Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

93

2014 Zorzal, Eggo Malbec, Tupungato, Mendoza

£15.95, 13.5%, www.corkingwines.co.uk; www.slurp.co.uk

Fermented and aged in concrete eggs, as its name suggests, this is a wonderful blend of Malbec with a little Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Michelini brothers. Typically light and refreshing, with sappy, tangy, black cherry flavours, bright acidity and no wood at all. Modern Argentina at its refreshing, spicy best. 

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89

2012 Bodegas Tonel Malbec, Mendoza

£5.99, 14, Lidl

Hard to beat for its sheer exuberance and gluggability, this is a brilliantly priced Argentinean Malbec with classic violet perfume, a touch of smoky oak and oodles of plum, blackberry and liquorice fruit. Made for a juicy steak, but this is smooth enough to work with spring lamb, too.

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88

2014 Santa Ana Malbec, Mendoza

£5.99, 12.5%, Majestic

Aromatic, attractive and showing all the exuberance and fruit sweetness of Mendoza Malbec at its most appealing, this is all about fruit rather than power, alcohol and oak. There’s enough tannin and structure here to partner a Christmas roast or a thick steak.

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90

NV Chandon, Rosé

£15.99, 12.5%, Majestic

An unusual but (for Argentina) rather appropriate blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Malbec, this bronze-tinged rosé is savoury and flavoursome with notes of summer fruits, toast and leesy richness. A very drinkable bottle of bubbles at the price. 

 

 
 

87

2013 La Bodega de los Altos Andes Malbec, Mendoza

£4.99, 13.5%, Morrisons

Excellent value at less than a fiver, this is a savoury, peppery Mendoza Malbec with good acidity, no obvious oak and attractive plum and bramble fruit. Ligther fresher and - crucially - drier than many commercial Argentinean reds. 

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89

2012 Fairtrade Argentine Malbec, Famatina Valley, La Rioja

£6.99, 13%, The Co-operative

Stop press! This is the best Fairtrade wine I've had yet from Argentina and one of the best I've had from anywhere, too. Sourced from La Rioja (nothing to do with the Spanish region of the same name), it's very, very aromatic, with wafts of liquourice and violets, a hint of spice and deeply coloured, textured bramble and blackberry fruit. The tannins are plush and sweet, with subtle use of oak. Bravo!

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90

2010 Viñalba Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec/Merlot, Mendoza

£9.99 down to £7.49, 14.5%, Sainsbury's

Hervé Joyaux has brought a French sensibility to Argentina, producing well balanced reds at appealing prices that have more than a hint of sophistication. This a pretty serious Bordeaux blend for less than £10, with sweet French oak, appealing violet and bramble aromas, good underlying strucuture and plush, layered tannins. Great value. 

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93

2011 Emma Zuccardi, Bonarda, Mendoza

£19.75, 14.5%, Corking Wines

Bonarda is regarded as something of a quaffing variety in Argentina, good for everyday drinking but not capable of anything more exciting. But hang on...this is an incredible red from Sebastián Zuccardi, which takes the variety to new heights. Brambly, savoury and intense, with plum and blueberry fruit, sweet oak and old vine concentration.

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87

2012 Viñalba Torrontés Selección, Mendoza

£9.99, 13.5%, Majestic Wine

A winery that is best known for its great value Argentinean reds, Viñalba can strut its stuff with white grapes too. This is a classically aromatic example of Torrontés, Argentina's adopted white grape, with lemon peel and sherbet flavours, bright acidity and a hint of lime zest.

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88

2011 Finca Flichman Gestos Malbec, Mendoza

£5.99, 14%, Majestic

This Portuguese-owned operation in Mendoza makes someof the best value wines in Argentina at the moment, typified by this pungent, sweetly oaked Malbec. It's got a ripe, almost honeyed sweetness to it, balanced by notes of vanilla, blackberry and spice. You have to serve this with a juicy steak. 

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