For my latest piece in The Buyer, I wrote up a couple of tastings I’d been to recently where Malbec, everyone’s favourite steak wine, played a major role. From America to Africa to Europe, Malbec around the world is pushing forward great guns. It’s a great time to be a Malbec lover!!
When I was out in Cahors, I was there as a guest of the fine folks at Chateau De Mercues. It’s a Relais and Chateaux gaff right on the Lot river, surrounded by Malbec vines. The 13th Century castle also boasts a fine dining restaurant that is pushing hard for Michelin status. I’m doing my best to make it sound amazing, because it was amazing. But I don’t think it would have been half as impressive had it not been for where it is. The Lot Valley is a fantastic place to visit!
When people think of Malbec as a grape or a wine or whatever then the first two things that usually pop into people’s heads are “Argentina” and “steak”. Fair enough, it’s what we’ve all been loving in the last ten or fifteen years or so. But what if I were to tell you that Malbec is actually a French grape by origin, and that the Malbec’s coming out of France these days are back to being world beaters? Are you ready to give them a try?
It’s not everyday you bump into the best young winemaker in Argentina. It’s not everyday you can say that and it actually be true either. But when my mate, Louise, took me to meet the very cool German Berra of Finca Flichman at the recent London Wine Fair, it was fair enough. He’d been voted the top boy in Argentina the year before, and as much as I’m sometimes a bit dubious about these titles, I’ll let him off, I reckon he deserves this one!
Steak and red wine night and it wasn’t even my birthday! Fantastic! Would have been slightly better had Liverpool not put in the third abjectly terrible performance in three games an hour or so before I ate, but hey ho, can’t have it all…
Sometimes in life it’s ok to be boring. What do you have with Malbec? Most wine drinkers know the answer to this one. Meat! Keep it red, and keep it as rare as you like!
It’s dark, very dark. And it’s big, very big. And it goes well with a steak. This much we know! But what else am I looking for this weekend?
Let’s be fair, it isn’t Argentina’s grape. Well it is, but I mean it’s not a native. It was brought over in the 19th century by a French fella, but from then on, bar a couple of hiccups in the last century, it’s become the first word in the name association game: Argentinian red wine = Malbec.
Well after getting a bit of stick for having not stuck my neck outside Europe for a few months worth of choices, I’m following Ant’s example and going for another of those world classics; Argentinian Malbec.
Tannat’s not the most widely known red grape variety. It’s been around for a long time, but until recently mostly it’s been cropping up in inexpensive blends and not really getting much TLC from the producers.
Luckily for us wine drinkers a few areas in the world have stayed faithful in putting it on the boozing map, and the first one we’re going to talk about this week is South West France.