-7-For wine information, please see www.village-cellars.co.jp.Bodega ColoméAutenticoMalbec 2017Region:Valle Calchaqui, Salta, ArgentinaVariety:Malbec 100%  Alc. 15.0%RRP ¥5,000From the original vineyard at Colomé at an altitude of 2,300m, it is aged in tanks for 10 months without using barrels, and then bottled for 10 months. Includes fruit from vines over 100 years old.CODE10779Bodega Colomé Lote Especial Malbec La Brava 2017Region:Valle Calchaqui, Salta, ArgentinaVariety:Malbec 100%  Alc. 14.7%RRP ¥3,200Single vineyard Malbec made from the La Brava vineyard in Cafayate at an altitude of 1,700m, gives a ne expression of the terroir. Barrel-aged in French oak for 12 months.CODE11191Bodega ColoméEstate Malbec 2015Region:Valle Calchaqui, Salta, ArgentinaVariety:Malbec 100%  Alc. 14.9%RRP ¥3,500The estate label blends Malbec fruit from all four vineyards spanning altitudes 1,700 - 3,111m. After 15 months barrel aging, 6 months bottle aging before release.CODE10780From Village CellarsAfter learning that Lote Especial Tannat 2018 won the “Best in Show - 98pts” *** at the Decanter World Wine Awards, we wanted to talk with Thibaut for the first time in a while. When we first visited Colomé in 2016, we tasted and bought the Lote Especial series of wines, and the Tannat established a good reputation in Japan straight away. Thibaut explains: “At first I saw Tannat as a very late ripener, to get more black fruit and body ‒ which was nice for blending ‒ but with time we learnt to pick it earlier and to get more elegance, floral red fruit, minerality and high acidity, and started making a 100 percent Tannat wine.” His 100% Argentine Bonarda also shows the potential of this ‘blending’ variety.* Old Vitis Vinifera brought from Spain by Catholic missionaries. It is called Criolla in Argentina and Pais in Chile.** James Turrell is a contemporary American artist who works primarily with light and space. He has many works in Japan. *** An international wine contest sponsored by the British wine magazine Decanter. In 2020, 16,800 wines were entered. 50 of them were selected as "Best in Show". 98 points is the highest score.about over-extraction style, a lot of pumping over, high temperature fermentation, and quite a lot of oak. I started with this style in Colomé, and my biggest challenge was to adapt to the terroir and style of wine we wanted here. Over time I have really learnt about going easy with pumping over, harvesting earlier and earlier looking for freshness before fatness and full body wines, and less new oak, and even no oak. There are some influences in my background from Burgundy, especially terroir and how every parcel is different, taking a more precise approach to viticulture, and from Bordeaux my knowledge of blending. Of course we experienced a lot here, and I had to change my approach to winemaking, because it is very different here. We don’t have to manage disease, there is no botrytis, so we can get fruit with perfect maturity and round, well-balanced tannins, we don’t have to over extract to get colour. In that way it is easier here because the weather is very stable.◆Just how remote are you?When you come to visit you fly into Buenos Aires, then it is a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Salta city, the Province’s capital, and then a five-hour drive to Colomé, half of it on gravel mountain roads. Colomé is in the middle of a valley - El Arenal is two-hours drive north, and then another 30 minutes to Altura Máxima. Going south, from Colomé to Cafayate to the Amalaya winery and Colomé’s La Brava vineyard is a two-and-a-half-hour drive. So it is a lot of driving.All the Colomé fruit from Colomé, El Arenal, and Altura Máxima goes to the Colomé winery, and the Cafayate fruit to the Amalaya winery. Each year we harvest approximately 2 million kilos of fruit, 2000 tonnes, and we produce 1.3 million litres of wine between both wineries. ◆What are your logistics like?It’s a nightmare ‒ very, very difficult. You have to imagine that we were only connected to the electricity grid last year ‒ until then we had to generate our own electricity with a hydro-electric power plant. We still produce 60-65% of our own electricity. From Mendoza to Colomé is 20 hours, and everything comes from Mendoza ‒ the bottles, the corks, the barrels. These days we have our own truck. When we first started with logistics contractors the bottles would be all crushed on arrival. Now it is improving, the roads to Amalaya in Cafayate are good, so we do as much bottling as possible in Amalaya, and do our labelling there. It is still difficult to transport fruit from Altura Máxima to Colomé‒ it is 5 hours in the truck. The fruit is picked and handled in very small boxes to ensure it arrives in good condition. The thicker skin helps a lot, a thin skin on a gravel road wouldn’t be fruit when it arrived.Though things are better the internet is still patchy, there is no cell phone service in Colomé. Given this, it is amazing we still have about 8000 people visit us every year ‒ it is difficult to get here but people love it. Right now we are closed because of Covid 19. They come to see the James Turrell** museum, and stay in our exclusive 9-room hotel. Visitors appreciate the unique environment, and our wines.◆Was it a big surprise when the Lote Especial Tannat 2018 won Best in Show at the World Decanter Wine Awards?***Winning Best in Show for all South American wines was a big surprise, it was quite amazing given the competition. I would expect it with a Malbec, but never a Tannat. We knew we were making one of the best Tannats in Salta, but not at this level. The award for the Amalaya Malbec 2019 is even more fantastic (Platinum Award at World Decanter Wine Awards) ‒ 97 points for a wine at this price point and production, 60,000 cases, is just amazing.Colomé (2,300m)La Brava (1,700m)Altura Máxima (3,111m)El Arenal (2,600m)Calchaqui◎◎●●★Santiago (Chile)Buenos AiresMendozaSaltaWinery

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