February 8, 2017
There is no denying that Malbec is one of the most popular grape varieties and it comes as no surprise that Argentinian Malbec is often on our customer’s wish list when popping into Cellar 21. So, why is it so popular and what’s the story behind it?
Malbec was initially planted in Bordeaux and also had a home in the Cahors region of France. Today, it is synonymous with Argentina, in particular the world renowned Mendoza wine. Malbec was first planted in Mendoza in the mid-19th century when vine cuttings were brought across from France. The vines began to thrive and the Argentinian Malbec following began.
Mendoza has the highest plantings of Malbec in Argentina, with many vines planted at over 1000m, some of the highest altitudes in the world. Usually, grapes are unable to ripen above this height as the temperatures are too low, however, Malbec flourishes at higher altitudes and in Mendoza the higher altitudes help reduce humidity and the thin air helps the sunlight penetrate and ripen the grapes.
Mendoza is vast on European scale, in fact it is just under the size of England, therefore it is no surprise that the soil types and terroir vary throughout the region, however, the majority of soils are alluvial due to the water runoff from the Andes which helps irrigate the soils.
Argentinian Malbec is renowned for its dark fruit characters – blackberry, plum and black cherry. Subtle spice, chocolate, leather and violets are also typical. They are usually full bodied with medium-high tannins. Malbec is now Mendoza’s most widely planted grape variety and we can see why, when it suits the terroir so well and produces such incredible wines.
As with every wine, we love a food pairing. When it comes to the ‘Mighty Mendoza Malbec’ there is not greater pairing than with a juicy steak. Malbec calls out for lean meaty dishes, think beef and lamb. Earthy flavours also pair wonderfully well with Malbec, try with mushrooms and roasted vegetables. I’m thinking a medium rare sirloin steak with all the trimmings alongside some roasted root vegetables… delicious!
We stock some fabulous Mendoza Malbecs including:
Kaiken Reserva Malbec 2015
Office favourite, great value for money and really packs a punch.
Aruma Malbec 2014
Chateau Lafite’s Argentinian property. Everything you’d expect from an Argentinian Malbec and more, impressive nose of juicy red and black berry fruits with a touch of chocolate and game.
Amancaya Malbec/Cabernet 2013
Flagship wine from Bodegas Caro. This Malbec blend is charming with a luscious velvety texture.
Caro, Bodegas Caro 2012
James Suckling awarded this wine 98 points and claims, “The best wine ever from the Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena winery.” Praise indeed!
All our Mendoza Malbec’s can be found on our website. If you need any help please do let me know, call me in the office on 01325 776446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org