Are you a fan of Malbec? If so, why not indulge by breaking a bottle out of your cellar for Malbec World Day?
Malbec World Day falls each year on April 17th, and was formally established in 2011 by Wines of Argentina, the Argentinian government’s official apparatus for promoting its wine. April 17th was the date chosen to honor when the President of Argentina, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, formally decided in 1853 to revamp his country’s method of wine production. In his search for varietals that talented winemakers could use to innovate Argentina’s wine industry, Sarmiento’s viticultural team imported Malbec from France, among other European varietals.
In the coming decades, wines with Malbec as the dominant grape began thriving in Argentina. On the flip side, numerous blights and freezes wiped out most of the indigenous Malbec vines in France, which paved the way for Argentina to become the dominant producer of the grape worldwide.
Over the past ten years, Malbec World Day was celebrated at in-person tastings where winemakers could present the fruits of their labor to a live audience. As with most things in the last year, subsequent changes were made to ensure the safety of the broader public. Wines of Argentina provides more extensive information about this national grape’s holiday and how you can follow some of your favorite Malbec producers – find out more at their official website.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to discover new Malbec wines at live tastings soon. In the meantime, don’t get discouraged from exploring Malbec—set up your own tasting with a few diverse selections from South of the Equator. Let the words of the winemakers inspire you to try:
This stellar selection from Alta Vista comes from the Mendoza region of Argentina. On the nose, it has aromas of plums, coffee, and vanilla, with flavors of red currant, raspberry, and cherry tart.
“VIVE Malbec provokes by challenging our desire to explore wine and to enjoy the pleasant journey through the senses. It is a classic and fresh Malbec designed for a young wine-loving consumer. We recommend pairing this Malbec with typical Argentinian cuisine (such as barbequed meats or empanadas) or a tray of cheese and cold cuts.” – Didier DeBono, Head Winemaker, Alta Vista
Moving over to the Uco Valley brings us this terrific Malbec from Bodega Norton. Intensely deep ruby, this wine evokes spices and tobacco on the nose while maintaining an expansive taste all the way through.
“Norton Reserva Malbec 2018 is characterized by its elegance and softness. It has varietal aromas and flavors. In order to achieve these qualities, 30-to-50-year-old vines are managed at low yields, 50% from Luján de Cuyo and 50% from Uco Valley, both within Mendoza, Argentina. Then, the wine develops complexity from further aging in carefully selected French oak barrels for 12 months. Lastly, the final balance is achieved after a 10-month bottle aging. It’s an expressive wine with ripe black fruits, violets, spices and tobacco. In the mouth, it is wide and fleshy with a lingering finish.” – David Bonomi, Head Winemaker, Bodega Norton
Closing with a Chilean wild card from the Colchagua Valley, this wine is a blend of 95% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This Malbec blend goes especially well with steak, ribs, pulled pork, and BBQ chicken.
“Our Alpha Malbec from French clones was planted in our vineyard of Marchigüe, an area with coastal influence, providing unique and special characteristics. Our Malbec has intense color, spicy notes of anise and is soft and fresh on the palate, which is very characteristic of its terroir. Malbec is a varietal with intense aromatics (ripe sour cherries, violets, wildflowers), while maintaining structure and soft, friendly tannins.
Due to its characteristics of smoothness and complexity, Malbec lends itself to wine novices and wine lovers alike.” – Aurelio Montes, Jr., Chief Winemaker, Montes
Wishing you and yours a very happy Malbec World Day! Cheers!