Best Malbec wine: Top Argentinian bottles - Decanter (2023)

There used to be a standard cliché of Argentinian Malbec. Great with steak, obviously. Plenty of black and red plum fruit, usually with a baked or syrupy edge. Alcohol starting at 14% and edging up further to 16%. ‘I’ve tasted 16.5% – you cannot finish the glass, let alone the bottle,’ notes Patricio Tapia, author of the influential Desorchados guide to Argentinian, Chilean and Uruguayan wines.

‘Those wines were part of a commercial boom in Argentina,’ says Tapia. But while Argentinian Malbec has effectively become a ‘brand’ in its own right, now a staple feature on wine lists around the world, the wines have evolved.

‘The change has been apparent in Mendoza, the vineyard in the desert,’ he adds. ‘Producers are investing in the Uco Valley to the west, beyond Luján de Cuyo, chasing higher altitudes, wider diurnal temperature ranges and different soils (above all, limestone). Gualtallary, Altamira and La Consulta are the among the small sub-zones that are gaining international fame.’

New technology… old vines

In the vineyard viticulturists are both looking forward with new technology and looking back to the heritage of their old vines. ‘Careful work on row orientation and viticulture is bringing in fresher fruit,’ explains Tapia, which in turn leads to fresher, lower-alcohol wines.

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Meanwhile in Luján de Cuyo, wineries are focusing on the benefits of their old vines. ‘The region’s oldest vines are often planted on their own roots, with great genetic diversity from centuries of massal selections and mutations, giving them a distinctive character,’ says Amanda Barnes, DWWA judge and author of The South America Wine Guide.

‘In general terms, however, Luján Malbecs are typically rounder and broader on the palate, with riper black- and red-fruit flavours than the fresher, floral style of Uco Valley, but more chiselled than the jammier wines of Maipú,’ she says.

There have also been changes in winemaking. ‘In the winery, there’s a welcome movement to reduce oak and replace new barrels with old oak and large foudres. Significantly, the new generation is investing in concrete,’ says Tapia. A symbol is Zuccardi’s Uco Valley winery, opened in 2016 and designed to reflect the surrounding the rocky landscape, which Sebastian Zuccardi has filled with concrete eggs and amphorae.

A sense of place

‘Malbec is our main red grape and the market knows Malbec. But I encourage consumers to keep on tasting Malbec from different origins in Argentina. It is very perfumed and fruity but also can be quite austere, still with a lot of character on the palate,’ adds Paz Levinson, DWWA Regional chair for Argentina 2022.

‘It is impressive how Malbec can be a transparent grape… it shows the place very well. Today we can identify different terroirs while tasting and have a deep understanding of the great wines Argentina is making,’ she adds.

Clearly there has never been a better time to explore Argentinian Malbec. The bottles below should offer some drinking inspiration. And the best part? Malbec from Argentina still makes a fantasticwine pairing with steak.

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Is Costco Malbec good? ›

This one is very similar to the prior vintage, and we're going to rate it the same at 88 points. It's right there among the best vintages of this Malbec that we've tasted. Hard to beat at this price.

What is the best way to serve Malbec? ›

Malbec wines are best served in a traditional red wine glass, slightly chilled, somewhere in the realm of 60-65 degrees.

Is Argentinian Malbec good? ›

'Malbec is our main red grape and the market knows Malbec. But I encourage consumers to keep on tasting Malbec from different origins in Argentina. It is very perfumed and fruity but also can be quite austere, still with a lot of character on the palate,' adds Paz Levinson, DWWA Regional chair for Argentina 2022.

What country makes the best Malbec wine? ›

Argentina doesn't just produce the best quality malbec wines, but they also produce some of the most affordable quality malbec wines.

Which is nicer Malbec or Merlot? ›

Merlot and malbec are similar easy-drinking reds and both are used in Bordeaux blends, but they have certain differences as well: Malbec is more tangy and fruity than merlot and therefore tastes thinner, where Merlot is more full-bodied and smooth. Malbec is more commonly paired with spicy foods.

