WINE: Alistair Gibson on World Malbec Day

2014 Clos de los-siete
2014 Clos de los-siete
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It feels as if every week there is yet another day celebrating something – from National Cheese Fondue Day, to British Pudding Day. 

Now there are numerous wine days to celebrate grape varieties spread throughout the year.

Marcelo Pelleriti

Marcelo Pelleriti

The oldest of these, and the most successful, is World Malbec Day, which takes place April 17. It was originated by the trade body Wines of Argentina, in 2011. 

Malbec has its roots in Bordeaux and south west France but today it is Argentina which claims the malbec crown.

It has adapted brilliantly, particularly in the region of Mendoza, and also makes a perfect match for the country's famous beef-based cuisine.

Celebrate with these beauties.

LF_Malbec_NV

LF_Malbec_NV

Starting in Argentina, Marcelo Pelleriti Malbec 2016 Valle De Uco, Mendoza (Majestic £12.99 but £9.99 if part of a mix six) is a new name to me but well worth looking out for.

Winemaker Marcelo Pelleriti not only makes wine in Argentina but also makes wine in Bordeaux, where he has achieved some notable success.

This is a very approachable malbec with dark plum and bramble-like fruits, some spice,

and a little mocha on the nose, followed by a juicy, ripe dark fruit palate, which is really well-balanced by fresh acidity.

This is more elegant than many Argentinian malbecs at this price, and all the better for it.

Perhaps one of Argentina’s most famous, indeed iconic, wines is Clos de La Siete.

Clos de La Siete 2014, Mendoza (Waitrose £15.75, Ocado £15.75, Sainsbury’s £16) is blend of malbec with some cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and petit verdot.

It's made in a very modern style with rich, dense dark fruits, dark chocolate and some wood spice. This is full-bodied with lush fruit and ripe tannins.  Try this with the roast beef or some venison.

New Zealand probably doesn’t spring to mind when it comes to malbec but Left Field Malbec 2014, Hawkes Bay (NZhouseofwine.co.uk £15.49) is proof New Zealand can turn its hand to so much more than just sauvignon blanc.

It’s still very fresh with dark berry fruits, liquorice and spice on the nose, followed by more than a hint of dark chocolate on the palate along with more spice and supple tannins.

Serve this with beef casserole or hard cheese at the end of a meal.

Alistair Gibson is proprietor of Hermitage Cellars, Emsworth. Call (01243) 431002 or e-mail

alistair@hermitagecellars.co.uk