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PREMIUM

Premium Argentinian Malbec: panel tasting results

The increasingly distinctive regionality of Malbec in Argentina shone through, with Gualtallary and Paraje Altamira standing out, while the winemaking has seen a move away from excessive use of oak.

Alistair Cooper MW, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW and Amanda Barnes tasted 87 wines with 4 Outstanding and 53 Highly Recommended.

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit 100% Malbec priced at £15 and above in the UK, from any Argentinian region and vintage of their choice


Premium Argentinian Malbec panel tasting scores

87 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 4

Highly recommended 53

Recommended 26

Commended 3

Fair 1

Poor 0

Faulty 0


Malbec continues to show why it is Argentina’s champion,’ said Amanda Barnes after this very encouraging panel tasting. Dirceu Vianna Junior MW agreed: ‘It was an excellent tasting that gave us a snapshot of the quality of premium Malbec at present, and illustrates why consumers are so seduced by it – especially those willing to pay a bit more.’

I was also impressed and, as noted by Vianna, it was pleasing to see that premium examples of Malbec are worth splashing out on. This should be welcome news to producers as Malbec remains Argentina’s undisputed star – and on this showing quite rightly so.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top premium Argentinian Malbec wines


The key development for Malbec over the past decade has been the meteoric rise and progression of regional typicity. This was excitingly apparent throughout the tasting.


Top-scoring wines from the premium Argentinian Malbec panel tasting

All wines scored 92 and above


The judges

Alistair Cooper MW is a wine consultant, writer and educator with a particular focus on South America. President of the Cata d’Or wine awards in Chile, he writes regularly for Decanter and many other publications, and is consultant wine buyer for United Cellars in Sydney.

Amanda Barnes is an awarded travel and wine writer specialising in South America’s wines and regions. A DWWA judge, she is the author of The South America Wine Guide print edition, now available via her website southamericawineguide.com.

Dirceu Vianna Junior MW is a wine writer, technical advisor, consultant and educator. After moving to the UK in 1989, he was wine director for some of the UK’s most prominent wine distributors, and in 2008 he became the first South American male to obtain the title of Master of Wine.


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