Malbec World Day Thursday 17 April

Malbec is a little known grape variety. Most often it is blended with Cabernet or Shiraz, but it is becoming more popular as a variety on its own.
Its historical claim to fame was that it was one of the six grape varieties that is allowed to be included in red wines from the Bordeaux region of France. Regrettably there is a lot more Merlot in Bordeaux than Malbec.
These days, the most likely country of origin for a pure Malbec wine is Argentina and the Mendoza region in particular.
Malbec is often used in blends because it adds colour, tannin and plum flavours. The intensity of these characteristics is what makes it popular for blending, but not as easily drinkable on its own. The fact that the vines are susceptible to frost and disease makes them less popular with growers.
Malbec was introduced into Argentina in 1868 and the Argentinian Malbec wines are often softer and less tannic than those from France. Mendoza is the home of Malbec in Argentina where there are 25,000 hectares planted, compared to only 6,000 hectare in all of France. Malbec is now widely recognised as an Argentinian national variety. Mendoza is a high altitude region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, between 800 and 1500  meters above sea level.
The rise in prominence of Argentina Malbec has led to its resurgence in Australia as well.  There are now Malbec produces in most regions of Australia.