6 rich reds to raise a glass to World Malbec Day
Some styles come and go, but malbec is a label we hold close to our hearts, season after season. Violet-scented, vibrant, full-bodied and generous, malbec’s a magnet for anyone who loves wine with a warm personality.
Originally a French varietal, Argentina – where the vines flourish at high altitude, with plenty of sunshine and perfect conditions to make these soft, spicy, velvety smooth reds that beckon us with their fragrant bouquet – has cornered the market.
In honour of World Malbec Day on April 17, we’ve plucked six wines from popular producers some serious pulling power…
1. TTD Morador Malbec 2019, Mendoza, Argentina, £8.50, Sainsbury’s
Fairtrade producer La Casa del Rey are the mastermind behind this solid own-label malbec. Big, rich and round, with soft tannins, pronounced blackcurrant and damson fruit with violet notes and a flick of spice, it’s free-flowing, lots of fun, and great value too.
2. Opi Malbec 2020, Mendoza, Argentina, £9.99, Laithwaite’s
It’s easy to see why this bestseller flies off the shelves. An excellent example of how the mighty malbec doesn’t have to weigh you down with too much intensity, it still stimulates and feels luxurious and velvety. With pretty notes of blossom, purple fruit and spice, it’s expressive with ripe blackberry, plums, touch of smoke, vanilla, and for delicate palates, elegance on the finish.
3. Zuccardi Los Olivos Malbec 2019, Mendoza, Argentina, £10.99, Taurus Wines
A leading light, Zuccardi produce some of the most thrilling malbecs in the country, and this is a glorious example of how silky and pure the wines can be. Soft as a velvet cushion, with enticing aromas of fresh berries and violets, a generous core of cassis, blackberry and plums topped with a twist of pepper, it’s beautifully balanced with great depth and lovely, long, finish.
4. La Mechita Familia Zuccardi Malbec 2020, Mendoza, Argentina, £11.99, Virgin Wines
From the same famed producer, and another perfect parcel of fruit just begging to be drunk, here we have what’s cited as a modern malbec – think fruit-forward and full of vivacity and freshness, rather than heavy and flat. Ripe black fruits are lifted by a perfumed, cherry nose, with hints of vanilla, spice and cedar riding on the bright, fruity finish.
5. M&S Susana Balbo Tradición Malbec 2019, Uco Valley, Argentina, £12, Marks & Spencer stores
Wow, what a wine. The Uco Valley is the up and coming region to have on your radar (south west of Mendoza city), where reds like this boast a superb, mineral freshness. Perfectly poised with scents of wild flowers, forest fruits and sweet vanilla drawing you in, there’s no end of blueberry, blackberry and spice, but most importantly, a very long, fresh finish.
6. Luigi Bosca Malbec 2018, Mendoza, Argentina, £14.95, Slurp
Rich and intense: Tick. A fanfare of florals on the nose: Tick. The most moreish malbec that cries out for the best cut of steak: Tick. Think delicious depth, remarkably expressive (as you’d expect from this A-list producer), we’re talking a rhapsody of violet infused fruits and sweet spice preceding the silky, sumptuous, graceful finish.
And if you’re seriously seduced by the wines of Argentina, there’s plenty more to explore from Bodega Luigi Bosca – one of the first names to have a mark of designation of origin or DOC. Check-out Luigi Bosca Malbec DOC Single Vineyard 2018 (£18.95, 12 Green Bottles).