Norton Barrel Select Malbec, Mendoza 2018
Half a dozen summer weekends left to enjoy, thank heavens. Maybe you’ll get the barbecue going for an ad hoc party – or just throw a couple of steaks in the pan some evening when outdoor activity seems more important than elaborate cooking? In either case this stylish young Argentine Malbec is precisely the sort of red wine that you and your pals will love. Currently on special offer at O’Briens, it’s an outstanding bargain too.
It comes from Norton, one of Argentina’s most highly regarded producers – and indeed one of my favourites when I visited the Mendoza wine region. Spread out against the shimmering backdrop of the snow-capped Andes, the Norton estate is carefully run and exceptionally well maintained. It’s owned by the wealthy Swarovski crystal family whose steady investment has yielded a consistently impressive range of wines.
The Barrel Select Malbec is enticingly aromatic: raspberry, blueberry and damson notes waft up from the glass. On the palate, it’s silky in texture, pure in flavour and juicily appetising, with a short period in French oak providing subtle hints of pepper and spice. It is so well judged that, even though it’s young, there is nothing angular about it: in fact, youthful energy is part of the appeal.
While nobody should have the slightest difficulty sipping a glass of this succulent Malbec by itself, it’s better still with food, especially something from the grill. It can’t be an accident that Argentina, the home of Malbec, is also the home of the asado which requires vast cuts of beef, pork and chicken as well as massive sausages to be chargrilled out of doors.
From O’Briens, usually €14.95, on special offer at €12.95 until the end of August
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