually harvested through several passages in the vineyards for optimum ripeness. Co-fermentation with indigenous yeasts in Nomblot cement eggs. This slow fermentation process allows for greater skin contact and exchange without intervention, a spontaneous maceration and minimal bâtonnage. Aged in 30% cement eggs and 70% French oak barrels (from Boutes and Magreñan Sylvain), 80% first use and 20% second use. Barrel selection and blending of different plots for 18 months in oak barrels till bottling. The wine is unfined and unfiltered. Bright purple color with intense aromas of black fruits, berries, tobacco and vanilla. A full-bodied wine that shows silky tannins and a firm finish. 4,500 bottles produced.
About the Producer
The Busnelli family represents a new wave of Argentine producers. Roberto Busnelli and his daughter Lucia founded Luna Austral in 2008 out of their profound passion for wine and for biodynamic practices. To achieve their goal of producing high quality, distinctive wines, they offered a partnership to Mario Toso, an Argentine agronomist who is a pioneer in biodynamic and organic farming in Argentina. They also hired Alvaro Espinoza, award winning Chilean winemaker and pioneer in biodynamic winemaking in South America and Vincent Masson, acclaimed French biodynamic international consultant.
The winery is located in La Consulta, a small wine-growing sub-region of San Carlos in southern Uco Valley. Luna Austral vineyards are at 2,950 ft asl at the foothills of the Andes. This altitude creates a microclimate of hot days with intense sun exposure followed by cool dry nights. The Tunuyán river flows through the middle of La Consulta, bringing melted snow water directly from the Andes. The 49 acres of vineyards are planted with: 24 acres Malbec, 5 acres Cabernet Franc, 5 acres Merlot and 2.5 acres Pinot Noir.
Soils in this area are largely alluvial – a clay and rock base with a stony, sandy surface and poor organic matter. This is ideal for viticulture as it allows for good drainage, and forces the vines to grow deep, strong roots.
Farming/vinification practices: The vineyard is treated as an entire ecosystem by taking into account astrological influences and lunar cycles. Demeter certified. The winemaker does not add yeasts nor adjusts the acidity.
Other sustainability aspects include:
- winery built following sustainable architecture, in a circular shape as a Yin and Yang symbol to preserve the temperature and light.
- traditional gravity irrigation system for the vineyard provided by the snow melted water coming from the Tunuyán river.
- Water for the winery is sourced from a 262 feet deep water well.
- Vines planted in trellis with natural carob stick.
- Tether: Natural cattail.
- All organic matters are composted.
- No plastics in the packaging and the tasting room.
- Luna Austral uses glass, cardboard and mud-made spittoons.
- Non-toxic ink.
- No foils.
- Natural cork.
- Ecova glass bottle.
- Luna Austral employees are provided constant training and higher wages.
Decanter Magazine, September 27, 2017: Biodynamic Argentina: Luna Austral is a force of nature