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Amalaya Red Valle Calchaqui Salta Argentina 2016 £13.45
AMALAYA RED VALLE CALCHAQUI SALTA ARGENTINA
Amalaya translates to ‘hope for a miracle’ in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina at nearly 1,828 metres above sea level. It is a part of the Hess Family Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as the other Hess Estates. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit-driven in style, with a finesse that unites them. These wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their ‘sense of place‘.
The estate's vineyards are located in the Cafayate Valley in the very heart of the Calchaqui Valley, distinguished for being the highest wine region in the world. The climate here is very dry, with just 150mm of rain in an average year and huge temperature fluctuations of around 20°C. The soils here are rocky, poor and sandy so the roots of the vines are forced to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a huge concentration of flavour within the fruit.
2016 was a challenging vintage in Argentina with the lowest production in 20 years, around 40% below the previous year. The quality, however, was very good due to a dry and healthy vintage which allowed grapes to reach optimum maturity. The hydric stress was not a problem, thanks to the lower yields caused by the frost. The vines survived and produced balanced and ripe Malbec grapes.
After careful sorting by hand at the winery, the grapes underwent four days of cold maceration followed by slow alcoholic fermentation. Maceration on the skins lasted around 18-20 days to extract good levels of colour and tannins. Malolactic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and once complete, 25% of the wine was aged in French oak for a period of 10 months.
Deep ruby red colour with purple edges, this wine displays intense fruity aromas of red berries, raspberries and floral notes with a touch of spice and chocolate. It is well structured, fresh and fruity in the mouth with soft and rounded tannins. This wine is velvety with a long finish.