BB Review: Vin de France Malbec
Vive le vin! For this wine review round, we visited local delicatessen Fromage and French and sipped some delicious French wine whilst trying not to drool on #AllTheCheese. 🇫🇷 🍷 🍾
BOTTLE: Vin de France Malbec 2014
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £9.50 from Fromage & French
ABV & TECH SPECS: 12.5% ABV
WHO BOUGHT IT & WHY: Caro here. Being, quite ironically, the total opposite of a French wine amateur, I was looking for a bottle that was differentiating itself from the typical and boring “Château de” label. This one fitted the bill, by not only marketing itself in a more modern way (sleek, minimalist black and white label), but also by giving the reassurance of a go-to varietal of mine, Malbec (although usually an Argentinian one), and staying in my budget for this month (£10 max).
LET'S GET NERDY: Oh, a Malbec from France? Yes! Did you know the south of France is the original birthplace of this inky purple varietal? Most of the time you’ll find it’s the Argentinian version that appears on the shelves and wine lists but it was actually a pretty big deal in France before the turn of the last century when a bout of frost nearly wiped it all out– in fact it even used to play a role in the Bordeaux blend. Those clever Argentinians, who’d imported the grape to South America in the 19th century, chose to make it their USP and really put themselves on the world wine map– good move, Argentina!
PARTY FACT: In France, Malbec is also known as Côt for its varietal name and can mostly be found in the Cahors region. You may find some boutique Chilean and Argentinian producers now adopting this name to distinguish wines which have been made in a French style.
CARO: An easy-going velvety splash of liquorice-infused ripened blackberries and redcurrants with a lingering wave of candied violet. Benefits from a little time and chill, as Kate and I found out later on that night.
ANGELA: This wine has a pretty bouquet of red fruits– crunchy cranberries and glacier cherries with a hint of a metallic note. The palate is soft and fruity with low tannin and a little acidity and has a soft feel and balance with the alcohol. I’d prefer a little longer for the flavour as it cuts slightly short but overall a pleasant, everyday drinking red wine.
KATE: This wine smells a bit like redcurrant and cherry pie and has a juicy, tart taste that bounces along your tongue and down your throat. Drinking it transported me to farm country. This would be a great wine for a picnic in the middle of a field with cows in the distance and the smell of a farm drifting through on a light breeze.
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? It’s easy to drink so sure, why not?