For the first time since starting this blog, (if not at least a year before) I have bought wine in the UK. Normally I stock up enough from my 3 or 4 visits a year to France not to ever have to buy in the UK. But with pandemic restrictions in place this has not been possible. I have mainly been buying in Morrisons and can recommend them. I have had a recommendation that Aldi do some good deals so will try there too.
I will now be reviewing a lot of wines purchased in the UK as it will be a while until I get back to France.
First tip about buying in the UK, stock up in the run up to Xmas. I did some shopping in December last year and there are some good deals to be had. For example, the Mouton Cadet that I reviewed here. In Auchan, it was typically €10, although I bought there on special offer of 6 bottles for €40 which works out at about £6 a bottle. Typical price in Morrisons £10, but in run up to Xmas I saw it was on offer at £7 a bottle. Back to normal price after Xmas. So not worth going all the way to France to save just £1 a bottle.
I did not buy that bottle, instead I mainly bought Malbecs. Most people (myself included) associate this grape with Argentina as many Malbecs are from that country. For that reason I had not purchased any of these when shopping in France. Malbec is a French grape. To learn more, I recommend this article from winerist.com. Here is the first sentence “Malbec is a French purple grape variety used in making red wine, native from the town of Cahors in the south of France. This region has a significant amount of Malbec plantations and there are two varieties of Malbec, one in Montpellier and another in Gaillac.” The article goes on to say that Argentina is the leading country in the world for Malbec production, so not surprising that people associate Malbecs with Argentina.
A lot of people I know have said that Malbecs are one of their favourite grapes so I have been trying quite a few. To start with, mainly from Argentina but also some French ones too. This month looking at two from Vinabla in Argentina. One with a gold top, called Patagonia Argentina, and one with a red top , just called Malbec. The Patagonia Argentina is more expensive and in Morrisons normally £10 a bottle. But in Xmas run up I bought 3 bottles for £18. Later on offer for £7 or £8.50. The standard Malbec is normally £8.
Vinabla Patagonia Argentina Malbec
- Argentina Malbec 2018
- £10 at Morrisons (often less when on offer)
Aroma: Subtle. Delicate spice. Depth, rich cherry aroma.
Taste: Similar with the taste. Very nice, but you do need to let it breathe for a bit. Quite smooth but a slight acidity. Rich, full bodied, dark fruits and spiced flavours. I had this wine with a duck noodle and hoisin sauce dinner. The full bodied, spicy richness of the wine went well with the hoisin sauce dish. Overall very nice.Paul
- Argentina Malbec
- £8 at Morrisons (often less when on offer)
Aroma: Quite pleasant. Not overpowering but a bit bland and no real depth.
Taste: Reasonably pleasant, A bit acidic of first taste and a slight sourness.Paul
On the recommendation of others, I have been buying, (and enjoying) quite a few Malbecs. You can check out the Vinabla Malbec wines at their website. The Vinabla Patagonia wine was good. I will keep an eye out for when it is on offer again, but not sure if it is great value at £10 a bottle. Still a bit acidic.
Vinabla also do a Gran Reservado (Grand Reserve) Malbec that is normally around £15 to £17. One day I may treat myself and try this one.
I was disappointed with Vinabla’s standard Malbec. I found it a bit sour and have had better wines for less. It had red foil covering the cork where their Patagonia and Gran Reservado bottles have gold coloured foil.
Maybe that it is a clue to which are their better wines. Also the Patogonia Argentina had a silver wine winner label. (But not a gold one, so very good but not fantastic. This mirrors my thoughts on this wine too).
Stay tuned for more reviews of other Malbec wines, from both Argentina and France in the coming months.