mmmmmm….. Malbec

In 1988 I was at the cafeteria of a motorway service station buying a sandwich and I asked where the corned beef was from.  I advised the assistant that I hoped it wasn’t from Argentina.

“Oh, you’re not still sore about the Falklands are you?” she retorted.

“No, actually it was Maradona’s 1986 Hand of God goal.  I’ve boycotted Argentinean products since that day”

Wind forward several years and with the self righteous ban a distant memory, I had occasion to visit the Gaucho Grill on Chancery Lane in  London.  An Argentinean “Grill” restaurant and probably the best steak I have ever tasted.  During that meal I ordered a bottle of Malbec and was wowed.

Since then I have been seeking out good Malbecs and have found plenty.

Looking, as I do, for value for money, last night I tried a bottle of Faldeos Nevados 2005 (£5.95 from the Wine Society).  Pretty good!

The problem I have with a lot of New World wines is that they are too strong and “in your face”.  Tastes great for one glass but then you are chewing on it by the time you get to the second or third glass.  Faldeos is not like this.  At 13.5% it is very moreish.  Faldeos comes from the Susana Balbo stable (Susana Balbo 2005 Malbec available from the Wine Society at £11.95 per bottle and a much more rounded wine but you will have to judge whether the extra cash is worth it).

The Wine Society describe Faldeos as a delightful blackberry-scented malbec with a ripe and lush palate.  Bollocks…  I found it tasting of bitter dark chocolate and cherries, much like the taste you get biting into a cherry liqueur chocolate.  That’s not a negative, however and I wouldn’t describe it as a “full on” wine – I loved it and have already ordered some more.

9 Responses to “mmmmmm….. Malbec”

  1. Ciaran Says:

    The only one Morrisons had to offer was a bottle of Stowells Malbec Tempranillo. On first tasting it I was reminded of white spirit and Parma Violets, but it seems to be improving as time goes on.

  2. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Thanks for your comment – note sure if that’s a recommendation or not!. I found a very cheap pure Malbec at Asda. When I’ve tried it I’ll post again.

  3. Denis Says:

    I have little experience of Malbec (life seems to have become a long list of Shiraz. Cabernet and Chianti wines of late…) so I would appreciate a recommendation for me to start with.
    Could you recommend a good Malbec that contains all its most distinctive characteristics – preferably this (the lower) side of a tenner.

  4. Alastair Bathgate Says:


    As a starting point I would go to your favourite supermarket and look in the South American Wines section.
    Look for a Malbec
    a) from Argentina
    b) pure Malbec, not blended with other grapes
    c) for around £5 to £6.

    Exchange rates being what they are, South American wines are great value for money. I found a Malbec at Asda for less than four quid. I’ll let you know when I’ve tasted it.
    My inclination would be to try to spend a little more if poss but I am willing to try anything.

    Let me know how you get on!

  5. Denis Says:

    Well, after your encouragment I have dipped my toe into the Argentinian Malbec waters – a £5.99 bottle from Odbins (Dona Paula, Los Cardos 2005).
    I must say that it was a real beauty – great value for such a big wine. A definate aroma of chocolate and cherries, with concentrated dark fruit and vinilla to taste.

    To continue my studies I’ll next be searching the shelves for your Asda recommendation……

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