label of Bodega Colomé Malbec

Bodega Colomé – Revisiting a Malbec World Day Favorite

2017 Bodega Colomé “Autentico” Malbec, Valle Calchaqui, Salta, Argentina

Wine of the Week with Annette Tomei

Malbec World Day (April 17thevery year) was created by Wines of Argentina to generate awareness and attention for the French grape that found a new life in the mountains and valleys of the South American country. It’s been a successful venture, as Malbec is now nearly synonymous with the wine from Argentina. With so much delicious Malbec out there, it could take us all weekend to taste through our favorites. Bodega Colomé is a great place to start.

Bodega Colomé was founded in 1831. It is one of the oldest estates in the region with some of the oldest vines. It also held the distinction of being the highest altitude vineyards in the world, at over 10,000 feet above sea level, until recently when vines were planted in Tibet.

The “Autentico” from Bodega Colomé was made to honor the pioneers who, in the mid-1800s, planted those vines and founded the winery. It is made with 100% Malbec from vineyards over a century old, and vinified in the old-style. That means no oak aging (something unique for a contemporary red wine). It aged 10 months in tank and an additional 10 months in the bottle.

About this wine

This wine is so richly saturated with deep violet-purple color that it coats the glass. When first opened it was very tight, not revealing much on the nose or palate. I highly recommend aerating with a decanter or using a wine aerator device (like this one HERE).

Once aerated, aromas of plum, hearty herbs, cocoa, tobacco, and dark cherries revealed themselves. On the palate, the Bodega Colomé Autentico has firm, fruit-forward tannins, with a pleasant berry tartness. The balance between fruity and savory notes is complex. Dark cherry, black plum, and cranberry, linger with notes of tobacco and cedar. The finish is long and refreshed by persistent acidity.

A classic pairing for this wine is certainly lamb. I first tried it with grilled lamb loin chops marinated with fennel fronds, garlic, and dry-cured olives. I also had it with a simple selection of salumi and dry-cured chorizo, and Spanish cheeses. Both combinations were delicious. I haven’t experimented with vegetarian cooking with this wine, but suspect the heartier the better… try rich flavorful legumes, wild mushrooms, and use bold cooking techniques like smoking and grilling.

The verdict

The Bodega Colomé Autentico is one of several lines of Malbec produced by this winery. Of those I tasted, I found this one to be the most approachable right now (the 2016 Estate Malbec needs more time). Malbec lovers will be happy to enjoy the Autentico now (and later!) while waiting a couple years for the Estate wines to develop.

At around $30/bottle, this is over my weekday wine budget. However, it’s an excellent choice for a weekend dinner party around the grill with a group of Malbec-loving friends!

Last year, I wrote about the Bodega Colomé 2015 Estate Malbec HERE

 

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