Here's a wine that typifies (personifies?) the modern style of 'international' red wine. It's simply called Colome, and its claim to fame is that it is made from grapes from the world's highest-altitude vineyards.
The vineyards of Bodega Colome are planted with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat, and are organically farmed. They are at an altitude of 2200 to 3015 metres (this latter figure is stunning - that's around 10 000 feet, and if you've ever walked around at this altitude it's striking how short of breath you become). The winery is part of the Hess group, which has interests around the world (including Glen Carlou in South Africa).
Modern, international-styled this may be, but it's done pretty well. The result is a seductive wine that reminds me in terms of personality of Clos de Los Siete. Here's my note.
Colome 2004 Valle Calchaqui, Salta, Argentina
This is a striking, modern styled wine that's quite forward and seductive, while at the same time retaining balance. A deep colour, it has a beguiling, sweet, pure nose of blackberry jam with some fresh raspberries in the mix, accompanied by a hint of vanilla oak. The palate shows quite elegant pure fruit, sweet yet not mushy and over-ripe. There's some spicy tannin, and the only negative is the high alcohol (14.5%), which makes its presence felt. Clearly new world in style, and fruit-driven, but pretty classy in this seductive mould. Wines like this will have Chile worried, I reckon. If you are in the mood for it, this is thoroughly delicious, but traditionalists beware! Very good/excellent 91 (£12.99 Oddbins)