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The 13 Best Malbec You Should Drink in 2022

Malbec
This is our review of the 13 Best Malbec you should drink this year. Enjoy!
Malbec is the most important black grape planted in Argentina and offers very good value for money.
 
It’s known for its deep color, full body, high tannins, intense back fruit flavors, and vanilla and spice notes from oak ageing. 
 
Have you ever found yourself staring at many Malbec bottles wondering which one you would like best?
 
We have picked a selection of the 13 best Malbec you can find right now
 
We have categorized them by styles and added an extensive buying guide so that you have all you need to make an informed decision.
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Salentein Reserve Malbec (Barrel Selection).
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec Lujan de Cuyo 2019.
 
You’ll find the table of content below. Let’s start with the review!
4.5/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 3 times as much.

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Black Fruits, Roses, Cloves, Cinnamon, Spices. 

This wine is a Vivino Editor’s Pick, and this is what he has to say:

“Multiple 100-Point Winemaking Phenom Paul Hobbs’ Fan-Favorite Argentine Red Returns! With a Mind-boggling Number of Perfect 5.0/5.0 Reviews, This Malbec Can’t Be Ignored!”

Aromas of pepper, cloves, cinnamon and other spices, along with black fruits and roses.

4/5

Vivino’s tips: 90 points by Wine Enthusiast (2019 Vintage)

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Black Fruits, Vanilla, Tobacco, Spices, Violet. 

Intense, purplish red color. It is fresh and complex to the nose.

It brings spicy aromas of nutmeg mingled with delicate floral notes.

It is very intense, juicy and fresh in the mouth with a good structure and a long finish.

4/5

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Black Fruits, Dark Chocolate, Baker Spice, Sandalwood. 

Beautiful red/purple color with aromas of black cherries, dark fruits, dark chocolate and bakers spice.

On the palate, the wine shows dense dark berry and plum flavors along with hints of sandalwood and spice, and even a hint of violets in the finish.

Full-bodied and well-structured.

4.5/5

Vivino’s tips: Among top 1% of all wines in the world

Region: United States, Napa Valley

Tasting notes:
Huckleberry, Raspberry, Vanilla, Oak, Earthy, Mint.

The growing season was near perfect, with ideal spring bud break and warm, steady days balanced by cool nights.

The steady weather continued into the fall, resulting in optimal ripening conditions at harvest.

The 2012 Mt. Brave Malbec opens with dark, ripe raspberry and huckleberry with spicy undertones.

The sturdy structure reveals that this is a true mountain wine.

4.1/5

Region: France, Cahors

Tasting notes:
Blackcurrant, Cherry, Spices, Leather, Licorice.

Very dark color with carmine highlights and a wonderfully complex and powerful bouquet of morello cherry, blackcurrant, and spices.

The freshness and fruitiness on the nose carry over beautifully to the palate, which has a long, silky aftertaste.

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Dark Blackberry, Plum,  Cocoa, Vanilla, Baking Spice.

This is one of the bestsellers wine in California right now, and for a good reason!

It is a nice medium to fuller bodied Malbec with a great value for money.

It is boasting dark blackberry and plum fruit flavors coupled with notes of baking spice, cocoa, toast and vanilla.

3.8/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 90% more.

Region: France, Saint-Estèphe

Tasting notes: Dark Fruits, Raspberry, Prune, Oak, Chocolate, Earthy, Pepper.

Purplish red in color with intense floral aromas and very fruity character.

This juicy Malbec recalls ripe plums and pink peppercorns.

The medium-bodied palate is well balanced and very flavorful.

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: 95 points wine

Region: Australia, Eden Valley

Tasting notes: Dark Fruits, Anise, Cassis, Sage, Violet.

Deep crimson in color. An intense nose of ripe mulberry, plum, blue and black berry fruits and anise gives way to underlying floral violet notes and hints of cassis, sage and pepper spice.

The beautifully balanced palate shows layers of sweet, concentrated fruit and texture, with fine-grained tannins for a long and elegant finish.

