Argentina is famous for its rich, red malbec, where the grapes can flourish in vineyards planted at high altitude and the sun-kissed fruit comes into its own.
So much so, World Malbec Day (April 17) is now in its fifth year with more than 70 events taking place in 50 countries around the world to celebrate Argentina’s flagship grape. So, here are some suggestions from around the world...
A bronze medal winner at the Decanter World Wine Awards, Vignobles Roussellet Malbec, France (£4.39, Aldi) from the Languedoc region (home to Cahors) exhibits typical blackberry and blueberry flavours, but with a hint of raisin on the finish. And while it may not carry the typical New World 14% abv which signals ripeness and concentration, it’s a cheap and cheerful malbec with a French accent.
From the west coast, north of Cape Town, Kumala Reserve Malbec 2014, Swartland, South Africa (£8.99, Tesco) is an easy-going style which tastes light enough for a lunchtime glass, even at the heightened alcohol level of 14.5 per cent. Not as opulent and full bodied as its Argentinian cousins, it displays mellow blackberry and brambly fruit and if you love a merlot, then this is the malbec for you.
With a wide spectrum of wineries producing powerful reds with personality, it’s not surprising Australia has turned its hand to malbec and the winemaker behind 5oS Project McLaren Vale Malbec 2012, McLaren Vale, Australia (£14.99, www.virginwines.co.uk) has created a black beauty that’s dangerously easy to drink. Beyond a veil of violet aromas, it’s full bodied and deeply flavoured with blackberries and blueberries, finishing with notes of sweet spice and lavender.