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Value Argentinian Malbec: panel tasting results

When buying at the sub-£20 level, choose the 2020 and 2021 vintages over 2019 and be prepared to find copious oak in some, advised our experts

Alistair Cooper MW, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW and David Williams tasted 149 wines, with 15 Highly Recommended.

Value Argentinian Malbec panel tasting scores

149 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 0

Highly recommended 15

Recommended 92

Commended 40

Fair 1

Poor 1

Faulty 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release vintage Argentinian red wines containing at least 85% Malbec

We received a whopping 149 samples for this marathon tasting, illustrating just how competitive this sector of the Malbec market is.

Having recently taken part in the impressive premium Malbec tasting for Decanter, I was keen to assess the value proposition at the more affordable end of the market.

Disappointingly I was left underwhelmed and somewhat confused as to the direction that producers are pursuing at the grass roots level.

Scroll down for the top-scoring value Argentinian Malbec wines

Stylistic uncertainty seems to be the key issue, as well as inconsistency.

At the premium end we had seen a refreshing move away from over-extraction and over-oaking towards an emphasis on purity and expression of place. Yet here we saw too many clumsy wines, with winemakers favouring style over substance.

Top-scoring value Argentinian Malbec

The judges

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

Dirceu Vianna Junior MW is a wine writer, consultant, educator and broadcaster. Moving to the UK in 1989, he spent much of his career as 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 Master of Wine title.

David Williams is a regular contributor to Decanter on all things Spanish. He is also wine correspondent for The Observer, deputy editor of The World of Fine Wine, and a columnist for trade magazine The Wine Merchant.

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