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The making of Argentina, Malbec

So, in honor of “World Malbec Day,” April 17th, I thought I would share a bit about this wonderful grape and the wine it creates.

Malbec grapes are small and very dark purple in color and have very thick skins. It is an indigenous grape to France, where it is called Cot (sounds like ‘coat’) and is used primarily in blending, although it is one of the original five Bordeaux grapes. The vines are susceptible to rot and other wine diseases and many of the vines in France were wiped out in the mid 50’s. Cahors is the only area in France that produces a Malbec varietal wine.

Argentina is currently the largest producer of Malbec wine, then France and the U.S.

In the mid-1800s, a French botanist planted the first Malbec vines in Mendoza. The vines thrived in the hot climate and high altitude of Argentina. Very little Malbec wine was exported for the first 100 years after being planted in Argentina. In the early 2000s, U.S. wine drinkers became aware of this approachable wine. It is now one of the most popular red wines in the U.S. and three-fourth of Argentinian vineyards are planted in Malbec.

In general, the common flavors are red plum, blackberry, vanilla, sweet tobacco, and cocoa, with herbal and spice notes, and medium tannins. Warm climate wines, like Argentina, have primarily dark fruit flavors. Cool climate Malbecs, like those from France, have more flavors of red fruit.

Malbec wine is one of those that will go well with grilled meats, rich dishes, but also goes well with veal and chicken. It is also a great choice if you do not know what people will enjoy drinking. To serve you should put the wine in the refrigerator for half an hour, open it up and leave it for half an hour before serving. It really is best decanted.

Malbec wines are reasonably priced, almost all are under $35 and many great ones under $20.

Stop in uncorked @ 5700 w. poison spider rd, casper, wy on April 17th from 4 to 8pm and sample some of these great wines.


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