Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Argentine Malbec Wine

The Amalaya winery, in Salta, Argentina, is owned by the Hess Family.  The California producer also has branched out from Napa Valley into South Africa.  Amalaya - which means "hope for a miracle" - sits a mile high in Cafayate, in northwest Argentina's Calchaqui Valley.  The family contends that the high elevation of their vineyards gives the grapes a "ripe, concentrated fruit expression with brighter acidity and extraordinary balance."

The Amalaya Malbec 2016 is a blend of grape varieties - 85% Malbec, 10% Tannat and 5% Petit Verdot.  It is aged for eight months in French oak, but only a quarter of the wine sees wood.  The wine's alcohol mark is just under 14% abv and it retails for $16.

As you might guess, the Tannat and Petit Verdot contribute to an extremely dark Malbec wine with a powerful nose of black fruit, black tar and black pepper.  A smoky quality shows up if you let sit for a bit.  The palate shows much more smoothly than I expected.  The tannins are firm, yet juicy.  Very dark flavors dominate, with the oak showing well and a savory finish to remind you how good it was.


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