Is the place where this really good wine comes from. This isn’t about McBain’s nemesis at all.
It’s not every restaurant that gets it’s very own wine. But over two years ago, Bodega Ruca Malen created Malbec magnums for Roast, the consistently great meat’n’Brit eatery nestled above Borough Market.
This proved to be a jolly good idea. People like to drink lots of good Malbec with decent protein. So off the back of that, they’ve now created a unique blend for Roast, offering a great representation of Argentinian terroirs and of the purply varietal, in general.
A boutique winery in Mendoza, set up in 1998 by owners Jean-Pierre Thibauld and Jacques Louis de Montalembert, Ruca Malen combines their experience at Bodegas Chandon in Argentina and in Burgundy, respectively. Growing at high altitude concentrates flavour and aroma, so the grapes for this ‘Kinien’ or unique wine, create complex and intense flavours with exceptional freshness and plenty of dark, spicy fruit.
Malbec is still the principal grape of Cahors in France and was first introduced to Argentina in 1868, by a French agricultural engineer. As one might expect, M. Thibauld uncovered a local legend and this leads to the etymology of the wine’s name. A young Mapuche girl dared to look at the face of a young god who walked amongst her people and as a result, fell instantly in love. The god gave her a home, ‘Ruca Malen’, meaning ‘house of the young girl’ and an everlasting nectar to drink to remind her of the joy of that first look of love. Sounds like a case for social services to us, but the grog that bears her name is quite worthy of mild deification.
Eating Roast’s excellent winter fayre, whilst sat next to their own fair maiden, head sommelier Anne Lomas, it is easy to see why this wine is such a perfect fit for the restaurants deeply flavoured dishes. Anne points to its classic Malbec deep, almost purple ruby colour, then distinct heavy berry fruit followed by spicy peppery notes. You get just enough tannin to counteract succulent meat fats and cheese, but still smooth enough to let your tongue go and carry it through to dessert. Paired with a mighty baked brie or a very naughty fat quivering beef wellington, it’s easy to understand Malbec’s continuing rise in popularity and why you might want to get down to Roast to see how it should be perfectly paired.