Malbec - Red Wine Grape

Malbec, Argentina's signature grape...

Malbec probably originated in southwestern France before expanding to the Bordeaux region in the 1780s and then to Touraine in northwestern France. Although it is losing popularity in these regions, Malbec is widely grown in Argentina, where it is the most popular red grape variety, in Chile, in Australia, and in the United States.

Classic Image of Malbec (Auxerrois ou Côt rouge Grapes) Auxerrois ou Côt rouge image first published in Victor Rendu, Ampelographie francaise, comprenant la statistique, la description des meilleurs cepages, l'analyse chimique du sol et les procedes de culture et de vinification des principaux vignobles de la France. [2nd ed.]Paris: Masson, 1857.

Illustration courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Wine Literature of the World website.

Malbec’s characteristics vary greatly depending on where it is gown and how it is transformed. Generally it produces a light style, well colored sweet wine that tastes of plums, berries, and spice. Malbec wines mature quickly and are best consumed young. Malbec grapes are usually blended with other varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot, and Petit Verdot to make Bordeaux style wines, in which their role is to add color, fruit, and acidity. Malbec reaches its peak of excellence in the wines of St Emilion and Graves.

Try an Argentine Malbec with Leg of Lamb, Roast Chicken, or Roast Beef. Try a Malbec-based Bordeaux with large Game, Beef Stew, Duck or Goose.

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