We get our heads around a Malbec that’s been waiting ten years to meet the meat at Gaucho.
Malbec is a big grape in Argentina and could be called the ‘national’ grape. As Malbec declines in France it grows in popularity in leaps and bound in Argentina since its introduction in the mid 1800s.
In fact it’s often thought that the Malbec grapes in Argentina, which are smaller and more tightly clustered than in France, are the original Malbec grapes as grown before the phyloxeraa epidemic which wiped out the original in France.
Argentina offers a unique environment to grow Malbec with many vineyards at much higher altitudes than in Europe and areas to create great regional variations.
Gaucho purchased a vineyard in Argentina ten years ago in 2007, and the first release was in 2008. A few thousand bottles were kept by of what is described by Phil Crozier, Gaucho’s Director of Wines, as cas an outstanding vintage and we went to try one, with of course. some steak
Vina Patricia is described as an exceptional Malbec, produced in the old region of Lujan de Cuyo and is being sold at the current list price for standard Vina Patricia, at £51.50.
At that price we decided to not push the boat out food wise, but try the Gaucho set price lunchtime deal.
Baked Shrimps Spiced garlic butter, lemon and toasted sourdough was perhaps not the best dish for a red wine, the prawns only slightly cooked. A good pink prawn is needed to take on a red. However Corn Cakes with Chipotle chutney and coriander yoghurt worked better with the subtle spiciness of the wine.
Of course you have to have steak with such a wine and so we had Rib Eye 180g with chips and a bearnaise sauce. This was a small piece of steak, as was to expected from a set menu of three courses for just £27.50 and so it could not be cooked quite as medium rare as I prefer; it’s simply too thin.
However the flavour was excellent all the same and my only regret was not going for a full size steak to really set against the wine.
All the same the richly powerful wine, which had opened out a lot since first arriving at table, showed its strengths. A Malbec lovers Malbec.
From the hint of soft tannins present I reckon the 2008 has a few more years left to mature and develop still further, the question is will there be any left?
To get a taste before it all goes, book into your nearest Gaucho. Each restaurant has a very limited supply.