Malbec Wine: Characteristics and Growing Conditions

Topics: Wine, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon Pages: 6 (1488 words) Published: December 2, 2013


Malbec is normally a medium to full-bodied dry red wine. Malbec has plenty of characteristics. It is dark, blue-black, and purple in color. It has the ripe fruit flavors of plums, black cherry and blackberry. Some other characters include Smokey, earthy, leathery, wild game, tobacco and white/black pepper along with a high profile spices that make for an interesting melody of aromas and flavors. It contains a lot of acid and is higher in tannin and alcohol levels. The layers of complexity and uniqueness makes it a one of the best red wines. Today however, after suffering vineyard losses from replanting of different varieties after the Phylloxera outbreak, and a devastating frost in 1956, fewer than 2,500 acres remain in Bordeaux. Despite these setbacks, Malbec remains one of the six grape varieties officially allowed to be in a Bordeaux blend. Malbec is originally from France and it was broadly grown throughout France and the region of Bordeaux. In France Malbec is also known as Cot, Pressac, or Auxerrois. The word Malbec originates from the French words mal bouche, which basically means “bad mouth”. The reason for this was because back in the days French winemakers did not like this grape variety at all. Malbec used to be blending grape, used in faint quantities to soften the strength of Merlot and/or Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux wines Malbec commonly ages for around 18 months in the barrel, and can age for upwards of five years in the bottle depending on the season.

Growing Conditions
Malbec typically ripens midway through the growing season and produces small, intensely colored grapes. As it is so sensitive to its growing environment the level of ripeness has a considerable effect on the structure of the eventual wine. Broadly speaking, French Malbec tends to be more meaty, rustic and tannic, while examples from Argentina seem to be uniformly rich, ripe, jammy and juicy. On both sides of the Atlantic, Malbec wines are generally aged in oak to enhance the wine’s structure and aging potential. Depending on the climate and altitude where the Malbec grapes are grown, the wine can turn out lighter or more robust. Cooler climates, usually hand-in-hand with higher altitudes, create a thicker-skinned grape leading to higher acidity While grapes that develop in lower altitudes have thinner skins leading to less acidity, and thus a lighter wine.

Due to the fact Malbec grapes are reasonably small, very dark, and juicy. Controlling the fruiting of the vines is important to ensure good concentration of flavors. Malbec love long, hot summers with cool evenings. The altitude for Malbec areas range from 1,500 feet to more than 6,000 feet, which provides a variety of climates. The top rated Malbec wines are from vineyards ranging in elevation from 2,800 to 5,000 feet above sea level. Growth and Soil Adaptability

Malbec is a vigorous variety adaptable to a wide range of soil types. It is sensitive to shelling, especially with high vigor or cool weather during bloom. Rootstocks
Rootstock selection should be based on the type of soil pests present, the potential vigor of the site, vine spacing, and desired vine size. Young Malbec
It has an elegant fruity expression and touches of typical flowers like violet, joyful and middle aftertaste. This sort of red wine matches with appetizers and all sort of snacks (with sausages and some cheese varieties), simple recipes (pizzas), meats in barbecue, pasta with tasty fishes from river. Malbec Rosé

Perfect to start lunch, an informal party or picnic and go on enjoying it in recipes with avocado, salty fishes (sardine, anchovies), liver with onions, chicken, turkey, marine rice, and even rabbit.

The vineyards were amongst the first planted in France by the Roman Emperors, more than two thousand years ago in the region of Cahors. Originally the grape (Malbec) was first known as Auxerrois. In time that grape changed its name to Noir de...
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