A suite of top-notch wines picked to celebrate, for the eighth consecutive year, the largest wine celebration on the planet: World Malbec Day on April 17. Times wine expert James Viner uncovers three stylish bottles of the chic, worldwide crowd-pleasing grape variety – that won’t break the bank
1. HIGH STREET CHOICE
2017 Dom Tomas Terroir Selection Malbec San Juan, Argentina (£7.99, Aldi)
This textbook Argentine malbec ticks all the boxes and is silk for the price of cotton. Aromas of violets, black cherries, blueberries, chocolate and spice with plump, lavish splendour – this sleek, damsony wine belongs in your glass. An ideal accompaniment to a rib-eye steak, chilli, enchiladas, bangers and mash, or spaghetti bolognese. A total knockout, load up for summer barbecues, too – this is a delightful wine. Bravo Aldi!
2. CLASSY KIWI
2014 Te Awa, Left Field Malbec, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (£15-16, GP Brands/Eton Vintners/Dulwich Vintners/New Zealand House of Wine)
Made by leading Hawkes Bay producer Te Awa, here’s an affordable, scrumptious and easy-drinking introduction into Kiwi Malbec. It’s vivid, deeply-coloured and loaded with spicy cassis, plum, liquorice, anise, mulberry and cocoa pizzazz. This vivacious malbec has been aged in French oak for 18 months, delivering ripe, well-integrated tannins and a long, savoury finish. It has bags of character and is just fine on its own, or paired with grilled/roasted red meats or mature strong cheese. A red that has something for everyone, I’ll venture.
3. MUST-TRY MENDOZA BEAUTY
2014 Mendel Mendoza Malbec, Argentina (£16, The Wine Society)
You’ll especially adore this high-altitude vinous superstar if you like lusty, heady and statesmanlike reds that pair exquisitely with meaty fare (especially a juicy steak from a cow that grazed on the pampas). Ethereal black fruits, spice, dark chocolate and herbs
sashay across the full-bodied frame, meeting velvety, finely-crafted, lacy tannins. You can’t help but revere the amalgamation of mid-palate brio and overall sparkle/energy. This is an aristocratic malbec for wine aficionados at an exceedingly advantageous
price. Let it breathe for an hour before serving and get that T-bone steak ready! Nice one, maestro winemaker Roberto de la Motta. £16 is a small price to pay for this degree of majesty. Cheers!
Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine