On the grapevine....

On the grapevine.... Image

It seems to be one of the most favoured wines out there and Mendoza the fasted growing region! But how 'mucho' do you really know about Malbec???

Seen as it is Mad Marvellous Malbec March here at Hattersley Wines we thought we would go back to school and refresh ourselves on why we have become such a fan of this wonderful grape variety!

The Grape…

Malbec is a thin-skinned black grape, sharing some preferences with it's relative Merlot it can be a sensitive little thing and susceptible to rot, frost, and pests. This means it requires certain conditions including ample sunshine and a dry climate to thrive. However too much sunshine will produce a wine that is flabby fruit bomb without the depth and complexities we love in our Malbec's!

Vicentin Blanc de MalbecWhat do we get from the Malbec Grape…?

Traditionally we expect our Malbec to be a full bodied red, inky black in colour. Typical flavours and aromas from the Malbec grape include dark fruit flavours such as blackberry, cherry, plum, often with chocolate notes.  Meaty, leather and tobacco notes come through with aging. Click here to see our range.

However we are offering a slight curve ball here at Hattersley HQ, new in and some what different from the norm…..the Vicentin Rose Malbec Extra Brut and Vincentin Blanc de Malbec.  Turning everything we normally expect with a Malbec on its head!

Where we find Malbec grown…

Malbec actually originates in South West France, but it is in Argentina, specifically Mendoza where it has found its home.  Argentina now accounts for 75% of the worlds Malbec vineyards.

There is a obvious difference in taste between a Malbec from Cahors in Southern France and one from Mendoza, Argentina.  The style of wine you get from the Malbec grape is greatly dependant on the terroir in which the grape is grown.

Cahors…..

The limestone plateaux's of the Cahors region, produce the darkest, most tannic manifestation of the grape, it shows blackberry fruit in youth and tobacco, coffee and meaty notes as it ages.  It is the calcium component in the limestone that helps maintain the acid level in the grapes late into the growing season which contributes to a more structured wine in the glass.  French Malbecs tend to age longer.

Mendoza…

IDorado Malbecn an Argentinian Malbec you would expect a fruit forward, plummy wine with floral notes and a velvety texture, here the grape experiences a bigger swing in temperature variation between day and night.  The cooler air coming off the Andes and altitude help to slow down the rate at which the grapes ripen in the intense sun allowing them to stay on the vine for longer – the resulting wine shows riper, fruitier notes.

Alternatives to Malbec….

Other full bodied reds to try if you enjoy a Malbec are well known noble grape varieties such as Syrah and Merlot and other regional varieties such as Nero d'avola, Petit Verdot, Touriga Nacional and Mourvedre.

What to expect from your Marvellous Malbec....

Fruit Characters

Black Cherry, Pomegranate, Plum, Raspberry, Blackberry, Bluberry
Other Characters Cocoa, Milk Chocolate, Coffee, Mocha, Molasses, Leather, Black Pepper, Green Stem, Gravel, Tobacco
Oak Characters Vanilla, Dill, Coconut
Acidity Medium
Tannin Medium

If this has given you a thirst to learn more why not pop into the shop to 'further your Malbec education' with two fantastic wines open to taste this week!

Last Updated: 14/03/2018
Author: Emma Grigor-Taylor

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