What People are Saying

Journalists & Wine Critics

Here is a selection of what some of the UK’s wine journalists and wine critics have had to say about our wines.

Outstanding (2013 vintage) “Owner of Viñalba Hervé Joyaux Fabre joined forces with Portuguese winemaker Rui Renguina for this 80% Malbec from almost 50 year old vines and 20% Touriga Nacional from younger vines. The result is a powerful yet refined style. The Malbec dominates with its cherry and violet notes and Touriga contributes with denser, tighter tannins.” Phil Crozier: Very interesting blend. Very floral and expressive on the nose, with graphite and flowers in equal measure. Firm in the mouth, with lovely purity on the finish. Patricio Tapia: “A terrific example of Malbec with its violet and cherry flavours. This is extracted and powerful, with enough body to match a barbecue.“ Dirceu Vianna Jr MW: “The bouquet is pure, uplifting and inviting, with notes of blackberries, bergamot and dried mediterranean herbs. Dry and refreshing palate with lovely juicy fruit, fine-grained tannins and a long finish. Graceful with a mouthwatering persistent finish.
July 2015
Bramble and garrigue aromas with black pepper and dried flowers. A hint of chocolate and dark cherries on the palate with a savoury, intense finish. Shows real complexity and class.
Decanter – Top 50 Wines of 2015
January issue 07.12.15
I don’t usually believe wines that have award stickers (unless they’re my own of course!) but this trophy winner, from the International Wine Challenge, is a true star. With masses of fruit bursting out of the glass and a velvety texture, it is great at £9 but when Asda slashed the price to £6, I couldn’t believe it. Hunt this blockbuster down.
Matthew Jukes, The Daily Mail (40 of the Best)
December 2015
What an absolute bargain for £6. Rich and sensuous, this is packed with soft, ripe, fruit flavours.
Will Lyons, The Sunday Times (The Dish)
December 2015
Recommended. “Black pepper and violet aromas with nice purity of fruit. Soft, round texture with toast, vanilla and sweet spices. Complex but very drinkable.” (2013)
July 2015
On the other side of the world, Argentinian winemakers can also be guilty of giving their Malbec grapes too much sun, leading to clumsy, clumpy wines that taste of boozy kirsch and the sweet vanilla and toast of oak barrels. It’s a shame because catching the grapes at the right point on their ripening curve produces some of the most appealing, sensuous reds in the world, their plump cherry and plum balanced by floral freshness. Most of the best Argentinian Malbec comes from Mendoza and Bodegas Fabre’s blend with a little Syrah, pulls off the sumptuous trick in Patagonia, too.
David Williams, The Observer Magazine
November 2015
This wine is a great example of why blends can be just as good, if not better, than wine made from a single grape variety. It’s an unapologetically big, brooding red from Argentina. It takes its most famous red grape, Malbec, and adds it to two other grapes that, like Malbec, have their roots in Bordeaux. It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon (think backbone), Merlot (think plum fruits) and Malbec (think bramble fruits) mash up and together, they all get on like a house on fire. There’s a fair bit of toasty oak in there too. At 14.5%, you’re better off sitting down, preferably with a plate of something meaty in front of you, when you drink this.
Helen McGinn, Knackered Mothers Wine Club
October 2015
Plump, fleshy style, with ripe dark berry and blackcurrant flavours, and toasty, chocolatey oak, but it’s never too large and the finish has a gravel-like freshness to perk it up.
Simon Woods, Thinking outside the Box (blog)
December 2015
A rich, elegant wine from Argentina with a smooth and succulent finish. The perfect accompaniment to a Christmas feast.
Decanter (Gifts supplement)
December 2015
The wine a classic with blackcurrant aromas, hints of black cherry and a touch of spiced plum. The palate is rich but elegant, bursting with juicy blackcurrant and damson fruit flavours leading to a smooth, succulent finish. A perfect accompaniment to Easter lamb.
Sharon Walters, The Shropshire Star
April 2015
Scented, juicy and sleek, it’s like a giant blackcurrant harnessed to the power of a puma.
Olly Smith, Mail on Sunday (Event)
September 2015
This is a muscular red wine with class and presence and it would be delicious with any Sunday lunch-style dish.
Matthew Jukes, The Daily Mail (weekend)
July 2015
Pure, red and dark fruit, framed with an attractive texture, soft tannins and integrated oak.
Suffolk Free Press (Main)
November 2015
This Argentinian Malbec made from grapes in the Uco Valley of the Andes punches way above its weight with resplendently rich, dark berry fruit flavour.
Anthony Rose, The Independent
May 2015
Fabulous, deep, damson and chocolate fruit, with silky tannins and a long balanced finish. Perfect with steak.
Christine Austin, The Yorkshire Post
September 2015
Tim Atkin “Mid-weight wine, some black cherry and minerality on the nose. Pleasant, chalky and refreshing with some green-pepper notes. Lighter-bodied style.

