The grapes to produce the Malbec Salta Bodega Colomé “Estate Series” were hand-sorted twice to ensure no green material or imperfect fruit entered the must. The grapes were cold macerated at 8°C for four days and then fermented using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation was kept at 24°C with twice daily, gentle pump overs with an extended maceration period of 30 days.
Malolactic conversion occurred in tank. The wine was then aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, 15% of which were new. Fruit comes from vineyards at four different altitudes; La Brava Estate on sandy soils at 1,700 metres above sea level that brings ripe fruit, Colomé Estate on complex soil composed of sand, clay, granite and aluvional at 2,300 metres that brings complexity and weight, El Arenal Estate on deep sandy soils at 2,600 metres that brings elegance, and Altura Maxima on very stony soil with granite, volcanic stone and some calcareous spots at 3,111 that brings florality and fine grain tannins to the blend.
Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 and is the oldest working winery in Argentina with one of the world’s highest vineyards. The winery is located in the far north of Argentina in the Upper Calchaquí Valley and is thought to have been founded by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854 his daughter, Ascensión, brought the first pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Bodega Colomé. Although these early efforts were pioneering at the time, it was when Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess (of Hess Collection, Napa Valley fame) bought Bodega Colomé in 2001 that it underwent the greatest transformation. Today, the winery has 140 hectares of biodynamically-run vineyards planted at altitudes of between 1,750 and 3,111 metres above sea level. French winemaker Thibaut Delmotte has been at the helm since 2005, his winemaking philosophy includes minimal intervention, the use of indigenous yeasts in fermentations and restrained use of oak, so that it never overwhelms the characteristic freshness and the purity of fruit of all of the Bodega Colomé wines.