The Malbec grape is one of the five red grapes originating from the Bordeaux region of France, the others being Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Used primarily as a blending grape in France and California, Malbec really shines as a standalone varietal in Argentina. It makes sense, as Malbec is an ideal wine to pair with beef. [I wonder if the gauchos drink Malbec after a long cattle drive?]
So, I was very excited to receive the following email:
There’s no question that Argentina continues to be hot and, within that reality, Malbec is hot, hotter, hottest! In fact, Argentinean wines are the hottest South American wine category, having just recently surpassed Chile for that honor in early 2011. They now represent the 4th largest imported wine category into the USA trailing only France, Italy, and Australia. Malbec is the reason and it makes sense: Malbec is rich, flavorful, easy, food friendly, smooth, mouth-filling, and utterly understandable. And for Americans that resonates deeply in the wheelhouse of their palate.
In recognition of this achievement, Wines of Argentina has declared April 17th as World Malbec Day. April 17th, 1853 is universally considered to be the most significant moment in the history of Malbec in Argentina as it was the day that the Governor of Mendoza, Pedro Pascual Segura, presented a plan to the legislature to create an agronomical farm and an agricultural school in the province of Mendoza. Prominent French agricultural engineer Michel Aimé Pouget was enlisted and one of his ideas was to introduce new varietals to the region, of which the most celebrated result of this experiment is Malbec. And the rest, as they say, is history.
As has been the case for the past two years, there will be a series of events globally to mark this occasion in cities including Buenos Aires, São Paolo, London, New York, and…Los Angeles! At Full Circle, we have the pleasure of working with Wines of Argentina and will host this event on Tuesday, April 16th as an ALL Malbec, three-course luncheon, at Lucques. Hosted by MS Tim Gaiser, the event will kickoff at 11:30AM and will feature a dozen Malbec producers covering a wide range of styles and regions framed by Lucques’ exquisite cuisine, served up by the superb Lucques team led by Caroline Styne. Chef Suzanne Goin’s approach ensures Lucques has always been a wine friendly and savvy site and, for this reason, Malbec will be happily celebrated there.
I’d personally like to extend to you an invitation to this exclusive luncheon. Please let me know if you can come no later than Monday, April 1st as space is extremely limited. There is, of course, no charge to attend.
Restaurant: Lucques Restaurant
Address: 8474 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90048
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM (Registration opens at 11:15 AM)
Host: Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser
Complimentary for trade guests by invitation-only.
As they say in Argentina… ‘hasta pronto’
Evan Goldstein MS
President and Chief Education Officer
Full Circle Wine Solutions Inc.
1091 Industrial Road, Suite 265, San Carlos, CA 94070
Upon arrival, Eve and I were handed glasses of Malbec rosé, a first for me for this varietal. We mingled with other members of the media and trade for awhile. Eventually heading to our seats, we were presented with the following menu:
I mentioned above that Malbec goes well with the beef and hearty flavors associated with Argentinean cuisine. We also learned from Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser that the wine growing regions of Argentina provide the perfect terroir to showcase Malbec’s flavors. Based on the data provided to us, the elevation of the vineyards appears to be a huge factor.
We tasted through a total of 14 wines, and they paired perfectly with the delicious food from Lucques. My own tastes gravitated towards those that were in more of a new world style, emphasizing the fruit. My absolute favorite of the day was:
2009 Luca Wines Beso De Dante Malbec Blend, Vista Flores, Altamira & Agrelo, Mendoza, a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
You can read more about the event in Eve’s article at [http://thescvbeacon.com/category/eve-bushman/].
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. (2013 Update: Eve and Michael announced Eve Wine 101 Consulting. Info is here: http://evewine101.com/press-releases/)