Malbec is a purple grape of French origin that is now most prominently associated with Argentina, especially from the Mendoza growing region in the western part of the country, in the Andes foothills near the border with Chile.
Malbec wines tend to have robust tannins and an inky dark red/purple color; while they used to be secondary wines in French blends they have come into prominence in the last 20–30 years thanks to Nicolás Catena Zapata, who planted Malbec vines at high altitude.
When you drink a Malbec wine, expect intense dark fruit flavors, especially plum notes, and a velvety mouthfeel. Liquor Barn has quite the selection of Malbec wines; drop by and ask one of our associates to help you pick one out the next time you visit! In the meantime, here are three of our favorite Malbecs—something for every price range.
ACHAVAL FERRER MALBEC RESERVA 2013
This beautiful 2013 wine scored a 90 in a Wine Spectator review by James Suckling: “This is so floral on the nose with hints of citrus. Full bodied but lightly silky with a very tangy, juicy character. Very fruity and delicious. Drink now.”
This young, velvety wine comes from 100% Malbec grapes grown in Cuyana province, aged for nine months in French oak barrels. You can put it in your cellar for a few more years, or uncork it tomorrow night with a seared flank steak. Either way, you won’t regret it.You can find this excellent wine here.
ALAMOS MALBEC 2014
The last few years have been good for Malbec wines. Alamos Malbec is Exhibit A of this trend. This young, fresh Malbec is a relative bargain, with a lot of quality for an import under $10. Says the budget wine reviewer Fermented Fruit: “Medium-bodied and smooth in the mouth. There are juicy, savory yet tangy dark fruit notes along with a pronounced streak of cracked pepper carrying this through to the lingering, slightly meaty and spicy finish. This vintage wants for a bit more depth and focus, but is still altogether very enjoyable.”
Probably one of the best bargains you’ll find on a shelf. You can find this excellent wine here.
BEN MARCO MALBEC
This wine, grown by Argentina’s most prominent female vintner, Susana Balbo, is an expressive and affordable vintage. It’s 90% Malbec and 10% Bonardo and 100% delicious. Gail Appleson, food and wine critic in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, comments that, “The BenMarco Malbec is a full-bodied red that’s rich, luscious and spicy. Take one whiff and your mouth will water. This is a sensual, complex wine that fills your mouth with layers of ripe red fruit flavors, chocolate and coffee.”
How could you say no to a wine like that? Serve it up with your favorite grilled meat—the spiciness of this wine will perfectly compliment a nice, bloody steak. You can find this excellent wine here.