Tag Archives: Salta

Salta wines

Colomé and Amalaya: Wines from Salta, Argentina

There is more to Argentina’s wine than just Mendoza. You’re missing out if you don’t venture beyond the country’s best-known region.

Today we’re focusing on Salta. This region is located in the north of Argentina and is characterized by its mountainous terrain. Here you’ll find some of the highest elevation vineyards in the world.

For a taste of Salta, try wines from Colomé and Amalaya. These wineries are located in the Calchaqui Valley, at elevations of more than 5,000 feet above sea level. The vineyards benefit from intense sun during the day and cool nights, ideal growing conditions.

Amalaya wines

The natural place to start is with Torrontes, the signature white wine grape of Argentina. This grape produces aromatic, dry wines with lovely floral notes.

Colome Torrontes & MalbecThe 2015 Colomé Torrontes is made entirely from Torrontes. The wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve its bright, fresh characteristics. This is a wonderfully fragrant wine, like taking a sniff from a bouquet of flowers. Gardenia, orange blossom and jasmine mix with slightly sweet citrus, with good acidity adding balance. $15, 13.5% alcohol

I first enjoyed Amalaya wines when I was in Buenos Aires and I’m so glad they’re available in the United States. The 2015 Amalaya Blanco is a blend of 85% Torrontes and 15% Riesling, two grapes that nicely complement each other. Just as with the Colomé Torrontes, the aim is to showcase the true nature of the grapes — controlled, cool temperatures during winemaking and stainless steel aging make the finished wine fresh and fruity.

The floral nose of the Amalaya Blanco introduces a palate of white flowers, jasmine, white grapefruit and lemon peel with a layer of minerality. Gentle acidity gives crispness, and the finish is clean with a touch of orange blossom honey. $12, 13% alcohol

Colome wines

Moving on to the reds, the 2013 Colomé Estate Malbec comes from four estate vineyards at varying elevations: La Brava Vineyard at 5,740 feet; Colomé Vineyard at 7,545 feet; El Arenal Vineyard at 8,530 feet; and Altura Maxima at the almost unbelievable elevation of 10,207 feet above sea level. The blend of Malbec grapes produces a wine that is bold yet elegant, with red and black fruit notes and firm tannins. Juicy dark red cherry and blackberry flavors are supported by an earthy backbone and a touch of black pepper and cedar. $25, 14.5% alcohol

Amalaya Blanco & MalbecThe 2015 Amalaya Malbec is a blend of 85% Malbec, 10% Tannat and 5% Syrah. The three were fermented and aged separately, and blended just before bottling. One quarter of the wine was aged in one year-old French oak barrels for 10 months.

The fruit flavors in the Amalaya Malbec come through first – raspberry, ripe red cherry, plum and a touch of blueberry. Then come the spice and earth notes, with black pepper, cigar box and violet. Though the wine has a lot going on it’s not one that you need to overthink. The Amalaya Malbec is the kind of wine you can enjoy any night of the week, no fancy meal required. $16, 13.9% alcohol

Colomé and Amalaya are part of the Hess Family Wine Estates portfolio. For more information  www.hess-family.com.

AG Pick: Filus Torrontes 2010

Taking a sniff of Torrontes can be like sticking your nose in a bouquet of flowers. The grape produces white wine that is fresh, floral and aromatic.

Just as Malbec is the red wine grape of Argentina, think of Torrontes as the white wine grape of the South American country.

If you need a touch of spring as it gets colder this fall, try the Filus Torrontes 2010. Its elegant mix of citrus and floral notes are sure to brighten any day.

The Filus Torrontes comes from Salta, Argentina, a region in the northwest part of the country. The vineyards are located at the edge of the foothills of the Andes at an altitude of 5,750 feet. The Torrontes grapes were hand harvested from 40 year old vines. The wine was fermented in stainless steel, preserving the fresh characteristics of the grape.

The Filus Torrontes is bright golden yellow in color with aromas of white flowers and citrus. The taste is a lovely mix of flowers and fruit. Jasmine, gardenia and rose mingle with lemon, white grapefruit, white peach, pineapple and just a hint of white pepper. Gentle acidity rounds out the wine, giving it a pleasant and light mouthfeel. The satisfying finish has lingering floral notes.

The Filus Torrontes can pair with seafood and shellfish, salads, cream or olive oil based pasta dishes, risotto and spicy cuisine.

A bottle of the Filus Torrontes 2010 costs $11.

13% alcohol by volume

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