What exactly is white Malbec? No, there isn’t a white Malbec grape! White Malbec is a white wine made from red Malbec grapes, and has become a popular new style for Argentina’s leading grape variety.
A guide to Argentine white Malbec
Malbec has been grown widely throughout Argentina for over 150 years. While its deep purple colour and rich aromas of plums and red berries make it an ideal grape variety for making smooth, supple red wines, it can also lend itself to making other styles of wines – ranging from rose to white!
In recent years, winemakers have been experimenting with making Malbec as a white wine. The ‘blanc de noir’ technique is common for varieties such as Pinot Noir, and most especially in sparkling wine, but ‘white Malbec’ is a new innovation. Although the white wine comes from the red Malbec grapes, it is picked early for higher acidity and pressed immediately so that there is little to no skin contact and the juice comes out clear. Most producers also use fining techniques to make the wine clearer before bottling.
The first white Malbec wines appeared in Argentina in 2011 by Vicentin Family Wines and Colosso Wines, and since then there are now several wineries making this new style such as this one from Estancia Mendoza – their Land of Malbec White Malbec, floral with notes of citrus and herbs on the nose. Rounded and smooth on the palate with refreshing balancing acidity.
What does white Malbec taste like?
Because the grapes are picked much earlier than they are picked for red Malbec wines (in February usually, compared to March-May for red Malbec) you can more white fruit and citrus aromas in white Malbec wines as well as fresh red fruit aromas.
Typically white wines from Malbec have aromas of white peach, grapefruit, cherry and strawberries, with a refreshing acidity and medium body.
Most are made in a dry style and with no oak influence, and are wines that are designed to drink young.
You should serve the wines just as you would a regular white wine, chilled, and white Malbecs pair nicely with summer salads and light dishes.