This is a delicious wine which I enjoyed immensely. I loved it as I poured it straight from the bottle on the first day and it was still appetising and appealing the next day. The pure black fruit nose of the cork and the cork’s colour were mouth-watering. In the glass it was the darkest purple I have ever seen in a malbec. It shimmered, catching the light with thick, pronounced legs as you would expect from a 13.5% wine. The nose in the glass, after about 15 minutes, was blackcurrant and I exercised a great deal of self-control to wait for the wine to acquire some oxygen and settle down before I tasted it. On the palate, it was dry and despite the dark purple colour and the nose, I did not taste blackcurrant but loganberries. The red and black fruits were not grippingly bitter but not overly sweet either. It was full bodied, medium to low tannin and had a gorgeous accompaniment of violets with vanilla on the length. The violet was not so pronounced as in some malbecs I have tasted, and it gave the wine a herbaceous character. The violet was gentle and drifted into the vanilla without effort.

By the time I served the food, the wine had evolved in the glass. The red fruit had dissipated, and the blackcurrant was pronounced and rich. In the same way that I wouldn’t have bread without butter, for me malbec wine means steak. As the weather was sunny and warm, we had a family BBQ and cooked the steak over charcoal. The smokiness of the steak was gorgeous and complimented the wine superbly, which became even smoother and slightly sweeter with the meat. A Blue Stilton sauce as an accompaniment to the steak was an absolute winner. The sauce brought out further the blackcurrant in the malbec with the creaminess of the sauce gave the wine amazing length. There was a satisfying contrast of saltiness and sweetness between the blue cheese sauce and the wine. A serving of boiled and then fried Charlotte potatoes cooked with spring onions and a hint of garlic also matched very well. The combination of food and wine was amazing.

On the second day, Don Guerino ‘Vintage’ Malbec 2017 was not as smooth without food but with olive bread, olive oil from Lake Garda, balsamic vinegar, green olives and falafel the smoothness returned. The gorgeous violet was heightened by the food on the second day and there was a satisfying contrast between the wine and the bitterness of the green olives.

Don Guerino ‘Vintage’ Malbec 2017 is now my favourite malbec! It is available online from Go Brazil Wines and costs £16.

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