If you’re a big fan of everything to do with wine then you probably saw The Wine Show on Channel 5 on Friday. If not, they spent a good bit of time talking about one of our favourite grape varieties Malbec. From explaining it’s backstory to having a good-old tasting session, they did it all and gave everyone a good look into what this awesome grape variety is all about. Just like we’re about to…
Malbec is most commonly considered an Argentinian grape variety and although that is possibly the most correct way of looking at it nowadays that wasn’t always the case. Malbec actually has its origins in France and is one of the 6 grape varieties allowed in red Bordeaux. Called Auxerrois or Côt Noir in Cahors, Malbec in Bordeaux and Pressac in other places around France it clearly has some significant roots here.
Back in Argentina Malbec is truly in the spotlight. This grape transformed Argentina, bringing wealth and jobs as it spread out across the country and quickly became one the most loved wines in the world. As of 2003 there were 50,000 acres of Malbec throughout Argentina with a good amount of it concentrating in Mendoza in the regions of Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. These vineyards are much higher than many people would expect, sitting between 800m and 1500m above sea level which makes them an entirely different beast to that which you would find in France.
The difference between the two regions is absolutely astounding. The altitude in Mendoza gives a heavier skin to the grape, making the wines bigger and bolder with soft tannin and gorgeous dark fruits such as plum and blackcurrant. In France Malbec has a number of styles but the most common are that of Bordeaux where they are similar to a merlot with lower acidity and softer tannins where as in Cahors the grape displays much more tannic wines with more phenolic compounds which contribute to colour.
We have a couple of Argentinian Malbecs for you to have a look at, all of which are available to taste…
Colome Estate Malbec 2015 @ £18.95 - Buy it here
Deep bright red with a magenta hue. Aromas of black and red fruits including blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and cherries, with touches of violet floral notes and hints of spices and minerals. Fresh and fruity on the palate with muscular structure and round, velvety tannins. A fine, delicate yet lengthy finish.
Chakana Ayni Malbec 2015 @ £21.95 - Buy it here!
This gorgeous Argentinian juice has a ripe, opulent nose, with notes of prunes, peaches, dark cherries, damsons and musky flowery blossom. The palate is full-bodied, with some warm notes of very ripe fruit flavours lending to those round, saturated tannins. A huge, tasty, hedonistic Malbec.