Learn about Malbec — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
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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Geyser Peak Winemakers Reserve Malbec 1999Malbec from Napa Valley, California
Etchart Malbec Rio de Plata 1999Malbec from Argentina
Altos las Hormigas Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Tapiz Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Trivento Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Valentin Bianchi Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Alamos Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
San Telmo Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Bodega Norton Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Trapiche Estate Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Bodega Norton Malbec Reserva 1999Malbec from Argentina
Toasted Head Malbec 1999Malbec from California
Terrazas de los Andes Alto Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Balbi Malbec 1999Malbec from Argentina
Fabre Montmayou Lujan de Cuyo Malbec 1999Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
Montes Reserve Malbec 1999Malbec from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
Arrowood Malbec 1999Malbec from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California