Is Malbec the healthiest red wine? ›

As an especially thick-skinned variety, Malbec claims higher antioxidant levels than other red wines especially in terms of resveratrol. This variety has two to four times the amount of anti-inflammatory, health boosting antioxidants than other popular red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Should Malbec be decanted? ›

In fact, nearly all wines benefit from decanting for even a few seconds, if only for the aeration. However, young, strong red wines particularly need to be decanted because their tannins are more intense. Wines that should absolutely be decanted include: Malbec.

Should you let Malbec breathe? ›

Whether it's a young Napa Cab, an Argentine Malbec or Aussie Shiraz, these wines typically need a dose of oxygen to smooth out any roughness and soften tannins. Of course, if you enjoy the punch that these wines can pack straight out of the bottle, there's no need to delay.

Should you refrigerate Malbec? ›

Contrary to popular belief, red wine isn't always best served at room temperature. Malbec wine is no exception. Before serving Malbec, try popping it in the fridge for half an hour. This should cool it to just below room temperature, and will allow you to experience Malbec's full depth of flavor.

Do you drink Malbec warm or cold? ›

Pinot Noir is best served between 55-60°F, while Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are best served between 60-65°F. If you're storing your wine in a warm area, such as your kitchen, put a bottle of red in the fridge about 30 minutes before you're ready to serve it.

What is the average price of Malbec? ›

The $35 to $50 Malbec Price Range.

What food pairs with Malbec? ›

You'll find Malbec a great match for steak, pork, and lamb, as well as fattier fish like salmon and poultry with dark meat. Game meat—like bison, ostrich, and venison—are also a safe bet. In addition to meat pairings, consider foods with richer sauces or more vibrant flavors.

What should a good Malbec taste like? ›

What Does Malbec Taste Like? Most Malbec wines are smooth with jammy fruit flavor and savory notes of black cherry, pomegranate, plum, raspberry, and raisin. There are also hints of coffee, leather, tobacco, molasses, and black pepper.

When should I drink Malbec? ›

Malbec wines can fit most occasions. However, they tend to be more popular in informal gatherings. You can serve Malbec wines for aperitivo, pre-meal drinks.

Which is healthier Malbec or Pinot Noir? ›

In addition, pinot noir has the lowest sugar content and the least amount of calories among red wines. Malbec: Due to their thick skin, Malbec grapes have a high concentration of resveratrol, quercetin, and other antioxidants that can improve cardiovascular and immune health.

Is Shiraz better than Malbec? ›

Malbec Wine vs Shiraz Wine

While Malbec and Shiraz are both fruity, full-bodied wines, Shiraz is slightly more complex. Malbec is smoother with notes of plum, blackcurrant, and vanilla, whereas Shiras is smoky and spicy, delivering a peppery finish on the palate.

Is Malbec sweet or dry? ›

Which red wine is best for gut health? ›

Pinot Noir is rated as the healthiest wine because of the high levels of resveratrol. It is made of grapes with thin skin, has low sugar, fewer calories, and low alcohol content. Sagrantino made in Italy contains the highest concentration of antioxidants and is packed with tannins.

What kind of wine is good for kidneys? ›

Even though both red wine and white wine have similar impacts on health but red wine has a slightly higher composition of vitamins and minerals which boosts the condition of the kidneys and reduces the risks of chronic kidney diseases.

Is Malbec good for your heart? ›

Malbec, a smooth red wine with notes of blackberry and chocolate, has high levels of antioxidants and has been linked to both heart health and immune health.

How long should I decant a Malbec? ›

Medium-Bodied Red Wines: 30-60 minutes. A few examples include Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Merlot, Malbec, Barbera, Dolcetto, and Tempranillo. Full-Bodied Red Wines: 60 minutes or more.

How long can I leave red wine in a decanter? ›

If stored in the decanter, you'll want to be sure to enjoy it within 2 to 3 days. Storing wine any longer than that once it has been opened is not recommended. Following these simple guidelines will help you achieve maximum pleasure from your wine, in the fullest expression of its flavors and aromas. Enjoy!

How Long Should red wine sit in a decanter? ›

Feel free to enjoy the wine after only a few minutes in the decanter, up to about 15–20 minutes. Longer than that isn't really necessary. If you're decanting older reds in the traditional manner, ideal decanting is anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Does Malbec get better with age? ›

Red wine with higher tannin levels, such as Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are most likely to improve with aging.

