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2011 Colome Estate Malbec 

Salta, Argentina

Retail $20-$26

Founded in 1831, Bodega Colome is Argentina's oldest winery. The original owners brought cabernet sauvignon and malbec vines from France to their estate in the Calchaqui Valley in the northern province of Salta. California's Hess Collection purchased the estate and installed the latest equipment. Vineyards are planted along Salta's mountain slopes at 5,500 to 10,000 feet above sea level, and soils are composed of sandy loam and alluvial deposits. A blend of 85 percent malbec, 8 percent tannat, 3 percent cabernet sauvignon and 2 percent each petit verdot and syrah grapes were hand-harvested and underwent slow vinification and extended maceration to develop complexity. Half the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in French oak before aging 15 months in new and used oak barrels. In the glass, it offers concentrated aromas of blackberry, cherry and hints of pepper and oak spice. On the palate, taste red and black currants, plums, herbal notes, velvety tannins and a backbone of acid. Decant 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with meat and chops, roasted fowl and game and aged cheeses. Buy it at: Costco, Dorignac's and Breaux Mart in River Ridge. Drink it at: Cava, Galatoire's, Restaurant August, Tableau, Tony Angello's Ristorante, Palace Cafe, La Boca, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, Morton's The Steakhouse, Crescent City Steak House, The Steak Knife, The Court of Two Sisters, Harrah's New Orleans and Lola in Covington.

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