The 18 Best Malbec You Should Drink in 2024

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Malbec
This is our review of the 18 Best Malbec you should drink this year. Enjoy!
Welcome! Have you ever found yourself staring at many Malbec bottles wondering which one you would like best?
 
We spent a lot of hours researching the topic and tested hundreds of wines to come up with the below 18 best-of list for you.
 
We have ranked them by quality, region, and value for money and added an extensive buying guide so that you have all you need to make an informed decision.
 
You don’t have to spend several $100s to get an outstanding bottle of wine.
 
Choose one of the below bottles and you’ll find quality wines at a competitive price, for all occasions and pockets.
 
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 aging.
 
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. 

Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec Lujan de Cuyo is a truly remarkable wine that is a testament to the artistry and dedication of the winemakers at Viña Cobos.

This wine stands out from other Malbecs because of its complexity, depth, and balance.

The grapes are grown in the Lujan de Cuyo region of Argentina, where the vineyards are at high altitude, resulting in a longer growing season and a unique expression of the Malbec grape.

The four things that make this wine the best overall are:

  • Brings Malbec to the next level with its elegance, depth, complexity, and balance, so you are going to have a great experience.
  • It ranks in the top 3 Argentinian Malbec wines in California right now and regularly scores 91+ points according to numerous critics, so it’s widely recognized as an outstanding wine.
  • You can drink it now or let it age for at least another five years if stored properly so that you can let it achieve its maximum potential.
  • Priced competitively against its peers, so you’ll save a few $10s and still get an outstanding wine.

On the nose, the wine offers intense aromas of dark fruit, such as blackberry, black cherry, and plum, along with hints of vanilla and spice.

On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and rich, with flavors of ripe fruit, chocolate, and coffee, balanced by firm tannins and a refreshing acidity. The finish is long and satisfying, with a lingering note of spice.

Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec Lujan de Cuyo is a wine that can be enjoyed on its own, but also pairs well with a variety of foods.

It is a perfect match for grilled meats, such as steak and lamb, as well as hearty stews and casseroles. 

In summary, Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec Lujan de Cuyo is a special wine because of its unique expression of the Malbec grape, its depth and complexity, and its ability to pair well with a variety of foods.

It is a must-try for any wine lover looking for a high-quality Malbec that stands out from the rest.

Read our full review here.

4/5

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

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

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

Salentein Reserve Malbec (Barrel Selection) is an exceptional wine that showcases the unique terroir of Mendoza and the skill of its winemakers.

With its complex aromas of dark fruit, spice, and oak, rich and velvety texture, and long, satisfying finish, this wine is a standout among Malbecs from Argentina and beyond.

The three things that make this wine the best value wine are:

  • It’s rich, complex and well-balanced, which means that you both get complexity and richness in flavors and aromas. 
  • It’s a versatile wine, so you can pair it with numerous dishes.
  • It offers great value for your money, $20+ cheaper than Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec Lujan de Cuyo 2019.

It is a perfect match for hearty meat dishes and bold cheeses, and its depth and elegance make it a wine to savor and appreciate.

If you are a fan of Malbec, or simply love discovering new and delicious wines, the Salentein Reserve Malbec (Barrel Selection) is not to be missed.

Read our full review here.
4/5

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

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

La Posta Pizzella Family Vineyard Malbec is a stellar example of high-quality Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina.

It offers a rich and complex aroma and flavor profile, with notes of dark fruit, spice, and tobacco, and a smooth, velvety texture.

  • It’s rich and well-balanced which means it’ll be bold in taste, yet easy to drink.
  • It’s the perfect everyday red that delivers every time.
  • It cost ~$16 (😲) yes, which is very good for the quality you get.

It’s impressive to see how much care and attention the Pizzella family puts into growing and harvesting their grapes, resulting in a wine that truly showcases the terroir of the region.

