In this week’s topic on Malbec, it brings back fond memories of my favourite ones. Malbecs originated from France but since it was brought to Argentina in 1852, it created such a sensation, as Argentina’s climate and terroir was perfect for the thin-skinned nature of the Malbec grape. It has since been adopted as the main stay grape by Argentines in their wines. Unfortunately for France, their volatile climate made it hard for Malbec to survive – facing high risks of decay and the famous frost in 1956 wiped out more than 75% of the crop. Today, it’s predominantly known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France.
On my favourite Argentine Malbec, no surprise it is Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino by well-known Argentine winemaker, Nicholas Catena Zapata who is credited with reviving Malbec and putting Argentine wines on the world map. They are made from a meticulous vine selection in the best lots of the Catena family’s estate vineyards. The wine has a dark ruby color, with strong scents of blackberries raisin, hints of cigar and horse stables. There is no denying the aging of the 24 months in barrel has on the wine. It’s well balanced and has a long finish. A great wine to go with my favourite steak.
On the French side, I have to say it is Chateau du Cedre Le Cèdre from Cahors. A full bodied wine with high tannins, definitely best to let it breathe for a bit. What we have on the nose is ripe, black fruit, hints of dried herbs. It’s a complex and well-balanced wine with an elegant finish. Goes so well with game meat and even internal organs.