Estancia Los Cardones Winery – Anko
Powerful, Structured Wines from the Land of Extremes
Estancia Los Cardones is home to Anko wines. This boutique winery in their native Salta is the dream-come-true of Fernando Saavedra, Jr. and his father. Along with their partners, Catena alumni Jeff Mausbach and celebrated winemaker Alejandro (Colo) Sejanovich, they produce wines that perfectly express the extreme beauty, altitude, and sunlight of the region.
Winemaker Jeff Mausback says, “These extremes make for a singular expression of Malbec – powerful, structured wines with a savory minerality that is very different from other regions in Argentina.”
Estancia Los Cardones is a lone vineyard appellation located high on the eastern slopes of the Valle de Calchaquis. The soil profile is very rocky, with abundant splintered shale and crushed mica, lending the distinct minerality to the wines. In the northwest corner of Argentina, at an elevation of 5,900 feet, Salta is exposed to intense sunlight, producing concentrated, thick-skinned Malbec grapes. Cold mountain nights ensure excellent natural acid retention, imparting freshness, elegance and balance.
At Estancia Los Cardones, the most planted variety is Malbec, however you can also find Petit Verdot, Garnacha, Cabernet and Marsanne. The climate is dry throughout the year, except for some occasional summer rains. The days are warm and the nights are cold with thermal amplitudes greater than 25 degrees. The orientation of the vineyards, the intense sun, and the stony soil favor the earliest maturity of the grape.
The name Estancia Los Cardones pays tribute to the region’s giant cacti – Cardones – while Anko means “high water” in the native Indian language (Quechan). In this rugged, mountainous desert, an “Anko,” or high altitude oasis, was treasured as a precious sanctuary, a protection from the harsh elements of nature.