|But wait. Before we reveal the selections for this month, let’s chat a little about Malbec. Malbec is a varietal that has many names. This might lead one to believe that the Malbec grape has been around for a long and popular stint. Despite the current popularity of Malbec coming from Argentina over the last 80 years or so, this varietal has not always had the best luck.
The first thing to point out is that Malbec, of origin, comes from France. Yep, France – not Argentina! We know, mind blown. Present day, over 70% of the world’s Malbec does indeed come from Argentina. Its exact origin in France is not precise, but some suggest that the current varietal that we know came from Northern Burgundy. At one point Malbec was planted throughout nearly all of France and was used primarily as a blending varietal. It is still an approved Bordeaux varietal today (one of six – 1. Cabernet Sauvignon; 2. Merlot; 3. Petit Verdot; 4. Cabernet Franc; 5. Carmenere; and 6. Malbec).
Malbec took a slight decline in popularity the mid-1900s when many of its plantings were exchanged for more “fashionable” varietals. However, the Southwest region of France remained a stronghold for Malbec and continues to produce Malbec-forward blends. Some areas of Southwest France require that blends contain at least 70% Malbec in order to represent the region on the label.
Today the Cahors region is the King of Malbec in France. Here, the locals call Malbec by the names “Cot” or “Auxerrois.” The blends coming from this region often contain Tannat and Merlot in addition to Malbec.
All this talk about Malbec is obviously going to lead to at least one selection of Malbec for Sept. But since this is its first appearance in the club, we decided to throw TWO selections of Malbec at you – with a twist!
Both selections come from the Cahors region. In fact, both are from the same estate! That estate is Château Lagrézette, which has a mere 500 years of historical significance. Château Lagrézette was founded in the 12th century as a medieval fortress. During the 15th century, the grounds of the fortress were rebuilt into the modern day Château that stands in Cahors today. The Château was built on the “petite grèze” (the hill) overlooking the River Lot. This led to the name “Lagrézette.” The estate curates 90 hectares of vines and sources only from this estate for its namesake wines.
And September’s selections are…