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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > VARIETAL CLASSICS: Argentinian Malbec

Winner Details

Varietal Classics: Argentinian Malbec

2016 Gold: 1 Silver: 8 Bronze: 2 Commended: 3
2015 Gold: 3 Silver: 5 Bronze: 2 Commended: 8

We only introduced Argentinian Malbec as a Varietal Classic in 2011, but in that time it’s grown to become arguably the red wine cornerstone of any list, a go-to variety for meat and a terrific By The Glass glugger that is on the verge of eclipsing Aussie Shiraz.

If you want to know why it is so popular, just take a look at the feedback below and the prices of these medals. There aren’t many wine styles that are loved by the public and sommeliers alike, and can deliver impressive quality for a competitive price year after year.

Over half our medal winners here were under £9, including our staggeringly well-priced Gold from Sommelier Wine Award newbies Andean Vineyards. Taken in conjunction with the Malbec results it shows a wine style absolutely at the top of its game.


‘There’s a reason why Argentinian Malbec is a brand name. The more you paid for these, the more you got.’ Jonathan Kleeman, Social Eating House

‘These had that classic leafy, dark chocolate and juiciness that the public love. It’s full but not hard. Juicy. Comfortable.’ Mya Brown, The Ledbury

‘Argie Malbec is a great flight for people who don’t know that much about wine; that’s not to patronise the wines – they were well made. Punters go for it because it’s consistent and reliable.’ Devon Pryor, Blandford Comptoir

‘This was a really good flight, from the cheapest to the most expensive. The cheaper wines, especially, had lots of fruit – opulence, but not too much oak, which the market likes. This stuff flies out the door at our place at £8 a glass.’ Harry Crowther, M Restaurants

“25% of our red sales are Malbec. It’s so hot at the moment, and has been for a number of years. Any style you get of it is going to sell.” Harry Crowther, M Restaurants

“We know these wines are good with red meat but a lot of these would be good drunk on their own as well. There are tannins, but they are ripe.” Enikő Heidenwolf, 67 Pall Mall

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.

Award winners

Found 14 wines

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

Andean Vineyards, Finca del Alta, Reserve, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner By the glass

'Lovely, not too heavy, it's still got the typical character, but it's easy to enjoy,' said Zigmars Grinbergs of Vinoteca of this violet-scented Gold Lister and By The Glass Trophy holder. 'Dark, vibrant fruits and lightly oaked, soft and juicy on the palate with a decent finish,' began Harry Crowther of M Restaurants, with team leader Tom Forrest also finding 'ripe, sweet berry fruits and a juicy finish'.

£5.06 Kingsland

Alta Vista, Premium, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Complexity and 'great value' for The Ledbury's May Brown, adding: 'Intense, ripe, full flavour and body with fine tannins. Black fruit, dark chocolate, roasted almond and Assam tea and tobacco notes on the palate, complemented by lovely, well-integrated oak.'

£9.20 Cockburn & Campbell

Finca Decero, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

'Cahors meets Mendoza!' began Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs, continuing: 'As Malbec should be, both Old and New World.' 'Good concentration on the palate and focus on the finish,' added Maurizio Palomba of Sushi Samba.

£8.95 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Argento, Esquinas de Argento, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

'Quite light blackberry and apple, but really juicy and pure,' began team leader Sam Caporn MW, while Mya Brown of The Ledbury enjoyed its 'espresso, dark chocolate and ripe blackberry fruit and fine structure'.

£9.14 Bibendum

Argento, Reserve, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Zigmars Grinbergs of Vinoteca found 'great balance, complexity and very much an earthy character with good length. It's almost bloody, with an iron minerality.' Meanwhile team leader Tom Forrest highlighted its 'slightly violet floral notes, soft, squashy forest fruits and lightly peppery finish'.

£7.55 Blends Wine Estates

Finca Sophenia, Reserve, Malbec 2014, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest found this wine to be 'full of juicy red and black berries and plums, with violet notes and dark chocolate on the palate, then a juicy and ripe finish with grippy tannins', while Lionel Periner of The Lucky Onion noted 'elegant well-integrated oak with a hint of leather, dry, smooth tannins, and a full body'.

£9.50 Ellis of Richmond

Catena Zapata, Catena, Appellation Vista Flores, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Mya Brown of The Ledbury found this 'floral, vibrant, lush and very drinkable', while team leader Sam Caporn MW observed a resemblance to Syrah in style, saying: 'Lifted and a touch spicy, with good tannins and distinctive character.'

£11.04 Bibendum

Fabre, Phebus, Reservado, Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

'Savoury red fruits, medium length with a peppery finish,' began team leader Tom Forrest, while Harry Crowther of M Restaurants found 'liquorice notes and a touch of reduction, but savoury and grippy on the palate, with gentle tannins'.

£6.23 Buckingham Schenk

Andeluna Cellars, 1300, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

'Classic, spicy Malbec nose with hints of caramel, backed by good structure on the palate,' said Harry Crowther of M Restaurants, while team leader Tom Forrest highlighted its 'deep red and black fruit aromas, grippy fruit palate and juicy finish'.

£9.14 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Norton, Porteño, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Punchy fruit with chocolate notes, simple but it delivers,' said Jonathan Kleeman of Social Eating House, while Mya Brown of The Ledbury highlighted its 'floral, violets, black plum on the nose, minerality and integrated oak'.

£6.25 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Vistalba, Tomero, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Great value,' began Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir, continuing: 'Interesting floral and black tea notes on the nose, a bold palate with purple fruit blooming in the middle, good tannin and spicy freshness.'

£8.72 Enotria&Coe

Norton, Finca La Colonia, Colección Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Argento , Malbec 2015, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£7.02 Bibendum

Salentein , Capilla de Barro, Malbec 2015, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner


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