Posted by: Andy Kelly
I was undertaking the customary telephone call to my parents one weekend a few weeks back and I’d barely exchanged pleasantries with my dad when he uttered those cherished words…” Son, I’ve got a wine for you”.
As explained elsewhere on our website, he knows his stuff so his opinion carries a fair degree of gravitas.
“Go on, I’m listening…” I said.
“Perdriel Centenario Malbec, it’s a cracker”.
I was instantly sold; I love a good Malbec and it is partly responsible for my love of wine. It must be good as well because though he enjoys Malbec, my dad rarely leaves his stronghold of Bordeaux claret nowadays. But where could he have found this bottle, the quality of the contents of which he was now eschewing? One of our wine merchants throughout the north west? Majestic? Via the merchants on Vivino?
"It’s on offer for £9 at Asda and I’ve bought you a bottle.”
Okay, now I was surprised. I own Ned’s Best Supermarket Wines of 2020 and save for the odd gem, Asda rates poorly this year.
Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to pick that bottle up due to this Coronashit outbreak but my partner was wily enough to grab a bottle on one of our online orders and though it was sold out on the first occasion, we got one on the second time of asking. She’s well trained.
Perdriel is actually a small town, approximately 20km south of Mendoza, the heart of Argentine wine country. The maker of the Centenario is Bodega Norton (it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue) who boast five different vineyards around the Mendoza region, totalling approximately 700 hectares. Edmund Palmer Norton, who founded the winery in 1895, was apparently impressed by the regions capacity to grow good vines whilst he was building a railway in the region that he decided to set up a winery in the area. It seemed like a good idea considering he could use his own railway network to transport his wines further afield.
The bottle itself was hefty and the label was stylish and succinct with “Perdriel” handwritten in gold writing on a black background. It looked like one of those wines on your rack that you want to try but daren’t take it off the rack because it wouldn’t look as good without it.
The cork smelt fabulous; I got a good whiff of plums as I brought it to my nose. It smelt fabulous in the glass and the decanter too. Plums with blackberry, blueberry, oak and pepper enveloped my nose and set me up nicely for my first sip.
Its colour was not a dark as expected, it was deep ruby with a tint of carmine around the edges of the glass.
The palate was awash with flavours. Initially I was getting plums with blueberry and blackberries and there were good chocolate notes as the wine went down.
There was also a peppery spice and a hint of oak on the long finish though the oaky notes gave way to the spice the further I got through the bottle. It had a hefty mouthfeel and the tannins left my gums feeling as dry as bone. It was delicious!
It was a very complex wine and was a steal at £9. Sadly, it has since gone back to £15 in Asda but even at that price point it is worth every penny and it may come down in price again. If you love a good Malbec or even want something to try that is a good example of the grape then start here. If you can hang on and wait until it goes back on offer then even better. Either way, you should try this wine as you won’t be disappointed.
Since writing this article, Perdriel Centenario won gold at the Decanter 2019 awards so it's a cracker indeed!