Landelia Malbec, 2005

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Maybe Rowan Gormley took offence at my assessment of Virgin Wines as good for everyday glugging because he dropped me an email suggesting that I try something more serious from the Virgin stable.  I already have problems with my neighbours over a Leylandii hedge, so being an anagrammatic sort of a guy, this Landelia sounded appealing.  And in any case, since I am a sucker for pretty much any Argentinean Malbec, I had to try it.

Fast growing wine but is it neighbourly?


Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2005

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Two intertwined themes have weaved their antithetical spell through this weblog.  The positive one is my undying love of (well, admiration for) Malbec, especially from Argentina.  The negative, is my ongoing apprehension of the capability of Costco to buy, store, and sell decent wines.

Tonight I am brewing a cauldron full of controversy by mixing a finger of Malbec with leg of Costco, eye of newt and toe of frog.  Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble…..

On the terrace (or balcony) - Malbec


In praise of the Malbec Society

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

I’ve been most impressed by nearly all the Wine Society’s own brand wines.  Then I saw this bottle by “Hand of God” which seems to be ripping off the Wine Society’s brand – I had to investigate.

Malbec and Maradona


Faldeos Nevados Bonarda 2004

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Anyone got an update on Diego Maradona?  Regular readers know that I hate the Argies with a passion normally reserved for mindless football thugs.  However, when it comes to wine I try to make allowances, and it just so happens that my thuggery dissipates faster than the bubbles in a bottle of cava, once an open bottle of Argentinean wine is placed on the table.

I love the Faldeos Nevados Malbec, so I really should have tried the Bonarda from the same producer earlier than this.  Bonarda, is not, although it sounds so, the name of an Italian porn star, but an indigenous grape of the cheating football nation.  Albeit not the cheating football nation that brought you the Mano de Dios, it originated in Italy!  Enough of the football insults, what was the wine like?

Bonarda and a quaint Irish expresso cup…..for some reason


Susana Balbo exposes Gaucho Grill again

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

One of the aims of this blog, when I started it, was to keep my own personal record of tastings.  I set out to write this post having tasted a bottle of Susana Balbo 2005 Malbec and just realised that I have tried it before.  However, I didn’t really capture any proper notes so I thought I better do so this time.

Susana Balbo Malbec next to a cricket bat signed by Phil Tuffnell (for some reason)


Alta Vista – search ends here

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Anyone remember the “old” search engines before Google took over the world?  Open Text, Infoseek, Go, Webcrawler, Lycos, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, Excite, Magellan, Alta Vista?  Well it seems that many of them live on!  One in particular seems to have inhabited the properties of a wine!  Alta Vista Grande Reserve 2004 Malbec “Terroir Selection” sounded more interesting than it was, though.  At > £10 per bottle, I would stick to the Susana Balbo for a pound or two more.

Can you spot the imposters?

Usual Malbec flavours abound with bitter black cherries, vanilla, and spice (ginger?), dark chocolate and blackcurrant in this case.  A lot more complex and interesting than many Malbecs I have tasted but quite a bitter finish which put me off a bit.

Better with food than on its own, and it improved once opened a while.  I would give it a try with mature steak.  In the UK you can find it at the Wine Society.

Parra Alta Rosé from Mendoza

Monday, August 13th, 2007

 Parra Alta next to a 19p Ikea mug….for some reason.

At my local sandwich shop I have been lunching on fruit, sandwiches, and crisps (hey if you’re American I mean chips, ok?).  I am not particularly loyal to any brand of crisps so I was tempted by an offer from Seabrooks which suggested that by collecting 8 packets I could send off to claim a pint sized mug.


Fortnum & Mason flights of fancy

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

The wine bar in the lower ground floor of F & M Foodhall on Piccadilly is so cool, and I’m not talking about the ambient temperature.  Staffed by a range of nationalities with a variety of experiences in wine.  Our Polish waiter, Artur Zarzycki “vaz early on hiz vine joornee” but seemed to know plenty despite his claimed one year of experience.  And he almost knew how to operate a camera!

Average camera-work but great wine (for some reason)

Queuing outside F & M on a Sunday at midday (the bloody shop opened late by about 2 minutes 30 seconds), because we had an hour to kill before our reservation at St Alban (more anon).  So, as all the restaurants and cafes in F & M were being refurbished, we dashed down to the wine bar “1707” where, for £23.90 (inc. service) we got to try a fantastic range of wines.  Who says the posh shops are expensive?


Malbec’s Plain Little Sister

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

I am always interested in fairness.  So I buy wine from a variety of sources.  OK I admit I am biased towards the Wine Society and the Sunday Times Wine Club but I also like Majestic and I have been formulating a growing respect for the various supermarkets.

You may remember (or you may have forgotten) my post on Torrontés where I lauded the second grape of Argentina (in my opinion, and second to Malbec), and you may remember my fondness (not) for the self styled Hand of God, Diego Maradona himself.

But this time I am afraid Argentina loses in the quarter final.  Asda’s wine buyers have impressed me greatly at times but the Argentinian Torrontés (Asda forgot the accent on the e) Famantina Valley 2005 was a nice drinkable wine but really not memorable and no distinct flavours at all.  I can tell you that Torrontés normally has the most distinct flavour of apricots -ahhh memories.

Memories?  Actually I prefer mammaries……but’s that’s a story that would not meet the strict decency requirements of a serious wine blog.

Balbo Baggins Goes to Egypt

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

In the interests of fairness in my search for the best cheap Malbec I unearthed this little number at Tesco.

Anubis Malbec on some step ladders (for some reason)

Now you might presume that Anubis comes from Egypt but in fact it is from Middle Earth (aka Argentina).  I can prove this is the case because I discovered that Susana Balbo (aka Balbo Baggins) had a hand in making this wine.