Malbec was always the underdog until it found a home in Argentina (becoming popular from the late 1990s onwards) and more recently, in Australia. In fact, in French the name of this thin-skinned, dark-purple grape is derived from the term mal bouche, meaning ’bad mouth’, which suggests what the old French winemakers thought of it. For a long time on Australia, malbec was thought of as a backup grape, often mixed with shiraz or cabernet sauvignon or simply blended in table wine with no mention on the label at all. Yet times have changed and the popularity of the crop as a stand-alone varietal is increasing at a rapid pace. When compared to Argentinian varieties, Australian malbec – grown at a lower altitude – tends to taste less linear and have a bolder mid-palate, while premium Australian versions tend to be richer and more tannic. Expect aromatic and violet notes plus soft tannins on the finish due to the milder climate.
“John Quarisa has had a distinguished career as a winemaker spanning over 20 years, working for some of Australia's largest wineries, including McWilliam's, Casella and Nugan Estate. He was also chiefly responsible in 2004 for winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy (Melbourne) and the Stodart Trophy (Adelaide). John and Josephine Quarisa have set up a very successful family business using grapes from various parts of NSW and SA, made in leased space. Production has risen in leaps and bounds, doubtless sustained by the exceptional value for money provided by the wines. Exports include the UK, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and NZ.”
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