Bodega Colome was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolas Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascension, who was married to Jose Benjamin Davalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colome. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaqui Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colome the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.
Intense ultraviolet rays in the high altitude region of the Upper Calchaqui Valley result in the grapes developing very thick, dark skins. This results in more colour and concentration of flavour building up in the grapes. The climate here is dry, on average around 120 millimetres per year. There is a large difference (20°C) between day and night time temperatures that aids the retention of natural acidity in the grapes. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically. Fruit comes from vineyards at four different altitudes; La Brava Estate at 1,800 metres above sea level that brings ripe fruit, Colome Estate at 2,300 that brings complexity and weight, El Arenal Estate at 2,600 that brings elegance and Altura Maxima at 3,111 that brings florality and fine grain tannins to the blend.
Overall, the Calchaqui Valley enjoyed optimal conditions in 2017. The weather during the growing season was excellent, with no spring frost, allowing good fruit set and resulting in healthy grapes.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were hand sorted twice to ensure no green material or imperfect fruit entered the must. The grapes were cold macerated and then fermented in stainless-steel tanks. The wine was aged for 15 months in French oak barrels then aged for a further six months in bottle prior to release.
This Malbec is deep, bright red in colour. It has intense aromas of blackberries, red fruits and hints of spice from the well-integrated oak. It is fresh and fruity on the palate with crisp acidity and grainy tannins. This full-bodied wine has a long, lingering finish.