Overall, the La Posta Pizzella Family Vineyard Malbec is a must-try for Malbec lovers and anyone looking for a delicious and approachable red wine.

Read our full review here.

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.

Mt. Brave Malbec is a bold and complex wine that showcases the best qualities of Napa Valley Malbec.

Its rich aromas of dark fruit and earthy notes complement the flavors of blackberry, cassis, and vanilla on the palate.

The tannins are firm yet well-integrated, giving the wine a smooth and lingering finish.

This is a wine that will continue to age gracefully and evolve in the bottle, making it a great addition to any cellar.

Mt. Brave has truly created a standout Malbec that sets itself apart from others in the market, making it a must-try for any Malbec enthusiast.

Read our full review here.

4.4/5

Region: France, Cahors

Tasting notes:
Blackberry, Black Cherry, Spices.

Château Du Caillau Malbec Cahors is a distinctive and impressive wine that showcases the unique character of Malbec grapes grown in the Cahors region of Southwest France.

This wine is a testament to the skill and dedication of the winemakers, with its complex flavors and aromas, robust structure, and long, persistent finish.

Overall, Château du Caillau Malbec Cahors is a remarkable wine that will delight any Malbec lover.

Read our full review here.

4.1/5

Region: France, Cahors

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

Georges Vigouroux Château de Haute-Serre Malbec is an exceptional wine that truly captures the essence of the Cahors region.

This full-bodied wine offers a complex array of aromas and flavors, with notes of dark fruit, spice, and earth.

The wine’s firm tannins and long finish make it a great choice for food pairing, and it pairs exceptionally well with grilled meats and hard cheeses.

Overall, this wine is a testament to the skill and dedication of the winemaker, and is a must-try for any Malbec enthusiast.

Read our full review here.

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.

El Enemigo Malbec is a wine of exceptional quality, showcasing the complexity and power of the Malbec grape.

Winemaker Alejandro Vigil has crafted a wine with rich, intense flavors and aromas, balanced by a silky texture and firm tannins.

The wine has a long and elegant finish, making it an ideal choice for special occasions or dinner parties.

El Enemigo Malbec is a must-try for any Malbec lover, and its versatility makes it a welcome addition to any wine collection.

Read our full review here.

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.

The Viu Manent Estate Collection Reserva Malbec is a standout example of the quality of wines coming from the Colchagua Valley in Chile.

Its rich, full-bodied palate, complex flavors, and firm tannins make it a wine that will impress even the most discerning palate.

It is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a range of flavorful dishes.

Overall, this is a wine that is sure to please any Malbec lover, and is a great example of the incredible value that can be found in Chilean wines.

Read our full review here.

3.5/5

Vivino’s tips: Featured in Top 13 Israeli Red wines in United States right now (2020 Vintage)

Region: Israel, Galilee

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

Barkan Classic Malbec is an excellent example of an Israeli Malbec that can hold its own against other international Malbecs.

This wine showcases the quality of grapes grown in the Judean Hills and the winemaking expertise of the Barkan Winery.

The wine’s balance of fruit, oak, and spice creates a complex and harmonious flavor profile, making it a versatile wine to pair with a variety of dishes.

With its reasonable price point and high quality, Barkan Classic Malbec is an excellent choice for wine enthusiasts looking to try something new.

Read our full review here.

3.8/5

Vivino’s tips: Rated 90 points by James Suckling and Robert Parker

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Plum, Sweet Spices, Vanilla, Chocolate.

Alamos Malbec is an impressive wine that captures the essence of Argentine Malbec.

The wine offers a tantalizing bouquet of ripe fruits, spices, and earthy notes, which carries through to the palate with a delicious blend of juicy blackberry, cherry, and plum flavors, complemented by hints of vanilla and oak.

The wine has a smooth texture with well-integrated tannins and a long, satisfying finish.

Alamos Malbec is an excellent choice for pairing with grilled meats, stews, or hearty pasta dishes, and its approachable price point makes it an ideal everyday wine.

