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Wine Advocate Score: 90
Staff and customers alike have been enamored with Bodegas Colome from Salta, Argentina (owned by Donald Hess; also the 'parent' winery of Amalaya), sourced from the highest known altitude Malbec vineyards, averaging 7,500 to 8,000 feet. Founded in 1831, Bodegas Colome is one of the oldest working wineries in Argentina. Colome's quote embodies this remote locale: "At the end of the world is the beginning of a new wine journey."

Bodega Amalaya was born in 2010 in the high-altitude plains of the Calchaqui Valley in Salta. It is the vision of Larissa and Christoph Ehrbar (wine pioneer Donald Hess's successors). They believed in the unique 'high-vibration' qualities of Cafayate's terroir and the ability to craft high-quality, fresh, vibrant and contemporary high-altitude wines. And this is a high-quality wine that's under 12 bucks with a 97-point score from Decanter magazine. Is this a holiday miracle? Maybe. Amalaya translates to 'miracle' in the local dialect in Salta, when farmers used to make offerings in hopes for a miracle, a bountiful harvest.

With a rich nose filled with scents of redcurrant, plum and citrus zest, leading to notes of spice, mineral and rose petal, this Malbec makes an immediate impression-- and quite a good one at that. The palate is lush on the tongue with moderate tannins that offer good grip. The bright red fruits and berries are reiterated from the nose, with mixed red berries, raspberry and a touch of cranberry that are supported by secondary flavors of minerality, strawberry tea and cacao nibs.

With a screw cap and striking blue label, this wine is perhaps more serious than the everyday price tag suggests; yet it maintains a lovely familiarity that's instantly inviting and welcoming. 85% Malbec, 10% Tannat, 5% Petit Verdot.

WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "I love the ultra young and fleshy 2020 Malbec that in reality contains 10% Tannat and 5% Petit Verdot. It's ripe without excess and was bottled after one-fourth of the volume spent eight months in oak barrels. So, the effect of the oak is not noticeable in the aromas or flavors, and the wine comes through as fruit-driven and juicy while still keeping the varietal profile. They produced no less than 720,000 bottles of this wine. It was bottled in September 2020."
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