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Amalaya Malbec 2014

Malbec from Salta, Argentina
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WW90
  • D94
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WW90
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2.9 5 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Brilliant ruby color with violet edges. Strawberries, raspberries and ripe fruit with touch of pepper and spices aromas. In mouth, flavors of red fruit, spice and hints of vanilla from aging in French oak. Round, soft tannins lead to a delicate, lingering finish.

Blend: 85% Malbec, 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The entry-level red for Amalaya changed its name with the 2014 vintage and is now called 2014 Malbec, even if it still has some 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Syrah in the blend. Since it has 85% of Malbec it can be bottled as a varietal wine. From this vintage the wine is only produced with estate grapes, whereas in the past some were purchased. Tasting it next to the 2013 I felt a big jump in quality. The vintage was also very good for Malbec in Salta. It's very spicy, possibly from the Syrah and there are also some herbal aromas for the Cabernet, cracked peppercorns, some olives and balsamic aromas, with more depth. I feel the Syrah quite a lot here, both in the nose and in the palate where it added smoked bacon and mineral earthy notes. It also has more structure and clout than the 2013. A big step up in quality for this wine. Some 540,000 bottles were produced, the largest volume of all Amalaya and Colomé wines.
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Amalaya

Amalaya

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Amalaya, Salta, Argentina
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.

The Salta region in northern Argentina is home to world’s highest vineyards. Near the town of Payogasta, the Colomé Altura Máxima vineyard is planted at 10,206 feet in elevation.

Salta is part of the Calchaquí Valley, which benefits from more than 300 days of sun per year, subjecting its vines to considerable ultraviolet radiation. The valley experiences strong high altitude winds, even in the “lower” vineyards, which are planted at 5,413 feet. Because of these elevations and resulting extreme conditions, vines produce lower yields and thicker-skinned grapes, resulting in concentrated, aromatic and well-structured wines.

In a truly unique region, the highly aromatic variety, Torrontes, thrives; intense sun exposure allows full ripening, while cooling winds maintain the grapes’ acidity levels and phenolic balance.

Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Syrah, and, particularly, Tannat have the most potential among reds.

Upscale hotels, beautiful colonial architecture, a majestic Andean backdrop and impressive food and wine make the area attractive among tourists as well.

Salta is the fourth most important Argentine wine-producing region after Mendoza, San Juan, and La Rioja. Its oldest vineyards were planted in 1862.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

CGM31760_2014 Item# 146951