Malbec in France is one of the 5 recognized Bordeaux blend grapes, generally grown in the Cahors region and GENERALLY quite leathery and acidic, with flavours of tart currant, black plum, black pepper, and spice. Best used as a blending component. In ARGENTINA, Malbec is fruit-forward with flavours of blackberry, plum, and black cherry, nuanced hints of milk chocolate, cocoa powder, violet flowers, leather, and, if well-oaked, a sweet tobacco finish. While a French native, Malbec has found glorious expression in the remote valley of Mendoza (though Stellenbosch is slowly cottoning on to its potential – see Winshaw). The reasons for its particular penchant for this Spanish-speaking valley are three-fold: 1. It is characterized as a desert with 225mm of annual rainfall, though augmented with melting snow. So, just the right amount of struggle. 2. The desert-like conditions make for a virus-free zone, with Malbec particularly prone to disease. 3. At about 1000 to 12000m above sea level, Medoza experiences a wide diurnal range between day and night time temperatures, making for higher levels of phenolic ripeness and retaining natural acidity. Thus, Mendoza and Malbec are a winning combination, as you well know.
Given your shopping habits, we’ve compiled a selection of our favourite Malbecs at varying price points for your consideration and suggest you stock up for Saturday’s game against South Africa… we threw in a few South African Malbecs should you be so inclined.
The 2018 vintage was characterized by excellent climactic conditions throughout the growing season. Temperatures within the historical averages, minimal rainfall, and a larger thermal amplitude compared to previous years resulted in a characteristic growing season for Mendoza. The excellent health conditions of the vineyard allowed for a harvest of high-quality fruit with good colour and concentration. Red violet colour, expressive fresh and floral. Cherry aromas and hints of vanilla. Medium to full bodied, subtle tannins, elegant, delicate and energetic.