BB Review: Rod McDonald One Off Malbec

Wine is art. And sometimes even the label is pretty as a picture! For this round, we each brought a wine we bought based solely on its shelf appeal. Does this Malbec taste as good as it looks? Read on. 🖼  🍷  🤔



BOTTLE: Rod McDonald One Off Malbec – Hawkes Bay New Zealand

WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £15.75 from Oddbins 

ABV & TECH SPECS:  13% ABV and 100% Malbec, baby! 

WHO BOUGHT IT & WHY: Angela here. As I'm a big fan of surrealism and Salvador Dalí, this label shouted down from the shelf at me. I’ve also had the One Off Pinot Noir, which is wonderful, so I felt like trusting my eyeballs was a safe bet. 


LET'S GET NERDY: When Rod McDonald arrived in Hawkes Bay in 1993 with a love for wine and everything he owned in his car boot, it was the start of a great journey that saw him be crowned New Zealand Winemaker of the year in 2006 and go on to collaborate with a handful of New Zealand’s top wineries.

Rod McDonald says of the “ONE OFF’ Range, “The idea behind it is that we can make, blend and bottle it with a healthy disregard for brand families, consumer research and marketing fundamentals.  And it's fun.  The only catch is that it's a one off... when it's gone, it's gone. There'll never be another!” Better get drinking, bitches! 

PARTY FACT: The gentleman on this bottle goes by Mister and is described as follows:

Don’t be fooled by his look, Mister is a modern Hawke’s Bay love story. The love of the grape, the land, the adventure and the road that leads you there. Slightly left of centre, Mister is as clever as it is curious, bold as it is beautiful, dapper in dress-sense only and modern to the core. So banish the handkerchief to your back pocket and settle in. Understated, never.  Magnificent, always.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmkay. Let's get reviewing! 

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CARO: It may have smelt like a room that has been locked for 25 years, but opening that door did unveil a whole lot of secrets. From deep purples hues to nostalgic tastes of parma violet and that weird artificial blueberry flavour you get in asian confectionery, to a lingering smokiness that evolves into somewhat earthy notes. An all-round wheel of flavours!

ANGELA: This is beautifully purple with rich luscious legs clasping the glass. It's punchy and I can smell it from the glass as I type; blueberries and meaty notes are lifted with a little hint of violet. The palate is juicy and fruity with silky tannins and everything you want from a Malbec. I hope we start to see more Malbec offerings like this from New Zealand because I think they have some serious potential to be the best of their kind.

KATE: When you tip this into a glass it's sooo dark. Like a blackish-blue hole with a cute purple-ish halo where the wine meets the edge of the glass. Or an oil spill. It's actually pretty fascinating to look at... Anyway this is a W I N E  B L O G not a trippy acid review site so let's move on to the second stage of wine tasting which is (DING DING DING for all of you who've listened to our first podcast episode!) to smell the wine! This wine smells yummy. I swear, you guys, I smelled this thing like 400 times and I just kept thinking "Mmm, yummy!" each and every time. (Look, I never said I was the wine expert here so please cut me a little slack.) Once you get to drinking this damn thing, the yumminess really comes through. It tastes like just-about-ripe plums with light tannins that taste a bit like biting into a fig seed, but in a really good way!, and leave your mouth watering for more. This wine reminds me of an organic brand of actually good* grape popsicles** my mom used to buy when I was a kid. In fact, I think it would be a great idea to pour Mister out into a popsicle mold*** and make a boozy adult dessert treat. Guys, should we try this?!?!?!?! 


* Why were grape popsicles always such trash? My mom bought organic popsicles made from actual nature and all the flavours were great but other than that, grape popsicles were the worst. All they did was turn your face purple and ruin your day. 
** Ice lolly for all you weirdos/Brits out there. 
*** Honestly, I've been in England five years and still can't bring myself to spell mold with a u. Sorry/not sorry.