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2010 Bodega Amalaya Malbec blend 

Salta, Argentina

Retail $12-$17

With improved viticultural and winemaking techniques helping to produce high-quality wines at affordable prices, it's no wonder Argentina ranks sixth in volume among the world's largest wine-producing countries. This wine was produced in the northern Salta province's Calchaqui valley. Vineyards thrive at altitudes of 5,300 to 5,900 feet. Ample daily sunshine and cool nights provide a good climate for developing concentrated fruit character while retaining acidity in the grapes. Amalaya's composition is at least 75 percent Malbec, Argentina's signature red grape, blended with cabernet sauvignon, syrah and tannat. Hand-harvested grapes spent four days in cold maceration, followed by 18-20 days maceration and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Twenty percent of the wine was aged 10 months in French oak. In the glass, it offers aromas of red berries, white pepper, herbal notes and spicy oak. On the palate, one tastes plum, blackberry, raspberry, hints of vanilla and earthiness and fine, rounded tannins on the lengthy finish. Drink it with duck confit, grilled and roasted meats, game, beef stew, meatloaf, pasta dishes and semi-firm cheeses. Buy it at: Fresh Market and Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket. Drink it at: Marigny Brasserie. ­— BRENDA MAITLAND

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