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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > NEW WORLD: Malbec

Winner Details

New World: Malbec

2016 Gold: 5 Silver: 7 Bronze: 6 Commended: 13
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 4 Bronze: 6 Commended: 4

Argentina meets Chile in the battle for the Malbec Cup. There’s a clear favourite, and a clear winner – but my word the plucky Chileans ran them close.

You would, frankly, expect Argentina to win this category. It’s what Sauvignon Blanc is to New Zealand and Chenin is to South Africa. And a Gold List score of 4-1 was pretty respectable. But until the referee gave a late penalty, which Fabre Montemayou slotted home to secure the win, it was looking close.

The good news here is that there’s plenty of good Malbec to choose from on both sides of the Andes – and our Gold List had a beautiful laddering of medals from ‘good value’ (two crackers from Trapiche) right the way up to ‘serious trade-up’. Such options are useful because the one thing on which all our tasters agreed is that Malbec is a massively popular grape at the moment.

You can bet that experimental plantings are in the ground in Oz and South Africa, and it wouldn’t surprise us if we see a few more countries getting in on the medals a few years down the line.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Really typical wines – just what I was expecting. Powerful, silky tannins, commercial and easy to sell.’ Mattia Scarpazza, Petersham Nurseries Café

‘Some were delicate, some were over-extracted, some were green – very confusing.’ Kelvin McCabe, Yauatcha City

‘I thought the wines would have more of a sense of place.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

‘If I had to choose a Malbec, I would probably still go for an Argentinean one. But I can’t list it for £75.’ Gabriele Galuppo, Theo Randall at the InterContinental

‘Savoury, tangy, fruity – it’s wine that goes with all kinds of meat dishes and is an easy seller.’ Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

‘Quite often they’re jammy, extracted and oaky – freshness and crunch is often lacking in Argentina. Though there is a place for them on the list. They’re not for complex food, you don’t want anything too subtle.’ Natasha Hughes MW, team leader

Award winners

Found 31 wines

New World: Malbec

Luis Felipe Edwards, LFE 900, Malbec, 2012, Colchagua Valley , Chile

Gold medal winner

Completing Luis Felipe Edwards' hat-trick of Golds, a relatively young but already captivating wine. 'Massive structure with a great nose, and quite complex on the palate,' said The Vineyard Group's James Hocking, continuing: 'Big palate of sweet fruit and spice with a long finish, showing berry fruit and more spice notes. Well made.' 'Rich and smooth, with dark chocolate notes,' said Michael Moore of Moore Show Cuisine, suggesting pairing with duck and goose.

£15.42 North South Wines

Fabre Montmayou, Grand Vin, 2010, Mendoza , Argentina

Gold medal winner

Big yet racy, an intense addition to the Gold List. 'Black fruits, spice and liquorice on the nose, with a meaty, leathery palate, supported by elegant tannins and a long finish,' said Dario Barbato of Individual Restaurants. 'Big, concentrated, rich and chewy texture with black berries, plum and morello cherry,' added Sara Bacchiori of Chez Bruce.

£21.92 Vinothentic

Salentein, Primus, Malbec, 2012, Uco Valley, Mendoza , Argentina

Gold medal winner

Salentein sashayed on to the Gold List with this elegant and perfectly integrated complex wine. 'Showing big legs, with cherry, plum and blackcurrant fruits on the nose echoed on the palate, along with a nutty touch,' said JKS Restaurants' Piotr Tomaszewski, continuing: 'Elegant, medium body for an Argentinian Malbec, round and rich tannins, with a touch of spice.' 'There's a silky-textured mouthfeel to this sophisticated wine,' said Bar 44's Owen Morgan.

£26.98 Matthew Clark

Trapiche, Estacion 1883, Malbec, 2013, Mendoza , Argentina

Gold medal winner Food Match

The perfect balance of gentle acidity and ripe, sweet fruit gave Trapiche another Gold. Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha City found 'strawberry juice and cherry aromas', followed by 'jammy fruit and dusty tannins on a sweetish style but well-structured palate'. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW noted 'ripe black olive and dark chocolate with a juicy mid-palate'. 'It gets more floral as it opens up,' said one judge at the final Food Match round, where it scooped the popular Beefburger Food Match Trophy.

£9.06 Enotria&Coe

Trapiche, Melodías, Winemaker Selection, Malbec, 2014, Mendoza , Argentina

Gold medal winner

Attractive and food friendly, Trapiche struck Gold with this rich, full style of Malbec. 'Shows medium intensity with restrained fruit, the palate is soft and juicy with well-integrated tannins,' said team leader Olivier Marie. 'Light and floral on the nose with some liquorice notes, and full-textured palate,' added Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental.

£7.48 Enotria&Coe

Falernia, Reserva, Malbec, 2013, Elqui Valley , Chile

Silver medal winner

Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental found it 'intense, rich and evolved with rose petal notes' on the nose, showing 'rich, fruity development and toasty, silky tannins on the palate'. 'Nice and well crafted,' said L'Ortolan's Guillaume Kaczmar, adding: 'Good balance for an easy-drinking Malbec.'

£8.95 Enotria&Coe

Pérez Cruz, Limited Edition, Cot, 2014, Maipo Alto , Chile

Silver medal winner

'With a little more concentration, this has a bit more grip,' said L'Ortolan's Guillaume Kaczmar. 'Ripe, fleshy and spicy, violet-scented aromas,' began team leader Simon Woods, continuing: 'Has nice earthy finesse, good blueberry and blackcurrant fruit again, if a touch of reduction.'

