Published On: Sun, Sep 3rd, 2017

Aromatic, balanced and lively: The best Argentine malbec wines | Food | Life & Style

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Argentina is as famous for its beef as it is for its red wines. And there’s nothing quite like a huge, fat Argentine steak accompanied by a glass of red.

The country is particularly well known for its malbec, a grape variety that was imported from France in the 19th century.

While malbec, once a famous grape in Bordeaux, is of lesser importance in France these days, it has become a celebrity in its adopted home.

And when you taste some of these wines, you’ll see why. They’re rich and fruity and fabulous with food.

Matias Riccitelli Hey Malbec 2016, Mendoza £12, Majestic, 14.5% alcohol

With an attractive freshness to the black cherry and blackberry fruits, this has a nice savoury tannic grip keeping things honest and wonderfully floral aromatics, together with just a hint of tar and spice. It has a seductive side, but this doesn’t take over.

Berry Bros & Rudd Argentinian Malbec by Pulenta 2016, Mendoza £12.50, bbr.com (0800 280 2440), 14.5% alcohol

Argentine malbec doesn’t have to be big and hefty: this is a deliciously elegant, aromatic red with leafy cherry and plum fruit, and it’s very drinkable.

Dot Malbec 2016, Mendoza £6.98, Asda, 13.5% alcohol

Juicy, bright, vivid and berryish, this fruit-driven Argentine malbec shows off a combination of raspberry, cherry and blackcurrant fruit to excellent effect. 

DV Catena Malbec 2014, Mendoza £12, Sainsbury’s, 14% alcohol

From four vineyards at different altitudes, ranging from 920 to 1,450 metres, this is a beautifully balanced malbec with sweet cherries and plums as well as a bit of spiciness. 

Vaglio Malbec Vista Flores 2016, Mendoza £12, Marks & Spencer, 13.5% alcohol

From high up in the Uco Valley, this is very fresh and lively with floral black fruits and a gravelly chalky structure. It’s stylish, combining sleek fruit with some savoury structure.

Tesco Finest Argentina Malbec 2016, Mendoza £7.50, Tesco, 13% alcohol

This is bursting with sweet berry fruits and some floral black cherries, complemented by a savoury clove and cedar spiciness, as well as some tarry hints. It’s fruity but has a savoury twist, making it food friendly. 

The Society’s Exhibition Malbec 2015, Mendoza £10.50, thewinesociety.com (01438 741177), 13.5% alcohol

Blending malbec from vineyards at 900 to 1,450 metres, this is made for The Wine Society by leading producer Catena. 

It’s well balanced with floral blackberry and black cherry fruit, as well as a bit of savoury grip. It’s sleek, structured and sophisticated. 

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