Wine 101: Malbec
Originally used as a blending grape in France’s Bordeaux region, Malbec has found its true home in Argentina’s Mendoza region.
There, the grape produces darkly fruity wines with hints of black pepper and leather—like a traditional rustic country red, but with riper, fuller fruit. Malbecs are often very affordable, too, and go wonderfully with steaks and roasts, hearty stews and grilled sausages.
Summer Wine Recommendation: Pair with Grilled Steak
- (Star Selection) »
Argentine winemakers Pepe Galante and Mariano Di Paola joined forces a few years ago to create their Mapema brand, which focuses on affordable, delicious wines like this espresso-scented red.
- 2007 Altos Las Hormigas Mendoza ($12)
The vibrant purple hue and intense black fruit signal the youth of this lush Argentine red.
- 2007 High Note ($13)
American-based importer Peter Click and Argentine vintners José Rodrigo Calatayud and Laura Catena teamed up to create this smoky, blueberry-rich Malbec from Argentina’s Uco Valley region.
- 2005 Tiza Mendoza ($19)
Oak barrels add distinctive spice notes to the plummy flavors of this cuvée made for wine importer Fran Kysela.
Rustic, Peppery Malbec
- Terrazas de los Andes (Argentina)
- Bodega Catena Zapata Catena (Argentina)
- Altos Los Hormigas (Argentina)
The following wines pair particularly well with grilled steak:
- 2005 Mapema (Argentina)
- 2007 Altos Las Hormigas Mendoza (Argentina)
- 2007 High Note (Argentina)
- 2005 Tiza Mendoza (Argentina)
- Beef-Stuffed Poblano Chiles
- Mixed Grill with Chimichurri Sauces and Roasted Peppers
- Spicy Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing »
More Expert Wine Advice
Features and Columns
- Easy to Find Wines: Malbec
- Argentinian Malbec and Gaucho Pizzas
- Argentina & Chile’s 17 Best Values
- The Appeal of Argentina’s Wine Country
- The Great Wine-Bargain Hunt