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.

BuyDrinking window: 2016-18Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Malbec
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.

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Malbec
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. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Argentina, Sparkling, Malbec, Chardonnay

Cold rush

by Matt Walls
It was a crude but effective way of making a wine buying decision: Old World vs. New World. You had savoury, medium-bodied classic styles from Europe on the one hand;...

The Beautiful South

by Tim Atkin
Welcome! Bienvenidos! Thobela! Using a modern day riff on Joel Grey’s famous song in Cabaret, The Beautiful South held its first, keenly-awaited tasting in London last week. If you’ve not...
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!

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Malbec
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. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot
93

2011 Emma Zuccardi, Bonarda, Mendoza

( £19.75, 14.5%, Corkingwines.co.uk )

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.

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Argentina, Red, Bonarda

Everyday value?

by Matt Walls
Lined up against the wall in my hallway, they stood quietly like forlorn commuters queuing for a bus. These were not bottles to make a taster salivate. Why didn’t I...