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Editor at large Harvey Steiman joined Wine Spectator in 1983; his tasting beats are Australia, Oregon and Washington.
Harvey Steiman

An Argentine Red for Beef Short Ribs

Bodega Colomé Amalaya Calchaqui Valley 2008

Harvey Steiman
Posted: July 19, 2010

I wanted to drink a supple, generous red with beef short-rib quesadillas. That was our favorite dish at 626 on Rood, a wine bar and restaurant new to my wife and I (but going strong for three years) in Grand Junction, Colo., where we stop overnight en route to and from our summer stay in Aspen. I chose an Australian Shiraz blend but the bottle tasted off, despite its screw-cap closure. Not TCA, it turned out, but heat had lightly cooked the whole case, owner Brenda Wray reported ruefully. At her suggestion, we went for another southern hemisphere option, a Malbec blend from Argentina.

The Bodega Colomé Amalaya Calchaqui Valley 2008 is a blend of primarily Malbec, with Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Syrah, from a winery known for its outstanding wines at fair prices. The 6-ounce glass was $14 on the list, a bit pricey perhaps, but the dark, pure fruit, hinting at tea and mineral as the finish persisted, won me over. 90 points, non-blind.

The quesadilla deftly balanced the rich short-rib meat with Bourbon-caramelized shallots and Mexican-style queso fresco in a whole-wheat tortilla. That’s a red wine dish if I ever saw one, and it turned out to be catnip for the Amalaya. members: Get our quick list of Top Values among Argentine reds for $25 or less.

Angela Hess
La Quinta —  July 19, 2010 8:53pm ET
Harvey the stuff is $12-$13 a bottle. I dont think its out of bounds to charge $14 a glass when you consider the landscape of 90+ point wines BTG. My opinion...

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