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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Other Red Varieties & Blends: including Spanish/Italian varieties

Winner Details

New World: Other Red Varieties & BlendsIncluding Spanish/Italian varieties            

2018 Gold 6      Silver 12      Bronze 13      Commended 
2017 Gold 5      Silver 16      Bronze14       Commended 27

This section used to be a random hotch-potch of weird stuff – oddball blends or varieties that winemakers were experimenting with but clearly didn’t properly understand. The only thing that united them too often was a fatal addiction to big fruit and over-oaking.

But things are changing. Yes, there’s still a tendency to throw too much wood at the most expensive wines, but when the egos were kept in check, our tasters were surprised to find fresher fruit and a more deft touch in the winery.

The arrival of Italian/Spanish/Portuguese varieties – both as single varietal wines and in blends – has been a definite factor here, but more than that there seems to have been an attitude shift.

New World winemakers, it seems, are not so much seeing these blends/unusual varieties as weird experiments any longer, but rather wine styles to get excited about, and that will be taken seriously by tasters if they’re made sensitively.

And in a world awash with single varietal Cabernet and Syrah, that really is a good thing.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘[Mediterranean Varieties] is a massive trend. In the New World these varieties produce wines with different tannins, acidity, body and structure.’ Tatiana Mann, The Vine 

‘We were generally more positive about the cheaper, simple end, but as they went into heavier bottles, with more and more oak splashed onto them, the wines became more disjointed.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘The Syrah-based blends did really well. In previous years these were quite blowsy, but this year seemed more restrained.’ Charles Pashby-Taylor

‘Quite a lot of these forgot that wine is meant to be drunk – too many ‘cleavage’ wines or ‘six pack’ wines; they tried to show off instead of trying to be drinkable.’ Simon Woods, team leader

 

Award winners

Found 43 wines

New World: Malbec

Chocalan, Vitrum, Malbec 2013, Maipo Costa, Chile

Gold medal winner

‘Baking spices and macerated cherries with singed pastry crust’ were this Gold’s highlights for Lime Wood Hotel’s Christopher Parker, while Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental described it as ‘fruity with clear, ripe red and black fruits, and both tender and smooth on a rounded palate, with notes of vanilla’. For team leader Simon Woods it was ‘broad-shouldered, fleshy and fresh, with balanced liquorice and blackberry notes’.

£11.78 D&V Wines

Familia Schroeder, Saurus, Barrel Fermented, Malbec 2015, Patagonia, Argentina

Gold medal winner

A Gold winner through and through, this was full of ‘blackcurrant and plum, sweet spices on the nose’, began Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms, very much enjoying its ‘elegant tannins combining well with black fruit compote and earthy notes, and finishing well with more black fruits lingering on the palate’. ‘Fresh cassis with light herbal mint aromas, ripe plum with green peppery notes on a gentle palate,’ added Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club.

£15.84 Ellis of Richmond

Trapiche, Estación 1883, Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

‘Held back… but in a good way!’ began consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor on encountering this obvious Gold winner, enjoying its ‘pretty floral notes, with bright red cherry and some blueberry’, while Mario Tomekovic of Smiths of Smithfield was attracted by its ‘earthy mushroom, red fruit, spicy and meaty aromas’, adding that its ‘firm tannins, balance and long aftertaste make it very meat-friendly’. ‘Very good value, with length, depth and complexity,’ concluded Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason.

£9.27 Enotria&Coe

Trapiche, Terroir Series, Finca Ambrosia, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

As it took its rightful place on the Gold podium, Coq d’Argent’s Lazaros Engonopoulos heaped praise on this Malbec for being ‘young, juicy and concentrated, with black fruit, vanilla and incense, with big tannins and a good finish’. ‘Warm with a dry, lean elegance, bay leaf herb notes and a touch of coffee bean bitterness that calls for fatty food: very Malbec and very Argentina,’ concluded team leader Jade Koch.

£22.50 Enotria&Coe

Boutinot, Turno de Noche, Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner By the glass

In praise of the Gold medallist, Aurel Istrate of The Connaught highlighted ‘cherry scents, tannin grip and nice acidity’, while team leader Martin Lam found it a ‘more extracted, black fruit style with chalky tannins’. A great accompaniment for a burger, thought team leader Tom Forrest, who spoke of ‘warm, ripe aromas of berry and cherry, leading to red and black fruit with some peppery tannins, and leading to a well-balanced finish’.

£6.74 Boutinot

Nieto Senetiner, Don Nicanor, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

‘Vibrant and open,’ began team leader Simon Woods in his praise of this Malbec as it took the Gold, going on to describe it as ‘juicy and earthy’, with Grape Times UK’s Harry Crowther adding his appreciation for its ‘sweet fruit, with oak and cedar, and good structure’. Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm felt this was a ‘great value crowd-pleaser’, showing ‘smoky ripe fruit and violet notes, fresh, high acidity and beautiful tannins’.

