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Malbec - the mighty grape



Malbec wine is deep in color and full bodied. The grapes are small, dark and have very thick skins, producing a fruity wine with medium tannins. They are a bit fussy to grow and produce smaller quantities of grapes than most wine grapes. They do well in climates that are sunny but cool at nights, so high elevation growing is a benefit, making the Mendoza region of Argentina a perfect spot to grown Malbec.

Argentina started growing this wine grape in the 18th century, before that it was primarily a blending grape in traditional wine country. This grape has a very different flavor profile when grown in Argentina’s wine regions. It is plummy and soft. In France the grapes produce a tart and savory wine. Although common flavors such as coffee, leather and black pepper are found in both. Warmer climate Malbecs are filled with dark fruit flavors and cooler climate Malbecs have more black cherry and raspberry flavors.


A few facts:

  • This is one of the most popular wines in the United States.

  • It is commonly known as "Cot" in France.

  • There are several delicious rose’ wines made from Malbec, which are crisp, fresh and floral in flavor.


This grape has a long history and a very versatile flavor profile deserving recognition. Malbec is sometimes called Cot in France. It is one of the top five blending grapes there. Because of the grapes lack of pest resistance and fussiness to growing when too hot or cold, it never became a top French single varietal. Malbec found the perfect place in Mendoza, Argentina. First planted by French botanist, Michel Pouget, in the 1800s, Argentina is now the leading producer of Malbec in the world.

 

Malbec pairs beautifully with smoky, spicey red meat, or grilled lamb chops, braised pork and is wonderful with blue cheese and portobello mushrooms. It should be served around 65 degrees, so stick in your refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving.

As they say in Argentina, “Disfrutar!” or “Enjoy!

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