£12.33 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Pascual Toso, Alta, Barrancas, Malbec, 2014, Mendoza , Argentina

Silver medal winner

'Intense nose of red fruit with earthy hints, medium to full body with good balance, ripe sour cherry fruit, rich and muscular style,' said Georgi Mihov of Bohemia Bar and Restaurant, adding: 'A wine with potential.' Team leader Annette Scarfe MW was in agreement, saying: 'Ambitious style, with lots of toasty well-integrated oak.'

£13.31 Kingsland

Matias Riccitelli, Vineyard Selection, Malbec, 2012, Mendoza , Argentina

Silver medal winner

Earning a 'bravo' from Bart Michalewicz of The Arts Club, this wine showed a 'very clean and seductive nose, lush and opulent, with meaty, polished and textured structure and great fruit'. 'Very punchy, fresh, jammy fruit,' added Jonathan Kleeman of Social Eating House.

£18.63 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Trapiche, Terroir Series, Finca Ambrosia, 2011, Mendoza , Argentina

Silver medal winner

'Characterful, chalky tannins with fleshy, opulent fruit and a chewy texture,' began team leader Olivier Marie, with Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club also noting 'green leaf aromas with delicate red berry aromas, spicy fruit on the palate with youthful tannins'.

£22.40 Enotria&Coe

Trapiche, Terroir Series, Finca Orellana de Escobar, 2011, Mendoza , Argentina

Silver medal winner

'An elegant palate, with well-integrated fruit and oak,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'In a heavy bottle, it's big, intense and almost opaque in colour,' began Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, continuing: 'Great intensity of savoury fruit, a gorgeous foodie wine with any big red meat, gamey dishes.'

£22.40 Enotria&Coe

Filus, Reserve, Malbec, 2013, Uco Valley, Mendoza , Argentina

Silver medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club found 'baked red fruits and green leaf, herbal aromas', while team leader Olivier Marie noted its 'intense, slightly underripe fruit with cinnamon baking spices, a violet floral side but fresh minty notes'.

£11.86 Perfect Cellar

Caliterra, Tributo, Single Vineyard, Malbec, 2013, Colchagua Valley , Chile

Bronze medal winner

'Plummy, jammy, stewed fruits on an ample nose with violet and rose petal floral notes, earthy and dusty,' began Francesco Gabriele of The Dining Room at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, adding: 'Very good palate with bitter and sweet contrasts, good balance with an extra gear.'

£7.36 Hatch Mansfield

Atamisque, Serbal, Malbec, 2015, Tupungato, Mendoza , Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Lean and sinewy wine,' began team leader Natasha Hughes MW, going on: 'Some reduction, but has pleasant tea leaf and cherry fruit on the palate with a fresh, juicy finish.'

£10.19 Matthew Clark

Casarena, Lauren's Vineyard, Agrelo, Malbec, 2011, Mendoza , Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Big, ambitious wine in a big, heavy bottle,' noted team leader Annette Scarfe MW, going on: 'Lots of French oak, but a lovely core of ripe fruit. Well balanced, multi-layered and complex.' 'Grippy tannins with notes of chocolate, liquorice and dark cherry,' added Sara Bacchiori of Chez Bruce.

£15.99 Frederic Robinson

Casarena, Winemaker Selection, Malbec, 2014, Mendoza , Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Tangy, earthy, juicy red that will match well with all kinds of red meat dishes or cheeses,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. 'Floral, juicy, easy-drinking style, simple and bright,' added team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£6.99 Frederic Robinson

El Esteco, Estate, Malbec, 2013, Calchaqui Valley, Salta , Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Minty character with some spices and ripe, concentrated dark fruit,' began Sara Bacchiori of Chez Bruce, adding: 'Dry, long, with good texture, if high tannins. Very good quality at the price point.'

£11.11 Enotria&Coe

Trapiche, Melodías, Malbec, 2015, Mendoza , Argentina

Bronze medal winner

'Commercial style,' began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, going on: 'Sweet, ripe fruit, soft tannins and a little sweetness in the finish.' 'Baked fruits, blackcurrant jam, warm and very ripe on the palate,' agreed Yauatcha City's Kelvin McCabe.

£6.05 Enotria&Coe

Luis Felipe Edwards, Gran Reserva, Malbec, 2013, Colchagua Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

£8.43 Matthew Clark

Morandé, Reserva, One To One, Malbec, 2014, Maule Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

Viu Manent, Single Vineyard, San Carlos, Malbec, 2013, Colchagua Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

Finca Sophenia, Synthesis, Malbec, 2013, Tupungato, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

Casarena, Reserva, Malbec, 2013, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

Filus, Malbec, 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

Salentein , Barrel Selection, Malbec, 2014, Uco Valley, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.15 Matthew Clark

Amalaya, Vino Tinto de Altura, 2014, Calchaquí Valley, Salta , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£7.95 Liberty Wines

Doña Paula, Selección de Bodega, Malbec, 2011, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

Trapiche , Terroir Series, Finca Coletto , 2011, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£22.40 Enotria&Coe

El Esteco, Don David, Malbec, 2014, Calchaqui Valley, Salta , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.59 Enotria&Coe

Colomé , Estate, Malbec, 2013, Calchaqui Valley, Salta , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£12.50 Liberty Wines

Kaiken, Ultra, Malbec, 2013, Mendoza , Argentina

Commended medal winner

£10.55 Liberty Wines