93

2011 Paul Bertrand, Crocus, Malbec, Cahors, South West France

( £34.99, 14.5%, The Vineking )

What do you get when you cross Paul Hobbs, one of the leading New World wine consultants and a man who makes his own wines in Argetina, with a Frenchman producing wine in Cahors? The answer is something pretty special, a rich, ripe, but well balanced Malbec that sits midway between France and Argentina in style, with some of the perfume and plushness of the former and the structure of the latter. Inky, floral and refined with notes of plum and black cherry and sweet oak. 

Drinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Red, Malbec
94

2011 Los Amigos, Rogue Vine, Super Itata, Itata Valley

( POA, 13.1% )

If its name is anything to go by, this is the top of the range red from Leonardo Erazo’s Itata operation. It’s a typicaly harmonious blend of Syrah, Malbec and Carignan, made in homeopathic quantities. Light, fresh and focused, it’s another outstanding red with savoury tannins, tangy acidity and a beguiling combination of flavours: clove, pepper, plum, black cherry and graphite. Complex winemaking of a high order. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: 91-95, Chile, Red, Carignan, Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz
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...