Chapel Down Argentinian Malbec is not a wine
by Tricia Jamieson
A winery is in a unique position with its latest
Chapel Down at Smallhythe collaborated with an Argentinian
vineyard to secure some Malbec grapes to put an English spin on one
of the world’s most popular styles of wine.
But, hit by EU red tape, Chapel Down can’t call the finished
product a wine, can’t call it a Malbec because it was made in
England and is not even allowed to sell it.
Instead the wine, called An English Salute, has to be referred
to as a “fruit-based alcoholic beverage” and is being given away to
customers who buy the vineyard’s own award-winning English
Chapel Down chief executive Frazer Thompson said:
“This is a chance for fans of English and Argentinian wine to get
their hands on something that is genuinely unique.
“This wine will, quite literally, be impossible to buy. We’ve
had loads of inquiries from buyers, but I’m afraid that we can’t
sell it, only give it away as samples, so we have decided to do
Despite rising tensions between Argentina and Britain over the
Falklands, the link with the Gaucho estate, near Mendoza, came
about when the Argentines were looking for wine makers to
Guy Tresnan, sales and marketing director at Chapel Down, said:
“We went to Mendoza to select the grapes which were vacuum sealed
and flown over to us.
“It was a great opportunity for our winemakers to work with
theirs and vice versa.”
The grapes were fermented slightly cooler than is traditional in
Argentina before the wine was matured in new American oak for nine
The result is a “big red” wine (abv 14%) with a blackcurrant,
blueberry and raspberry nose and a long finish of berry fruit and
- It is ready in time for World Malbec Day on Tuesday and
can be drunk now but would benefit from keeping for up to 10
For more information, go to www.chapeldown.com
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