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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > VARIETAL CLASSICS: Argentinian Malbec

Winner Details

Varietal Classics: Argentinian Malbec

2015: Gold 3 Silver 5 Bronze 2 Commended 8
2014: Gold 2 Silver 5 Bronze 4 Commended 4

There were one or two grumbles from some tasters about the entries here being rather generic – ‘I’m not sure how many of these really tasted like Malbec’ said one. But 10 medals – most of them around the £9 or lower level – was a good performance, and there’s no doubting this grape’s must-list status.

FOOTNOTE: The price limit for the Varietal Classics category is £12 ex-VAT. Argentinian Malbec can also be entered in the relevant New World Malbec category.

From the Tasting Teams

‘Argentinian Malbec is like Rioja – a wine style that people who don’t know much about wine feel fine about liking. It has an element of exoticism to it, and it’s easy to pronounce.’ Donald Edwards, consultant

‘This stuff flies off the list. We have one that we buy at £15 and it still sells. It has such a solid reputation that people are willing to experiment.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Hotels

‘Malbec might lack personality, but it has consistency, and like Sancerre it sells itself. People go for it straight away because they know what it tastes like.’ Matteo Malquori, Hakkasan Hanway Place

‘It’s worth having two or three of these on the list, with a more entry-level wine and an upmarket one that you can upsell. George Bergier, The Victorian Chop House Company

Award winners

Found 18 wines

Varietal Classics: Argentine Malbec - <£12 ex-VAT

Merced del Estero, Mil Vientos, Barrica Malbec 2012, San Juan, Argentina

Gold medal winner

This was simply ‘just lovely, a wow wine’ for Neil Bruce of Studio Alto, with its ‘cassis, minty blueberries and oak’, while Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place noted its ‘fresh herbal and balsamic notes, blackberry elegance, blackberry leaf and good length’. 'Crying out for steak – rump, fore-rib or sirloin – just make sure it's rare!' said hungry team leader Tom Forrest.

£10.50 The Flying Corkscrew

Vistalba, Tomero, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

A sophisticated blend of flavours took Vistalba to the top. ‘Black fruits and herbal notes on a fresh nose, with spices on a persistent finish,’ said Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place, with team leader Tom Forrest noting: ‘Spicy pepper, black fruits, liquorice, some oak and raspberries.' Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair summed it up: 'A great example of what Malbec should be. Match with BBQ ribs.'

£8.72 Enotria&Coe

Finca Las Moras, Reserva, Malbec 2013, San Juan, Argentina

Gold medal winner

Depth and plenty of typical Malbec character gave Finca Las Moras Gold. Spice and sweet black fruits lead through to a savoury, peppery finish. ‘Bright, dark fruits, meaty and rich on the palate, with good structure. Great value,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross noting: ‘Purple, mulberry fruit and blackberry richness.’

£6.65 Bibendum

Santa Ana, La Mascota, Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

'A big wine with lots of oak and structure,' said consultant Sam Caporn MW, with team leader Angela Reddin adding: 'Baked fruit tart with some smoky oak and blueberry muffin notes, if high in alcohol.'

£9.36 Enotria&Coe

Pascual Toso, Selected Vines, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Jammy blueberry, blackcurrant and mulberry aromas along with vanilla and sweet cedar wood notes,’ began Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, adding: ‘Full bodied with soft, integrated tannins and a lingering finish.’

£7.71 Kingsland

Alta Vista, Classic Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Stewy red and black fruits, juicy palate with spice and oak notes,’ began team leader Tom Forrest, with Neil Bruce of Studio Alto highlighting ‘ripe bramble fruits, fine tannins, blueberry and spice’. With its balance and richness, this is classic barbecue fare.

£7.02 Cockburn & Campbell

Catena, Appellation Vista Flores, Malbec 2012, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Dark, bold, rich juicy fruits on the nose, with good weight and structure on the palate,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, concluding: ‘Balanced alcohol with good depth and silky tannins.’ 'Rich, textured, spicy, with well-integrated tannins,' said George Bergier of The Victorian Chop House Company.

£11.26 Bibendum

Andeluna 1300, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Good depth of aroma with meaty, spicy characters, plum jam and ripe tannins on a full-bodied palate with firm acidity,’ said Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place. ‘Quite mineral on the nose, with soft, squishy red fruits,’ added team leader Tom Forrest.

£9.03 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Norton, Finca Perdriel, Malbec 2010, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

While Neil Bruce of Studio Alto found this a ‘juicy, light, plummy’ wine, team leader Tom Forrest highlighted the ‘jammy red and black summer fruits with vanilla and soft spice notes’.

£8.38 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Salentein, Capilla de Barro, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Clean, with fresh, slightly plummy aromas. A fruity style with fine-grained tannins,’ said Neil Bruce of Studio Alto. ‘Lightly perfumed, rose and violet nose and ripe berry fruit on the palate,’ added team leader Tom Forrest.

£5.75 Majestic Commercial

Doña Paula, Estate Malbec 2013, Uco Valley, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

Desierto, Pampa, Malbec 2010, Patagonia , Argentina

Commended medal winner

Zuccardi, Serie A, Malbec 2013, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.22 Alliance Wine

Colomé, Estate Malbec 2012, Calchaquí Valley , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.65 Liberty Wines

Argento, Esquinas de Argento, Malbec 2013, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£9.14 Bibendum

Catena, Malbec 2012, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.26 Bibendum

Rutini, Malbec 2012, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

La Riojana, Raza Malbec 2013, La Rioja , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£6.75 Laytons


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