France is Languedoc's original home and Argentina its new home; a heat-loving grape, it was once grown in over 30 departements, but is now mainly associated with the South Western Cahors region.
That said, it appears pretty much all the way down the Atlantic seaboard from the Loire to Languedoc via Bordeaux, where it was once a major grape, but has since been replaced by the more reliable Merlot.
It was introduced to Argentina in the late 1800s, possibly as a clone that is now extinct in France. Given the Andes rise very gradually, it can be grown at very high altitude, allowing for long slow ripening with plenty of sunlight for flavour and cool nights to preserve freshness.
Malbec's appeal is easy to understand; Big Fruit with plentiful colour and an inky texture. World Malbec Day is on 17th April
Abbotts & Delaunay, Fleurs Sauvages, Pays d’Oc, Malbec 2020 (£10.99 or £8.99 mix six @ Majestic)
30 year old vines grown on the slopes of the Orb Valley in the Hérault, vineyards in the west of the Aude and in the dry salt marsh in Marseillette, each bringing different characteristics to the wine.
Thanks to the work in the vineyards that respect the soils and the vines, healthy, concentrated grapes can be harvested whilst respecting the wild flowers (Fleurs Sauvages) and other wild life that surrounds them.
plummy dark berry fruit and spice; fresh and supple with inky graphite; violets, liquorice, red and black fruits with spicy notes; well-structured and elegant with a persistent finish.
Opens up with some aeration and can be cellared.
Match with charcuterie or rare red meats.
Argento Single Vineyard Altamira Organic Malbec (£13.99, www.allaboutwine.com)
Single-vineyard wine from Altamira in Mendoza's Uco Valley; 100% Malbec grown at almost 1,100m above sea level; the 22.5-hectare plot is certified both organic and Fairtrade.
dark fruits, blackcurrant pastilles and complex oaky spices with leather and mushrooms; supple, dense and inky with cassis, dark berries, black olives, graphite and mouth-watering freshness; savoury with very good underpinnings.
Drinks nicely on first pouring but improves with aeration and can be cellared.
Match with jamon or rare roast beef or tuna steak
Tom Cannavan's: Review of Argento Finca Altamira Organic Malbec 2019 - YouTube
Helena Nicklin: What are the key styles of Malbec? — The Three Drinkers