With international Malbec day only a few days away, April the 17th, here at Doorstep wines we thought it was the perfect opportunity to write a few words about one of our, and seemingly one of your, favourite grape varieties at the moment. If ever there was a wine to help you unwind after a long day then this would be one of my go to choices.
Malbec has been growing in popularity over the last few years and a large part of this has been the standard of wines coming out from Argentina and in particular the Mendoza region. Originally from Bordeaux in France, nearly 75% of the worlds Malbec now comes from Argentina although it is now being increasingly planted in other parts of the world such as New Zealand, Australia, California and South Africa in particular. The varietal was first introduced to Argentina over 150 years ago and the conditions for growing this sometimes, difficult grape are more than favourable. It is susceptible to rot, and the Andes provide the perfect protection for the vines from rain and moisture with many vineyards located above 1000 metres above sea level in the foothills of the Andes.
Malbec is also a great food match for red meat, the rise in South American style Rodizio’s and American burger joints has also helped the rise in consumption of this full-bodied red. Malbec will vary significantly depending on where it is grown but the South American style Malbec with its full-bodied style and dark fruit characteristics has definitely hit the spot for the UK market. As the wines from Argentina are generally lower in acidity and higher in alcohol, they are also made to be ready to drink although they will benefit from a little time to breathe.
So, I suppose the question is which Malbec to go for? To help below is couple of our favourites below and we think these will help you grow to love Malbec as much as we do!
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A really gutsy Malbec from Gustavo Caligiore in Lujan de Cujo (Mendoza). A wine of real character – a deep, purply red with a gorgeously dark fruited nose. In the mouth it’s rich and fruity, supported by gentle tannins and there’s reassuring sweetness on the finish. Me gusto mucho!.
Recognising the worldwide popularity of (Argentinian) Malbec, this dynamic winery has tried its hand at crafting their own version under African skies. The project has been a great success; the result being a deep-coloured, full-fruited red with ripe berry and violet notes. It's smooth and appealingly juicy on the palate with soft tannins and a firm finish.