Malbec is, of course, a traditional Bordeaux grape, also found in the south of France. In Bordeaux it had trouble with disease susceptability after replanting onto phylloxera resistant rootstock, and so over time, and particularly after a bad frost in 1956, the less tempermental Merlot took over in Bordeaux as the go-to grape for bringing lush fruit and violet notes to blends. Malbec is also called Auxerrois in Cahors, Pressac in Bordeaux’s Right Bank area, and Cot in the Loire. And sometimes even Malbeck in Argentina.
Top Characteristics of Malbec
1. The colour – dark inky purple.
2. The tannin – very prominant in regions where the grapes get to fully ripen.
3. The fruit shows plum and raisin notes.
4. Floral notes are common (violets).
5. Then there’s that earth/tobacco/spice angle as well.