Tasting Malbec

 “There were ten of them to taste – six from Argentina, two from Cahors and one each from Chile and South Africa.”


IMG_0181First, a glass of well chilled Torrontes from Trapiche was drunk. It was the Estacion 1883 from the Argentinian producer’s 2012 vintage with 8% Sauvignon Blanc blended in with the Torrontes. The grapes were from their vineyards in Cafayate Valley in Salta province, situated at an altitude of 1750 metres above sea level, where the cooler nights enable the grapes to retain acidity and flavour. The clone here is the superior Torrontes Riojano which produces wines with refreshing acidity without the bitterness found in the lesser clones –  Mendocino and Sanjuanino. The wine is aromatic and crisp but at 14%, the alcohol level is too high. It would be better with food.


  • L”instant Truffier Malbec 2012, Rigal Comte Tolosan is from Cahors where they call the grape Auxerrois. Cahors wines are no longer ‘black’ and big as they used to be. This refined and perfumed wine from the Rigal family in the Lot Valley is pleasant and already approachable.
  • Chateau de Gaudou CuvéeTradition 2012 is predominantly Malbec but has some Merlot and Tannat blended in, making the wine softer. The three varietals were vinified separately, blended and aged for nine months in old oak.


  • Chile has large plantings of Malbec. Montes Reserva Malbec 2012 is from some of the oldest plantings of the grape (over 100 years) in the Colchagua Valley. Aged for 6 months in French oak, it is a perfumed and immensely pleasing wine.


  • Tucumen Malbec 2013 from Mendoza is light and uncomplicated wine made by Juan Manuel Mallea who first made wine in Ribera del Duero in Spain.
  • Gestos Malbec 2013, Finca Flichman. This is one of the top wines of the Mendoza finca sourcing fruit from Tupungato at 1100 metres and Barrancas at 700 meters. The first is supposed to add freshness and structure to the wine and the second, colour and density. The wine is aged for 6 months in French oak.
  • Vinalba Malbec Touriga Nacional Reservado 2012 is a lovely wine. It is dark, dry and appealing.
  • Luigi Bosca Malbec 2011, Vistalba is a nicely poised and pleasing wine fro a relatively new winery in Vistalba, a sub-region of Lujan de Cayo, at an elevation of 990 metres above sea level.
  • Benegas Malbec 2011 from the lIbertad Vineyards in Mendoza was the star of the show with intense old world charm and power.

Trapiche Gran Medalla Malbec 2010 with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding after the tasting is a fine, supple and elegant wine from Finca Los Arboles in the Uco Valley in Mendoza. The dark, purple wine delivers a bouquet of black cherry, plums, lavender, raspberry and spices. It is fresh and ample on the palate with very good texture and personality.

Sixteen members of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society attended this tasting which was held on Thursday 19 June 2014 at the Masonic Hall in Harrogate. HMWS member Peter Murphy presented the wines.

Further reading:

Read more about Malbec: http://winefolly.com/review/what-is-malbec-wine/
Read more about Torrontes:http://www.winesofargentina.org/argentina/variedades/malbec-torrontes/torrontes/



2 thoughts on “Tasting Malbec

  1. As someone who comes from Harrogate and now lives in Cahors, and blogs about the outstanding wine we have here in our small wine appellation Cahors Malbec, I was delighted to read your article and sincerely hope that you enjoyed all the variations that Malbec has to offer throughout the world these days. Wonderful Blog, I will certainly now be following you and will perhaps see you later this year when I visit family – shall I bring some more exquisite Cahors Malbec for you to taste? Jennifer Capron Iddon (46 Black Wine).


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