2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta

SKU #1320109 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The entry-level wine is called 2015 Malbec, even if it still has some 10% Tannat and 5% Syrah in the blend. 2015 saw 140 liters of rain, healthy grapes and good levels of acidity. The grapes come from seven-year-old vines that yielded 9,000 kilos per hectare, 100% from estate grapes. The grapes fermented with neutral yeasts after a four-day cold soak with a total maceration of some 20 days. 25% of the volume matured in used French oak barrels for ten months, while the rest was kept in stainless steel with fine lees. There is a smoky character that I believe comes from the skin of the grapes, which have a high impact from the sun—as with the higher altitude, the rays are much stronger and make grapes develop thicker skins. It made me think of a red from the Northern Rhône, mixing violets, bacon fat and great spiciness. They have replaced Cabernet by Tannat, and I think it has helped remove the herbal aromas and given more character to the blend. The palate is medium-bodied with great freshness and intensity, terribly tasty. This is so easy to drink, it can be dangerous... One to buy by the case, and great for by-the-glass.  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

Year after year we have enjoyed the stunning wines from the Amalaya Bodega in Salta. This small, high-elevation village grows some of the most intriguing wines in the country. The classic grapes are present, Malbec and Torrontes, and they take on special characteristics in this distinctive climate. This Malbec is sourced from two vineyard sites, Las Mercedes and San Isidro. The deep, sandy soils of Las Mercedes vineyard encourage the development of beautiful, heady aromatics in the wines. San Isidro, by contrast, is home to rocky soils with more nutrients. This soil makeup forces the vines to dig deeper and develop heartier, more mineral-driven berries. Thanks to the differing vineyard sites we get a great combination of aromatics and mineral elements, which complement each other well. The 2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta has deep, dark fruit with an elegant layer of minerality in the background. The aromatics are heady, with violet, plum, and huckleberry. The tannin is quite soft, and the wine flows easily across your palate. This is a very flexible wine in terms of food pairing. It can work well with appetizers, picnic foods, and pizza. A wine to enjoy all all on its own, or “cocktail” style.

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Price: $12.99
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- These days if you're drinking a Malbec it's probably from Argentina. The most planted grape in that country, varietally-labeled Argentine Malbecs are one of the wine market's great values, prized for their slight herbal component and dark, luscious fruit. Structurally, Argentina's Malbecs are much different than those grown in the grape's native France; they are riper, fruitier and fleshier. In France, the best iterations of Malbec can be found in the Cahors, where it can be quite decadent. It is also planted in the Loire Valley, where it is called Côt and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Gamay, and in Bordeaux, where it has fallen from favor in many of the region's great blends because it is difficult to grow. In the United States, the varietal is frequently added to Meritage wines - Bordeaux style blends - but it is rarely found on its own.


- Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world, and possibly the most important wine-producing region in South America. Only four countries in the world produce more wine than Argentina. Considerable investments (much of which has come from famous French, Italian and California wine producers) have been made in new vineyards and winemaking technology in the past several years, which along with recent plantings of more premium varieties of grapes, has made Argentina much more competitive internationally. The Mendoza region is the most important region in Argentina's wine industry. And Malbec, among other Bordeaux varietals grown here, reigns supreme.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5