On April 16th Michael Perlis and I attended one in a “series of events globally to mark” World Malbec Day that was in conjunction with other events being held in Buenos Aires, São Paolo, London and New York. Our tasting event, hosted by Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser, was held in Lucques – a restaurant I had run press releases about but had never been to, run by Caroline Styne and Chef Suzanne Goin.
Over an amazing three-course luncheon we sampled from over “a dozen Malbec producers covering a wide range of styles and regions” while Gaiser spoke.
“I am 70 to 80 percent sure if I grab any Argentinean Malbec from a shelf it’s going to be good,” began Gaiser. “It’s like baseball, whatever you do to it you can’t change it…and it’s as good as any Cabernet grape with the same terroir.”
There wasn’t a bad wine in the bunch, as Gaiser promised, however I had my favorites:
2011 Lagarde: Fruit aromas ranging from raspberry to plum, a nice dark berry in the mouth that hung in through the finish.
2010 Don Miguel Gascon Reserva: A nose filled with ripe blackberry and a mouth, equally filled, with resonant dark juices.
2008 Navarro Correas Alegoria: Dark, balanced, smooth yet brooding.
2010 Salentein Numina Blend: Milk chocolate on the nose and palate, balanced with bright fruit.
2009 Luca Wines Beso De Dante Blend: Dry dark fruit and coffee.
2008 Renacer Malbec: No tasting notes, just a stunner.
About Malbec and World Malbec Day (from Full Circle Wine Solutions)
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.