malbec wines from Cahors France and Colchagua Valley Chile and Hawkes Bay

Maybe often seems a much-overlooked wine and not for any good reason. Recently I have stumbled upon a few that have given us bags of pleasure! The same grape expressed individually, from Cahors, Hawkes Bay New Zealand, and the Colchagua Valley in Chile.

Each of these places is worth investigating in more detail in their own right but if you are thinking of branching out in the longer spring evenings then give these malbecs a try.

Chatons du Cèdre, Cahors, 2014 Malbec


Lovely dark inky complexion. Blackcurrant/cassis and bramble aroma. Silky full bodied with good tannin for roast duck with red cabbage that we are having. Very tasty wine & new fave at ~£11 from @oddbins

Excellent value: £10.50 from Oddbins

Caliterra, Tributo, Malbec, 2015

caliterra wine malbec

Lovely scent of rosè and redcurrant. Fresh tasting zing of fruit and spice with a food smashing note of tannin. Serve with rich red meat dishes or roasted vegetables covered in herbs. Great drop.

Bargain price range: ~£12. Buy in the UK from Field & Fawcett, the Leamington Wine Company et al.

Hawkes Bay 2014, Left Field Malbec

leftfield malbec

Wow, a very luxurious concentrated red. 4yrs old & good to go. Blackcurrant, dark chocolate, full-bodied succulent velvety soft tannins. 

Perfect with equally succulent red meats. Vines are grown in the very special Gimblett Gravels in New Zealand. If you see it ... grab it. 

It’s hard to not mention the incredibly stylish labels that the Left Field range has commissioned. These beautifully executed illustrations have been commissioned across the range. View the website for more information.

Great price: ~£17 Newcastle, Noble Grape Wines, Auriol Wines


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COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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