Learn about Malbec wine — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec wine 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.
Malbec Tasting Notes
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.
Malbec Food Pairing Tips
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.
- Pinot Noir310
- Cabernet Sauvignon158
- Rhône Blends117
- Other Red Blends107
- Bordeaux Red Blends63
- Cabernet Franc33
- Tuscan Blends20
- Petite Sirah14
- Other Red Wine7
- Nero d'Avola5
- Petit Verdot2
- Nerello Mascalese2
- Pinot Meunier1
- St. Laurent1
Bodega Noemia de Patagonia J. Alberto Malbec 2016Malbec from Patagonia, Argentina
Cosse et Maisonneuve Cahors Solis Malbec 2016Malbec from Cahors, Southwest, France
Amalaya Malbec 2016Malbec from Salta, Argentina
Bodega Noemia de Patagonia Rio Negro Valley Malbec 2016Malbec from Patagonia, Argentina
Opaque Malbec 2016Malbec from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Odfjell Orzada Malbec 2016Malbec from Chile
Chateau du Cedre Cahors Cedre Heritage 2016Malbec from Cahors, Southwest, France
Natura Malbec 2016Malbec from Rapel Valley, Chile
Chateau du Cedre 2016Malbec from Cahors, Southwest, France
Alhambra Valle de Uco Malbec Reserva 2016Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2016Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
Black Cabra Malbec 2016Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina