Grape Varieties: Malbec


The old grape variety Malbec comes from France , where it used to be very widespread. However, times have changed: Today France is only the second largest growing region for Malbec, far behind Argentina, where it thrives in the warm and dry climate at the foot of the Andes. The Argentinian wine region of Mendoza, for example, has dark Malbec red wines with strong character that are unparalleled. Meanwhile, the former French one is considered a typical Argentine drop.

Old and new home

Because the grape was found throughout France in earlier times, almost 400 different synonyms for the grape variety circulated. For example, the name Pressac is known, which can be traced back to the former owner of Château de Pressac. A Monsieur Malbec cultivated numerous vines of this variety northeast of Bordeaux and was the inspiration for today’s official name. Originally, however, the variety comes from the southwestern French wine-growing region of Cahors, where it bore the name Côt and in some cases still bears it. The so-called “black wine” from Malbec is pressed here: a color-intensive, sometimes somewhat angular and barren red wine, which, however, gains great delicacy with the storage. Malbec is also one of the six blending partners for the Bordeaux-Wine are allowed. Why this grape only plays a subordinate role in France today is partly due to the frost of 1956, to which large parts of the vines fell victim. After the harvest failed, many winegrowers, especially in Bordeaux, planted their vineyards with the more pleasing Merlot. In Argentina, however, the climate is drier and sunnier, which is why this grape feels particularly comfortable here.

Malbec: Fascinatingly idiosyncratic

A successful Malbec wine is powerful and dark with a purple-black color. Argentinean Malbec wines in particular are famous for their spicy fruit and their full taste. These grapes from Argentina are often very stylistically reminiscent of Bordeaux wines. The bouquet surprises with cool spice, interspersed with a hint of blueberries, laurel, juniper, spices, cherries and dark chocolate. High quality Malbecs can mature for decades. Usually they only show their full splendor in old age.

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