The Malbecs: Argentina vs. France
In our last blog post, we gave you a brief rundown of the history of the beautiful Malbec. There, we mentioned how Argentina has really stolen the show with that wine and made it as popular as it is today, so now we’d like to discuss the difference between Argentinian and French Malbecs. Yes, there’s a difference.
In previous posts, we’ve detailed how the same grape can taste different in every country because of things like the climate and terroir, or soil conditions. The same holds true for the Malbec. Sure, the grape is still the same, so the foundation is the same, but the flavors and notes are entirely different. The Malbec grape is thin-skinned and sensitive to the elements, which is why the terroir is such a big deal.
Argentinian Malbecs are going to be very fruit forward because of the abundant sunshine found in Mendoza, the region in Argentina where Malbec is primarily grown. There will be tastes of blackberry and brambleberry with slightly sweet floral accents. The cooler, drier air provided by the gorgeous Andes mountains give the grapes the best chance to grow to their fullest so they get nice and rich without too much sugar sweetness and just a touch of acid to round it out.
However, in Cahors, France, there isn’t as much sun and the air is a bit damper and there is a plentiful amount of limestone in the soil which leads to an earthy, smoky flavor. Of course, because it’s still the same grape there is a natural fruitiness that comes out but instead of a floral complement, it’s more of a tobacco note.
The French Malbecs are much higher in tannins are an incredibly dark red that is almost purple-black. Some people are partial to one country’s Malbec over the other, some appreciate both as separate and unique wines. Pick up your own bottle and decide for yourself!
Don’t forget to celebrate World Malbec Day on April 17th!