Malbec originates from Bordeaux and is still sometimes used in the red wines made there. However, its susceptibility to disease has caused its popularity to dwindle since its 19th century heyday.(Further south in Cahors, Malbec is still the main variety.)
Today, however, it has become the flagship red grape of Argentina, where the unique geography helps protect it from pestilence and maladies. Argentinean Malbec expresses a vivid blackberry fruitiness and a silky ripeness not often achieved in France.
Malbec is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot in Bordeaux and with Tannat and Merlot in Cahors. In Argentina, Malbec excels in its own right and often benefits from oak aging. Its ripe tannins and lush flavors make it a perfect partner for steak.
Inky black in color with notes of blackberries and chocolate.
Wines to Try
HJ Fabre, J Opi, Schroeder Estate
Mendoza, Patagonia, Cahors, Bordeaux
Cot, Auxerrois, Pressac
- At one point, Malbec was more common in the Médoc than Cabernet Sauvignon. The fact that many of the great red Bordeaux of the 19th century lasted decades into the 20th is evidence of Malbec's aging potential.
- Malbec was originally brought to France by a Hungarian peasant.
- If you like Malbec, you might also like: Carmenère from neighboring Chile, Good Cru Bourgeois Médoc from a warm vintage such as 2003, 2005 or 2009.