Malbec is an interesting variety of grape. Originally a French variety, it never achieved real popularity in the Old World (although you do find it in some French wines such as Cahors). By contrast, it is immensely popular in Argentina: it's more or less the national grape and the high altitude vineyards near Mendoza produce some of the best wines in the whole of the Americas. Best drunk young within a few years of bottling, these light, ruby coloured reds make a great accompaniment to an English summer meal, or to a classic Argentine asado.
|The Wine Cellars|
Though I am an unapologetic fan of malbec generally (as I am with some other rather unpopular grapes such as riesling), these wines really are a treat: fruity, light and silky smooth. Even the cheap Di Tommaso wine is rather drinkable, and disappears down the hatch rather more rapidly than you expect. The better bottles such as the higher end Crianza and Roble Premium are pretty complex offerings given how young you drink them. You don't just have to take my word for it: I did the tour with a Frenchman and a German from the Rheinhessen wine region. In keeping with local tradition, neither really had been exposed to much New World wine, but they were rather impressed by what was on offer. Whether this was to do with the fact that the wines pack some punch at 13-14% ABV I will never know...
|A Frenchman discovers that it's not always about Old World Wines|
If you ever see a bottle of Di Tommaso's stuff on sale, snap it up as it really is excellent. In the UK though, you are more likely to see bottles from the bigger wineries in the region such as Norton or Terrazas, which are well worth trying out if you've never sampled malbec before.