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Amalaya Malbec Blend 2008

Malbec from Argentina
  • W&S88
14% ABV
  • D90
  • W&S91
  • D90
  • WS89
  • WS91
  • WS90
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4.5 2 Ratings
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4.5 2 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Amalaya is bright ruby colored and dense. Very fruity nose, with aromas of red cherries, raspberries and spices; fresh palate, and finish with soft and round tannins. To be enjoyed now or in 2 to 3 years.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 88
Wine & Spirits
This blends malbec (75 percent) with cabernet sauvignon, tannat and syrah. Vibrant acidity moderates its sweet, seductive flavors, the wine lasting on ripe strawberry notes.
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Amalaya

Amalaya

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Amalaya, Argentina
2008 Malbec Blend
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.

Argentina

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Stretching from the Andes to Patagonia, Argentina's unique terroir lends to high quality wines. Formerly associated with inexpensive bulk wine but dramatically shifting focus from quantity to quality, Argentina is the most important wine-producing country in South America. Certainly excellent values abound here still, but increases in vineyard investment, improved winery technology, and a commitment to innovation since the late 20th century have contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains can be used to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Mendoza, a large and famous region responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white. The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

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.

CGM11628_2008 Item# 102720

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