Malbec is a variety of grape used in making red wine. The Malbec grape vine originated in the southwest of France where it is still grown today. The grape is named after the Hungarian peasant who introduced the vine into France centuries ago.
Malbec wine is one of the traditional Bordeaux varieties, and it has a distinctive taste that is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The difference between Malbec and Merlot is that Malbec has a more distinctive, full bodied flavor.
Malbec wine has a fruity plum favor and it is typically a medium to full-bodied red wine. It is described as being earthy with a wood-like aroma, which makes Malbec a sort of rustic wine. Malbec”s distinctive flavor characteristics include the blackberry, cherry and plum.
Malbec in France
Malbec”s popularity in France has declined severely in recent history. One reason is that the wine became so ubiquitous that it had hundreds of different names, eventually losing its distinction. Also, a disastrous frost devastated the vineyards in 1956 and crops were replanted with more fashionable varieties of grapes.
Today, Malbec is used mostly as a blend for Bordeaux and other wines.
Malbec”s Growing Popularity
The deep inky red Malbec grape has found a new home in Argentina and Chile. In fact, Malbec has become Argentina”s signature grape, and it is the third most grown grape in Chile.
Malbec grapes are also grown in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, New York”s Long Island and California.
Malbec Names and Varieties
Malbec reportedly goes under some 400 different names but a few are more commonly used than others.