Real black beauties to brighten wintertime

A destination for drinkers fond of a smooth, rich red, Argentina’s flagship grape has become such a big hit on the wine scene that it’s hard to believe a bottle of malbec was out of reach 20 years ago.

Dense and extremely appealing, here are some inky black beauties to satisfy your inner gaucho, and serve with the best cut of beef.

Everything comes together in a glass of Vinalta Gran Seleccion Malbec 2010, Argentina (£14.99, Marks & Spencer). The wine spends 12 months in oak and it more than delivers with blueberries, violets and flowers on the nose leading to an infusion of dense, plummy black fruits, spice and a lush, velvety smooth finish.

Another winner that spends six months in oak, Monteflores Malbec 2013, Argentina (£9.99, Marks & Spencer) has alluring aromas of black cherry and plums, with concentrated dark berries, a hint of cigar box and spicy, herbal touches on the finish.

Elsewhere, Vinalba Malbec Reservado de la Familia 2012, Valle de Uco, Argentina (£9.99, Morrisons) is a Decanter Gold medal winner and this year, Argentina scooped 12 trophies and 37 golds.

It has a rush of dark fruits and vanilla on the nose, powerful brambly fruit and dancing tannins on the long, textured finish.

Trapiche has the pick of some of the best parcels of fruit and they’ve been awarded a stash of medals over the years.For a good entry level malbec, try their latest release, Trapiche True Malbec 2013, Valle de Uco, Argentina (£7.99, Tesco). Concentrated and unoaked, it displays more of a mineral character but still has delicious depth of flavour with ripe plums, damson, cherry and spice, along with fine tannins on the finish.

And while some Argentine malbecs can be just as pricey as a good Bordeaux, value is its virtue and bottles such as Winemakers’ Selection by Sainsbury’s Malbec 2013, Argentina (£4.75, Sainsbury’s) can bring a smile to the face with its simple but pleasant dark fruits and soft finish.

Meanwhile, Taste the Difference Fairtrade Morador Malbec 2013, Argentina (£8, Sainsbury’s) has a violet bouquet with black fruits, damson, oak and spice, ending with some high-altitude freshness with vineyards at 1000 metres above sea level.