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Sunday, 26 January 2020

Artesano de Argento Organic Fairtrade Malbec-Cabernet Franc

An elegant Argentinean red blend from Sainsbury's

The two things to know about Argentina are:

- high altitude
- Malbec

High altitude does a number of things for a wine - in very simple terms, it means cooler overnight temperatures and therefore more freshness alongside lots of fruit ripeness. This is A Good Thing.

Malbec (aka France's Côt) needs lots of sun and makes dark, full-bodied wines. By contrast, Cabernet Franc is naturally more elegant and has aromas of plum, raspberry and tobacco. Both grapes originated in France and are grown in the Loire, Bordeaux and Languedoc

This Argentinean wine combines all these elements very successfully; the dark, inkiness of the Malbec, the high-altitude ripe-fruited freshness of Argentina and the peppery, plummy elegance of the Cab Franc; it is technically well-made with a vibrancy and deftness.

Artesano de Argento Organic Fairtrade Malbec-Cabernet Franc, 2018 (£10, Sainsbury's) concentrated, inky and dense, with dark plummy fruit, spice, pencil shavings and liquorice; fresh, pure and elegant with gentle-yet-firm tannins. Vibrant, dense and muscular - deft and well-made.

Improves with aeration and can be aged.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Match with an Argentinean steak or any roast meat.

Tom Cannavan is also a fan; he finds the tannins a little chunky and rustic in his video review.

Fiona Beckett finds it smooth and plummy in her review.

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