It is thought that the Malbec variety originated in the French province of Quercy. Its inky dark wines are often blended with Merlot or Tannat.
Where are Malbec grapes grown?
Malbec was once common in Bordeaux and is now grown mainly in southwestern France and Argentina. Malbec has numerous synonyms such as Côt, Auxerrois and Pressac since the variety was grown in so many different places – every region had its own name for this grape variety. For the most part Malbec wines have been displaced by Merlot – in Bordeaux there are now just a few wineries that grow Malbec for using in blends. Wine from Malbec grapes is also still produced in Chile, Spain, the USA and parts of Switzerland.
Malbec: wine from a sensitive grape
The Malbec grape variety is extremely sensitive to frost. In the middle of the 20th century, when Malbec was more popular, this led to major crop failures, with Bordeaux being hit hardest. The Malbec vine is also susceptible to diseases. As cultivating this variety is consequently rather risky, gradually Malbec wines became more rare.
What’s special about Malbec wines?
The first thing that strikes you about Malbec wines is their colour – the inky dark purple is a feast for the eyes. Malbec wine is also renowned for its spicy fruitiness. Its bouquet is often associated with plums and tobacco. Notes of cherries, blueberries and juniper can also be detected when enjoying Malbec. Vin Noir from Cahors is a traditional varietal Malbec.