Malbec wines may have originated in northern Burgundy and were once produced in many French wine growing regions. For nearly two centuries though, French Malbec wine has been most associated with the western part of the country. There, it is the primary red grape of Cahors and a blending component in several nearby AOCs.

Of course, Malbec wine was long a key component in Bordeaux reds too. But a single year cost Malbec its foothold there. In 1956, a terrible frost devastated French vineyards. In Bordeaux, Malbec was most effected. Not only was that year’s crop ruined, many of the vines died. The winegrowers of Bordeaux replaced almost all of those vines with Merlot, which is now by far the most-planted grape in Bordeaux. Malbec, on the other hand, represents only about 3% of Bordeaux’ plantings today.

The story for Malbec wine is much sunnier in Argentina. There, bright, mountain sunlight and negligible rainfall mean the grape can achieve lovely ripeness year in and year out. Its inky purple color and focused, dark berry flavors are found in a spectrum of wines, from soft and quaffable to concentrated, structured and age-worthy.

The grape was introduced to Argentina in the 19th century, but Argentina didn’t become a major player in the global market until the late 20th century. With new economic policies, improved viticulture and winemaking, and the innate attractiveness of Argentinian Malbec wine, it’s sales have soared. Today, there are more than 50,000 acres of the grape in Argentina, roughly 15 times as many as in Bordeaux.

Though not to the same extent, Malbec wine is also popular in some California wine regions. In AVAs such as Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Sonoma Valley and Alexander Valley, the grape was planted to serve as a blending component in Bordeaux-variety red wines. However, as in Argentina, the grapes in these regions get ripe enough that Malbec wine is very attractive on it’s own too.

    • WA 98
    • VN 96
    • JS 96
    Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 98 points

    The intense and high-pitched 2018 Aluvional Gualtallary has finesse, which is the challenge in this very wild zone of the Valle de Uco. This is a powerful zone because of the light and the cold nights, which make it...

    Reg: $99.94 $84.94
    24+ in stock
    24+ in Pre-Arrival
    • JS 99
    • WA 96
    • DC 96, 99 points

    Pristine and fresh but also complex and deep. Tile, wild herbs and lots of blueberries and flowers on the nose. The ultra-fine, immaculate tannins are fully dissolved on the full-bodied palate. A great malbec that is so...

    Reg: $114.94 $109.94
    24+ in Pre-Arrival
    • DC 95
    • JS 94
    Decanter, 95 points

    New to the Place de Bordeaux this year - the Argentinian project of Henri Parent, owner of La Violette in Pomerol. Intensely fragrant on the nose, so perfumed and so full of ripe black fruits. This has such concentration...

    Reg: $99.94 $89.94
    1 in stock
    • JS 98
    • VN 97
    • WA 96, 98 points

    What a nose, garnering complexity and depth. A wide spectrum of aromas that range from blackberries and blueberries to graphite, tree bark and wet earth. A medium-to full-bodied red, showing so much fleshy fruit and...

    Reg: $119.94 $99.94
    24+ in stock