Celebrate World Malbec Day!
If you planned on having a glass of wine tonight, better make it a glass of Malbec. Today is World Malbec Day, and wine lovers everywhere should be celebrating!
No matter how familiar you are with the grape, when you think of Malbec, most likely your mind associates the varietal with Argentina, where it is responsible for putting that country’s wines on everyone’s radar, although it actually originated in the Cahors region of southwest France. It is also one of the grape varieties approved for blending in the Bordeaux region. While not as prevalent in there as it once was (mainly due to climate challenges), Malbec grapes are still heavily leveraged in Cahors and must account for 70% of the wine in their red blends. It is now one of the most popular grapes in the world, produced in many regions and climates, in a variety of styles from inky, dry red, to plush and fruity, to rosé, to sparkling, and even some fortified dessert wines.
We who love Malbec wines enjoy them for the dark fruity flavors and deep purple color. They pair extremely well with the bold flavors of grilled meats and spicy dishes (keep that in mind when planning your dinner parties). Malbecs also tend to have good aging potential due to the strong presence of tannins.
So wherever you are, let’s raise a glass in celebration of World Malbec Day! Here are a few of our picks from around the globe.
Single Leaf Malbec 2008 - There are a wide number of Malbecs made in California. Single Leaf doesn’t produce a ton of the grape, but it’s a real treat when they do. This variation is a little different in that it doesn’t tend to be as jammy as some of the others, and has a lovely spice background. There is pleasant grip that is fresh and surprising.
Doolhof Malbec 2009 – With a delicate balance of dark fruits and spice, this selection is unique because it is the first time that we have seen a Malbec come out of South Africa. It’s a lovely alternative when you are looking to try something out of the norm.
Pearmund Cellars Malbec 2009 – Pearmund is a great winery out in Virginia that produce what I consider a great local bottle of Malbec. Their variation is extremely smooth and light. With strawberry and raspberry flavors it pairs very well at home with a piece of pork or roasted turkey. Try it out and I think you will agree! Medalist in the 2012 NY International Wine Competition.
Terra Sparkling Malbec 2010 – This is a sparkling Malbec out of Mendoza, which is the largest wine region in Argentina, with one of the highest elevations for even grape ripening. I especially love this because it can pair with lighter dishes, but still maintains the boldness of a Malbec, and can stand up to heartier meals, like a grilled steak. Has a lovely balance between sugar and acidity. Slightly tannic at the end. A unique alternative to Champagne and other white sparkling wines!
Hacienda Del Plata 2010 – Also from Mendoza, Hacienda Del Plata is a family owned winery creating some lovely Malbec variations. This wine is full of dark fruity flavors of blackberry and cherry. It is on the chewy side, and you can definitely taste tannins at the finish, which I enjoy.
Trivento Reserve Malbec 2010- Strong fruit aroma of cherry and plum. There are some vanilla notes present which come from aging 6 months in French oak barrels, for those who enjoy a more toasty red. Tannins give it a nice structure and finish. This wine is known to be a great value for the price.