£9.89 Boutinot

Salentein, Barrel Selection, Malbec 2016, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Gold medal winner

Flying the flag for the Uco Valley, and adding a Gold to Salentein’s collection of Silver and Bronze medals, this had ‘bright blueberries and a violet undertone, with good structure and nicely placed oak’ for consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones was impressed by ‘rich, dark fruits and Christmas cake and pudding notes’, while consultant Chantal Serrano liked its ‘complexity, with plums, mint and cherries’.

£13.24 Matthew Clark

Coopers Creek, Malbec 2015, Gisborne, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘A gentle giant,’ began team leader Simon Woods, finding it ‘juicy, sweet, vibrant and easy, lovely and complete with layered flavours’, with Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin noting ‘leafy tapenade, plummy, but subtle and peppery with a savoury touch on the finish’.

£9.88 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Zorzal, Eggo, Tinto de Tiza, Malbec 2015, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

This had a ‘natural’ character, said Mario Tomekovic of Smiths of Smithfield, with ‘some notes of oxidation, but also ripe red fruit aromas, meaty and fruity on the palate with balance and elegance, and a hint of liquorice on the finish’, while team leader Jade Koch found ‘tea and purple fruit, lean and breezy, long and fine’.

£14.40 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Doña Paula, Selección de Bodega, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Noting ‘jam, cherry, cedar wood and liquorice’ on the nose, The Pig Hotel’s Jacopo Mazzeo enjoyed ‘well-integrated oak, crunchy berries and firm tannins on a toasty palate’, and team leader Martin Lam found it ‘spicy, rich and liqueur-ish, with sweet black berry fruits and a concentrated, saline finish’. Best to decant, or cellar for a few more years.

£31.20 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Piattelli Vineyards, Grand, Malbec 2015, Salta, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister found ‘blackcurrant lozenge and rich dark chocolate with raspberry notes’ here, while fellow team leader Simon Woods found it ‘honest and open-hearted, with spicy dark fruit’. ‘Silky and rounded, with good acidity,’ concluded Grape Times UK’s Harry Crowther.

£14.99 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Salentein, Capilla de Barro, Malbec 2017, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Medium-bodied, but with big iodine and rich red fruits,’ began Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, with Antóin UáRuairc of UK Midland Sommelier Ltd finding ‘complex fruit, spices and toast on the nose, smooth and very fruity flavours with warm, balanced alcohol and long length’.

£7.17 Majestic Commercial

Familia Schroeder, Alpataco Malbec 2017, Patagonia, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Melania Bellesini of The Fat Duck liked this wine’s ‘easy-drinking style, pretty nose of red summer fruits and juicy red cherries, the palate with soft tannins and balanced acidity, then notes of beetroot on the aftertaste’, while team leader Jade Koch found ‘mulberry fruit, cool, inky and dark with a dusty finish and minty chocolate notes’.

£8.59 Ellis of Richmond

Finca Las Moras, Black Label, Malbec 2016, San Juan, Argentina

Silver medal winner

The Pig Hotel’s Jacopo Mazzeo found ‘black pepper, sour cherry fruit, high acidity and well-integrated oak’, placing this as a wine that will be at its best with food. This was confirmed by team leader Martin Lam, who also noted ‘quite grippy oak and a hint of bitterness among the fruit sweetness’.

£9.10 Enotria&Coe

Santa Ana, Reserve, Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Its ‘rich and plump nose is backed up by a full range of fruit’, said Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm, also finding ‘a touch of smoke and vanilla supporting the main act’. Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW highlighted ‘all that plum fruit’, but found it ‘elegant and restrained, too’.

£8.30 Enotria&Coe

El Esteco, Finca Notables, Malbec 2015, Salta, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘Inky, earthy, funky nose, iodine and ripe black fruits, velvet texture and chalk tannins on a big and bold palate,’ said Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, and team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW noted its ‘full body, fresh, savoury and salty character with an extra-long finish’.

£15.18 Enotria&Coe

Concha y Toro, Trivento, Tribu, Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Team leader Jade Koch noted ‘strawberry and vanilla notes on the nose, refreshing bright strawberry fruit with balanced acidity’ for a ‘good, quaffable New World style with crunch’. ‘Good for a second-cheapest pub wine,’ agreed consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor.

£6.12 CyT UK

Vistalba, Tomero, Malbec, Tunuyán 2016, Uco Valley, Medoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest found ‘light raspberry and blackcurrant aromas, and a slight leafiness, with soft red and black fruit on a palate that’s quite light, with floral hints on the finish’, while consultant Chantal Serrano thought it ‘easy to drink, with plums, cherries, rose petals and chocolate, with a savoury leather note’.

£10.93 Bibendum

Norton, Lote A-112, Single Vineyard, Malbec, Agrelo 2012, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

‘This is really the bees knees,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, supported by Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, who loved its ‘old-school Malbec style, with super oaky spice over dark, jammy fruits’, and Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm, homing in on its ‘blueberry nose, simmering with potential’.

£17.11 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Colomé, Estate, Malbec 2015, Salta, Argentina

Silver medal winner

The Pig Hotel’s Jacopo Mazzeo liked its ‘immediate style’, noting ‘cream, red cherry, cranberry and plum with liquorice hints’, and Aurel Istrate of The Connaught pointed to ‘stewed plums on the nose, hints of smoke, very well-integrated oak and elegant acidity’.

