Amalaya, Colomé Estate and Reserva – Tasting Notes

They are high and they are mighty. And all in a good way. Bodega Colomés wines are made from grapes that are grown in some of the highest vineyards in the world. No wonder that they show such wonderful concentration.

A few days back I posted an interview with Thibaut Delmotte – the passionate winemaker of Bodegas Colomé in Argentina. We met last friday and together we tasted some of Colomés wines.

You can read the interview with Thibaut Delmotte here! 

But how good are the wines? Here are my notes from the tasting!

Amalaya Blanco 2010
This is an interesting blend 90 percent Torrontes and 10 percent Riesling grown at 1700 meters above sea level in Calchaqui Valley (Cafayette Valley). The grapes were hand harvested in march (Riesling at the end of february to keep it fresh) with a quite big yield of 12 tons/ha. Just a couple of hours maceration. Cool fermentation at 14°C an no malolactic fermentation and no oak.

Light golden colour. Quite big and spicy aromas with dominated by green fruits and floral notes. Aromatic fresh nose with minerals, honey and citrus. Light fresh and citrusfruity taste with an aromatic greenness to it. Spicy, dry and grapey. The tiny Riesling addition is quite noticeable. Refreshing to drink as it is but will go equally well with fish, seafood or ligher meat.

Colomé Torrontes 2011
100 percent Torrontes from Calchaqui Valley. Once again a quite big  yield of 10 tonnes/ha (Torrontes can be to aromatic at low yields, says Thibaut Delmotte). The grapes were harvested in late mars and the beginning of april. Cold fermentation at 12°C to bring out elegant floral aromas (and at these temperatures the yeast fight to converse sugar to alcohol which gives a lot of glycerol according to Delmotte). 1 months elevage sur lie with frequent battonage for extra complexity.

Golden colour. Big and spicy nose with ripe tropical fruits, spice and flowers. Medium bodied almost fat dry taste of ripe tropical fruits. Great concentration and freshness even though it is quite aromatic. Serious food wine!

Amalaya Red 2009
A blend of 75 procent Malbec, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 percent Syrah and 5 percent Tannat from Calchaqui Valley harvested in mars-april. 4 days cool maceration (24-and then selected yeast-fermentation. 18-20 days maceration. Malo in stainless steel and then 20 percent of the wine was aged in french oak for 1 months.

Dark red in colour. Green fresh aromas of red and dark berries, green peppers and just a touch of smoke. Medium bodied quite fresh and smooth taste of red berries, spices, liquorice and just hints of oak. Well balanced and easy drinking wine.

Colomé Estate 2004
An interesting and a bit oldschool blend of 66 percent Malbec, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 percent Tannat grown on altitudes between 1500 and 2500 meters. 20 percent came from old vines (60-150 years old) and 80 percent from new vines. Later vintages have used less and less Cabernet which has a hard time to ripen fully at these altitudes. Yields around 50-55 hl/ha. Selected yeast-fermentation in tanks, full malo and 12 months ageing in 66 percent new and 34 percent one year old french oak.

Dark red and dense colour. Developed, herbal and complex nose with dark and red berries, bell peppers, chocolate, black pepper and mint. Medium to full bodied and concentrated taste of dark berries, dried fruits, tobacco, mint, cigarbox and herbs. Long concentrated aftertaste with a firm tannic backbone. Might be on top now but will hold for another 3-5 years.

Colomé Estate Malbec 2008
A blend of 85 percent Malbec, 8 percent Tannat, 3 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 percent Syrah and 2 percent Petit Verdot from vineyards at 2200 to 2500 meters in Calchaqui. The grapes were harvested in march-april. Yields as above. Fermentation with selected yeasts. 25-30 days maceration and 50 percent of the wine went through malo in french oak barrels. Ageing also in french oak (20 percent new oak) for 15-18 months. 2008 was great year in Argentina with really ripe fruit.

Opaque dark red colour. Complex nose with dark berries, spices, black pepper, mint and leather. Medium to full bodied and superconcentrated tastes of dark berries, tobacco, herbs and oak. Good acids and quite firm but berry cushioned tannins. Long elegant and yet powerful finish with notes of bitter chocolate.

Colomé Estate Malbec 2009
Basically the same vinification as the 2008. But the vintage was cooler and more cloudy and the grapes were picked late april.

Dark dense colour. Young nose with loads of oak, fudge and minerals. Medium bodied fresh and concentrated taste of red and dark berries, ceder, oak and tobacco. Herbal finish with quite mellow tannins. Will probably not keep as long as the 2008. 

Colomé Reserva 2007
From 8 hektars with very old malbec and cabernet sauvignon grapes (60-150 years old) grown at 2300 m above sea level. Some even pre-phylloxera. Hand picked of course (“almost berry by berry”) and at a much lover yield – 15hl/ha in may (almost overripe grapes according to Delmotte). Fermentation at 28°C and up to 40 days maceration. Malo in new french barrels and then 24 months ageing also in new oak (but according to Thibaut – he uses a very pragmatic approach – if he thinks it is enough oak he transfers the win to older barrels). Only 500 cases were made.

Black dense colour. Almost a port-like bouquet of mint, herbs, black fruits and chocolate. Full bodied superconcentrated palate with a powerful acids and tannins. The wine is full of ripe dark berries and black fruits with elements of herbs (mint), chocolate and oak. Long long powerful finish. Almost portlike on the palate as well. Will probably age well for up to 10 years!

Colomé Reserva 2008
100 percent Malbec basically vinified as above (12 months in new oak and 12 months i second year barrels).

Black opaque colour. Young nose filled with elements of smoke, fudge, chocolate, black berries and cocoa powder. Full bodied, young and superconcentrated wine with massive amounts of dark fruit and elements of chocolate, fudge and toasted oak. Big powerful structure, just a sting of alcoholic burn (15,9 % alcohol) and a peppery finish. Serious wine that needs a couple of years cellaring for the elements to come together. 


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