Anne Krebiehl MW “Aromatic, leafy fruit sets the tone. Lots of spice and hints of iron oxide adds interest and colour. There is great acidity and crunchy freshness. There is something brisk and efficient about this and the alcohol heat is palpable on the palate. I guess this is one to wait for, one that reveals its secrets slowly. Right now it is still tightly coiled and needs unravelling.”

Charles Metcalfe “Rich, ripe fruits on the nose. Ultra-smooth wine which glides over the palate. Fruit is easy and appealingly ripe, tannins are imperceptible, acidity fresh enough to charm. Not vastly complex but fresh and easy-drinking.”

The World of Fine Wine Magazine
May 2015 / 15.5 points 2012 vintage
This Argentinian red has delicious blackcurrant and plum flavours with a hint of vanilla and is lovely served with beef or lamb and is perfect with a roast.
BBC Easy Cook magazine
April 2015
A parrilla is an Argentinean grill, perfect for steak, and that’s exactly what this is. Lose yourself in damson depths. The fast, dry finish won’t drown your sirloin (not recommended for fillet).
Damian Barr, The Sunday Times (magazine)
November 2015
This wine is all about fruit. They want this wine to taste as vibrant and bouncy as cherries in a disco. I love this wine.
Olly Smith, Saturday Kitchen, BBC1
January 2015
The wine has a good balance between polished dark fruit and fine oak. The texture and structure impress for the price tag.
Paulo Brammer, The Wharf and Portsmouth Today
August 2015
I love Vinalba’s succulent velvet smooth style – always offering plenty of fruit and intensity for your money. The Patagonia region in southern Argentina is now coming of age as vines mature, catching up with the main Argentine region of Mendoza. This Bordeaux-style blend is very elegant. (2011 vintage)
Rose Murray-Brown, MW, The Scotsman (web)
February 2014
This boisterous, no-frills red blend from a reliable Argentine producer is just the thing to uncork when you have – hopefully – some grilled lamb or chicken on the barbecue over the next few months.
Terry Kirby, The Independent on Sunday (The New Review)
May 2015
An aromatic white such as riesling, pinot gris or torrontés could handle the fiery sauce. Try Vinalba Seleccion Torrontés.
Fiona Beckett, The
December 2015
A winery that is best known for its great value Argentinean reds, Viñalba can strut its stuff with white grapes too. This is a classically aromatic example of Torrontés, Argentina’s adopted white grape, with lemon peel and sherbet flavours, bright acidity and a hint of lime zest. (2012 vintage)
Tim Atkin,
The alluring violet notes, concentrated blackberry fruits and rich velvety mouthfeel demonstrates how old vines and low yields can deliver great quality and great satisfaction.
Samantha Wylie-Harris, The Rye Observer
January 2014
Lujan de Cuyo is one of Mendoza’s key winemaking destinations (The Uco Valley being the other – more on which later) and is home to Viñalba Gran Reserva, a malbec that Crozier describes as “bloody exemplar”. He is not wrong.

It’s a hugely aromatic red, with hints of violet, lavender and black pepper. This one is fleshy, velvety and soft – It just tastes perfectly ripe”, says Crozier approvingly. (2008 vintage)
May 2012
Vinalba’s trophy-winning Gran Reservado Malbec ticks all the boxes for balance, ripe fruit, careful oak ageing, succulence and power. (2010 vintage)
Rose Murray Brown MW,
November 2013
Terrific 50:50 old-vine malbec and young-vine cabernet mix, aged in oak for a year and bursting with 14.5 per cent bold black fruit flavours.
Jane MacQuitty, The Times (Weekend)
March 2014
Patagonia is a region shared by Argentina and Chile in the cooler, southern end of South America. Compared to their standard Malbec, it was lighter, with less noticeable alcohol and more acidity making it feel less intense but more drinkable.
Matt Walls,
September 2013
This wine is a regular in this column because it’s such a beautifully silky, juicy, smooth, easy malbec that when it’s on promotion the price is irresistible. Think slippy stewed damsons, made by a Frenchman in the foothills of the Andes. (2012 vintage)
Victoria Moore, The Daily Telegraph (weekend)
April 2014
This bold-flavoured chardonnay shows vivid, bold peach and pear fruit, with a broad, soft texture. Try it with chicken. (2012 vintage
Jamie Goode, The Sunday Express (S Magazine)
March 2013
Viñalba makes some of the most consistently tasty red wines in Argentina, and at very approachable prices. This full-bodied Bordeaux style blend is plush and concentrated with sweet, well integrated oak, flavours of chocolate and plums, ripe tannins and good underlying freshness. If you’re bored of Malbec, try this instead. (2010 vintage)
Tim Atkin,