2 Malbecs – WSET SAT Tasting notes

Recently I had a chance to taste 2 Argentinian Malbecs – two similar wines but very different when it comes to quality. I an totally see how these wines could be used in the tasting part of the D3 WSET Diploma exam, either int he 1st flight focused on one grape variety, or in the 3rd flight focused on the difference in quality.

Let’s dive into the tasting notes.

Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2019

Appearance: The wine is clear medium ruby

Nose: The wine is clean with medium+ intensity of aromas of primary – red fruit (ripe strawberry, ripe cranberry), black fruit (black plum, black cherry, blackberry); secondary – oak (vanilla, chocolate, coffee), tertiary – prune

Palate: The wine is dry, with high alcohol, high acidity, full body, medium+ tannins, medium+ finish, medium+ intensity of flavours of primary – red fruit (ripe strawberry, ripe cranberry), black fruit (black plum, black cherry, blackberry); secondary – oak (vanilla, chocolate, coffee), tertiary – prune

Conclusion: Good – The wine displays various aromas and flavours, however, the wine lacks overall complexity, with most of the characteristics coming from the primary fruit. The palate is dominated by high alcohol, that leaves burning sensation at the finish. The ripe fruit flavours are balances and refreshed by the high acidity,

Bottle ageing: Not suitable for bottle ageing – the wine youthful, and kept be kept for a couple of years, however, it lucks the complexity and length that could support more extended bottle ageing.

Bought at Glengarry for $28 NZD.

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2019

Appearance: The wine is clear with deep purple colour

Nose: The wine is clean with medium+ intensity of aromas of primary – black fruit (blackberries, black plum, black cherries), red fruit (ripe strawberries, dried cranberries), spice (liquorice), sea breeze, wet stones; secondary – oak(cedar), tertiary – cooked plum, leather

Palate: The wine is dry, with high alcohol, full body, high tannins, high acidity, long finish, pronounced intensity of flavours of primary – black fruit (blackberries, black plum, black cherries), red fruit (ripe strawberries, dried cranberries), spice (liquorice), sea breeze, wet stones; secondary – oak(cedar), tertiary – cooked plum, leather

Conclusion: Outstanding – this is a complex wine, with layers of aromas and flavours. The wine has a youthful character, dominated by fresh primary fruit, however, it also displays first hints of development with tertiary features. Silky tannins and well integrated oak-based aromas suggest skilful winemaking. High acidity provides the spine and a counterpoint to the ripe and juicy fruit flavours. Long finish, ending with spice and leather flavours, adds to the quality of this wine.

Bottle raging: Suitable for bottle ageing – this wine already shows signs of development. And with time, the wine has the potential to develop more tertiary character, and soften the tannins. This is supported by the high acidity, pronounced and complex flavours, and the level of tannins.

Bought at Glengarry for $30 NZD.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.