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It’s not often that the talk at my daughter’s primary school gate is about wine but this week was an exception. One of the mothers asked me if I’d heard about this wine that cost £4 and was the best in the world. Another mother had read about it in the papers. Best in the world and only £4. They seemed disappointed that I hadn’t tried it. The one time when being a wine writer should have come in useful and I’d failed. I had to try this wine.
It wasn’t hard to find out about it. The Independent, the Telegraph, the Huff Post, Marie Claire, Metro, City Am and the mighty Dorset Echo have all covered the La Moneda Malbec Reserva 2015 winning best in show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (click here to find out more about the award). It’s currently on sale for £4.37 a bottle (normally £5.75). Apparently such has been the stampede to obtain The Best Wine in the World that Asda’s website has crashed.
I spoke to the Asda press office and explained how I was losing credibility with the Blackheath mothers and they kindly sent me a bottle. I opened it with much excitement. Actually I didn’t. I opened it with a fair degree of scepticism. When I worked at Oddbins years ago, we often used to be surprised at the wines eg Bin 65 Chardonnay that won trophies at the IWC or the Decanter. Nevertheless we stocked up and they sold out.
So this Malbec then? Is it the best in the world under £15? No, I doubt it’s the best at Asda under £15. Instead it’s a well made clean tasting fruity wine that’s far far better than you’d expect for around £4. What I liked about it was its lowish alcohol (12.5%) and lack of pretension. There’s a tiny bit of vanilla suggesting some oak treatment but this is a wine that isn’t trying to taste like something more expensive. If, however, you’re expecting the best wine in the world, you are going to be disappointed.
My wife was not keen at all and didn’t even finish her glass but then she has expensive tastes. So all in all not a wine worth getting excited about but having tried it, at least I have saved some professional face at the school gates.