Amalaya is A Malbec from Bodegas Colome, one of the highest-altitude regions of Argentina, and known for the quality of its Malbec. This one is special for a few reasons. The high altitude helps retain the freshness and acidity in the wine. Soils in these high-lying vineyards are often times calcareous and granitic, which lends a sense of minerality seldom seen in a €20 wine from anywhere, let alone from a grape known for the fruitiness and generosity of its wines. Terrific value, year in and year out.
The producer and winemaker won a Best in show medal 2 years ago at Decanters World wine awards – citing his wines amongst the best 50 in the world, out of over 15,900 wines tasted, by 480 judges. Amalaya Malbec won a Silver medal at the Decanter wine awards.
The wine itself needs a bit of air to open up but then reveals a very pleasant aroma of plum, raspberries, spice, licorice and a touch of balsamic. Taking a sip shows the wine to be smooth and tasty with lots of sweet dark, tart fruit and nice touches of spice, licorice and balsamic just like the nose. It’s more sophisticated than Mendoza, with generous length and a light freshness that is unseen from deep rich heavier Malbecs . The Tannat and Petit Verdot also help to bulk it up a bit and add some complexity. The wine ends dry with a burst of licorice, spice and pepper along with long lasting tart fruit notes on the tannic finish. It’s consistent with the flavors all the way through from nose to finish and based on previous vintages i’ve tried it’s consistently good from year to year as well.
John Wilson, Irish Times Article, published March 30th 2019
‘Not every Malbec is the stereotypical oaky alcoholic monster. There has been a definite movement for producers to make more elegant Malbec wines, chief amongst them, Bodegas Colome.
Grapes grown at high altitudes benefit from greater radiation and increased photosynthesis, combined with cold night-time temperatures that ensure good acidity. This produces wines with a
wonderful depth of pure fresh fruit. Bodegas Colome own some of the highest vineyards in Argentina. Amalaya Malbec is soft and supple, with delicious refreshing loganberry and raspberry fruits,
rounded off with a touch of spice
91 points Tim Atkin MW
Thibaut Delmotte picks the Malbec that makes up 85% of this wine (complemented by 10% Tannat and 5% Petit Verdot) in three different stages for balance. Lightly wooded, it’s a perfumed, red fruited style with some baking spice notes. 2020-24.
90 points James Suckling
Violet extract, granite, oyster shell, nutmeg and pepper. Full body, juicy, grainy tannins and a fruity finish
90 points Decanter
This wonderful label has a knack of translating the breathless altitude, rugged landscape and fierce sun of the Calchaquí Valley into intense yet balanced wines. Tons of roasted dark fruit, with hints of coffee and chocolate. Intense, grounded and long. Drink 2018-2023. (PR)
90 points Wine Spectator
A creamy and lush-tasting red, with vibrant crushed red fruit flavors. The peppery finish has good cut and length, showing plenty of juiciness. (KM)