In 2011 the Wines of Argentina body created Malbec World Day to celebrate (and promote!) the success Argentina is having with this grape variety. There’s a nice timeline style web page on Argentina’s history with Malbec here.
Although native of South West France, Malbec has become synonymous with Argentina and is their most widely planted grape variety, particularly in Mendoza. April 17th was chosen to commemorate this day as this was when Argentinian president, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, officially began his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry back in 1853.
Any excuse to open a few nice bottles of wine with friends and BBQ some steak… So I invited a few friends to bring an Argentinian Malbec
Bodegas El Porvenir Laborum Malbec, 2007
My contribution to the evening and I thought it was stunning. Aged integrated fruit, complexity, no rough edges, full & deep bodied. It might be a bit of a designer label as far as Argentinian Malbec goes but that doesn’t mean it’s not top rate wine!
Pulenta Gran Malbec, 2010
This was Chef Barrie’s contribution, and another stunning Malbec. A little young but with complex flavours and nice balance, and no full-on, overbearing fruit that you can sometimes get with big wines.
Santa Julia Malbec, 2011
This was all Ev could muster after a quick dash out at lunchtime on a hectic day, good effort. However, this was like drinking a barrel sample! young as heck, bright purple, harsh and hard! … and literally probably just out of the barrel! Good fruit though.
Bodegas Tahuan -tahuantinsuyu- Malbec, 2009
I had this on standby just in case three bottles wasn’t enough for five people on a school night!
This was another lovely Malbec – in fact excellent! With integrated flavours and complexity, but a little more fruit than the Laborum. It impressed everyone, especially when I told then it only cost £10 (actually £9.75!) Then I shocked everyone by revealing it actually came from Tesco!
Ok, let’s get this straight right now – I DO NOT BUY MY WINE FROM TESCO! In fact I actively try to convince people NOT to buy their wine from supermarkets in general. However, whilst raiding their shelves of Bollinger last year while it was on double offer at a crazy price of £23, I needed to make up 6 bottles to get the discount. I spotted this in their ‘fine wine’ section and thought it was worth a punt… which worked out very well indeed.