After feeling ‘bad’ about my last review of a Fairtrade wine, I’m delighted to be able to be positive about one…and not just positive because this wine is Fairtrade, organic, suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans etc etc; but because this Gran Reserva Malbec 2011 is really rather good. Can a wine polish its halo?
The Co-operative seem to take Fairtrade wine more seriously than other supermarkets. They now represent 60% of the UK’s Fairtrade wine sales. They have sold over 30 million bottles of Fairtrade wine since they launched the UK’s first supermarket own-label Fairtrade wine in 2003; and more importantly they’ve returned over £1.5m to workers through those sales.
This Gran Reserva Malbec is produced by La Riojana in the La Rioja region in the north west of Argentina. Money from this particular wine has helped to fund a new water facility in the local village as well as the building of a new school.
This wine is deep ruby in colour with a bouquet of dark cherries and plums, alongside some sweet spicyness. It tastes very fruity - think dense cherry and plum conserve. Full bodied, the wine has surprisingly soft tannins. It sort of feels ‘satisfying’ to drink. It’s got good acidity and reasonable length of flavour. There are hints of vanilla and possibly liquorice on the palate. The label says it has been barrel aged – but as it is a 2011 vintage that can’t have been for very long.
(Just a quick aside on labelling…unlike in Spain where the terms Reserva and Gran Reserva have specific meanings in terms of cask and bottle aging; in South America these words are used to indicate better quality or generally longer aging.)
This Gran Reserva Malbec 2011 would go very nicely with a lean steak – I don’t know what the vegan alternative would be but I’m sure there is one.
Usually priced at £7.99 the Co-op has reduced this to £6.39 until 20 March – so through Fairtrade Fortnight and beyond.
W.O.W. factor 7