Are wine decanters worth it? ›

If you enjoy red wine or drink more affordable wine on a regular basis, then using a decanter is a great idea. Decanting may not look like much, but the increased oxygen exposure to wine greatly improves the taste by softening astringent tannins and letting fruit and floral aromas come out.

How long should wine breathe in a decanter? ›

Allowing a wine to breathe

Most red and white wines will improve when exposed to air for at least 30 minutes. The improvement, however, requires exposure to far more than the teaspoon or so exposed by simply uncorking the wine. To accomplish this, you have to decant the wine.

How long can you keep a bottle of Malbec? ›

Preserving Malbec Wine's Lifespan

The more full-bodied and robust types, often from France, can easily remain stable for 20 years if you keep the bottles in an ideal temperature and storage area. Sweeter varieties and those with a lower alcohol percentage will retain their quality for at least 10 years.

What glass do you use for Malbec? ›

“Standard” Red Wine Glass

A great glass for medium- to full-bodied red wines with spicy notes and/or high alcohol. Spice is softened because flavors hit your tongue more progressively from the smaller opening. Try wines like Zinfandel, Malbec, Syrah (Shiraz), and Petite Sirah with this glass.

How long will a Malbec last? ›

Full-Bodied Red Wine

When sealed and stored in a cool, dark place or a fridge, red wines like Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec can last for around four days. As a general rule, red wines with higher tannin and acidity tend to last longer once opened.

What is the most famous wine in Argentina? ›

What is the most popular wine in Argentina? Mendoza Malbec is by far the most popular regional style of wine produced in Argentina in terms of both notoriety and volume.

What is the most famous drink in Argentina? ›

Maté is becoming increasingly popular and can be enjoyed at any time of day, on its own or as a blend. But did you know that it is THE national drink in Argentina, and that it is consumed as part of a unique ceremony? Read on to find out more.

What type of wine is Argentina most famous for? ›

Argentina Wine Regions

The region is best known for Malbec, but it also grows several other grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and more. The wineries in this region produce around 80% of the country's wine.

How long does Malbec last once opened? ›

For fuller bodied reds such as Malbec or Shiraz, these can last nearer to 5 or 6 days due to the higher tannins and the slightly higher alcohol levels these varieties tend to have, which slow the ageing process.

Is Malbec a cheap wine? ›

Malbec is so popular because not only is it affordable but it's easy to drink, it's a perfect pair to many different types of food, and it's a crowd pleaser. If you're looking an affordable, delicious alternative to the usual Merlot of Cabernet Sauvignon you should give Malbec a try!

Why is Malbec so good? ›

Full-flavoured foods pair best because Malbec is a fuller-bodied wine. Malbec produces red wines with medium acidity and medium tannins. Through the full flavours, and medium acidity, Malbec is less overwhelming or niche on the palette, making this flavour more popular.

Is Malbec a quality wine? ›

Malbec is the most important red grape variety of Argentina, but it also produces excellent wine in many other countries around the world. Malbec has become the most important vinous calling card for Argentina, as the grape variety is responsible for the country's most famous and highly regarded wines.

How much should a decent bottle of red wine cost? ›

If there were, it would be: $15 to $30 a bottle is fine if the giver is relatively young and still paying off student loans; $30 to $50 is a good range for most career and professional adults who want to give something nice without looking extravagant; and $50-plus is right if the giver and receiver are both wine nerds ...

Which is stronger Malbec or Cabernet? ›

Cabernet Sauvignon: Alcohol Content. You can expect Malbec to have a 13% - 15% ABV, with most varieties teetering towards the bottom. Cabernet Sauvignon is usually 13 - 14.5% ABV, so slightly lower, but there's little to choose between them.

What appetizer goes with Malbec? ›

Malbec Appetizer Pairing
  • Steak bites are an obvious pairing when it comes to finger food. ...
  • Salmon tartare is another superb choice. ...
  • Lamb meatballs are a particularly good pairing. ...
  • Spanish tapas are a good choice, particularly when chorizo is involved. ...
  • Potato dishes are delectable with Malbec by their side.

What pasta goes best with Malbec? ›

Meaty pasta dishes, such as Spaghetti bolognese or pasta with meatballs, will pair well with Malbec. Pasta with salsiccia or other sausages will also be good pasta pairings for a bottle of Malbec.

