Originally from Cahors in France, where it is known as Côt, Malbec has become one of the six varietals permitted in the blending of Bordeaux reds. Similarly, it used in blending in the Loire Valley to flesh out Cabernet Franc. But Malbec has really found its voice as a single varietal wine in the New World; specifically in the region of Mendoza in Argentina.
Argentina now has the greatest number of hectares planted with Malbec in the world, and has truly embraced the grape as their national wine. In addition to this, Argentina boasts some of the world’s highest altitude vineyards, and it is this altitude that allows them to produce Malbec in such a stunning way. In warmer climates, Malbec can produce low-acid, jammy wines, that lack structure and intensity. But due to the cooling effect of the higher altitude sites, the wines are able to ripen well, while maintaining good levels of acidity. Argentinian Malbec usually shows dark fruit, plum and blackberry characters with earthy notes and subtle, sweet spice. A perfect wine to handle the rigours of a backyard barbeque!