What is World Malbec Day?
World Malbec Day isn’t just a seemingly random day to sip on wine. (Though any reason to drink wine is a good one if you ask us.) April 17th actually marks a fateful day in wine history, commemorating Argentina’s wine renaissance. This was a time when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry in 1853, by ordering a botanist to transport and plant the French grape to South American soil.
Why does it matter?
Had it not been for Argentina, Malbec may not have reached the level of popularity it has today. (Or even survived European crop diseases and plagues.) You see, due to Malbec’s low resistance to weather and pests, it never became a top French varietal. Yet Malbec thrived well in Argentinian vineyards back in the mid-1800’s—and continues on to this day.
The main fruit profile of Argentina’s Malbec is blackberry, plum, and black cherry. The subtle, nuanced flavors can be milk chocolate, cocoa powder, violet flowers, leather, and a sweet tobacco finish depending on the amount of oak aging.
The flavor profile of a French Malbec is not quite as fruit-forward as it’s South American cousin. From the Cahors region, it is leathery, with flavors of tart currant, black plum, and savory bitterness at the start. From the Loire region, varietals have a higher acidity, which attributes to flavors describes as akin to black pepper and spice. Because of their moderate balance of tannin and acidity with lower alcohol, French Malbec wines tend to age longer.
Are the fruit centered bodies of Argentinian Malbecs not for you? Chateau de Mercues Malbec 2011 is a great choice. This Cahors wine has received exceptional scores from various critics, ranking a 93 by Wine Enthusiast.
Our Recommended Malbec Wines
Aguaribay Malbec 2013
This Mendoza wine is ruby red with aromas of crushed blackberry fig, menthol, tobacco leaf and nut with chocolaty oak flavors. Dusty tannins on the finish leave a lingering impression.
Algodon Premium Black Label 2012
This represents the best selection from 1946 Malbec vines whose low yield produces a full concentration of fruit and flavor. It has spent 24 months in new French Oak.
Dante Robino Gran Dante
This wine is bright red with subtle toast and coffee notes from the oak. It is intense on the palate and rich with firm tannins that promise blackberry and a hint of violet.
Be sure to stop into your nearest Spec’s, and ask our wine gurus for a recommendation so you can celebrate World Malbec Day like the best of them!