What Cannot be eaten with red wine? ›

6 Foods That Don't Pair With Wine
  • Chocolate. Why It Doesn't Work. ...
  • Brussel Sprouts. Why It Doesn't Work. ...
  • Asparagus. Why It Doesn't Work. ...
  • Blue Cheese. Why It Doesn't Work. ...
  • Sushi. Why It Doesn't Work. ...
  • Soy Sauce. Why It Doesn't Work.

What kind of wine is Kirkland Malbec? ›

Extremely popular, Argentinian Malbec is an inky, medium-bodied, dry red wine with strong impressions of dark fruits on the nose and palate.

Where is Costco Malbec from? ›

This high-altitude Malbec gives aromas of vibrant plums and cherries on the nose. Warming oak spices add to the richness, making it an ideal pairing with grilled meats – as one would enjoy in Argentina.

Where is Kirkland Malbec from? ›

Kirkland Signature 2020 Malbec, Mendoza 14% (Argentina) $6.00. Kirkland Signature 2021 TI Point, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 12.5% (New Zealand) $6.00.

Is buying wine at Costco a good deal? ›

Costco's wine markups are half that of most stores.

Costco's markups hover around 14 percent. That means the cost of the same bottle of wine purchased at Costco versus another retailer could differ greatly — making Costco the much better bargain.

What red wine is most like Malbec? ›

Top Wines Similar to Malbec
  • Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Merlot.
  • Pinot Noir.
  • Zinfandel.
  • Sangiovese.
  • Bonarda.
  • Syrah.
  • Dolcetto.
Jul 21, 2022

What wine is most similar to Malbec? ›

Syrah is more similar to Old World Malbec with its notes of olive, black pepper spice, smoke, and even bacon fat in some instances. It is commonly seen as a single variety wine or can be blended with other grape varieties such as Grenache and Mourvedre in Côtes du Rhône blends.

What is the best region for Malbec? ›

You find Malbec grown mainly in two wine regions in the world: in Mendoza in Argentina and in Cahors in France. On the Argentine wines you will always see the grape variety prominently displayed on the label.

What is Malbec called in France? ›

In France, plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France, though the grape is grown worldwide.
SpeciesVitis vinifera
Also calledAuxerrois in Cahors, Côt, Pressac (more)
Notable regionsArgentina, Cahors
4 more rows

Where is Apothic made? ›

This is achieved through the help of the micro-climates and soil types in California. It's here, in carefully selected vineyards, where Apothic wine begins its journey.

Who owns Kirkland wine? ›

Kirkland Signature is, of course, Costco's private label brand covering all types of products, including wine. And just like the other products in this line, while the overall quality is high and they tend to be priced very competitively, there are a handful of products that really stand out.

Where is Trader Joe's wine made? ›

Much of Trader Joe's wine is made under a private label arrangement by Bronco wine co.. It is one of the largest wine producers in the United States and is located in Ceres, California, which is near Modesto, just south of Sacramento.

How much should a good bottle of wine cost? ›

If there were, it would be: $15 to $30 a bottle is fine if the giver is relatively young and still paying off student loans; $30 to $50 is a good range for most career and professional adults who want to give something nice without looking extravagant; and $50-plus is right if the giver and receiver are both wine nerds ...

What items are not worth buying at Costco? ›

With that in mind, here are 10 things to think twice about before picking up on your next Costco run.
  • Spices. With the exception of salt, every spice and seasoning has a limited shelf life. ...
  • Condiments. ...
  • Flour. ...
  • Baking powder. ...
  • Oil. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Detergent. ...
  • Personal care items.
May 3, 2022

Do cheaper wines get better with age? ›

Given that aging is a part of the winemaking process, it can safely be said that all wine gets better with age. That's because the change wine endures during aging is a purposeful, built-in part of the winemaking process.


1. The 5 Minute Guide to Malbec Wine
2. Argentinian Malbec Wines
(Dr. Matthew Horkey)
3. Get To Know Argentina Wine | Wine Folly
(Wine Folly)
4. Malbec Taste Along: Malbec - From France to Argentina
(The Wine Society)
5. Tasting Malbec and Should your server decant that bottle? Wine #22 of 52
(Wine This Week with Scott Leak)
6. Wine Decanting Options - High Tech and Low Tech
(The Home Winemaking Channel)
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