Malbec World Day

Malbec World Day

The Grape Escape: April 16

It’s time to start celebrating the 1st Malbec World Day coming up on April 17.  (Shouldn’t it be World Malbec Day? Oh well, semantics). Here’s a day dedicated to the once obscure grape that put Argentina’s wine industry on the map.  Let’s raise a glass.

History of Malbec in one sentence: It’s native to Bordeaux but never made it into the spotlight.  Argentina discovered its hidden talents and led it to stardom.  (Two sentences? Yeah, I’m a cheater).

But the question is, what does Malbec World Day mean for the United States?  Basically another excuse to drink wine, which I won’t complain about.  New York, Washington, and California are staging events in honor of Malbec’s rise to power.  Hopefully next year Arkansas can join in the festivities.  Until then, let’s have our own party.  Cheers, Malbec.

This week we’ve got some real winners to help you celebrate.

2009 Finca El Origen Reserva

Scored 90 points in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

I’m quite fond of this one.  Great quality/price ratio.  I could have sworn I was drinking a $20 bottle, but it’s only $12.  Foiled again!

Mendoza’s Uco Valley is where Finca El Origen Reserva calls home.  The quality makes sense because Uco is considered to be one of the best wine regions in all of Argentina.

The 2009 vintage is 85 percent Malbec, 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes: Dark fruit on the nose.  On the palate we get plum, chocolate, and a little black pepper.  Try pairing it with dark chocolate for interesting results.

2008 Pascual Toso Reserve

This one got some great ratings all across the board.  91 from Wine Enthusiast.  90 from Wine & Spirits.  90 from Wine Spectator.  Even Mikey likes it, and he doesn’t like anything.  (Life cereal, anyone?)

Hailing from Barrancas, which is 20 miles east of Mendoza city, Pascual Toso Reserve comes from select vineyards in the area.  The 2008 is 100% Malbec and packs quite a bit of flavor.  Not for the faint of palate, so ye be warned. Retails for about $19.

Tasting Notes: Leathery nose.  Lots of cedar.  Look for blackberry, coffee, and a good amount of spicy black pepper as well.  Very complex.  Try with red meats or pasta.

Categories: Food