Grape Of The Week: Malbec

A fantastic alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, Malbec is a thick-skinned red grape that originated in France, where it's known as Côt. Found in Bordeaux blends alongside Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, Malbec tends to have notes of red plum, blackberry, vanilla, sweet tobacco, and cocoa. Fantastic on its own, Malbec is also remarkable when partnered with blue cheese, mushroom burgers, duck, and even desserts like tiramisu. 

Malbec Wines

Malbec was never considered a top varietal in France, so when severe frost wiped out tons of Malbec vines in 1956, winemakers didn’t bother replanting as many. Instead, they dedicated those acres to more popular grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. With a total acreage of just over 97,000, Argentina was Malbec’s saving grace as they account for 75% of those acres. Where French Malbecs tend to be a bit more savory with subtle spice, Argentinian Malbec is fruitier with hints of leather. 

Looking to indulge? Here are some wines to try:


Andeluna Cellars Limited Edition Malbec 2021

Astica Malbec 2022

Bodega Diamandes Perlita Malbec-Syrah 2019

Loca Linda Malbec 2020

Xumek Malbec 2019

France & Italy

Chateau Segonzac Cotes de Blaye VV 2018

Domaine Perrault-Jadaud Les Joueurs de Nez 2020

Donne Fittipaldi Bolgheri Rosso 2020

Grape Photo Courtesy of UC Davis.