AWC Blog

Grapes to Know: Malbec

The world of wine is so vast, there is so much to know, so much to taste, and it’s really easy to get tripped up or overwhelmed by all the information out there. It is made even more difficult because of the so many falsehoods (some intentional and some accidental) that are passed along to you, the wine lover.

I was once ‘schooled’ by a rep many years ago that Malbec was called that because the grape did so poorly in France that they called it ‘Mal‘, ripped up all their vines and planted it in Argentina where it grew beautifully. The only truth in that ‘schooling’ is that it was indeed the French that brought Malbec to Argentina in the early 1800’s.

Before that day, and still to this very day, Malbec is used by many of the Chateaus in Bordeaux to create their sublime wines, not to mention my favorite region for Malbec which is Cahors in the south of France. Try a Cahors with 5 to even 50 years of age on it and your life will change! But French Malbec is very different from Argentina in that it shows less fruit (colder climate) and more base and earth notes.

Which ever style you like, French: more earth, less fruit or Argentina: bigger style, riper fruit, or even American: ripe fruit, softer style, more medium bodied – I encourage you to globe hop with the grape which is anything but Mal!

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