I feel a bit of traitor choosing this Malbec when I’m more or less within spitting distance of the grape variety’s home territory of Cahors in southwest France. It’s not even as if Malbec is a speciality of New Zealand, as it is of Argentina. In fact it’s pretty unusual to find it solo in New Zealand: it’s much more often added to Cabernet and Merlot to beef them up a bit. Anyway, this wine is too good not to recommend it. In a way, it’s a halfway house between the Cahors and Argentine styles, with the brooding darkness of Cahors and the glossy fruit of Argentina transposed into violet, black fruit, blueberry and liquorice depth, velvety dryness and a whisper of fresh green herbs. With respect to Cahors, why not try it with magret or confit de canard, lamb, or hard cheese especially sheep’s cheese. It would also go well with lentil and mushroom dishes.
Rod McDonald Wines One Off Malbec Hawkes Bay 2014, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand