It’s an old world with a new twist, in this Argentinian Malbec
New world wines are often considered the jumped-up, young upstarts of the wine world, and I can perhaps identify with this. Last week, I was invited to a dinner to celebrate the wines of the Douro region of Portugal in the West End, an end of town I am not so familiar with. I probably lowered the average age by a good number of years, and certainly felt a tad out of place. The dinner I attended was the old world – the Bordeauxs and the Burgundy, the established ones – whereas I, dear reader, was the new kid on the block, full of promise but unsure of how to achieve it. That said, I had a wonderful time and met some truly lovely people, new and old coming together. For some reason people are divided between old and new, yet the new world wine scene is producing some exciting, innovative and bold wines at the moment. One of which is from Argentina, famed for beef, drug-fuelled football cheats and now, Michel Torino’s Malbec.
Hailing from Salta in the Cafayate region of Argentina, the vineyard can count itself amongst the highest in the world, and in soil which is rocky and sandy, ideal for grape growing. Couple this with almost a full year of sunshine and cool mountain breezes and you’re on to a winner. Though his vineyard is classified as organic, only four wines are advertised as that. Malbec’s origins are in France, being brought over in the 19th century, but has now become synonymous with Argentina, much like Chile is with Carmenere or New Zealand with Pinot Noir. It seems that the old is taking and building on the new, much like a good cover song. It’s not so much about retreading the old as doing something new with it.
This wine, typical of Malbecs, is a deep, inky plum hue of red. Sticking with plums, this wine is packed full of plum aromas, with black cherries and dark ripe fruits, a spicy note coming through at the back, woody herbs and spices such as cinnamon and rosemary also. Once in the mouth the wine is not too tannic, which just keeps you going back for more. The hit of the dark fruit comes powering through and there is a teasing of blueberries going through into a downy soft finish, like a plumped up pillow on a freshly made bed. This should be paired with that famous Argentine staple. Beef might work too.