Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes


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. 





NV Chandon, Brut, Mendoza

£14.99, 13%, Majestic

Moët's sparkling wines in South America have mostly been a disappointment, but this blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is a huge improvement on what has gone before. It's a rich, toasty style with some sweetness from dosage, flavours of hazelnut and brioche and a baking spicy, well balanced finish. 




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. 




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.





2011 Mairena Torrontés, Mendoza

£10.45, 14%, Cupari Wines

If you've never tasted Torrontés before, this is an excellent place to start. It’s abndantly aromatic with notes of orange peel and lemon sorbet, a fresh, flavoursome palate that has more acidity than many examples and a fine finish.





2011 Perpetuum Premium Torrontés, La Rioja

£10.45, 13%, Cupari Wines

Fresh, perfumed Torrontés from La Rioja in Argentina showing the classic talcum powder notes fof the variety. The wine is a little oily perhaps, but it's full of flavour and spice, with a bright lemony finish and a hint of grapeskin.





2009 Trapiche Broquel Bonarda, Mendoza

£10.99, 14%, Tesco

Bonarda could be one of Argentina's USPs if only more producers made the wine as well as this rich, savoury, liquorice and blackberry-like red, with its sweet vanilla oak, medium weight tannins and spicy concentration. Serious stuff with an Italianate twist.





2010 Colomé Malbec, Calchaquí Valley, Salta

£15.99 down to £11.99, 14.5%, Waitrose

Made at one of the highest, most beautiful and remote estates in northern Argentina, this is a very subtle Malbec-based red, which combines the country's signature grape with 15% Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It's a bright, minerally style, despite the pronounced alcohol, with floral, violet-like aromas, subtle, spicy oak and silky tannins. One of Argentina's most distinctive red blends. 





2010 Catena Malbec, Mendoza

£12.49, 13.9%, Waitrose

This may be the best mid-priced Malbec yet from Argentina's leading producer. It's perfumed and stylish, with notes of violets and fresh plums on the nose, followed by ripe, but not over-ripe blackberry fruit, subtle vanilla oak, textured, grainy tannins and refreshing minerality and zip. The oak is better integrated than in previous releases and there's welcome finesse here. Great now, but will develop in the bottle for another three to five years.