Good morning from the Barossa, where we’re celebrating World Malbec Day!
Specifically, Malbec from Tierra del Puerco, the ‘Land of the Pigs’ out on the Western Ridge of the Barossa Valley, where Malbec is planted alongside Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro & Piquepoul by Lienert Vineyards.
The rich red soils of Barossa’s western ridge are today home to some of this country’s most admired red wines. But step back a generation or two, and this land was producing prize winners of another kind.
From the finest bloodlines, prepared and presented with the same meticulous attention now accorded their wines, ‘Lienerts of Sheaoak Log’ was, in its day, Australia’s finest pig stud. Winning championship ribbons and fetching record prices, these mythical beasts were ‘worth their weight in gold’.
Today, brothers John and James continue the winning ways of their forefathers as Lienert Vineyards. Displaying many characteristics desired of a best-in-class pig, their wines show a good head, strong back, magnificent top line and back end, great length and beautiful balance, and, as and when required, a well-fleshed belly!
They named this place Tierra del Puerco – ‘Land of the Pigs’, having the highest regard for their land and the bounty it brings, with each wine proudly bearing the name of a champion Lienert pig of yesteryear.
‘Tirzah’ Malbec 2001, is named to honour a porcine princess who won gold at the Royal Adelaide Show in 1968. Heaping more glory on the name Lienert, driving buyers with large shiny trucks to the doors of the family farm in search of the finest porkers. The 2020 is currently #1 in the @therealrvw rankings of Australian Malbec. The pedigree continues.
Here’s how winemaker James Lienert describes the wine, in his effusive way with words: “allspice, rhubarb, pomegranate, milko bars, redskins, thyme, black tea, apple skin, clove, petrichor, sage, tar, lemongrass, strawberry, cherry, blackberry, santa rosa plum. On the palate, fresh acid, spice, plum and cherry, coffee, raspberry, rosemary, thyme, fine tannin, and a lovely savoury edge. All the typical malbec characters.’
Second release. Only eight barrels were made.
Shop: Lienert Vineyards Tierra del Puerco GMM 2020
The Lienert Vineyards Malbec also provides an essential component to their blend. Instead of the classic Barossa GSM, we can show lifted spicy notes and juicy fruit flavours from Malbec in a supporting role alongside beautifully fragrant Grenache with its lifted aromatics and strawberry fruit characters, giving a lightness and airiness to the wine. Then comes the Mataro with its darker fruit profile, umami, and earthy characters. A ‘sum of all parts wine’, mid-weight. Or as James puts it, “This wine is a perfect match for pork dumplings with a soy/sesame oil dipping sauce. Twenty-seven dumplings, to be precise.”
As someone who enjoys wine, you may know that Malbec has recently gained popularity in Australia, but its journey to international fame has been slow and steady over the centuries.
At Artisans of Barossa, we value the historical significance of Malbec, which originated in Cahors, South West France, and was prominent as a blending grape in Bordeaux. In the late 1860s, Malbec found a new home in Mendoza, Argentina, where the style of wine gained traction and became Argentina's premier red grape variety.
While France and Argentina are the most well-known Malbec regions, our neighbor, Chile, also produces notable Malbec wines. As a knowledgeable wine expert, you may appreciate the diverse range of flavors and styles that Malbec can offer.
At Artisans of Barossa, we believe that those who enjoy full-bodied Shiraz will also appreciate the rich and bold flavors of Malbec. Its acidity and robust character make it an ideal pairing for traditional grilled Argentinian meats, making it a perfect addition to your next BBQ. We invite you to discover the unique qualities of Malbec and taste why it has become such a popular and beloved wine variety around the world.