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A Stupendous Value Red from one of South America’s Most Respected Estates - 03/05/2018 - Argentina

Based on the stunning success of the 2015 Amalaya Malbec last year, we knew we had to double down on the 2016 version, as we found it to be every bit as delicious and just as sharply priced. You’ve likely heard us talk about how special high elevation wines are. Born into a harsh environment and forced to struggle to thrive and survive, high elevation grapes have a special character all their own - they are in the best example bold, expressive, and engagingly dynamic. Hence, we when find a value-priced, high elevation wine with big points and solid press, we know to move. The double 90-point, 2016 Amalaya Malbec is one such wine. Coming from one of the highest (and most picturesque) locales in the world, this 2016 abounds with deep, rich red and black fruit, a strong mineral presence, and beautifully integrated baking spice. From the first sip alone, you’ll be surprised that it clocks in under $12. While the complexity of this Malbec is certainly a strong selling point, ultimately its balance and freshness is what will keep you coming back for more. Affable, easy-going, and simply delicious, it’s one of those crowd-pleasing wines that’s universally enjoyed. Whether you are a Malbec fan or simply love a great bottle of red, the 2016 Amalaya is an excellent choice.

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2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta ($11.99)

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)" (01/2018)

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)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: Amalaya is another bottling from Colome, the Salta project which put this parched, high-altitude region on the map for the quality of its Malbec and Torrontes. Where as the Colome-branded bottlings are single-grape varieties, Amalaya is a Malbec blend, historically blending in a tiny percentage of Tannat. Soils in these high-lying vineyards are often times calcareous and granitic, which lends a sense of minerality seldom seen in a sub-$12 wine from anywhere, let alone from a grape known for the fruitiness and generosity of its wines. Terrific value, year in and year out.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

Add this to your list of unfathomable values in everyday wine. This shows silky smooth, dark fruit with a hint of smoke and graphite. The tannins are supple and plush with a great balancing acidity. Take advantage while it lasts!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

It is not everyday that I am lucky enough to taste a real terroir wine from Argentina. It is far rarer for it to come at such a value price. The Amalaya Malbec comes from staggeringly high altitude vineyards, and that location shows through beautifully in the bottle. Not only does it have the full bodied, spicy, dark fruit character that makes Argentinian malbec so popular with our customers, it also has minerality and depth that are almost never found at this price range. This exciting bottle has surprising complexity and lift to balance its rich power. A must try for any Malbec fan!

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 14, 2018

This wine is ready to unseat all of K&L's traditional best buy Malbecs, any regular in store customers will known which ones I am talking about. This is more than just a simple everyday red. There is depth of flavor here; dark fruits, a subtle savory note, a touch of that Malbec spice/earth all backed by rounded easy tannins. This is a great everyday red.

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 13, 2018

Our staff just tasting this little gem today and it is both classical and elegant. Classical in that it has that rich, quite extracted, deep red fruit that you expect from Argentinian Malbec and yet, there are some savory notes and a fairly good dose of minerality and spice on the finish. This rounds out the character better than most and at this price, it is an unexpected treat.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 06, 2018

Every now and then, I come across wines that are not merely tasty, well made, or solid values, but are consistently best in class. Given its back-to-back showing in 2015 and 2016, I'm tempted to place Amalaya in this category. We have spread the word on both the Torrontes and Malbec blends for two consecutive vintages, and I can tell by the enthusiastic hand-selling of my colleagues, as well as your orders/re-orders, that the message has been sent and received! The 2016 Amalaya Malbec has dark fruit, showing a savory and mineral quality, along with a balanced, slightly smoky aspect. The savoriness of this wine seems to be a stylistic hallmark. While we have plenty of year to go, I'm tempted to place Amalaya among our top red wine values going for those who like a medium to full-bodied wine with plenty of fruit, but not at the expense of structure or character.