Image description: label of bottle of wine: Argentinian Aguaribay Malbec from Baron Edmond de Rothschild
I have been a staunch supporter of The Oxford Wine Company since I first set foot in their Turl Street shop as a Fresher. I remember being pleasantly surprised as despite the fact that I was a student obviously looking for something on *ahem* the cheaper side, they took me completely seriously when I asked them what would pair best with my budget student meal.
As a student you might expect a wine shop experience to be a bit intimidating as you try and figure out – against all proclamations of not judging a book by its cover – which bottle looks like it will be the best bang for your buck. Staff at The Oxford Wine Company are always helpful and friendly, and to top it all off there’s even a 10% student discount!
Anyway, onto the wine itself.
As a hardcore red wine fan – in spite of the dreaded hangovers they have caused in the past – I was given a 2017 Aguaribay Malbec to review, produced by the Baron Edmond de Rothschild estate (yes, I picked this one partially because it sounded fancy!). I decided to bring this offering home to my housemates who were very keen to sample it and give me their thoughts.
After technical difficulties involving my inability to use a corkscrew, the intervention of my housemate allowed us to pour out three gorgeous glasses of this silky wine. With questionable amounts of wine connoisseur-ship, we all had a go at describing it. Here are our (paraphrased) hot takes:
Scent/Nose: Delicate fruity scent with hints of mild spice underneath – pleasant and light.
Taste/Palate : Taste not dissimilar to scent but slightly deeper. Medium-bodied and smooth.
Overall: The most striking aspect of this wine is its (dangerously) smooth quality. The flavour is rich enough not to be watery and to stand up to daresay, a stronger cheese, but it is extremely drinkable.
Scent/Nose: Dark red fruits.
Taste/Palate: Fruity as predicted, doesn’t have the oaky smokiness (or smokey oakiness?) of some other red wines, light but substantial.
Overall: Very nice, visual inspection shows that it is quite a young wine (she was right!) as it is not particularly dark.
Scent/Nose: Quite sweet, vanilla bean notes, “ten out of ten”, smells slightly like “a nice pair of shoes” (leathery).
Taste/Palate: Very nice, light and smooth.
Whilst our flexitarian student household did not decide to pair the Argentinian malbec with the oft-recommended steak, in a moment of heathenous sacrilege, we ended up pairing this lovely wine with… chickpea curry. Oddly, it… worked! The strength of this wine is how well it balances being able to complement (unexpected) flavours and also stand up to them. It’s not intensely bold or dramatic, but a pleasant and drinkable wine perfect for a snowy night in Oxford. I would recommend drinking it on the weekend with friends, lest you accidentally finish the bottle by yourself and miss your 9am Teams tutorial.