Sunday, August 23, 2015

Strangebird on the loose - Malbec

Malbec is grown by a few wineries on the Strangbird Trail - Ballandean Estate, Golden Grove, Bungawarra, Whisky Gully and Summit Estate.

A rich dark purple with blackberrry and violet notes, Malbec loves high elevation. In lower elevations, Malbec grapes struggle to produce the acidity they need to create great tasting and long lasting wine. High elevation areas with a wide diurnal temperature shift, typified by hot days and  cold nights,  make the grapes produce more acidity 
Jeff Harden from Bungawarra says that in his vineyard, Malbec in relatively small quantities was planted  by previous owners about 1982, for use as a blender with Cabernet Sauvignon as was traditional in France in the Bordeaux blend.  A few years ago, he realised his biggest, healthiest vines were by now  those Malbec - it clearly liked it here, so he budded some of my other vines across to Malbec (using buds from my existing Malbec to keep the clone pure).  His first 100% Malbec wine was made at last in 2012 - a huge, peppery/berry wine ideal with barbecues and game.