2020 Bodega Colomé Estate Malbec – Argentina’s Oldest Continually Producing Winery

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The Winery

Photo from Bodega Colomé

Bodega Colomé was founded in 1831. In 2001 it was acquired by Donald and Ursula Hess. He had explored the well-known Mendoza Valley, but when he visited the northern Argentinian province of Salta, the high Calchaquí Valleys. Donald was taken back with the brilliant sunlight and excellent terroir. The vision was to make the finest high altitude wines in the world. Coupled with sustainable practices in the vineyard, they have produced a “special wine”. Today it is run by the second generation, Larissa and Christoph Ehrbar.

Today they produce various red wines: Tannat, Bonnard, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and single designated Malbec wines. Additionally they also make a Malbec blend which this story is about. Only one white wine is produced, Torrontes.

Another unique characteristic of their vineyards is the elevation. High elevation vineyards tend to receive more direct and concentrate sunlight. For example for every 1,000 feet gain in elevation, the level of UV rays increase by 10-12%. This forces the fruit to develop thicker skin, leading to greater color concentration and tannins.

Today the CEO/General Manager is Matthieu Naef and the head winemaker is Thibaut Delmotte.

The Wine – 2020 Bodega Colomé Estate Malbec

Photo ©Michael Kelly

They created this wine from four unique terroirs of Colomé. Using vineyards of differing altitudes (1700, 2300, 2600 and 3111 meters), they were able to pull specific characteristics from each as explained in their words “La Brava vineyard (1700 meters) yields intense ripe fruit, Colomé vineyard (2300 meters) lends complexity and weight, El Arenal vineyard (2700 meters) gives elegance and freshness to the blend, and Altura Máxima (3100 meters) the highest vineyard in the world gives floral and mineral notes while adding fine grain tannins to this a truly remarkable assemblage.” This Malbec is uniquely different than most found in the Mendoza region, let alone blended from different high altitude vineyards.

On the eyes an almost black/purplish/deep red color and medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, aromas of blackberries, cherry and floral notes beckon your first sip. Once on the palate, red & black fruits with minerality, pepper and oak notes abound. On the finish, a combination of controlled tannins and acidity are present but not overwhelming. This leads to a well-structured, complex and fascinating drinking experience.

The wine is 100% Malbec. It was aged 15 months using French oak barrels and held 6 months in the bottle. It sells for between $20-22/bottle and is a bargain for such a delicious wine.  This will make my Best Wines Tasted for 2023 in the International category, especially for being around $20.

The Food and Wine Pairing

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Paired with a Filet Mignon cooked in a “Traeger like BBQ” using cherry wood pellets to a perfectly medium rare finish. Accompanied with rice and fresh Caesar salad.

Can’t wait to try their Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah high altitude wines!






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