In 2019, a tad over 6000 tonnes were crushed in Australia, and I confidently looked to the areas in which malbec plays a positive role: Clare Valley, Margaret River and Langhorne Creek. But I was smashed by the figures. The total crush was 6078 tonnes, of which the Clare Valley contributed 247 tonnes, and – most surprising of all, Margaret River had 171 tonnes, leaving Langhorne Creek leading the way with 714 tonnes. Now don’t get me wrong, Langhorne Creek has always produced lovely malbec (and defeated Argentina in a wine show in Australia a few years ago).
But where did the 4868 missing tonnes go? After due consideration, I decided that size doesn’t matter. Malbec’s synergy with cabernet sauvignon is excellent, but it can stand proud as a 100 per cent varietal wine, and in either form, it makes a plush, rich winter wine looking for some flame-grilled beef a la Argentina.
This article was taken from James Halliday’s monthly newsletter on Thursday, June 11, 2020. You can subscribe to the Halliday Wine Companion newsletter by clicking here.
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