April 17th is World Malbec day. This day was chosen for it’s historical importance to both Argentina’s wine industry as a whole and the focus on Malbec as their calling card varietal. Over the past few years I’ve enjoyed the wines from Graffigna on numerous occasions. Today I’ll look at one of their current releases of Malbec. The Graffigna 2010 Centenario Malbec was produced from fruit grown in the San Juan region of Argentina. Hand harvesting of the fruit occurred in the early morning hours to assure cooler temperatures. After transport to the winery in small vessels the grapes were macerated for 15 days followed by fermentation in stainless steel tanks; another 7 day period of maceration followed. Barrel aging occurred over 12 months in a combination of French (85%) and American oak (15%). This wine can be most often found on store shelves for right around $10.
This Malbecs nose is filled with red and black raspberry aromas. These characteristics as well as cherry, mission fig and a host of spices such as nutmeg and fennel emerge on the palate which shows good refinement. Vanilla bean, cardamom, white and black pepper as well as a bit of cranberry emerges on the finish which has good length for its category. The Graffigna Malbec shows off medium tannins that yield easily with air. It also displays a few hints of the eager, bright fruits so typical of Malbec in this category but leans heavily towards the darker, denser fruits and structure more often found in pricier examples. This is a solid value in Malbec and a fine choice to drink on World Malbec Day.