Friday, April 17, 2020

Celebrate Malbec World Day In Style

It’s time to uncork your bottle of Malbec! Today is Malbec World Day – a worldwide celebration of that inky dark, robust wine that has captured fans around the globe.

Felino 2017 Malbec, MendozaArgentina’s Star Grape

Earlier this week I hosted a webinar for the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. We covered the history and details of this amazing grape, which originated in France but found stardom in Argentina. It’s a fascinating story.

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Malbec has flourished since arriving in Argentina in 1853, propelled by a project to bolster and transform Argentina's vineyards proposed on April 17 of that year—the starting point for the Argentine Malbec, which is commemorated each year by Malbec World Day. In fact, recent research suggests that the strains of Malbec found in Argentina's vineyards are unlike ones found anywhere else in the world—making “Malbec Argentino” a truly unique gem.

This is the 10th year for the celebration and during these precarious times, Argentina hopes to extend its warmth, love, and strength to the world—and there's no better way to do that than through its beloved Malbec.

Dia Mundial del Malbec

Argentina has a highly developed wine culture thanks to its Spanish roots and waves of immigrants from other wine-loving countries.  Malbec has made Argentina, and especially the region of Mendoza, famous as a center for world class wine. It is the major red varietal planted in Argentina, which supplies more than 70% of the world’s Malbec.

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Malbec World Day is celebrated on April 17, to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina's wine industry. On that day in 1853 he directed Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines. Amongst his selection, was Malbec.  A decade later, France’s vineyards were ravaged by the phylloxera plague.

In the 1950s, a frost killed off most of France’s Malbec vineyards and frustrated winegrowers replanted with different varieties. The epicenter of the Malbec world shifted to Argentina. The name, "Malbec World Day", translates from the Spanish "Día Mundial del Malbec" meaning "Malbec throughout the world".

From A Legendary Winemaker

For more than a decade, we’ve been fans of Malbec’s rich flavors and amazing value. It’s a leader in QPR (Quality Price Ratio)! To celebrate this year I popped open the Felino 2017 Malbec from Mendoza. I was drawn to this bottle because it is produced by Viña Cobos, an international project headed by Paul Hobbs. Hobbs is a legendary winemaker and winery owner whose business interests span three continents. He was also head enologist for Opus One and developed its first vintages.

The grapes for Felino come from vineyards in the Mendoza sub-regions of Luján de Cuyo and Valle de Uco. The vines are planted at elevations between 2,300 and 3,900 feet. In the glass the wine is deep violet. On the nose there is a rich, jammy aroma.

The wine is unfined, give it a bit of texture. Flavor notes of sour cherry, plum, tea and chocolate coat the tongue. This is a silky and supple wine with dialed-back tannins. In short, a nice glass of deliciousness for about $20.

We encourage you to enjoy a nice bottle of Malbec today. Share your experience with the hashtags #MalbecWorldDay. If your bottle is from Argentina, include #MalbecArgentino. Raise a glass!

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