Tale of Two MalbecsBy Marisa D'Vari | September 27th, 2009 | Category: Wine reviews | 1 Comment »
Behold the Malbec grape! If you love wine, here is a short quiz.
1. a fruity, easy drinking, well priced wine from Argentina.
2. one of the 5 allowed grape varieties allowed in a Bordeaux blend.
3. The grape grown in the Cahors, France AOC
If you selected all of the above, you are correct. Yet few people realize that Cahors AOC in France is the home of the true Malbec. Several months ago winemakers from Cahors came to NYC and gave a tasting and presentation about the grape, which was fascinating (you can read about it here).
Now tonight, I have the opporutnity to taste test two Malbec wines, one a 2007 Gouleyant Cahors from France and the other a 2006 Sur de los Andes Reserve. They were both in the $15 - $20 range.
Both wines are dark purple color, but the Argentina wine is bright and shiny. They have the same pale ruby miniscus. On the nose, the Agentina wine is medium intensity, with aromas of fresh purple fruit, concord grapes, and some bright red fruit such as raspberries. The Cahors wine is more subdued, with a slight sour element.
On the palate, the Argentina wine is refreshing and well balanced, offering ripe black fruit, vanilla (from French oak). Though dry, the wine has a pleasant touch of sweet vanilla on the finish, which I associate with all Malbecs from Argentina.
The Cahors wine also has a touch of the sweet vanilla, yet in old world fashion, all the flavors seem a bit more integrated so that the individual elements (oak, individual fruits) do not stand out on their own.
Both wines will go great with steak, especially a nicely grilled, charred steak as the acidity will cut through the fat of the steak and the charred edges will pair nicely with the sweet oak flavors.
Try a taste test on your own and email me your comments!