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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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  • Bodega Colome Reserva Malbec 2009 Front Label
    Bodega Colome Reserva Malbec 2009
    Malbec from Salta, Argentina
    • WS91
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  • Clos Troteligotte K-Lys Malbec 2009 Front Label
    Clos Troteligotte K-Lys Malbec 2009
    Malbec from Cahors, Southwest, France
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    • W&S91
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  • Tilia Malbec 2009 Front Label
    Tilia Malbec 2009
    Malbec from Argentina
    • WE87
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  • Bodega Noemia de Patagonia J. Alberto Malbec 2009 Front Label
    Bodega Noemia de Patagonia J. Alberto Malbec 2009
    Malbec from Argentina
    • WE92
    • W&S91
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  • Odfjell Orzada Malbec 2009 Front Label
    Odfjell Orzada Malbec 2009
    Malbec from Chile
    • RP90
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  • Tikal Natural Organic Malbec 2009 Front Label
    Tikal Natural Organic Malbec 2009
    Malbec from Argentina
    • RP90
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  • Bodega Colome Estate Malbec 2009 Front Label
    Bodega Colome Estate Malbec 2009
    Malbec from Argentina
    • RP92
    • WS90
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  • Amalaya Malbec Blend 2009 Front Label
    Amalaya Malbec Blend 2009
    Malbec from Argentina
    • WS89
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  • El Esteco Don David Malbec Reserve 2009 Front Label
    El Esteco Don David Malbec Reserve 2009
    Malbec from Argentina
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    • Bodega Noemia de Patagonia Rio Negro Valley Malbec 2009 Front Label
      Bodega Noemia de Patagonia Rio Negro Valley Malbec 2009
      Malbec from Argentina
      • WS96
      • WE92
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    • Melipal Malbec 2009 Front Label
      Melipal Malbec 2009
      Malbec from Argentina
      • WS87
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