4/5

Vivino’s tips: 94 points by Tim Atkin (2018 Vintage)

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Dark Fruits, Ripe Red Fruits, Spices, Vanilla, Chocolate.

Luigi Bosca Malbec is an intense purple color wine, with distinct aromas of ripe red fruits, spices and black pepper.

The intensity of the entry in the mouth is complemented with the softness and sweetness of tannins.

A pure, full-bodied, well-structured red wine with character and all the juiciness typical of this variety. 

A long lingering and elegant finish.

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 50% more. | In Best wines $20-$40

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Black Fruits, Cherry, Chocolate, Pepper

Incredible deep purple red color. Loads of spice and black and red cherry aromas with notes of chocolate.

The berry flavors really pop on the palate as the wine has both a full mid palate and lively acidity that leads to an incredibly long finish.

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Black Fruits, Cassis, Chocolate, Licorice, Tobacco.

Floral aromas with blackberry, blueberry and cassis.
 
Concentrated, well-integrated with flavors of crushed blackberry, licorice and bitter chocolate-tobacco.
4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: 94 by Wine Advocate

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Dark Fruits, Cassis, Cedar, Leather, Violet, Chocolate, Vanilla, Black Pepper.

Deep, saturated violet color with a blackish hue.

The nose presents a wide array of dark berry fruits with notes of delicate violets flowers as well as sweet clove spices, a touch of cedar and leather.

The palate offers rich cassis and black currant fruit flavors interwoven with hints of chocolate, vanilla and black pepper.

4.8/5

Vivino’s tips: 2013 vintage rates better than any other year for this wine

Region: France, Cahors.

Tasting notes: Black Fruits, Red Berries, Vanilla, Licorice, Chocolate, Graphite.

Deep, dark, dense red nose a sophisticated nose, with red berry fruit aromas and notes of vanilla and licorice taste.

It is a balanced, elegant wine, with smooth, supple tannins developing into woody notes that mingle with red berry fruit aromas.

This wine is rounded, harmonious and hearty, with a nice aftertaste.

Buying Guide to Malbec

It’s not just about which Malbec you should buy.

There are other important aspects like how to serve it, food pairings, and much more.

The below buying guide will give you a detailed overview of all these topics.

Malbec Overview

Here you find an overview of where Malbec is most commonly planted.

Grape

Malbec

ABV

13.5%–15%

Main Regions

Argentina: Mendoza, San Juan, Salta
France: Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Sud-Ouest

Other Regions

Australia
Chile
South Africa
USA: California, Washington, Oregon

Grape

Malbec

ABV

13.5%–15%

Main Regions

Argentina: Mendoza, San Juan, Salta
France: Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Sud-Ouest

Other Regions

Australia
Chile
South Africa
USA: California, Washington, Oregon

Malbec Taste Profile

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Malbec.

Color

Deep Purple Red

Nose

Black Fruits
Cherry
Cocoa
Black Pepper
Violet

Palate

Black Fruits, Cherry
Vanilla, Chocolate
Dry
Medium Acidity
High Tannins
Full Body

Color

Deep Purple Red

Nose

Black Fruits
Cherry
Cocoa
Black Pepper
Violet

Palate

Black Fruits, Cherry
Vanilla, Chocolate
Dry
Medium Acidity
High Tannins
Full Body

Malbec Food Pairing

These are some food pairing suggestions for Malbec.

Appetitizer

Roasted Mushroom,
Roasted Vegetables and Potatoes,
Black Beans, Beet, Onion

Meat

Asado,
Bufalo,
Beef Brisket,
Ostrich,
Lamb,
Pork Shoulder,
Duck

Fish

-

Cheese

Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola),
Semi-Hard (Cheddar)

Appetitizer

Roasted Mushroom,
Roasted Vegetables and Potatoes,
Black Beans, Beet, Onion

Meat

Asado,
Bufalo,
Beef Brisket,
Ostrich,
Lamb,
Pork Shoulder,
Duck

Fish

-

Cheese

Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola),
Semi-Hard (Cheddar)

Serve and Store Malbec

Here you find some useful tips on how to serve and store Malbec.

