Malbec From Argentina
Updated: May 13, 2020
What is Malbec Wine?
Malbec is a full-bodied red wine that grows mostly in Argentina. Known for its fruity, plummy flavors with a velvety texture, Argentinian Malbec wine offers great value to the more expensive Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. However, there’s more to Malbec than just a good price.
For the quality of a higher priced European or Napa Valley wine, you can buy a lovely bottle of Argentine Malbec at a reasonable price. This value is reflected in the difference of land cost in Napa Val
ley, for example, which is approximately 50 times more per acre than land in Argentina.
Although some people prefer Cabernet, others like Pinot Noir. But Argentine Malbec comes somewhere in the middle of these two red wines. A bold, smooth red wine that’s good value and has a lot of versatility, it is a delicious accompaniment to any kind of roasted, barbecued, grilled or braised foods.
Why is Malbec such a perfect wine for spring and summer?
During this time of Covid-19, we are all at home right now cooking more than ever, and as the warm weather approaches, we will be barbecuing more. Malbec is an ideal wine to serve with your favorite barbecued short rib recipe, grilled vegetables, roast chicken and sausages.
Best Food Pairing Recipes with Argentine Malbec
Malbec originated in Cahors, an ancient city near Bordeaux, France.
Malbec in France:
The limestone soils of Cahors gives Malbec its high tannin and color while the cool Atlantic breezes keep the vines rot-free and the warm temperatures during the day allow the grapes to ripen. Because it has thin skin, the malbec grape is extremely sensitive to pests, frost, and rot. As it is such a sensitive grape, it usually plays a supporting addition to the Bordeaux blend. Because it is such a fickle grape and it was not flourishing in France, the Malbec was taken to South America by immigrants who began planting vineyards in different areas.
Malbec in Argentina:
Argentina is now home to nearly 70% of the Malbec vineyards of the world because it has an ideal terroir - the climate, soil, sunlight, temperature, proximity to water, altitude, and location of the vineyard offer perfect growing conditions for the Malbec grape. As anyone in the wine industry knows: Terroir is the most important influence on grapes and “great wine is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar”. During the late 19th century when the pest phylloxera destroyed the ancient vineyards of Europe, the Argentinian Malbec roots were sent back to Europe to help replant the devastated wine regions.
Malbec Ideal Terroir
Argentinian wine regions are defined by their altitude, their proximity to the Andes, and their dry desert regions. This is an ideal grape growing area as the glacial water flows down from the Andes to irrigate the vines. In addition, because of the heat, most vineyards were planted using the pergola system, known locally as “parral”. As a result of this dry climate, the vineyards do not experience rot or mildew so hardly any pesticides are used. Thus Argentina produces a lot of organically grown grapes.
Main Characteristics of Malbec Wine
FRUIT: Black cherry, Pomegranate, Plum, Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Raisin
OTHER: Cocoa, Milk Chocolate, Coffee, Mocha, Molasses, Leather, Black Pepper, Green Stem, Gravel, Tobacco
OAK: Vanilla, Dill, Coconut, Chocolate, Mocha
BLENDS: France: Malbec is blended with Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Argentina: Malbec is occasionally blended with Bonarda.
Argentinian Malbec vs. French Malbec
(Main differences are quite dramatic due to the differences in the terroir.)
ARGENTINA: fruity and plummy with a velvety texture and blackberry, plum, and black cherry. The subtle flavors offer chocolate, leather, violet flowers, and a tobacco finish (this depends on the length of aging in oak).
FRANCE: While Argentine Malbec is fruitier, French Malbec is savory and tart, with plum and blackberry overtones. From the Cahors region, it is leathery, with currant and plum flavors. French Malbecs, from the Loire and Cahors, are more acidic, with peppery and spicy flavors. French Malbec wines tend to age longer due to their lower tannin and acidity levels
4 Facts About Malbec
Argentina “Saved” Malbec
Immigrants brought Malbec from France to Argentina before the Phylloxera disease happened. Malbec found its home in Argentina due to terroir. It is very easy to grow Malbec in Argentina - that is the main reason why Argentina leads production of this grape with over 75% of all the acres of Malbec in the world.
Malbec’s Blind Tasting Look for a magenta-tinged rim. Malbec wine is a deep purple-red that is nearly opaque, similar to Syrah and Mourvedre. However, Malbec wines will often have a bright magenta rim.
Malbec Loves High Elevation
The higher elevation areas of the Andes with its extreme diurnal temperature shift of hot days and cold nights make the grapes more acidic. (At lower elevations, Malbec grapes cannot produce the amount of acid needed to make great tasting and long lasting wine.)
Not As Much Oak as You Might Think
Malbec’s bold flavors and richness are not due to lengthy oak aging as many wine tasters believe. Lower priced Argentine Malbecs have only about 6 months of oak aging. Whereas Malbecs with 10-12 months of oaking have a classic ‘blueberry’ fragrance. Other Malbec wines that are higher priced are aged for a longer time of 18-20 months.
Malbec from North To South
Argentina growing area goes from the Northern province in Salta, La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza to southernmost in Neuquen provinces. Each province has a different altitude, different soil so different terroirs thus different styles in malbec
LUIS SEGUNDO CORREAS
Luis Segundo Correas is a 150-year-old winery, operated by the 4th generation of the family. The vineyards are more than 85 years old.
The Correas family moved from Spain to Mendoza at the end of the 16th Century. Since that time, members of the family have actively participated in the economical, political, and social life of the province. When Argentina became an independent country, Mr Juan de Dios Correas was the governor for three times, and made important developments for the province.
The first noble grape of French origin was planted in 1860 by Don Segundo Correas, who built the first winery. In Medrano, the Julian Correas founded the winery ‘El Cypress’, famous for the Cabernet Sauvignon in the 30s. Our father, Mr. Luis Segundo Correas, third generation of this traditional family, continues and increases just like his predecessors.
Respecting the artisan philosophy imposed on by our ancestors, the present directors added technological advances, new know-how and modern facilities to optimize the process of wine-making. The management of the vineyards and winery is performed personally on a daily basis by its owners, the fourth generation of this traditional family.
Luis Segundo Correas Vineyards and Winery are personally maintained by its owners, the fourth generation of this traditional family of wines, who believe that the origin of the quality of wines begins in the vineyards.
The family owns 400 hectares of vineyards, some of which are 70 to 85 years old,
All the vineyards are placed in “The First Zone”, where first immigrants arrived and the soil and weather are unique to viticulture.
One of the current brothers, Engineer Agronomist Julian Correas, controls the production to assure quality. He determines the pruning to achieve optimum quantity, supervising the process of pruning as well as the stripping of the leaves that will allow the necessary sun and a strict sanitary control of every wine-stock, in order to define those clusters that by their position and quality, await precise ripeness. Harvesting is manual and placed into small, plastic containers to avoid oxidation.
The vineyards are only watered entirely by de-icing water from the mountain range of the Andes. Vineyards have no artificial drop irrigation.