Normally, Bolivia would be far to warm to make quality wines. But altitude changes things. This wine comes from the Tarija Valley in Bolivia, where the vineyards are at 1850 metres (6000 feet). Indeed, the region is practically on the Argentine border, not a long way from the high-altitude Salta wine region. This elevation makes it possible to produce quality wines that otherwise wouldn’t be possible at this latitude. This wine is impressive: it’s ripe, big and sweet, but it isn’t too spoofy or evil. Tasted blind, I’d be in the New World – I’d probably opt for South African warm-climate Syrah. Think Marc Kent’s Porcupine Ridge, on its way to being Chocolate Block. It’s a Marks & Spencer own label so you won’t find it internationally, but its quality suggests that other wines from this producer might be worth checking out. My first Bolivian wine!
Campos de Solana Tannat Malbec 2016 Tarija Valley, Bolivia
£11 Marks & Spencer
This comes from the South of Bolivia, from vineyards high in the Andes. The vineyards are extremely high, actually, at 1850 metres. This wine is rich, ripe, sweet and meaty, with very appealing blackberry and black cherry fruit, with some olive/tapenade character lurking under the dense sweet fruit, as well as hints of chocolate and coffee. Rich and smooth, it’s quite alluring, but there’s also some freshness, too: it just about stays in balance. Impressive stuff. 89/100