Malbec Wine: Characteristics and Growing Conditions

1477 Words Nov 21st, 2013 6 Pages
Malbec

Malbec is normally a medium to full-bodied dry red wine. Malbec has plenty of characteristics. It is dark, blue-black, and purple in color. It has the ripe fruit flavors of plums, black cherry and blackberry. Some other characters include Smokey, earthy, leathery, wild game, tobacco and white/black pepper along with a high profile spices that make for an interesting melody of aromas and flavors. It contains a lot of acid and is higher in tannin and alcohol levels. The layers of complexity and uniqueness makes it a one of the best red wines.
Today however, after suffering vineyard losses from replanting of different varieties after the Phylloxera outbreak, and a devastating frost in 1956, fewer than 2,500 acres remain in
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Due to the success and popularity of Pressac in the Medoc, it was renamed Malbec, in honor of Sieur Malbek.
The 20th Century presented some significant set-backs for Malbec. Its importance in Bordeaux was significantly reduced after the great frost of 1956, which killed off many of the region 's oldest vines. In the years following this, most vine growers chose to replant their vineyards not with Malbec, but with more reliable, economically viable varieties such as Merlot.
Phylloxera, which was accidentally introduced in Britain by English botanists who were importing North American grapevines. The pest decimated the vineyards of England and soon spread to the European mainland where it caused significant damage to the French and European vineyards and wine industries. Desperate to recover from the plague, viticulturists, breeders and botanists developed hybrids and rootstocks bred for resistance to the pest. They used North American native varieties as rootstock.
This is where Malbec failed to recover like the other Bordeaux varieties. Malbec did not adapt well to the new rootstocks, and the resultant vines had excessive canopy growth, high yields, and were not maturing early enough for the relatively short northern latitude growing regions. The wines resulting from the new rootstocks exhibited good color but were very tannic. What was left of the remaining old vine Malbec vines in
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