Malbec World Day is celebrated annually on April 17th. With Passover and Easter and other events going on, this variety’s special day was set aside, temporarily, at the shop. In the world of “better late than never,” we will be celebrating Malbec Word Day this coming Friday and Saturday, in-store, and will be featuring three Malbecs for your tasting enjoyment. To round out the tasting with a white wine, we will have Argentinian Malbec’s dear friend, Torrontés.
Malbec World Day was established in 2011 as a global initiative by the Wines of Argentina organization, to bring Argentinian wine into the spotlight. Argentina is the main producer of wines made from Malbec, with 110,000 acres of the variety planted.
The true origins of the Malbec grape are in southwest France, as we wrote about in our blog of October 2020. In keeping with its origins, we will also be including a wine from Cahors, France, for you to compare and contrast to the Argentinian versions of Malbec.
From Argentina, may we present the 2020 Familia Mayol Malbec Single Vineyard from Valle de Uco in Mendoza? The wine is 100 percent Malbec, from high altitude and organically farmed vineyards. The wine is deep purple in color with aromas of purple flowers and black fruit, like blackberries, blueberries, and black raspberries. There are also hints of earth and vanilla. The flavors echo the aromatics, along with black cherries and dark cocoa. The wine has bright acidity with medium-plus body, culminating in a fairly long finish. This is definitely a wine to pair with grilled meats like steaks, ribs, or burgers. The earthiness makes it a nice pairing with portobello mushroom dishes. Also, it would be great along with a charcuterie and cheese board.
Our other featured Argentinian Malbec is the 2017 William Knuttel Tentadora Malbec, from Valle de Cafayate, in Salta. The Knuttel is a blend of 85 percent Malbec, 9 percent Tannat, and 6 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. As with the previous wine, this one is inky reddish-black in color, and has a nose of blueberry, blackberry, violets, and herbs. On the palate, the wine has additional flavors of chocolate and mint, along with medium acidity, a fully body, softish tannins. and a long finish. Bring on all the roasted meats, folks, for this wine.
The third Malbec is from the mother land of the grape—France. It is the 2019 Château Combel La Serre Le Pur Fruit du Causse Cahors. If you see Cahors on the label, the wine is Malbec. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and cement vats, and then aged in cement or old oak vats on the lees. The lees are the spent (dead) yeast cells after fermentation is completed. Leaving the wine in contact with them for additional periods of time often adds texture and complexity. Aromas of blueberry, licorice, cocoa, and herbs may fill your nose. The wine shows those flavors as well, but with red cherries, raspberry, earth, leather, smoke, and stone added to the mix. There is nice acidity, soft tannins, and a long finish. We would suggest you pair this with traditional French cassoulet, which is a stew of beans, sausage, and duck confit. It is a delicious wine with roasted lamb or pork, mushroom dishes, and turkey.
Our Malbecs from Argentina wanted to bring a friend, so they brought along Torrontés—a lovely white aromatic white wine for your enjoyment. Torrontés is Argentina’s most widely planted white grape. The 2021 Zuccardi Serie A Torrontés hails from the Salta region, in Argentina. The wine is produced by the Zuccardi family who is in its third generation of winemaking. The wine is 100 percent Torrontés, fermented in stainless steel and lees-aged for six months. A pretty intense yellow-green in your glass with a nose of fresh white flowers, like roses or citrus blossoms. On the palate, there seem to be ripe orchard fruits, like apples and pears. The wine has a burst of aromatics with bright acidity, yet a delicate pretty finish. This wine scored 92 points from James Suckling.
Join us Friday, April 29, or Saturday, April 30, 2022, for (belated) Malbec World Day.