Malbec World Day is this Friday, April 17th. Grammatically, this day drives me crazy (can we call it World Malbec Day instead?) But from a wine perspective, I love that the focus of this annual celebration is squarely on Argentinian Malbec. Over the last 20 years, plantings of Malbec in the south American country increased by 171%. Just last year, 80 million litres of Malbec were exported to more than 120 countries. That’s an astronomical amount of juice.
Malbec is a fruity red wine with dark fruit flavours of blackberry and plum. It’s got weighty tannins and a full body with varying acidity levels. The acidity levels are usually dependent upon the elevation of the vineyards. For instance, the higher the elevation = the wider variance of daytime/nighttime temperatures = more acidity. Malbec is commonly a single varietal wine but is also one of only a few grapes allowed in a red Bordeaux blend.
You may have noticed that wine gets better when you familiarize yourself with geography. Don’t be afraid to pull up google maps while you’re browsing wine labels, it benefits you to know that Mendoza is the key region you want to see when seeking out a Malbec. It’s even better to be familiar with the Maipu Valley, Lujan de Cuyo and Uco Valley – all situated within Mendoza and producing stellar varietal expressions, especially at higher altitudes.
For this article, I’m exploring Malbecs from Argentina. Malbec as a single varietal can also be found in France (labelled Cahors). However, Malbec World Day is all about celebrating the Argentinian version, so that’s where we’re focusing 🙂
TRIVENTO TRIBU MALBEC
An uplifting showing at an affordable price. Mid-weight body with juicy flavours of blueberries and plums.
Great on its own or paired with a go-to weekday meal. Try it with roasted chicken and your fave root veggies. Or get creative with a DIY pizza night. Or we all have those days when just a simple pasta with tomato sauce goes a long way.
LUIGI BOSCA MALBEC
A flagship expression with flavours of red plum, raspberry and cherry layered with supportive pepper spice and cedar. 12 months in French oak provides an elegant structure in addition to a few years of aging potential.
Made from 35 year old estate vines in both Lujan de Cuyo and Uco Valley.
CATENA HIGH MOUNTAIN VINES MALBEC
Four generations of exploration has led to the Catena family’s success in higher altitude terroir.
The High Mountain Vines Malbec is delicate yet concentrated balancing robust red and dark fruits with soft florals liked violet and lavender. Evolution and a lengthy finish show well-integrated tannins with supportive notes of leather and cocoa.
A blend of grapes from 3 vineyards ranging in elevation from 920m to 1,450m: Lunlunta, El Cepillo & Gualtallary.
ZUCCARDI Q MALBEC
Uco Valley, Mendoza
From carefully selected vineyards in the Uco Valley, Zuccardi has a knack for finding elegance.
The Q Malbec is a jammy version with blackberry and blueberry on the forefront. Soft and silky tannins lead to rounded flavours of chocolate and tobacco. Incredibly structured with an elegant finish.
Made from grapes grown at altitudes of 980m & 1,100m from Paraje Latamira and Vista Flores in the Uco Valley.