Capel Vale’s Stirling Vineyard was planted by Peter Pratten in 1974. He planted a mixed salad of varieties. There wasn’t a blue print as to what grapes would grow best in the region. Today we have mature plantings of Merlot, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Malbec.
Malbec has flourished in our most northern vineyard. So much so we produce two very distinct wines from it, a straight Malbec and a Rose Malbec. Both are very popular at our cellar door and Match Restaurant. We are so pleased with our Malbec we are going to produce a limited release Black Label Malbec in the near future. Stay posted for updates.
The Origin of Malbec Wine
Malbec originates from the south-west of France, where its colour, tannin and acidic qualities saw it become one of the top five wine grapes in Bordeaux. However, the fruit’s poor resistance to weather and pests limited production; in 1956 a major frost killed much of the Malbec crop in the region.
In 1868 a French botanist known as Professor Pouet transplanted Malbec vine cuttings to the dry, grey Mendoza plains in Argentina, Today, roughly 75 percent of the Malbec in the world is planted in Argentina
Malbec was always the underdog until it found a home in Argentina — becoming popular from the late 1990s onwards — and more recently, in Australia. In fact, in French the name of this thin-skinned, dark-purple grape is derived from the term mal bouche, meaning ’bad mouth’, which suggests what the old French winemakers thought of it.
Malbec is a fruit-forward and full-bodied red wine. It often displays leather, tobacco, cocoa or violet flower notes. If you tend to always pick a shiraz or a spicy pinot noir when choosing a bottle of red for a barbecue, next time open a Malbec as it has a similar flavour profile. You’ll be in for a real treat.
For a long time in Australia, Malbec was thought of as a backup grape, often mixed with shiraz or cabernet sauvignon or simply blended in table wine with no mention on the label at all. Yet times have changed and the popularity of the crop as a stand-alone varietal is increasing at a rapid pace.
When compared to Argentinian varieties, Australian Malbec – grown at a lower altitude – tends to taste less linear and have a bolder mid-palate. Expect aromatic and violet notes plus soft tannins on the finish due to the lesser fluctuations in temperature from day to night.
The Difference between Argentinian Malbec and Australian Malbec
High Altitude Argentinian Malbec Hot days, cool nights, intense sun thicker grape skin, concentrated flavour and structure.
Low Altitude Australian Malbec Faster sugar ripening, richness, non-bitter tannin finish milder weather, less linear, bolder mid-palate.
Malbec Food Matches
Along with barbecues, Malbec teams a treat with bold summery dishes. As they’re by no means shrinking violets in the flavour department, a chilled bottle will go beautifully with beef fajitas or big-flavoured salads — think beetroot, goat’s cheese, spinach and hazelnut.
At Capel Vale’s Match Restaurant we have boldly paired Malbec with Szechuan lamb ribs, ssamjang mayonnaise ,pickled mushrooms, steamed bao buns with vegetables & gochujang. If one doesn’t want to go to that level of trouble an alternative easy combo is with a handful of cherries.
Capel Vale Malbec Tasting Notes
Debut Malbec 2019 Tasting Notes – a soft and generous Malbec, this wine shows flavours of juicy rich plum, raspberry, liquorice and spice.
Capel Vale Malbec Rose 2018 tasting notes – vibrant on the nose with a textured palate, our Malbec Rosé shows flavours of wild strawberries and toffee apple, with hints of rose petals. Finishes fresh, clean and dry.