Every wine, it seems, has its day. And it’s time once again for Malbec World Day, April 17, which marks the date when, in 1853, a bill was introduced that is now seen as paving the way for the development of the Argentine wine industry.
A lot of Argentine malbecs, especially the inexpensive ones, are pleasant enough but not all that exciting. But if you spend a bit more (or a lot more, but that’s not the case here), you can find wines that are a lot more interesting and compelling.
Most wine drinkers are familiar with malbec from Mendoza, but perhaps less so with versions from Salta, a region to the north that’s better known for the white grape torrontés. Bodega Colomé has some of the highest-elevation vineyards in the world; grapes for this estate malbec were grown at altitudes ranging from 5,500 feet to 10,200 feet.
The 2016 estate malbec is dark and dense, with ripe berry fruit, some spicy and peppery notes, good freshness and firm but approachable tannins. It packs a lot of flavor and retails for about $25.
(Colomé also makes an excellent torrontés; the 2018 is fragrant and floral without being overbearing – some examples can smell like scented dusting powder – and has pretty flavors of white peach and lychee. It’s just $15.)
And stay tuned: Soon I’ll tell you about the wines from Cahors, a historic home for the malbec grape where the wines have been transformed in recent years.