Not a lot of people know the name Julie Covington, however it was Julie and not Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice who first recorded this famous song. You will thank me for that someday when it comes up in a pub quiz.
Why did I lead with that title I hear you ask? Well it’s probably something that’s be synonymous with Argentina for years, however the country is now more synonymous with the French grape Malbec.
The vine growers and wine makers of Argentina have made this grape their own. It cultivates so well in the Mendoza region at the foot of The Andes. Vineyards 1300 mts above sea level are producing some of the finest young wines I’ve ever tasted. Wines which are great now, but destine to become world class. They have all the qualities to produce wines of great depth and complexity which could evolve and age gracefully for many years to come.
I was very fortunate to been there just last month during harvest time and I spend a full day in the vineyard with Chief Viticulturist Martin Kiesier and in the winery with Head Winemaker Marcos Fernandez. For an anorak like me this was a week-long orgy of Viticultural, Vinification and Gastronomic delights.
The passion these guys have for the wines they produce is second to none. They are investing in state of the art equipment and studying the science of wine making to produce amazing wines. The single vineyard Malbec’s from Alluvia, Los Indios and El Alto will someday be classified the way the first growths of Bordeaux are today. Buy up these wines before it’s too late. At only £50 per bottle retail they are incredible value for money.
However if £50 is beyond your budget have no fear the entry point Malbec’s delivery great bang for your buck. Try Dona Paula “Los Cardos” Malbec, ripe juicy fruits with a medium bodied finish, the Dona Paula Estate Malbec is a very elegant yet concentrated wines, or try the new On Trade exclusive Cigar Box “Old Vine” Malbec, slightly smokey touch on the nose coming from the charred oak barrels the wine is aged in, with an abundance of mulberries and blackberries.
It’s a superb wine to match with food. Given dramatic change in our eating habits over the past few decades Malbec works well with full on spicy Asian foods crispy beef and duck dishes and red meats with very concentrated rich sauces. It has spice-affinity to handle a stunning array of food combinations and ethnic cuisines.
Quote of the month “Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”