Argentina's love affair with Malbec was sparked in April 1853 by a flame that president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento had for great wine. He commissioned French soil expert Michel Aimé Pouget to bring classic French vines to Argentina because he wanted to raise the quality and perception of his country's wine. Malbec was among the vine cuttings that Pouget brought with him and the rest is history. It was a fortuitous decision to bring Pouget’s expertise to Argentina where vineyards planted at high altitude benefited massively from the plentiful sunshine, cool nights and dry climate. These factors suit Malbec down to the ground or up in the mountains, as the case happens to be because that's where the majority of good quality Malbec grows, often upwards of 1000 metres above sea level.
The world's highest vineyard is in Argentina at approximately 2500 metres above sea level. But the story deepens because not long after Pouget took Malbec to Argentina, France's vineyards succumbed to the phylloxera epidemic, which all but wiped out Malbec in its homeland. It was replanted and later suffered badly from frost in 1956 in Bordeaux.
Malbec is now on the rise in France again where plantings are on the rise. Over half of France's Malbec is in the appellation of Cahors AC, in south west France; inland from Bordeaux. Malbec legally has to make up 70% of a wine labelled Cahors AC. And Malbec is also known as Cot in Cahors.
We have the 2016 Cedre Cahors AC Malbec in store - buy it here
And lots of tasty Argentinian Malbec, which you can explore further and buy here.
Happy exploring the wonderful world of Malbec.