3 minutes read
A thick skinned black grape, that what Malbec is. In the glass, it forms a deep purple red colour with a recognizable bright coloured rim.
Malbec originates from Bordeaux, France, but never really took name for itself. Here in the Cahors mainly, the grape is used together with other red grapes in the world-known Bordeaux blend. Malbec from France, with its more leathery, tannic & savoury style, is completely opposite from the more fruit driven ones from Argentina. To hear this description, you’re lucky that they’re using it in blends only.
Across the globe, Malbec is planted in Loire. France, USA, Chile, South-Africa, Italy, Spain, New Zealand & Australia, but all in small(er) quantities & often used in blends. The big Malbec player is Argentina, where the grape is the most planted.
The climate for Malbec in Argentina is heaven. Dry, moderate to hot, clay & sand soils with little rainfall at high altitudes. Malbec has a poor resistance against pests & bad weather, something the Argentina’s climate won’t let happen. Also, the major temperature drops between day & night are beneficial for the grape, resulting in high acidity levels.
As there is little rainfall in Argentina where they’re producing Malbec, the winemakers use irrigation funnels to supply their vineyards with water. Snow dripping down from the Andes Mountains is captured & led into the vines. Tiny (but enough) water is sucked up by the hard-working grapes, resulting in fully body fruit-forward grapes.
Grapes with medium-high tannins, medium-high acidity, full body plum & dark berries fruit, spice, pepper, milk chocolate & medium finish. The best Malbec’s benefit from oak aging, adding sweet tobacco flavours.
Other names for Malbec can be found where it originates from, where the grape is often called Cot.
Like mentioned earlier, Malbec is across the globe in general blended, with most known the Red Bordeaux Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot & Carmenere). In the Loire, France its blended with Gamay & Cabernet Franc, with in Australia blended with Merlot.
But in Argentina it’s seen as a single grape variety, due to the perfect climate conditions. Great wines are made here, with sssst… sometimes a blend with Bonarda.
For food, Malbec it’s not a big bold wine guider, but with a medium finish, it is great for leaner red meat. Duck, ostrich perhaps? Also earthy & umami flavours; mushrooms, smoked paprika, clove, BBQ sauce & pasta with tomato sauce are good combo’s. For cheeses, go for cow or goat.
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