Whether you’re a seasoned Malbec enthusiast or a newcomer to Argentine wines, Alamos Malbec is a must-try.

Read our full review here.
3.5/5

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Dark Fruits, Cherry, Vanilla, Oak.

Trapiche Malbec is a nice wine that truly showcases the quality of Argentine winemaking.

The wine’s full-bodied nature and well-integrated tannins make it an excellent match for hearty meat dishes, while its lingering finish and complexity make it a wine to be savored on its own.

Trapiche Malbec is a must-try for any red wine enthusiast and is a testament to the quality of Argentine winemaking.

Read our full review here.

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 exceptional wine that truly showcases the terroir and winemaking expertise of the Luigi Bosca family.

The wine’s full-bodied nature and well-integrated tannins make it an excellent match for hearty meat dishes, while its lingering finish and complexity make it a wine to be savored on its own.

Luigi Bosca Malbec is a must-try for any red wine enthusiast and is a testament to the quality of Argentinean winemaking.

Read our full review here.

Best under $20 runner-up: Gascon Malbec

3.7/5

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Black Cheery, Plum, Spices, Vanilla.

Gascon Malbec is a nice wine that showcases the versatility and popularity of the Malbec grape in Argentina.

The wine’s full-bodied nature and well-integrated tannins make it an excellent match for hearty meat dishes, while its lingering finish and complexity make it a wine to be savored on its own.

Gascon Malbec is a great choice for red wine enthusiasts who want to explore the unique flavors and aromas of Argentine wine.

Read our full review here.

4.5/5

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

Luca Old Vine Malbec is a rich and complex wine that truly showcases the unique terroir of the Uco Valley.

The old vine Malbec grapes give the wine a depth and complexity that is hard to find in other wines.

The wine’s full-bodied nature and well-structured tannins make it an excellent match for hearty meat dishes, while its complexity and depth make it a wine to be savored on its own.

Luca Old Vine Malbec is a must-try for any red wine enthusiast and is a testament to the quality of Argentine winemaking.

Read our full review here.

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.

Catena Alta Malbec is an outstanding wine that truly showcases the winemaking expertise of the Catena family and the unique terroir of the Mendoza region.

The wine’s full-bodied nature, rich flavors, and smooth texture make it an excellent match for a wide range of hearty dishes, while its complexity and lingering finish make it a wine to be savored on its own.

Catena Alta Malbec is a must-try for any red wine enthusiast and is a testament to the quality of Argentinian winemaking.

Read our full review here.

4.6/5

Region: France, Cahors.

Tasting notes: Blackberry, Black Cheery, Coffee, Spice, Cocoa.

Georges Vigouroux Château de Haute-Serre Malbec Icône is an exceptional wine that showcases the quality of Malbec grapes grown in the Cahors region.

The wine’s rich and complex flavors make it a great wine to enjoy with food, but it can also be enjoyed on its own as a sipping wine.

The wine’s full-bodied nature and well-integrated tannins make it an excellent match for rich and flavorful dishes, as well as strong and aged cheeses.

Georges Vigouroux Château de Haute-Serre Malbec Icône is a must-try for any red wine enthusiast looking for a premium and refined Malbec.

Read our full review here.

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.

Château Lagrézette Le Pigeonnier Malbec is a remarkable wine that truly showcases the unique terroir and winemaking traditions of the Cahors region.

The 100% Malbec grapes and the skilled winemaking techniques used to create the wine result in a complex and elegant wine that offers a range of flavors and aromas.

The wine’s full-bodied nature and well-integrated tannins make it an excellent match for hearty meat dishes, while its lingering finish and complexity make it a wine to be savored on its own.

Château Lagrézette Le Pigeonnier Malbec is a must-try for any Malbec lover and is a testament to the quality of French winemaking.

Read our full review here.

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.

Appetizer

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)

Appetizer

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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