Malbec: Grape variety for great wines

Malbec is a red wine grape variety that is known mainly in the context of Argentine wines. In fact, Malbec is the most important grape variety in Argentina. However, it has its origins in the Cahors region of southern France. In France, the grape variety is then also known as Côt.

Cahors is located on the south-western edge of the Massif Central and on the western edge of the Cevennes. The steep slopes there are naturally used for viticulture and have had a major influence on the development of the region. 

How do you recognise a Malbec?

First of all by its colour. A Malbec stands out for its purple, almost black colour. This strong colour is typical for wine from Argentina.

The grape variety is also characterised by a very full flavour with a rather spicy and fruity note.

At the bouquet we find different descriptions of the experts. Again and again blueberry, laurel, cherry and dark chocolate are mentioned. Also hints of wild herbs and juniper are part of it. A wine blogger also mentions plum and tobacco.

Very good Malbecs can mature over several decades (!) and only develop their full splendour when they are old.

Malbecs from Chile are particularly strong and have a very full body. If you get the wrong wine, it can almost taste like medicine.

Where does the grape variety come from?

As described above, the grape variety can almost be equated with Argentina. Today it has its largest distribution there with over 40 thousand hectares. This means that almost three quarters of the Malbec cultivated worldwide comes from Argentina. Malbec is the absolute top grape variety there. Anyone who has tried different Malbecs knows that those from Argentina have a very special character.

Next comes the country of origin of the grape variety, France, with only about 7 thousand hectares. In France, however, the grape variety is increasingly losing its importance. In the Médoc, for example, it hardly plays any role at all.

Here in Germany, the grape variety has so far only been found sporadically. This is because the grape variety is very sensitive to flowering and susceptible to vine diseases (downy mildew and rot). For this reason the grape variety is mainly cultivated in dry and warm countries.

What kind of food does the wine go well with?

Malbec wines are best drunk with all kinds of meat dishes. These include beef, lamb, grilled pork or even stews.

The wine also goes well with game and cheese.

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