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Characteristics of Malbec wine

Monica Mar 30, 2011 12:39 PM

I haven't tasted too many(and I am no wine expert) but the ones I've tasted were bold..strong..had a kick..much stronger(?) than Cabernet. Since I like wines that are more lighter like rhone wines, I didn't find Malbec too appealing..am I missing out something?

  1. b
    bclevy Apr 1, 2011 12:53 PM

    Your description is a better fit for Cahors, the area of France where Malbec (also known
    as Cot) is produced. Cahors wines date back to the Roman era:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahors_wine

    In their French version, they are intense and robust wines which go well
    with the heavy food of the SouthWest region of France (like cassoulet).
    Cahors has bever been known as a subtle wine, but on a cold winter night
    it can be a wonderful drink at trhe dinner table.

    1. maria lorraine Mar 31, 2011 10:20 PM

      The flavors of Malbec seem to vary by continent.

      In France still today, and up until a few years ago here in California, Malbec was a Bordeaux blending varietal used to add structure and a hit of solid pine resin or rosemary flavor to a Cab-dominant or Bordeaux blend. Since South America has been growing the grape and making Malbec, the pine flavor and firm structure have retreated and Malbec's black fruit flavors have come more to the fore. I'm not a huge fan of South American Malbec but occasionally I've come across a great spaghetti/pizza quaffer at a decent price. My palate, though, is not enthralled with South American reds in general -- the fruit to me often tastes "dirty" or muddy or lacks clarity. But YMMV.

      1. Midlife Mar 31, 2011 01:40 PM

        Almost every Malbec I've tried has been a moderately priced wine............. $10-$15, and most all have had something of a harder edge to them than a Cab. What I'm not sure about is whether that's a characteristic of the Malbec grape of a function of the price level I've tried. Many Cabs in that same price range seem to have a harder 'edge' to me too. I find the same thing with Tempranillo, although I have had some higher level Tempranillos that were 'softer' to me.

        1. a
          andtheodor Mar 31, 2011 10:17 AM

          Juicy, linear, simple, soapy fruit. Slightly sweet, not very structured, and not very interesting.

          7 Replies
          1. re: andtheodor
            pikawicca Mar 31, 2011 02:25 PM

            I had a 2005 Luca Malbec over the Christmas holiday, and I would definitely call it structured, not sweet at all -- a very nice wine, but I believe my friend said it was "rather pricey for a Malbec."

            1. re: pikawicca
              Midlife Mar 31, 2011 04:23 PM

              Aha! See my post below. Do you know what "rather pricey" would be?

              1. re: Midlife
                pikawicca Mar 31, 2011 04:53 PM

                This friend spends a lot more on wine than I do, so I'd guess "rather pricey" for her would be over $100, but that's just a wild guess.

                1. re: pikawicca
                  Midlife Mar 31, 2011 05:08 PM

                  Ouch! at $100+ that Malbec should feel like 'buttah' going down.

                  1. re: Midlife
                    pikawicca Mar 31, 2011 05:21 PM

                    It did have that lovely, velvety mouthfeel.

                  2. re: pikawicca
                    Midlife Mar 31, 2011 05:11 PM

                    Here you go...... Paul Hobbs @ $149.95

                    http://www.finewinehouse.com/Vina_Cob...

                    1. re: pikawicca
                      KansasKate Mar 31, 2011 05:17 PM

                      If it was a "Nico" then it cost around $100; if not, about $35.

              2. s
                sedimental Mar 30, 2011 08:00 PM

                I am not a huge Malbec fan either. I pick up some weird licorice taste in most of them. My palate focuses on it....ruins it for me. Kind of like the "don't think of an elephant" thing, LOL

                1. b
                  Brad Ballinger Mar 30, 2011 05:35 PM

                  I find them to have more of a ripe fruit profile, which could be taken as the way you described. Accurate or not, I sort of equate today's Argentine Malbecs to the Zinfandels of the 80s and early 90s. Good wine for grilled food.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Brad Ballinger
                    b
                    bulavinaka Mar 30, 2011 07:18 PM

                    >>Good wine for grilled food.<<

                    And lamb...

                    1. re: Brad Ballinger
                      pikawicca Mar 30, 2011 07:25 PM

                      Had a glass tonight with pot roast, and it was excellent.

                    2. invinotheresverde Mar 30, 2011 01:20 PM

                      Interesting. I find Malbec (Argentine, I presume) to be medium-bodied, medium in acid and low in tannins, which usually equates to a lighter style wine than a Cabernet Sauv.

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