French or Argentine? When you think malbec, what country comes to mind first? Is it the malbec made popular by the Argentinians where (almost) every winery in the country has one, and it’s found everywhere on restaurant wine lists? Or, do you think of the old country malbec from Cahors or from Bordeaux where it was (& still is, although not seen as much) part of the famous blends of the region? Whatever your choice, it’s a big bold wine that is inky purple in colour with high tannins, medium acidity and lots of black fruit, both sweet and savoury spice and bramble notes. Love it or hate it, Malbec is still high on many people’s list as a go-to, first choice grape. My philosophy on this grape is that it’s easy to say, therefore easy to order in a restaurant! Nobody wants to look silly when they order wine!
But seriously, even though it’s never my first grape to reach for, there are some good ones out there:
Luigi Bosca, a family owned winery, have their roots in both Italy and Spain, and one of the great families of the area, the Arizu Family. And this particular one, is under $30 on the shelf and one of the highest selling malbecs in Alberta! With notes of black plums, black cherries, and vanilla spice, it’s a perfect match for barbecue, wild game and hard cheeses.
From the Bergerac region, on the right bank of Bordeaux, this Château Laulerie Malbec may be slightly more unknown, but no less delicious! Dense with black fruits and hints of pepper, the tannins are oh so silky on this one! And the price? Outstanding at $22!
And last, but certainly not least, the Astrolabe Cahors malbec. Malbec is king in the Cahors region in southwest France. More earthy tones in the malbec here, this wine is full-bodied with concentrated black fruits, with candied cassis notes, hints of earth and spice; pair it with lamb, beef, ripe cheeses and anything with truffles! At $33, it’s one of the more expensive malbecs, but certainly worth the price!
This is just the tip of the Malbec iceberg! Not only are there the malbecs featured in the photo available for sale, but there are many, many more! Whatever country malbec you happen to reach for first, Happy Malbec Day and may your glass always be full! Santé!