Price Range : $12 - 14
Region: Salta, Argentina Ready to Drink: 2 years after bottle vintage
Don’t give up on cheap Malbec. Not now, not ever.
Not when there’s one to be found like the AMALAYA Malbec. The 2016 bottling is a wonder of craftsmanship and authenticity. A polished and attractive—not to mention delicious—blend of 85% Malbec, 10% Tannat and 5% Petit Verdot, there exists that indescribable, unknowable handcrafted “feel.” The tongue instinctively recognizes that desirable quality of purity. It’s something giant machines can’t replicate.
Notes of black cherry, blackberry and violets abound in the wonderfully assertive and poignant nose. The wine possesses rich concentration and succulence, while also clarity of structure and textures that are pleasing and approachable. Additional notes of spice, sweet tobacco, sugarplum and black raisin emerge on the palate. Powerful tannins are there on the finish, tight and gripping—this cheap Malbec acts like it’s a high-end Mendoza Malbec, does it have no shame?
The Amalaya is a Malbec from the Salta region of Argentina… very few have heard of it. But, the vineyards sit at 5,900 feet altitude—that’s something truly notable in trying to answer the confounding question of how a cheap Malbec could be this good.
Okay, it’s time to stop using the word “cheap” in calling out marvelous wines that happen to only cost around 12 bucks. One person’s cheap is another person’s splurge. Hang your wine snobbery on the rack behind the door, then come in and enjoy. –J.M.