Hi everyone, I am Loïc from Wine’Stache and today I can’t translate this french meme. Simple question US viewers? Do you watch this show? I never get English commentary so I may be going to stop doing subtitles… Don’t hesitate to make you hear I you still want to follow the show ! 🙂 For the 2nd episode of Make it Grape, I purpose you to discover a grape variety a little bit more confidential than Grenache, because it is “only” the 21st most planted in the world, Malbec. So, although known worldwide as Malbec, its maiden name is, in fact, the Côt. This is how it is called in its birth county, the former province of Quercy, which extended roughly to the actual department of the Lot to a part of the Tarn and Garonne, and which birthplace was the charming medieval town of Cahors. Province of Quercy, where he was also known as Auxerrois.
– Very simple, it starts pretty well. In short, Côt=Auxerrois=Malbec=Cahors region=South West. It is therefore quite logical that it will be very present in this vineyard and even more logically that it will have to represent at least 70% of the grape variety of wines from the AOC Cahors. But Auxerrois/Côt/Malbec is not exclusive to South West. Thanks to its geographical proximity, it is too present in the vineyards of Bordeaux. Fun fact, if we call it today Malbec, it is thanks to Mr. Malbeck with a K who introduced it to Saint-Eulalie d’Ambarès which is today in the AOC Premières-Côtes-de-Bordeaux. However, it will also spread throughout the Médoc and Saint-Émilion vineyards… The vineyard of Saint-Émilion where it is called Pressac, due to Mr. Pressac who introduced it there. No, the grape variety approach is NOT complicated. Even if today, it remains rather little cultivated in Bordeaux and is rather in a decrease situation. Its planting area decreased from 5000 ha in the 50s to 934 in the early 2010s. This is especially because of frosts of 1956. – Which I honestly didn’t know.
Where many winegrowers decided to replace it with Merlot, a grape variety less binding and capricious. Côt will be found too in the Loire Valley like in the AOP Touraine,with the cuvée Vinifera ungrafted vine from Henri Marionnet. Yes, one day, I will explain to you what is the ungrafted vines.
– But not now! To be truly exhaustive, Malbec will also find itself in a minority way in the extreme western part of Languedoc, where it can be blend in the wines of appellation such as Limoux, Malpère or Cabardès. Outside France, we will found a 1000 hectares in Chile, mainly in Colchagua Valley where it will be often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. Talking about blend, it will also be found in northern California and especially in the famous Napa and Sonoma Valley. Finally, it is planted sporadically in northeastern Italy in Veneto, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Moldova … Let’s be honest, all these countries, represented at the very most 10% of the world production. We barely reach 25% if we add French production. Because one country accounts alone for 75% of Malbec’s production, to the point that this variety is considered as the national and emblematic grape variety. Country of tango and gauchos, Argentina. In the country with the sun on the flag, this grape is obviously planted in the 6 major wine-growing regions: Salta, Catamarca, La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza, and Patagonia. However, if only one of these vineyards was to be retained, it would logically be the one of Mendoza which clearly dominates the national production. In this immense terroir, we will forget the wines coming from the north and from the east, made with irrigation and therefore, not very qualitative. To focus on the Malbecs of Luján de Cuyo and those of Uco Valley. Outside Mendoza, I could also advise you the vineyard of Cafayate in the region of Salta, or Malbec of the high and low Valley of Rio Negro in Patagonia. – How does it taste Malbec sir?
Well, let’s start with its structure. What defines Malbec is its intense fruity aromatic expression, as well as its full-bodied structure and its quite important level of alcohol. Its tannic construction and its acidity is a little less strong. Young, it will express on a nose of red fruits like plum which is… red.
– What a surprise. But especially on aromas of black fruits like blackcurrant, blueberry or black cherry. We will also find vegetal notes, mentholated even camphorated. As it can be aged in barrels, it will not be surprising to find typical aromas of oak such as vanilla, tobacco, cocoa or dark chocolate. Over time, its bouquet will evolve nobly towards dried fruits and truffles. However, in this episode, I want to reintroduce the notion of climate influence that I had already mentioned in the 2nd episode. The idea is pretty simple, the same grape will not taste the same depending on its climate. You can imagine that a Côt that will grow at 50m altitude in Touraine with a temperate continental climate of northwestern France, will be very different from a Malbec grown at 2000m in Salta, in northern Argentina with a latitude close to the tropic of Capricorn. So, and even if it hurts me to confess it. I’m less fond of French Malbec which is rather wines of cool climates. I think that young, they express too much on menthol and vegetable notes, with an astringent side and too much acidity. To prepare this show, I always taste at least ten wines from the grape variety that I will introduce to you. Well, the only French Malbec I really enjoyed was a 2006 Cahors from Mathieu Cosse. Thus, if like me you are not very fond of the vegetal side, I encourage you to taste Côts with at least 5y aging. Regarding the warm-blooded Argentinian Malbecs, for me, they clearly won the tasting. Nose and mouth more expressive, aromas of black fruits that I loved and with a richer body and expression. However, be aware that some may find these wines a little too strong and high in alcohol. In this case, I encourage you to taste the wines from Patagonia, the coolest climate in Argentina, which seem to me to be a perfect compromise between French balance, and Argentina power. As a conclusion, the Côt or a bunch of other denominations is known worldwide as Malbec. Born in the region of Cahors, it is logically one of the flagship grape varieties of the South West and especially in the AOC Cahors where it will find one of its finest expressions. Its other privileged vineyard is Bordeaux, although it has experienced a certain decline in recent decades. Elsewhere, we will find it in the Chilean blends of Colchagua, or those of the Napa and the Sonoma Valley in Northern California. However, if as in Highlander, it should only remain one. It would clearly be Argentina, which concentrates 75% of world production. Its flagship vineyard is the one of Mendoza and more particularly in Luján de Cuyo and in the Uco Valley. But there are also great expressions in Cafayate and Rio Negro Valley. Very fruity variety, with full-body, alcohol and fairly round tannins. It will open on a black fruits nose and aromas linked to the barrel such as vanilla, tobacco or chocolate. Young and on temperate climates, I personally find that it will express too much on vegetal notes, with an acidity too much marked. So I encourage you to let them age at least 5 years. My preference goes to Argentinian Malbec, which I find more dense and aromatic. With what will we pair them? An Argentinan barbecue an asado. Of course! Thanks for watching. I’ll be happy to have your opinion about this new broadcast in comments and If you have liked this video don’t hesitate to share it. I’ll be very happy about it! Directed by Loïc Geoffray