Sunday, 25 March 2018
World Malbec Day 2018
It is World Malbec Day on 17th April - if you didn't already know. Malbec is Argentina's signature red grape and often makes for a boldly spicy, expressive and dark-fruited sort of a wine.
Also known as Côt, it originates from France where it is one of the Bordeaux grapes but is most associated with Cahors.
These two Malbecs have something of a European style - a freshness and deft elegance that works with food and will have you thinking more of the Old World than the New.
Both wines are also interesting for reasons beyond just the quality of what is in the bottle; neither New Zealand nor Chile are particularly associated with Malbec, so they represent something a bit off the beaten track.
Of the two, the (more expensive) Left Field is the better with a superb minerality and complexity that needs a bit of aeration to become evident.
However, the Tributo is no slouch either and demonstrates the strides Caliterra is making in moving away from some occasionally heavy-handed wines of the past towards a more sophisticated style.
Finally, both wines have a bit of age, yet are remarkably fresh and primary still, so will continue to improve for years.
Tributo Malbec 2015 (£13.30, independents) mixed berries, red plums and mocha with spice; fresh, vibrant and supple with fine tannins and a savoury finish.
Match with roast red meat or strongly-flavoured cheeses.
Left Field Malbec 2014 (£17.45, www.nzhouseofwine.co.uk, independents) blackcurrant pastilles, liquorice and oaky spice with tarriness; fresh, savoury and mineral with a supple, inky texture and very fine, rounded tannins.
Very Good and Good Value for the quality.
Match with darker game.