£14.15 Liberty Wines

Trefethen, Oak Knoll District, Malbec 2014, Napa Valley, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘Great fruit extraction,’ began Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, admiring its ‘richness balanced with a touch of sourness, and oak flavour well integrated, then a long aftertaste with pronounced notes of leather and tobacco’.

£19.13 Daniel Lambert Wines

Don Manuel Villafañe, Gran Malbec 2011, Maipú, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

While The Pig Hotel’s Jacopo Mazzeo found this ‘austere, with cherry, black pepper and smoky plum character’, The Connaught’s Aurel Istrate enjoyed ‘hints of smoke on the nose, black and red fruits with minty notes, grippy tannins, leather and tobacco, and a long, elegant finish’. One for the decanter.

£19.50 Eurowines

Trapiche, Gran Medalla, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Dark, brooding nose, deep purple-black-saline fruit palate, intense,’ began team leader Martin Lam, while The Pig Hotel’s Jacopo Mazzeo enjoyed its ‘good extraction, complex violet and berry bouquet and toast, revealing notes of cedar, leather and game as it warms up’.

£15.20 Enotria&Coe

Trapiche, Terroir Series, Finca Orellana, Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘If I were a winemaker, I’d be proud of this,’ said Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm, approving of its ‘dark chocolate, coffee, plum and blueberry, depth and richness’, with team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW finding it ‘explosively fruity in the mouth, bramble fruit pie’, and rating it ‘best by the glass’.

£22.68 Enotria&Coe

Finca Las Moras, Barrel Select, Malbec 2017, San Juan, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Rich style with red and black fruit, earthy with some elegance,’ began Mario Tomekovic of Smiths of Smithfield, while consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor felt it was ‘what people expect from Argentinian Malbec, with raspberry, ripe strawberry and black fruit, good by the glass and with pork belly’.

£7.50 Enotria&Coe

Vistalba, Tomero, Reserva, Malbec, Tunuyán 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

‘Black pepper and currants’ stood out on the nose for Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, who also enjoyed its ‘touches of Christmas spices and herbaceous character’, while team leader Tom Forrest noted ‘vanilla and coconut aromas, ripe dark berries and pepper spice’.

£17.64 Bibendum

Argento, Reserva, Organic Malbec 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Antóin UáRuairc of UK Midland Sommelier Ltd enjoyed this Malbec’s ‘range of aromas up to tobacco, in a very fruity style, with lightness and low tannin making it a very good drinker, with a very pleasant aftertaste’.

£10.97 Bibendum

Aires Andinos, Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Woodhead 17’s James Fryer found ‘blackcurrant jam and baking spices on the nose with hints of fresh sawdust, super-ripe palate with fruit compote richness but some tautness in the end-palate’. ‘Cherry, violet, plum… a good pub wine,’ added Euan McColm of Beaverbrook.

£5.81 Majestic Commercial

Caliterra, Tributo, Single Vineyard, Malbec 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

‘Granular tannins with coffee and chocolate notes with black forest fruits make this a bargain,’ declared Christopher Parker of Lime Wood Hotel, while team leader Simon Woods enjoyed its ‘toasty, vibrant and supple character, juicy and chunky but has freshness with the berry and plum’.

£7.72 Hatch Mansfield

Caliterra, Tributo, Single Vineyard, Pétreo, Malbec 2015, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

This left an impression on the whole team, with Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin pointing to its ‘modern spicy blackberry, rich and ripe aromas, dark cacao and black pepper notes with plummy, savoury fruit and juicy tannins’.

£9.45 Hatch Mansfield

Salentein, Primus, Malbec 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

This left an impression on Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche with its ‘intense, deep nose of black fruit to coffee and spice’, and he found it a ‘big wine with chocolate flavours, velvety and elegant but with huge power’. ‘Very good, lots of oak, but the body and seductive vanilla and spice hold it well,’ said Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte.

£33.46 Matthew Clark

Ojo de Vino, Puro, Organic, Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam enjoyed its ‘funky, savoury nose, sappy and fresh, juicy palate with a savoury element giving it more complexity’, and The Connaught’s Aurel Istrate picked up ‘dark and red fruits, hints of tobacco with a long and pleasant finish’.

£12.48 Matthew Clark

Zorzal, Terroir Unico, Malbec 2017, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Catena, Appellation, Vista Flores, Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£12.28 Bibendum

Zonte's Footstep, Violet Beauregard, Malbec 2016, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Trapiche, Perfiles, Textura Fina, Malbec 2016, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£12.97 Enotria&Coe

Cadus, Appellation Tupungato, Malbec 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£10.70 Boutinot

Argento, Esquinas de Argento, Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£10.14 Bibendum

Argento, Selección, Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.40 Bibendum

Andeluna, Altitud, Malbec, Tupungato 2015, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

Caliterra, Reserva, Malbec 2016, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Salentein, Portillo, Malbec 2017, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£8.87 Matthew Clark

Atamisque, Serbal, Malbec 2017, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£11.85 Matthew Clark

 

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