Posts Tagged ‘Malbec’

Spitting: Optional

Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec 2009

Vintage: 2009

Style: Mid-full bodied red

Country: Argentina  

Region: Mendoza


Overview: If asked the question of which country started producing wine first, Australia or Argentina what would your answer be? Most would answer Australia and they would be wrong. Like us Argentina are considered new kids on the block in terms of wine production. The first vineyard in Argentina was established in 1557 during the Spanish colonisation. It was 1788 that vines were first introduced to Australia however wine was not produced from these plantings until the 1820s. So with a decent head start on us why is that Argentine wine seems so new to us? Well up until the 1990s 90% of wine produce by Argentina was consumed within the country, it wasn’t until the 1990s when production cost were reduced that they could produce enough wine to start exporting their wares.

Malbec is the variety that Argentina is known for. I’ve always seen Malbec as a blending variety. It originates from France and is one of the varieties that Bordeaux use to blend with for their reds but only in small quantities. It is a tannic variety and is used to give body to red wine.

It was in the early 2000’s that I first tried Argentine Malbec and a remember thinking ‘Holy crap! This is drinkable!’ You see when produced as a straight variety in Australia, the tannins are so strong that it could be mistaken for a cup of black tea made with 20 teabags and left to draw overnight. Argentine Malbec is different; it produces softer, spicy, rich reds and normally represents great value for money.


Tasting note: Blueberry, strawberry and pepper characters on the nose. On the palate these berry characters are dominate the front palate, behind these characters of strawberry and blueberry flavours of white pepper, violets and leather add complexity. Finishes with soft tannins.


Final Say: Elegant yet robust, there’s loads to love about this wine. It is imported into Australia exclusively by the Coles group which means you can pick it up at Vintage Cellars or First Choice for around $16 a bottle.   


Score: 16.5 out of 20 (83 out of 100)


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Jack Davis