Bec a winner this weekend
My Irish Colombian neighbours brought me a gorgeous Malbec the other day. Obviously I live in an outrageously cosmopolitan neighbourhood. But that has its advantages. I mean who else do you know around here who was drinking on Colombian Independence Day last July?!
I’m keeping an eye out for another bottle of the Catena Malbec as it made a school night, well a few school nights, a little more pleasant than usual.
It ticked all the boxes for the grape – ripe, sweet, forward fruit, soft tannins and a little spice. This one showed a wee touch of clove, I thought. Twelve to 24 months in barrel have added plenty of subtle interest, without the sort of confected vanilla sweetness you get from wine made in a hurry.
It was a vino that, in my humble opinion, nicely bridged the gap between Old and New World, between that easy stereotype of the modern fruitbomb and the old school austere wine of the past.
Of course Malbec found its way from Old to New, to Argentina from its homeland of South West France. Known in France as Cot or Auxerrois, it fell out of favour thanks to being too susceptible to disease and the local style being pretty tannic. They like it tannic in the South West, with a grape even called Tannat right down in the Madiran region.
But there’s been a bit of a revival ongoing, with modern techniques bringing less tannic wines to the shelves. The success of the grape in Argentina seems to have helped in its rebirth in its, well birthplace.
In a visit to The Wine Company on the Ormeau Road the other night, I couldn’t help but notice the French versions all seemed to be labelled Malbec, obviously piggy-backing on the success of their Argentine cousins.
The days of the
French not even writing a grape variety, the cepage, on the bottle seem to be long gone.
Anyway, I still plumped for an
Argentine version, a Dante Robino which, like the Catena, is 100% Malbec. A nice touch of American oak adds that spice and interest.
Anyway, I’m surprised to say it’s a shop I’ve not been in that often. I picked up a Jurançon Sec while there, but more on that next week.
For now, get a hold of some nice Malbec and maybe a nice steak to go with those soft tannins.
It was a vino that nicely bridged the gap between Old and New World