It seems that all great wine regions have a standout grape in association with the area: Merlot on the right bank, Cabernet Sauvignon on the left bank in Bordeaux, Pinot Noir in Burgundy, Sangiovese in Tuscany, and so on. Mendoza has its shining star as well; Malbec. Malbec is traditionally a Bordeaux Varietal that was generally used for blending, very rarely seen on its own. Being that most of the clones brought to South America are from France, Malbec got mixed into the scene. Mendoza has a very unique terrior (essentially land, weather, slope, etc.) It sits at a relatively high elevation for growing grapes and sees a lot of sunshine, almost three hundred days per year. Along with this sunshine is a very arid climate that cools substantially at night, allowing for a slow ripening process. All these elements combined allow for the ideal environment for the grape Malbec. So not until the last twenty or thirty years have they really realized the potential for this grape in this terrior. And only in the last ten to fifteen have they really started to perfect it.
So now along with their outstanding beef, Argentina is producing the world’s best Malbec, in my opinion. The best part about this, beef and Malbec happen to be a great pair. So if the opportunity presents itself, get down to Argentina and order up a big steak and an even bigger bottle of Malbec. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket, trust me. And if you can’t make it to Argentina, we have a ton of great Malbec from Mendoza available right here at West Vail Liquor Mart.