What’s Special About April 17? Think Malbec.

Malbec grapes

Malbec grapes

According to Wikipedia, “Malbec World Day is celebrated on April 17, to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry. On that day, back in 1853, he tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines. Amongst his selection, was Malbec.”

Did you know that 35% of the hectares planted in Argentina are Malbec?  But did you also know that the historical home of Malbec is France, where it is grown in Bordeaux and in Cahors?  The climate plus phylloxera were detrimental to Malbec in France so declined in its spread and popularity.  The terroir in Argentina suited Malbec quite well where it has flourished and has become the signature red grape of Argentina.  Other countries, like Canada, also do grow Malbec, but nowhere near the amount that is grown in Argentina.

One of the well-known wine producers in Argentina is Bodega Norton, who produces different bottlings of Malbec.  One that I received recently to taste is the Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec 2015, in advance celebration of Malbec World Day.  This wine should be readily available at government liquor stores across Canada. Here is the BCLDB link to the Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec and the link to the LCBO Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec.

My Wine Review – Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec 2015

Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec 2015 with wine in glass

Bodega Norton Barrel Select Malbec 2015 with wine in glass

This wine comes from hand-picked grapes, from vines that are over 15 years old.  Half of the wine is aged for 1 year in French oak barrels.  This wine is medium ruby in colour.  It has medium intensity, youthful aromas of flowers, lots of raspberries and a little less red cherries, some cocoa and a mix of nutmeg and cinnamon spice.  It’s dry, medium minus body, almost silky, with a medium plus mouth-feel and a mineral streak.  There are more sweet raspberries and cherries on the palate, along with assorted red fruits, cassis, plum, and hints of violets, roses, sweet spices, and sweet tobacco. Lots to enjoy on the palate. Restrained oak.  Medium length with mouth-watering acidity.  Tart red fruit, light pepperiness and dry oak at the very end.

Rating: 4 Stars A nice red-fruited Malbec with soft tannins.  Enjoy now, why wait?

Meeting Bodega Norton’s Chief Winemaker, Jorge Riccitelli

Jorge Riccitelli and Julia from Bodega Norton

Jorge Riccitelli and Julia from Bodega Norton

I was fortunate in 2013 to meet Jorge Riccitelli, Bodega Norton’s Chief Winemaker here in Vancouver over a winemaker dinner.  We tasted several Malbecs.  Here is the link to the article to give you a bit more insight into Bodega Norton’s Malbec and Malbec blends.

Enjoy Malbec World Day!

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Some people prefer red wines. Some only like Cabernet Sauvignon. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I met many great wine makers. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.