Today is Malbec World Day. On April 17, we celebrate the Malbec grape to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry. He asked French soil expert Michel Aime Pouget to bring new wine vines to Argentina, and one of them was Malbec. Malbec flourished in Argentina, and it’s a good thing… several years later France suffered a terrible freeze which wiped out a lot of the Malbec vines. So in honor of this wonderful wine, here are some of my favorite Malbec wines.
Malbec is recognizable by it’s dark purple color. Easy to spot in most blind tastings. This Las Moras Black Label Malbec is one of my go-to Malbec wines and deserved the frist spot on the list. Coming in under $18, it’s no wonder this wine is so popular. It’s a beautiful inky purple color in the glass and your nose will detect chocolate and spice. Juicy bold fruit flavors, more spice on the palate that lead to a great finish. A great wine for barbecue meats.
Although Malbec is becoming known around the world as Argentina’s grape, Malbec actually originated in France. It is one of the grapes allowed in Bordeaux, and can make up a small amount of a Bordeaux blend. If you see a wine labeled Cahors, then it’s a Malbec. Because France labels the wine by regions, and not grape varietal, it may be a little harder for you to know a French Malbec. Well, here’s a delicious example of a Malbec wine from Cahors. The Chateau de Haute Serre is a full-bodied Malbec with gorgeous dark luscious fruit flavors, spice and a hint of mint. Grilled beef, grilled lamb, grilled pork… I think you get the picture. BBQ meat is a great match.
Here’s another one of my favorites. The Norton Privada Malbec from Argentina, is Argentina Malbec at its best. Malbec loves the heat and maybe that’s why it found its home in Argentina. The Norton Privada combines plum and blueberry fruit flavors, again some spice, and a toasty vanilla flavor from well done oak aging.
And last but not least, if you want an easy to drink Argentinian Malbec that is easy on the palate and easy on the wallet, try this Argento Reserve Malbec. I know I have a bottle and I paid $15.99 for it. Great price, great wine. Black cherries, vanilla, spice, and a rich dark color, this is a Malbec you won’t feel guilty about opening any night of the week.
My new wine of the week…. it may surprise you….
Carmenere. I don’t drink a lot of Carmenere but on the suggestion of my friend Rayell, I tried this La Capitana Carmenere from Chile. It was lovely. A hint of a cigar box aroma on the nose, rich dark plum fruits, and chocolate notes. Carmenere is a good sturdy wine which comes from the Cabernet family. The word originates from the French word crimson. In the past, it has been mistaken for Merlot. Personally I find Carmenere a little dryer than Merlot, but this was exceptionally good, and under $19, made for great value.
So in honor of World Malbec Day, enjoy a Malbec this weekend and discover a great grape you may have been missing out on.
Till next week, Cheers