Classic aromas of Malbec are: Boysenberry, Blackberry, Black Plum, Licorice and Cinnamon
Malbec is a very old grape variety from the south-west of France. Here it goes by its original name: Cot, and makes up the wines from the region of Cahors. Though Malbec is best known for making the juicy, soft red wines of Argentina.
Malbec was first officially mentioned in 1761 in a diary of Chateau Trochau owner, Fontemoing, in Pomerol; where he described the dark berry flavours. It wasn’t until the late 18th century when it started to be called Malbeck.
Outside of Cahors and Argentina it is mostly come across in the background of the famous red Bordeaux blend – blended with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
It’s historical home in Cahors has the stronghold of France’s Malbec vineyards though it also has a home in the Loire Valley. It is best suited to the warmer regions of southwest France. In total France has 6,155ha of Malbec.
Argentina, and Chile, now are the homes to Malbec. It was introduced in 1868 by a French agriculturalist: Michel Pouget. It now makes up 26,845ha of Argentina’s total vineyard area, and 1,027ha in Chile. Argentina Malbec is known for its smooth sumptuous texture, deep colour and being easy-drinking reds.
Outside of France and South America, Malbec is also grown in Australia, Italy (to a very small extent – usually just for colour to cheaper red wines), California and NZ.
Malbec produces wines that are deep purple in colour with smooth, soft tannins and medium-full body. They will have dark fruit flavours with purple florals accompanying them. Aromas of black plums, boysenberry, blackberry and licorice are common aromas. With age, or extended-oak ageing, the wines will gain aromas of tobacco and raisins.