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News - 03.05.10

Debra Meiburg MW, impressed by Malbec

In her last newsletter, from the 27th of April, this Master of Wine, gives her impression of the argentinian iconic wine, after judging in the Argentina Wine Awards 2010.

Mendoza Malbec & Stunning Stellenbosch…I have a confession to make: Malbec has never been a favourite variety. Malbec wines have always lurched between soft, innocuous fruit-bombs or rip-the-skin off your mouth monsters. Not any longer. The quality of Malbecs coming from Argentina is highly impressive. In judging hundreds during the Argentina Wine Awards last month, I was hard pressed to find a loser. Of particular note were the Malbec blends. If Malbec still falls short in my book of great varieties, it is due to its donut effect (i.e. the tendency to have a hollow middle). Malbec with Syrah, Merlot or even Cabernet has a juicy roundness while retaining an elegant structure.

South Africa, on the other hand, is still a hit-or-miss proposition when it comes to wine with some total stunners, but also some washouts. Never mind, the scenery is such a knock-out that I will strive to return to South Africa every year to sip my favourites while beaching, quad-biking, heli-riding, hiking and photographing of all manner of boks (antelope).

Argentina is no slacker when it comes to adventure, either. We shot footage for our wine television show while whirling across the Mendoza River dangling from a thin cable, paragliding over the Andes, taking a polo lesson and interviewing the O.Fournier team, by horseback!