Decant

30 mins

Glass

Burgundy

Serve at

59 - 64 °F
15 - 18 °C

Store for

5 to 10 years

Decant

30 mins

Glass

Burgundy

Serve at

59 - 64 °F
15 - 18 °C

Store for

5 to 10 years

Malbec Styles

There are at four Malbec styles you should know about. 

Here is a quick overview for some regions and what to expect:

Argentina Malbec has a deep color, intense fruity flavors with a velvety texture. Expect higher acidity than the French version, and cocoa powder notes.

Cahors AOC (French Malbec) is a blend of at least 70% Malbec plus Merlot and Tannat. Has a moderate acidity and tannic structure.

USA Malbec is primarily produced in California, Oregon and Washington. Expects dark fruit and herbal notes.

Australia Malbec usually growth at lower altitude compared to Argentinian Malbec. Expect softer tannins, violet and aromatic notes.

Our Verdict

Malbec is the most important black grape planted in Argentina and offers very good value for money.
 
It’s known for its deep color, full body, high tannins, intense back fruit flavors, and vanilla and spice notes from oak ageing. 
 
If you have been through the buying guide, you should have a pretty good idea of how to navigate the Malbec world.
 
At the same time, you have probably realized by now, that there’s a huge selection, many styles, and various price points.
 
The good news is that you can get very high quality usually at a good price if you know where to look!
 
That’s why proper guidance comes in handy. We hope our guide was helpful in this regard.
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Salentein Reserve Malbec (Barrel Selection).
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec Lujan de Cuyo 2019.
 
As always, make sure to serve your Malbec at the right temperature and with the proper glass.

What to do next?

Read our wine tasting guide to enhance your tasting experience and taste like the pro!

Alternatively, why don’t you check out our guides on Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot, or the other red wines?

FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Malbec.

What does Malbec mean?

Rumors are that the grape was named after an Hungarian peasant, named Malbec or Malbeck, who spread the grape all over France. 

What is Malbec history?

The grape was originally planted in France, where it was one of the major varieties produced.
 
In 1956 most Malbec plantations were wiped out by a frost, and the grape was replaced with Cabernet France and Merlot
 
A small amount was kept and used for blending. Malbec is one of the varieties allowed in Bordeaux wine.
 
Only the Cahors area, southwest France, in the area that still produces Malbec in purity with its AOC
 
Luckily for us, Argentina reinvigorated Malbec, and today over 75% of all acres in the world are produced there.

Where does Malbec grow best?

Malbec is a grape variety that needs high-altitude, sun and heat to mature and bring deep color, tannins and the typical plum note.

Soil wise it gives it best in limestone soil, like those of Cahors.

When is the perfect time to drink Malbec?

Malbec and asado, i.e. BBQ, are a match made in heaven. 

Is Malbec sweet?

Barbera is not sweet. It is a dry wine which means it contains less than 15 g/L, or sugar per liter.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

Is there a World Malbec Day?

Yes, there is and it’s the 17th April, get ready!

Is Malbec a popular wine in the USA?

Yes, it is! It’s actually one of the most popular right after Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

What are Malbec's synonyms?

Malbec has many synonyms, the most famous are Côt, Pressac, Cahors, Doux Noir, and Auxerrois.

What is one of the most famous Malbec blend?

One of the most famous Malbec blend is Bordeaux wine. Malbec is part of the so called six “Bordeaux Varietals”.

These are: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot.

What’s Malbec's typical price range?

Malbec is an affordable wine you can find a good bottle below $20 specially Mendoza, with little oak notes.

If you are after great bottles it will likely by a reserve and your price range will be up to $50, where oak ageing has added extra complexity to it.

Exceptional bottles will go up to $100-ish and the luxury bottles will be $100+, usually from France.

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