Tomorrow is Malbec World Day (yep that’s the correct order of words!). To celebrate the day, we chat about all things Malbec: the grapes, the wine, the synonyms, the regions and as always, some recommendations from French wine importers in Australia.
Malbec is a purple grape variety used in the making of red wine. The grapes are often an inky colour and have robus tannins.
Malbec wines are tannic and coloured. Malbec wine is a lighter style with good colour. It’s a soft wine, not very aromatic but revealed berries on the palate.
Other names for Malbec
Côt, according to French ampelographer Pierre Galet, was likely the original name for Malbec. He also thinks that as you see Auxerrois as a synonym, it’s likely that Northern Burgundy is where the varietal was born.
Malbec is of course grown in France but it’s in Argentina that the largest areas of Malbec vines are found.
Malbec in France
According to the 2000 census, there are 15,000 acres (6100 hectares) of Malbec vines left in France. Most of these vines are found in France’s South West. It’s mostly in Cahors that you will find Malbec plantings because according to the AOC regulations, Malbec must constitute at least 70% of the Cahors wine blend.
It is also permitted in smaller quantities in the AOCs of:
🍇Coteaux du Loir
🍇Côtes de Malepère
🍇Côtes de Duras,
🍇Côtes du Marmandais,
🍇Le vin pétillant AOC de Saumur
Malbec is also permitted in the Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS) of Côtes du Brulhois.
Malbec around the world
Argentina has more than 25,000 hectares of Malbec making it the largest Malbec growing country in the world.
Malbec is also grown in the United States especially in Washington State, Rogue and Umpqua regions of Oregon, the Grand Valley AVA of Colorado, the Long Island AVA of New York, Oregon, Texas, South Ontario, and Virginia.
Malbec is also planted in Australia, South Africa, the Baja Californie region of Mexico, Brazil, South Bolivia, British Colombia, New Zealand, in the North-East of Italy and in Peru.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MALBEC WORLD DAY
2 French wine importers in Australia share their recommendations for Malbec World Day.
Airoldi Fine Wines
NOTE: Use the code Marseillaise for a discount of 20% on your orders at Airoldi Fine Wines
Daniel Airoldi from Airoldi Fine Wines shares his Malbec recommendation for World Malbec Day.
How are Australian Malbecs different to French ones?
In general, Australian Malbecs are more ripe black fruits, and it depends of course on the producer, the wood is more marked, giving the Malbec a more modern aspect.
Which French Malbec do you recommend for World Malbec Day?
Le Château La Reyne ‘Le Prestige’ 2017 which is 100% Malbec (aka Cot) coming from the cradle of this grape variety, Cahors in the southwest of France.
What would you serve with this Malbec?
A petit salé which is a regional dish. Pork that is salted for a few hours and served with lentils. The tannins of this wine will marry with the richness of the dish perfectly!
Margot from Le Plonque talks Malbec ahead of Malbec World Day.
Malbec is a red variety, the grape has an inky dark colour and is known for its robust tannins.
Malbec has recently been made very famous by Argentina that produces beautiful reds, however, it has been used for years in France, especially in Bordeaux blends.
Malbec is one of the only 6 types of grapes allowed in the production of Bordeaux wines. In France, Malbec is not only used in Bordeaux but also in the south of France such as Cahors.
What bottle should we open for Malbec World Day?
At Le Plonque, we recommend Château Coutet 2011, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Malbec from Saint Emilion. Complex, its nose is very fruity with hints of spices. This wine has a great structure and a perfect balance, it is the perfect marriage between Malbec’s robustness, merlot’s elegance, and cabernet’s power.
Château Coutet is ready to drink now or could be kept a few more years. It is available on our website for delivery anywhere in Australia.
Do you like Malbec? Which Malbec will you drink for Malbec World Day?
If you like French wine, you might like to read our other wine articles: