(Malbec pronunciation: Mal-beck)
Malbec is a red grape variety long known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. Originally from southwestern France, Malbec has become the flagship grape of Argentinean wines. Argentina now has over three times more acres of Malbec planted than France does, and most people around the world now know the grape in the oaky, ripe and rich style made in this South American country. Despite its popularity in Argentina and France, it often only makes up a small percentage of Bordeaux blends.
The dark, thin-skinned Malbec grapes have varying flavors dependent on the climate in which they are grown. In its most popular location, Mendoza, Argentina, the dry climate, sunny weather, and high altitude contribute to the grapes bold, dark fruit flavors. Argentine Malbec flavors include black cherry, blackberry, and plum, with subtle hints of cocoa powder, violet flowers, and leather. In locations with cooler climates, such as France, Patagonia, and Rio Negro, the Malbec grapes produce a rather different taste compared to Mendoza. French Malbec is described as rustic and tannic, known for its flavors of tart currant, black plum, black pepper and various spices. The Malbec wines produced in these cooler climates are typically considered good, but less exuberant than the Mendoza Malbec. Very aromatic, with definitive floral and exotic characteristics, the ultra concentrated berry and jam flavors vary uniquely.
This full-bodied red wine has a rather quick finish, therefore, it pairs delightfully with leaner red meats as well as funky flavors such as blue cheese, and rustic flavors found in mushrooms and specific spices like cumin. We have featured Malbec in our Gold, Garagiste and International Wine Clubs for our members. Cheers!
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