It's time again for one of our shop favourites to come and say hello. And when some of the grapes come from the highest vineyard in the world you know this one is going to be special...
Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascensión, who was married to José Benjamín Dávalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colomé the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.
The high altitude of the Calchaqui Valley has a positive impact on the quality of the grapes as the more exposed the grapes are to the sun's ultraviolet rays, the better they are able to generate a thicker and darker skin to protect themselves. This leads to more colour and concentration of flavour building up in the grapes. The climate here is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120mm per year. A large difference (20°C) between day and night aids the retention of natural acidity within the grapes. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically. Fruit for the Estate Malbec comes from vineyards at three different altitudes; La Brava Estate at 1,700 metres, Colomé Estate at 2,300 and El Arenal Estate at 2,600 metres.
Calchaquí Valley enjoyed excellent conditions in 2015. The growing season was good without any frost and no disease development. During maturation, rainfall was low with lots of sunshine but not too much heat. This resulted in very good yields as well as good maturity, without any over-ripe characters. A very well balanced vintage.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were hand sorted twice to ensure no green material or imperfect fruit entered the must. Fermentation was slow due to the altitude (lower oxygen) and followed by an extended maceration period of 25-30 days to extract good levels of colour and tannin. Malolactic fermentation occurred half in barrel and half in stainless steel tank. The wine aged for 15 months in French oak barrels of which 20% was new, 80% second fill.
Colome Estate Malbec 2015 @ £18.95 - Buy it here!
Deep bright red with a magenta hue. Aromas of black and red fruits including blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and cherries, with touches of violet floral notes and hints of spices and minerals. Fresh and fruity on the palate with muscular structure and round, velvety tannins. A fine, delicate yet lengthy finish.
We cannot get away from this stuff. It's just too enticing! Come and grab a couple. Cheers!