Amalaya Malbec 2012
Malbec from Salta, Argentina
- red wine
- Smooth & Supple
- 13.9% abv
Gold Medal Winner: 2014 Los Angeles International Wine Competition
This wine is produced from the fruit of Argentina's signature grape, Malbec, with a smaller percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tannat. Deep red, with purple tinges, this wine offers red fruit aromas of cherries and raspberries, with a subtle hint of vanilla.
Amalaya is an exquisite representation of the unique weather and soil conditions in Argentina's Northern Calchaqui Valley that also honors the heritage of the indigenous Calchaqui people. The name Amalaya is rooted in the beliefs of the Calchaqui to keep the gods of nature happy and to strive for an equilibrium of forces to assure sustainability over time. The most worshiped goddess is “Pachamama,” or "Mother Earth," who presides over planting and harvesting. The Calchaqui created many rituals and ceremonies to please Pachamama, and would ask the goddess for a miracle. This "hope for a miracle" is called "Amalaya" in the popular indigenous language and is symbolized by the holistic spiral. To respect Pachamama, the winemakers of Amalaya treat all their vineyards sustainably.
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(ahr-jen-TEE-nah) Now fifth in the world for wine production, Argentina is catching up in the quality wine sector. A long time wine producer, Argentina used to make wine in order to drink it, not export it. And so the wines produced were quaffable and rustic and made for the local's everyday dinner. Yet it's hard not to get caught up in the wine market of the world and some winemakers decided it was time for Argentina to show their stuff. Better winemaking technology was brought in, new winemaking techniques were learned and good viticulture practices flourished. The result? World-class wines with unique style and variety.
Notable Facts Unlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South America
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard Chile
are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
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Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.