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After weeks of drinking white wine in the sunshine with salads and lighter dishes, the cooler weather last weekend fuelled a quest for a delicious full-bodied red wine to accompany a hot dish. I was drawn to an Australian Malbec because, prior to tasting it, I had tasted only French or Argentinian Malbec. When I consider Australian reds, I think of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, never Malbec. Malbec is Argentina’s flagship grape which I love to pair with steak and chips and I was intrigued as to the characteristics of this wine given that the grapes had been grown approximately 7500 miles away from Argentina. Peacock’s Fan Malbec 2015 is from Clare Valley in South Australia. Not being familiar with Australian Malbec, my only expectation was good legs and I wasn’t disappointed. With an alcohol volume of 14% the wine clung to the side of the glass and slowly descended into the wine. Apart from mushroom and black fruit I didn’t detect other aromas and so I decanted it before tasting and left it for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes the nose in the decanter was freshly steamed spring greens minus the fruit and this is something that I have never experienced. Others in the room could detect this too such was the potency of the beautiful and unusual nose when in the decanter. This wine was proving to be very interesting and exciting and I couldn’t wait to taste. Back in the glass the nose took on the black fruit again with the vegetation taking a back seat. On the palate the taste was intense at first with high tannin and lively acidity. My mouth was flooded with flavour; black fruit with a slight redness, I recognised as loganberries, which I haven’t eaten since my childhood. Then there was smoothness on the length as vanilla took over.  Peacock’s Fan Malbec 2015 was showing the signs of a good quality wine. It was complex in that the nose and taste were changing as oxygen aerated the wine and released more flavours and aromas. The tannin and acidity were balanced, and it had good length. This is a dry wine which is described as ‘powerful’ on the label and I would agree with this and I would add that it is round and soft. I also found it to be aromatic which is not a word I would usually associate with a powerful red wine. Everything about this wine was gorgeous and having tasted it, I realised that my intended food match of marinated lamb was not going to compliment it. Instead, I matched it with venison sausage casserole served with potatoes mashed in butter and double cream. After browning the sausages in a frying pan, they were transferred to a casserole dish which contained sweated onions, a rich tomato sauce made with meat stock and tomato puree and chestnut mushrooms. The wine complimented the food beautifully. I had detected mushroom on the nose but not on the palate and the match with the mushrooms in the rich tomato sauce was delicious. The creamy potato mash picked up the vanilla in the wine and the combination was a real delight.

I purchased Peacock’s Fan Malbec 2015 from Marks & Spencer’s and it cost £9.33, reduced from £13.50 as part of the M&S Wine Festival.

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