Also known as Malvoisie, Ruländer (Switzerland and Loire Valley)
Also known as Côt in Touraine or Auxerrois in Cahors. A classic grape for rustic wines. It is produced in the Loire (vinified alone or blended with Cabernet Franc and Gamay), and in the South-West and Bordeaux (where it is blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot). Known to give full-bodied red wines with powerful, alcoholic and very colourful tannins, what defines Malbec in its structure is its intense fruity aromatic expression, as well as its volume in the mouth and its fairly marked alcohol. The climate will have its influence: Malbec expresses more body and power in hot climates, such as Argentina where it is the king grape variety. Vinified on its own, it can lack finesse and flavour, especially if it lacks sunshine. Something that does not happen with Argentinean Malbecs. These powerful, warm and very ripe fruity wines can be drunk young, unlike the Cahors where the sometimes astringent vegetal side will only fade after 5 years.