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by Fred McMillin
Where Cot Hits the Spot
Cot, or Malbec, as it is more often known by wine drinkers, produces a sort of watered-down rustic version of Merlot...Such a status does nothing to enhance its status in the eyes of the world's connoisseurs.
...Jancis Robinson on the Cot in Bordeaux, 1986
In Argentina the Cot or Malbec has changed over time, adapted to its regional environment, and is now capable of yielding a complex red wine, balanced and long-lived.
...Prof. H. De Bliz, Wine Regions of the Southern Hemisphere, 1985 In Argentina, the Malbec has far more potential than Cabernet Sauvignon.
...Hugh Johnson, 1997 Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine
Now, we've got a Cot that proves Hugh's point. But first, how did the grape get from France to Argentina?
The country made its first wines from the Mission and the Muscat grapes, after the Jesuits brought the vine back around 1560. It took nearly 300 years for the Malbec to arrive. First, the descendant of a Basque family, Silvestre Errazuriz, brought the Malbec to Chile in 1851. Within a few decades, the Cot had crossed the Andes, led by the efforts of Governor Tiburcio Benegas. The ladies deserve some credit here, since Hugh Johnson tells us Don Benegas had no interest in wine until he married the daughter of a progressive landowner in 1870. During the next 100 years, Cot clearly became the nation's best wine grape. Here's a fine example.
Wine of the Day
1996 Malbec Oak Reserve, Mendoza, Argentina
Argentina's love affair with Cot is reflected in my 1995 U.C.-Davis winemaking tome showing that of all the world's Malbec, Argentina grows about 70% of it.
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