Wine of the Month - April 2022

Medium

Excellent though they are, there's a lot more to Argentina than beefy barbecue reds and for April's wine of the month we've picked one of our longstanding favourite whites to demonstrate our point. It's a rather racy and refreshing blend of Torrontés and Riesling, perfect for early spring drinking and one that doesn't burn a hole in the pocket.

The vineyards from where the grapes come from sit east of the Andes in the Calchaqui Valley, the highest wine region in the world. Being in the Andes rain shadow the climate here is very dry with warm days and cold nights. This coupled with the poor, rocky soils makes the vines work hard and yields fruit with really concentrated flavours.

Argentina's signature white grape variety is Torrontés and makes wines with a good weight and subtle 'grapey' aroma and it's the major player in this blend with the Riesling contributing freshness and citrus notes to give an excellent balance. This has long been popular among our staff but it's also one that's seemed to fly a bit under the radar. So for this reason we've picked it out as a Wine of the Month to help bring it the bit of wider attention it certainly deserves.

Throughout April, Amalaya Blanco 2021 will be sold at the reduced standard price of £11.50 and you will receive 100 bonus loyalty points when you purchase a bottle.

Amalaya Blanco 2021

In a nutshell: A bold and aromatic white blend from Salta in the North of Argentina.
The lowdown: Amalaya's vineyards are in the Calchaquí Valley which is the highest wine region in the world, and one of the most remote. Torrontés, Argentina's leading white grape, makes up around 85% of this blend with the remainder being Riesling. Together they provide brilliantly intense peach, elderflower, lychee and rosewater aromas that lead on to a soft, rich and flavoursome palate freshened up by clean, mouth-watering acidity. And while delicate and silky in the mouth it rounds off with a flinty mineral edge and a long fruit-filled finish.
When to drink: Racy, fresh and nicely structured it's just the thing to have with seafood dishes like seared squid.

Amalaya

Amalaya translates as 'hope for a miracle in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in the Calchaqui Valley in Salta, in the far north of Argentina, at over 1,800 metres above sea level.

It is a part of the Hess Family Wine Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as their other estates across the world. Amalaya has 80 hectares planted with Malbec, Torrontés, Riesling, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Bonarda, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot, with another 40 hectares in development. The grapes are sourced from three vineyards: 'Finca Las Mercedes' (with deep sandy soils); 'Finca San Isidro' (with rocky soils); and 'Finca Amalaya', which has fractured rocky soils and stones of varying sizes. Like the wines of their sister estate Bodega Colomé, the grapes benefit from being planted at altitude. The vines are drip irrigated using mountain run-off water that is stored in reservoirs because the average annual rainfall is only 150mm. The red wines are fermented in small concrete tanks, while the white wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit-driven in style, with a finesse that unites them. These wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their sense of place.

French winemaker Thibaut Delmotte has been at the helm here and at Bodega Colomé since 2005 and has really taken them forwards. His winemaking philosophy includes minimal intervention, the use of indigenous yeasts in fermentation and restrained use of oak so that the characteristic freshness and purity of fruit used is never overwhelmed.

Amalaya Blanco 2021

Single Price: £12.50
Mixed 6 Price: £11.50

Wine of the Month (23)

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Wine of the month - july 2022

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Wine of the month - june 2022

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Wine of the month - april 2022

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Wine of the month - march 2022

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Wine of the month - february 2022