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

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...
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. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Malbec
93

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. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Argentina, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz, Tannat
91

2010 Château Lafleur de Haute-Serre, Cahors, Southwest France

( £10.49 down to £7.85, 13.5%, Waitrose )

You may have to go into store to buy this, as it doesn’t seem to be available on line, but it’s worth it. It’s light and refreshing for a Cahors, with no oak, sweet bramble and blackberry fruit, good balance and a perky, refreshing finish. 10% Merlot adds a little  plumpness to the blend, fleshing out the 90% Malbec. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-2014Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, Red, Malbec, Merlot

Do New World wines age?

by Tim Atkin
What’s the difference between a New and an Old World wine? Twenty-seven years ago, when I started writing about the subject, the distinction was clear-cut. The received wisdom was that...
90

2010 Viñalba Reserva Cabernet/Malbec/Petit Verdot, Mendoza

( £8.99, 14.5%, Majestic )

Viñalba makes some of the most consistently tasty red wines in Argentina, and at very approachable prices. This full-bodied Bordeaux style blend is plush and concentrated with sweet, well integrated oak, flavours of chocolate and plums, ripe tannins and good underlying freshness. If you’re bored of Malbec, try this instead. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Argentina, Red, Malbec

Argentina’s Malbec obsession

by Tim Atkin
Is Argentina too dependent on Malbec? The question might seem absurd – few countries have managed to associate themselves so successfully with a single grape – but it’s beginning to...
91

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. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Argentina, Red, Malbec

Argentina: full speed ahead?

by Tim Atkin
The recent arrival of HMS Dauntless in the south Atlantic, complete with Prince William in his role as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, hasn’t done much for Anglo-Argentine relations....

My Dream Cellar

by Tim Atkin
Imagine, just for one minute, that you were richer than Bill Gates: more loaded than a Hollywood film star, Warren Buffett and a Russian oligarch put together. Which wines would...