April 17th is Malbec Day – a day entirely dedicated to celebrating the grape responsible for creating the delicious wine we know and love.
Originally grown in south-west France, Malbec was famously made in the Cahors region of France, where the grape is often referred to as “Côt”. Fast-forward to the mid-19th century, and elsewhere in the world, the Malbec grape was experiencing exponential development – on the soils of Argentina, thanks to a French soil expert by the name of Michel Aimé Pouget. By the time phylloxera had appeared, devastating French viticulture, Malbec had adapted quickly to its new home in South America.
April 17th is marked as the day that Argentina’s wine industry was transformed by Pouget and his efforts with the Malbec grape – an iconic variety which is now seen as the international flagship of Argentina’s wine scene.
Here’s some of our favourites:
Bodega Ruca Malen
A premium example of Argentina’s signature Malbec grape, from boutique winery in Argentina’s most classic wine producing region. The Upper Mendoza Valley has gained world wide fame for its stunning, full-bodied reds. Bodega Ruca Malen’s Malbec vines grow at high altitudes, thus helping to combine power with elegance. With vibrant, cherry-plum notes and a spicy, liquorice finish, this wine is moreish and delicious
Malbec Reserva Fairtrade 2017
Medium and lively ruby, this wine is juicy and with high concentration of fruit on the palate. The flavours of blackberries, ripe cherries and plums are ripe and pure – characteristic of this high-altitude valley – and enhanced by a tiny, yet tasty, sweet spicy note! An exceptionally pure and refreshing Malbec – a great example of this Faritrade cooperative winery in Argentina’s remote Famatina Valley.
A fresh, red fruited, textured nose, with some dark pepper and a hint of pithy orange zest. Juicy, mouth-wateringly so, with supple red berries on the palate and a darker seam to show it means business. Made from ungrafted, pre-phylloxera vines. The ratio here is one vine per bottle – extraordinary at this price!
Kinien Malbec 2012
Bodega Ruca Malen
Unique and brooding wine made only in exceptional vintages, from hand selected Malbec grown in Argentina’s classic Mendoza province. Conditions have to be perfect for Bodega Ruca Malen to make ‘Kinien’ (meaning ‘unique’); a Mendoza Malbec that wins awards year after year. Grown at high altitudes that concentrate flavour and aroma in the grapes, Kinien is a complex and intense wine with exceptional freshness and plenty of dark, spicy fruit.
Intipalka Malbec 2016
Hailing a touch further north from Argentina, this Peruvian Malbec is a recent addition to our portfolio of wines – and definitely one to add to the “must try” list. ‘Intipalka’ means ‘valley of the sun’ in Quechua. Ripe and savoury, this Malbec combines cherry and blueberry flavours with notes of liquorice and leather.