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A complex and elegant Argentinian Malbec from the northern Salta region.
Amalaya's vineyards are in the Calchaquí Valley which is the highest wine region in the world and one of the most remote. After fermentation about a quarter of the wine was aged in French oak for 10 months prior to blending and bottling. There's a little Tannat and Petit Verdot among the Malbec here and together gives rich aromas of dark fruits, herbs, sweet spice and subtle oak. It's wonderfully smooth on the palate with ripe, sweet blackcurrant fruit, oak spice, liquorice, mint and cedar notes while the tannins are velvety and rounded and the finish long and lingering.
Reliably good value it's a perfect to go with barbecued red meats or roasted lamb and beef.
Suitable for Vegans
Amalaya translates as 'hope for a miracle' in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in the Calchaqui Valley in Salta, in the far north of Argentina, at over 1,800 metres above sea level.
It is a part of the Hess Family Wine Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as their other estates across the world. Amalaya has 80 hectares planted with Malbec, Torrontés, Riesling, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Bonarda, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot, with another 40 hectares in development. The grapes are sourced from three vineyards: 'Finca Las Mercedes' (with deep sandy soils); 'Finca San Isidro' (with rocky soils); and 'Finca Amalaya', which has fractured rocky soils and stones of varying sizes. Like the wines of their sister estate Bodega Colomé, the grapes benefit from being planted at altitude. The vines are drip irrigated using mountain run-off water that is stored in reservoirs because the average annual rainfall is only 150mm. The red wines are fermented in small concrete tanks, while the white wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit driven in style, with a finesse that unites them. These wines offer incredible value for their quality, and truly reflect their sense of place.
French winemaker Thibaut Delmotte has been at the helm here and at Bodega Colomé since 2005 and has really taken them forwards. His winemaking philosophy includes minimal intervention, the use of indigenous yeasts in fermentations and restrained use of oak, so that the characteristic freshness and purity of fruit used is never overwhelmed.