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Celebrating Malbec

Malbec Tasting.JPG

Malbec is the On-Trade leading grape variety in terms of percentage growth in volume (up 5.2%) and value (up 15.5%) So if you don’t already have one on your list, now really is the time to start thinking about it. In fact, many outlets now feature multiple styles of this stellar grape by offering a by-the-glass suitable style, then a second premium choice, comfortably sitting at £35 plus per bottle.

Consumers do pay attention to wine provenance and terroir particularly when in a premium outlet, so offering a step-up choice on your list makes logical sense. Malbec World Day, celebrated on April 17th each year offers the perfect excuse to dive into this phenomenon, lips first! It’s a global celebration that Wines of Argentina report has been activated in 54 countries since its launch in 2011.

There is no denying that Malbec is Argentina’s trump card, to some Argentinian wine is Malbec even though it only accounts for 20% of the country’s 206,344 ha under vine.

The below statistics all demonstrate that no- matter what type of outlet you operate, consumer purchase can and will be swayed by just a little activation or recommendation on your part. So why not use Malbec World Day, 17th April, as an excuse to win with Malbec.

How can you celebrate?

  • Try before you buy? Gain consumer trust in the more expensive choices on your wine list by offering a paid for 50 ml serve of perhaps one wine that is usually only sold by the bottle per month. We all know once you try the ‘good stuff’ you rarely want to go back. This month make it a Malbec!
  • Offer a set deal price on a red meat or chargrilled dish with a glass of Malbec. A lover of one may be encouraged to buy the other as well?
  • Make sure your staff have tried the wine you are promoting, so they can advise your customers truthfully and enthusiastically. A little sales incentive with a free bottle at the end of the week never goes amiss either?
  • Why not make the whole month all about Argentina? The South American vibe is extremely social and fun, anything that engages your customer or even better is ‘instagram worthy’ will keep bums on seats and the orders coming in.

We Recommend

Atamisque Serbal Malbec, Tupungato, Mendoza

Winning Bronze in the 2016 Sommelier Wine Awards, Serbal is part of a new generation of Malbecs that are made in a fresh, juicy, vibrant style and is thus a great partner for a wide variety of foods; not just steak but things like chargrilled tuna and tikka masala lamb chops. Bodega Atamisque and their winemaker Philippe Caraguel have helped to pioneer a style of Malbec that is bang in line with the way we like to enjoy wine these days, with good food and friends. With no oak ageing, just pure expressive fruit, Serbal is a great by the glass option to be drunk on its own, or try it chilled with charcuterie?

Vistalba Corte A, B and C

Bodega Vistalba is located in Lujan de Cuyo in Mendoza, a premium region for winemaking. Our 50-hectare vineyard was planted in 1948 with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon & Bonarda and all our wines are blends of these varieties, we call them “Corte”.

Corte A; The manually harvested grapes are fermented separately to ensure the best results for each, due to different ripening and harvest dates. (79% Malbec, 15% Bonarda, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine undergoes an 18month maturation in French oak barrels, 60% new. The nose is complex aromas of dark chocolate, prune and tobacco; the palate develops a sweet ripe fruit theme, followed by notes of chocolate and spice.

Corte B; 81% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon 8% Bonarda. The Malbec vineyards are about 70 years old. The wine is aged in French oak barrels, 40% new, and shows prune, fig and blackberry on the nose, baked with notes of cedar wood spice. The palate is full-bodied with ripe fruit and subtle coffee notes on the finish.

Corte C; 82% Malbec with the remainder made up of Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are farmed sustainably without the use of herbicides or pesticides. About a fifth of the blend is aged in French oak barrels for about a year. The finished wine shows red fruits, prune and cherry flavours, with silky tannins on a full-bodied finish

Salentein Barrel Selection Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza

The Salentein Estate has roots that extend back to the 17th Century, the Jesuits planted the first vines on the estate so that they could make communion wine. Today the goal of this multi-award winning estate ‘is to make exceptional wines while supporting the local people and community and encouraging local biodiversity.’ This wine has a very intense nose with notes of ripe blackberry, blueberry and redcurrant and subtle hints of violet. The silky palate has a crisp balancing acidity which highlights the fruit and is all rounded off with a vanilla edge as result of its barrel ageing.

Discover our full range of Malbec wines here or click here to view our 2018-19 Wine List. Don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your wine range is a success, from free menu design and print services to staff training.


Comment (1)

  • Susan McCraith Avatar

    Susan McCraith

    Great article Tiffany. Well done!

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