Today is the day where all wine lovers gather around to discuss the beauty and complexities of Malbec! That’s right, this grape has a day of its own, April 17th, and while you may not be scribbling down tasting notes and gazing into it’s core for the correct hue, we hope that you are enjoying a glass or two. Perhaps with some smoky delicious BQQ?
Malbec is first known as only one of six grapes allowed to be blended in a Bordeaux. The varietal, originally known by its French name, Côt, is said to have been first discovered in northern Burgundy according to French ampelographer and viticulturalist, Pierre Galet.
Thin-skinned, Malbec requires more sunlight and heat than Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to mature. The grape ripens mid-season and creates a very inky or purple intense wine. Big in plummy fruit flavours and generous tannins, Malbec has much to offer as either a single varietal wine, or as a component to a blend.
Though traditionally associated with French varietals, Malbec has become increasingly popular in Argentina. Since it’s introduction into the South American country in the 19th century by French agronomist, Miguel Pouget, Malbec has rose to become the most widely planted red grape variety in Argentina. Today there are 76,603 acres of Malbec vineyards in Argentina while France has only 13,097.
Malbec spreads across Argentina and is planted extensively in every region. From the Andes Mountains to Salta and Patagonia, one could say the grape has given Argentina a place in the wine industry.
The most popular of Argentina’s Malbec comes from Mendoza’s high altitude regions such as Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. At the foothills of the Andes Mountains these vineyards, as we have mentioned many times before in WineCollective reviews, are elevated at 2,800 to 5,000 feet above sea level giving Malbec grapes the sun exposure that they require.
Malbec Flavours and Characteristics
Fruit: Black cherry, plum, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry
Earth: Herbs, spice, floral, mineral, tobacco, black pepper, green stem
Other: Cocoa, coffee, leather, mocha, gravel
Malbec is ideal with Argentinian dishes, or Brazilian barbecue. Think grilled red meats with a smoky kick, or even some Friday night pizza.
In celebration of Malbec Day, we invite you to use the coupon code LOVEMALBEC for $10 off your online store purchase of any Malbec wines! Before you head over, here are some single varietal wines you may find, but don’t forget to check out the blends too!
2012 Andeluna 1300 – A recent WineCollective favourite!
Uco Valley, Mendoza
Fruit steps up to the plate on the palate! We still find the red apples, but there is an appearance of cranberry and red cherry too. The acidity is a welcome surprise, it takes a few moments before your cheeks start to salivate. The wine is tense and sharp across the palate with a medium + body. The tannins feel like fine sandpaper and the finish lingers briefly with a bit of the earthy notes from the nose and cocoa dust.
Fairly light in the mouth for a Malbec, the tannins never dominate the palate allowing those riper fruits, spice and herb to show through with a subtle cocoa powder component before finishing on a mild, bitter herb note. Overall, a lighter style for Malbec, but a great intro to the grape or a perfect summer sipper when its too hot for a heavier bottle.
Find these wines and more on the WineCollective store and we hope you enjoy celebrating Malbec Day along with us! Cheers!
P.S. Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Gift her wine with our special Mother’s Day package, now available!