Traditional Vintage Argentine Malbec

Malbec, Argentina
Traditional Vintage Collection
Bottled February 2015
13%  abv

Malbec, a black-skinned grape, originated in western France, where it is known as Cot. While Malbec’s popularity in France has waned, it is now the most important variety in Argentina with some 26,000 ha/66,000 acres planted. Contrast that with BC, where 30 ha/75 acres is under cultivation.

Malbec2Much of Argentina’s Malbec is from the Mendoza region, where vines are planted at around 2,500 feet high. The variation in daytime and night temperatures at that altitude means the grapes ripen more slowly and can be left on the vine longer, ensuring intensity of flavours and greater balance in the finished product. The air is also quite dry at that level, important when grapes are longer on the vine to guard against rot.

Malbec is said to contain high amounts of resveratrol, a phenolic compound touted as having many heart-health benefits, and other antioxidants. 

The wine was dark ruby coloured, with the purple hue characteristic of MalbecAromas were of ripe black cherry; blueberry; violet; cedar; chocolate; fine leather; and oak.

malbec2 (1)Flavours were showing black cherry; Damson plum; caramel; traditional baking spices; and black pepper. Flavours tended to smooth out considerably over time in the glass, leading me to believe that this Malbec is an excellent candidate for a bit of ageing. There was a long, peppery finish with bright fruit flavours.

This 2015 Traditional Vintage Malbec will be delicious with cheese plates containing Manchego or grilled Halloumi, both of which are readily available at local cheese shops and large grocery stores. This Malbec will carry through the meal and pairs beautifully with roasted/barbecued lamb, beef, sausage, game meats. A typical Argentine meal features a main plate with a large grilled steak; possibly a small side dish of vegetable/salad. Malbec is also a good partner to spicy tomato/vegetable based dishes.

Prepared for Wine Kitz Ottawa Iris
By Wendy Smyth, Certified Sommelier
August 2015

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