A punchy, smokey, fruity grape with one foot in the Old World and a bright future in the New – Let’s talk about Malbec.
Once an underdog, now nearly ubiquitous with 21 million cases produced globally. Malbec might seem straightforwardly fruity but there’s so much more to it than that.
Malbec? I know this one. Argentina, right?
Absolutely. But the Malbec story doesn’t begin in South America. Malbec was originally planted in France, and it’s still grown there, especially in Cahors in south-west France, where it’s known as Auxerrois or Côt Noir.
Why is Argentina the place I thought of?
Well, Malbec needs a lot of sunlight it’s susceptible to quite a few diseases, which means it can be a tricky grape to grow in a European climate. In Argentina, the climate is much more favourable to grape growing. Although it’s been grown in Argentina for more than a century, it’s really only in the last few decades that Malbec has become a major player in this region.
So is Argentinian Malbec the best?
It depends on how you like it. The South American sun leaves the grapes bursting with big dark fruit flavours, full of smokey, chocolaty notes. Cooler climes produce grapes with more acidity and tarter fruit flavours, over hints of pepper and spice. This versatility is part of what makes Malbec so popular.
What if I like both styles?
Then Malbec still has you covered! The grape loves high elevations (again, plenty of those in Argentina) and the vast changes in temperature that occur in these climates, provide a great intensity of flavour. Because the popularity of Malbec has surged relatively recently, we’re still discovering new ways to change and advance its flavours.
Exciting stuff. Time for a glass?
Well, we’re a wine company, so we’re unlikely to say no to that! If you’d like to learn more about Malbec and try some of the incredible examples we have to offer, pop in, grab anyone in a purple apron, and let’s have a chat!