Sottano Reserva de Familia Malbec 2012 $43 (4 stars)

Dense inky, muscular and shows a strong core of dark boysenberry, blackcurrant leaf, charred capsicum, and sensational smoky, meaty layers.  The texture of the tannins is chewy and deliciously drying, while a strong current of pepper and cocoa carry through to a long, persistent finish.  Enjoy with blackened lamb shoulder and pomegranate glaze. For info […]

Matawhero Church House Gisborne Malbec 2015 $26

A huge lift of berries and cocoa on the nose lead to a fulsome and lush impression in the mouth. The Searle family are building quite a reputation for magic malbec with fresh acidity, rosehip, cranberry and pepper flavours and a smooth, incredibly textural spicy finish. Sip with: Rare Beef Tataki. www.matawhero.co.nz

Ernesto Catena Padrillos Malbec 2014 $24

A label shouldn’t sway one, but merry-go-round ponies scampering on a pale blue background?  Who can resist?  ‘Padrillos’ means ‘stallion’ in Spanish, named after the wild herds that appeared in the dreams of Argentine winemaker Ernesto Catena.  Grown under the searing Mendoza sun, this Malbec oozes fresh plum, intense blackberry and lavender alongside concentrated, ripe […]

Ernesto Catena Animal Natural Vineyards Malbec 2013 $31

I was seduced by the rich, sweet choco-espresso note on the nose and the lift of dried herb and earthy, succulence in this little bit of magic from Mendoza, Argentina.  It’s deliciously balanced and juicy and I love the layers of liquorice, wild pork and pepper and I also just love love love the label!  […]

Septima Mendoza Malbec 2014 $22 ★★★½

If you were thinking the national animal of Argentina was the llama you’d be wrong.  It’s Bolivia’s.  Argentina’s is the rufous hornero, or, as they say in the islands, the ‘red ovenbird’.   But in my opinion their national animal should be Malbec.  It might be a wine, but it’s muscular and meaty, furry around the edges, […]

Clearview Two Pinnacles Malbec Cabernet Franc 2013

Clearview Two Pinnacles Malbec Cabernet Franc 2013 $29 ★★★★ Named after the two jagged rocky pinnacles clinging to life against the relentless Cape Kidnappers surf down the road from Clearview on the southern tip of Hawke’s Bay – this wine has real ‘edge’ and complexity.  Unfiltered and oozing deep damson plum, pepper and smoky tones […]

Bodega Lagarde Guarda Blend 2012

Bodega Lagarde Guarda Blend 2012 $27 ★★★★ Sourced from one of the oldest bodega’s in the Llujan de Cuyo region of Mendoza in Argentina, this is a blend of 40% malbec, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot and 10% syrah that’s been aged for 12 months in French oak.  I love its black fruit intensity, liquorice […]

Rod McDonald ‘One Off’ Hawke’s Bay Malbec 2014

Rod McDonald ‘One Off’ Hawke’s Bay Malbec 2014 $31 ★★★★ If you’re someone who gets weak at the knees when they see a beautiful colour, then strap yourself into your support-hose because this wine has the most gorgeous garnet, ruby hue.  It also boasts tobacco leaf, dried herbs, cocoa, blueberry and a gentle meaty character […]

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