The tale of the Malbec grape presents much more than meets the eye, as many tales in the world of wine do. This unique varietal originated in France, the Sud-Ouest, to be exact. Malbec was once recognized as one of Bordeaux’s top five blending grapes! However, this did not last long as its poor resistance to weather and pests become more apparent over time.
Argentina To The Rescue
Essentially, the modern Malbec grape can attribute all of its fame to the wine-growing regions of Argentina. The temperamental grape was found to be much better suited to the terroir of Mendoza, Argentina. The New World region was introduced to the varietal in 1853 and, over nearly a century, became the most widely planted grape in Argentina. Today there are nearly 100,000 acres of Malbec planted worldwide, 76,700 of these acres belonging to Argentina!
A Versatile Palate
The Malbec grape is easy to pair with your favorite dishes. Most often, a bottle of Malbec expresses dark, ripe fruit aromas such as plum and black currant. These fruit flavors are often balanced with ideal acidity levels and the perfect touch of oak. This balance makes Malbec an easy wine to pair with most dishes. To truly experience the value of this grape, try pairing a bottle with grilled burgers, holiday feasts, or even the unique flavors of blue cheese!
Did you know that ‘Malbec’ is just a nickname? This grape is identified under a number of different aliases, including Bergerac, Pécharmant, Montravel, Côtes-de-Duras, Côtes-du-Marmandais, Buzet, Brulhois, Coteaux du Quercy, Pressac in the Libourne region, Cahors Plant or Roy Plant! Surprisingly, these names barely scratch the surface. The name Malbec is said to have originated from a Hungarian winegrower named Malbek. Legend has it Mr. Malbek is responsible for the widespread of the varietal throughout France. It is safe to say the nickname is here to stay!
World Malbec Day
These days, it seems as if there is a holiday to celebrate everything from avocados to wearing pajamas to work! However, there is a bit of history behind April 17. In 1853 the French agronomist Michel Aimé Pouget was hired in Mendoza, Argentina, with hopes of boosting the countries wine industry. On April 17, 1853, the governor of Mendoza submitted an official bill to the Provincial Legislature. Later turned into a law, the bill allowed for French vine cuttings to be imported to Argentina soil. This act was revolutionary, setting the scene for the future successes of both Argentina and the Malbec grape. The Wines of Argentina felt there was no better day to celebrate this unique grape, and we’d have to agree!
Here at Benchmark Wine Group, we appreciate every chance we get to celebrate the vast world of wine! Our cellar features amazing bottles of Malbec from many world-class producers and regions around the world. Explore our favorites and grab a bottle for a celebration of your own!
Do you have a favorite bottle of Malbec? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Established in 2002, Benchmark Wine Group is the leading source of fine and rare wine retailers, restaurants, and collectors around the world. Based in Napa Valley, we acquire the most sought-after wines from private individuals and professional contacts, but only when provenance can be verified by our team of acquisition professionals. Our staff draws on decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our clients. Benchmarkwine.com offers 24-hour access to our cellar, displaying inventory in real-time.