After an exceptional dinner at M GRILL Victoria Street, we asked Zack Charilaou, M’s Wine Director and UK Sommelier of the Year 2015, for a wine recommendation for the readers of SLOAN! Magazine. Zack chose the Colomé ‘Estate’ Malbec 2011 from one of the highest vineyards in the world! Malbec is Argentina’s favourite grape and these are picked from more than 2,300m above sea level producing a rich and intense Malbec with plenty of complexity. Colomé ‘Estate’ Malbec 2011 is a fantastic example of a big and bold Argentinian red just in time for Malbec World Day on 17th April. Here is what Zack had to say about the wine and the region it comes from.

Colome-Estate-Malbec-2011-Salta“Salta is quite a large wine making region — but over 90% of vineyards are all squeezed into Cafayate, a town south of Salta city, at altitudes of up to 2000m above sea level. Other smaller wine making areas such as Yacachuya or Colome can reach altitudes above 3000m — the highest any wine is made in the world! Salta is by far the most extreme wine making region and therefore creates some pretty unique wines.”

“The high altitude combined with dessert level rainfall has many different impacts on the vines. The intense sunlight due to the altitude, whilst having no humidity means the penetration of the sun is extremely strong. This means the grapes have to develop thick skins to protect their seeds from harmful UV rays and the skin is where all the body and flavour comes from. So you can be sure to have rich, bold, intense and powerful wines here! However, the low humidity also means there is nothing to lock the 40c heat from the day, so they nights are very cold — giving the grapes some much needed rest to keep the balance — just like putting some nice cold after sun on that fresh beach tanned body — some say they can hear the grapes say ‘ahhhhhh’ in relief at sun down.”

“After spending several months in Argentina over the years, I  have had the luck of being able to taste and understand all shapes and sizes of Malbec from the northern region of Salta to 2500km south in Patagonia. It’s very difficult for me to choose a solid favourite, but one that is ever existent on my wine lists and in my after work glass is Colomé Malbec.”

“Colomé Malbec is from the most extreme vineyards in the world, reaching over 2300m above sea level – the highest in the world. The style is big, rich and bold with an interesting salty, sea weed and black olive character that adds a layer to Malbec that only occurs in Salta – home to less than 5% of Argentina’s Malbec production.”

Colomé ‘Estate’ Malbec 2011 is available from and M WINE STORE on Victoria Street priced at £21 a bottle.

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