Malbec for summer

Tempus Malbec, wine of the week and a lovely birthday wine…

I don’t generally think of opening an Argentinian red on a warm summer evening; many reds from the country pack a punch with their high extraction and alcohol levels hitting a heady 14˚ or more.

However, I was tempted by rack of lamb for my birthday dinner and you need a red wine with strong character to match its richness. Tempus Malbec 2008 from Bodega Tempus Alba in Maipú, Mendoza seemed like a good idea after all.

This wine was delightful. There was something restrained about its style – perhaps accounted for by the maturity of the 60-year-old vineyards – giving it an elegance that you don’t often find in a varietal Malbec wine. The fruit quality was excellent, tannins were supple gently supported by the French and American oak and the alcohol was perfectly in tune. All the elements came together in a wine that lingered on the palate and complemented the roast rack of lamb perfectly.

Tempus Malbec is available through Argentinian boutique Wine specialist Ruta 40, price £16. www.ruta40.com