A visit to Matias Riccitelli in January 2017 genuinely rates as one of the best cellar door appointments I have had anywhere in the world. We met Matias on a Sunday morning, fresh off the back of 3 hours sleep following a wedding the night before. Before trying any wine, we jumped in the truck with Matias and he took as through some of his most prized vineyards as he explained to us his location on the eastern side of the Andes. Flood irrigation, as he showed us, is key to vineyard health, as meltwater from the mountains above sustains the vineyards throughout the hot growing season. A few hours in the winery followed, trying in excess of 18 wines of various varieties including Torrontes, Trousseau, Semillon and of course, Malbec. This, the Uco Malbec, was a real highlight, and trying the 2018 vintage more recently here in Sydney was a great reminder of the trip. Medium bodied, plummy fruit but with hints of cardamom, nutmeg and earth. An inner brightness to the fruit which so much ‘standard’ Malbec from other producers often lacks. A must for all the Malbec fans out there. – Ches Cook, FWC.