Writing for The Guardian in London, wine critic Fiona Beckett recently said that she reckoned if you asked a random selection of people what their favourite red wine was, at least 40 percent would say Argentinian malbec! “These days”, she wrote, “it seems to have ousted even rioja in our affections. And you can see why. It shares rioja’s appealing fullness and smoothness, but it’s a bit brighter and fruitier, though not as jammy, as say, an Australian or California red.” (Wine: move over Spanish rioja – Argentinian malbec is the new red kid in town by Fiona Beckett, The Guardian, 15 November 2014)
I’m guessing Argentinian malbec isn’t nearly as popular in Australia. And it’s not because our tastes differ widely to the British. Because of distance and our relatively small population, we don’t see nearly as many imports on our our shelves, especially from New World wine regions like Argentina.
Great value and high quality Argentine Malbec is now more widely available in Australia
But if the quality of wines on offer at a recent Vintage Cellar’s tasting is any guide, some very good and great value Argentinian malbecs at different price points can now be found in Australia.
One of my favourite wines of the night was the big yet elegant Achaval-Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2011 (rrp $54.99). Made from mainly old-vine malbec from single vineyards in three different regions of Mendoza, the wine had a delightfully floral nose with mineral accents. The fruit was ripe but not too sweet and, while the palate was medium-bodied and the tannins quite polished, the wine had enough structure and complexity to age for quite a bit longer.
Achaval-Ferrer has a well deserved reputation for producing some of Argentina’s best malbecs. The 2009 vintage of the flagship Achaval-Ferrer Mendoza Finca Altamira, for example, is one of only two Argentinian malbecs to score 99 points from the Wine Advocate… [Read More]