We rarely require a holiday or special event to justify opening a bottle of wine, but when an excuse so obvious presents itself, it would be a shame not to indulge! World Malbec Day celebrates all aspects of this wine, from its origin to the explosive popularity over the last decade. WineCollective is participating in this global event by sharing with you some of our favorite Malbecs.
Malbec originated in France, and was most commonly used as a blending grape. It was known as Cot Noir or Auxerrois in the region of Cahors where it was most usually found. In the 19th century, the émigres brought the varietal to Argentina where it flourished and became the flagship grape of the country and more specifically the Mendoza region. Argentine Malbec is more lush and velvety than it’s single varietal French cousin. The grape itself is actually quite different from those in France, smaller berries and tighter, smaller bunches. The superiority of Malbec in Argentina is most commonly equated to the extreme elevation of vineyards compared to European producers.
Malbec as a component of a blend such as Château La Bastide’s 2008 Malbec, Merlot, Mourvedre, Pinot Noir, Syrah and can be as expressive of the grape as a single varietal bottling. Marcello Pelleriti’s Reserve Malbec 2007 and CarinaE Malbec 2008 are reflective of the spice and richness of the Argentine grown grape. Visit WineSpectator for a list of French representations of Malbec and more insight into the Argentine, ‘new world’ take on the varietal.
Quite a bit of rusticness, notes of mushroom, forest floor and hay. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t fruit here. Lots of red currant and blackberries are present. We also picked out an intriguing “salted pretzel” smell, which combines salty minerality with touches of yeast. An extremely complex nose for this price point. -WineCollective Staff
Retail Price: $14.43
An exceptionally spicy wine, except that unlike most entry-level Malbecs, the spice here isn’t from heavy duty oak, it is from the terrior and the actual grapes. The spice, rather than being predominately pepper would be more like habanero or jalapeno, but less palate scorching. The fruit is juicy and pleasant. The tannins are present, well structured and rounded. A different take on a Malbec. -WineCollective Staff
Retail Price: $16.89
Easy to enjoy with tannins and intensity dialled down compared to some Malbec. Spice characteristics lead the palate with black pepper, clove, wood box, liquorice and slightly smoky, jammy berry fruits. -WineCollective Staff
Retail Price: $25.00