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Malbec

Learn about Malbec — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originated in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.

Tasting Notes for Malbec

Malbec is a dry, red wine that typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec wine will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.

Perfect Food Parings for Malbec

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secrets for Malbec

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

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  • Latta Malbec Northridge Vineyard 2013 Front Label
    Latta Malbec Northridge Vineyard 2013
    Malbec from Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • Bodega Noemia de Patagonia Rio Negro Valley Malbec 2013 Front Label
      Bodega Noemia de Patagonia Rio Negro Valley Malbec 2013
      Malbec from Patagonia, Argentina
      • JS98
      • RP97
      • WS93
      4.8 6 Ratings
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    • Bodega Colome Altura Maxima Malbec 2013 Front Label
      Bodega Colome Altura Maxima Malbec 2013
      Malbec from Salta, Argentina
      • RP97
      • WE92
      4.8 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $139.99
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    • Lagier Meredith Malbec 2013 Front Label
      Lagier Meredith Malbec 2013
      Malbec from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
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      • Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard Malbec 2013 Front Label
        Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard Malbec 2013
        Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
        • RP96
        • D95
        • JS94
        • WE92
        4.1 8 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      • Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2013 Front Label
        Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2013
        Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
        • RP98
        • JS96
        • WE91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $164.99
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      • Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2013 Front Label
        Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2013
        Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
        • JS96
        • RP96
        • WW94
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        Currently Unavailable $138.99
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      • Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec 2013 Front Label
        Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec 2013
        Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
        • RP96
        • JS95
        • WE93
        • WW93
        • WS91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $124.99
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      • Vina Cobos Bramare Zingaretti Vineyard Malbec 2013 Front Label
        Vina Cobos Bramare Zingaretti Vineyard Malbec 2013
        Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
        • JS96
        • WS93
        • WE92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $99.97
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      • Tiano & Nareno Travesia 1908 2013 Front Label
        Tiano & Nareno Travesia 1908 2013
        Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
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          Currently Unavailable $279.97
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          279 97
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