Best Malbec Wine | Our 19 Favorites for 2023

best malbec wine

Malbec is a versatile wine that comes from thick-skinned purple grapes. Originating in France but being grown worldwide, Malbec is an extremely lush wine with a decent alcohol content. 

If you’re looking for a medium to deep bodied red wine that offers a robust flavor profile, Malbec might be the perfect wine for you. From a suitable dinner wine, to something elegant enough for a special occasion. 

Table of Contents

Where does Malbec Come From?

best malbec

While most people might think Malbec comes from Argentina due to the fact that 75% of all Malbec worldwide is grown in the country. The grape was actually originally grown in the southwest of France. Specifically, in the region of Cahors, where it was most likely known as Cot or Auxerrois.

Is French or Argentinian Malbec Better?

  • French Malbec offers a high acidity and tannin content, with a medium sweetness and low oakiness. Because of this higher acidity and more tannin content, it has great aging potential.   
  • Argentina Malbec offers a lower overall acidity and tannin content, with a higher return on sweetness and oakiness. 
French Malbec taste Flavors

In both cases, oak barrel aging will add hints of cedar, smoke, leather and licorice flavor to create a wonderfully complex overall profile. 

What are the Best Malbec Wines Under $30?

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El Enemigo Malbec

One of my favorite Malbecs! Rich and concentrated, aromas of blackberries, cherry, pepper and spice. A full-bodied wine with an elegant and lengthy finish.

Best QPR for this wine. It will pair nicely with different types of food or on its own. Smooth and easy to drink, its always a great choice! 

Tasting Notes: Blackberry, plum, chocolate, oak, vanilla, leather

This is a fantastic wine and amazing QPR (quality price ratio)! 

Intense aromas of dark fruit and a well-balanced fruit to acidity ratio from this medium bodied wine. It has a mouth filling flavor for Malbec wines and finishes with round tannins!

Tasting Notes: Toasted oak, vanilla, dark plum fruit, dark cherry, dark chocolate, tobacco

mendoza argentina

This Malbec is an exploration into the most prestigious vineyards in Mendoza. The wines are pure and transparent, communicating their terroir like no other region can do so quite as authentically for you!

This wine has a dark fruit character, roundness, structure, and light fine tannins. It reflects the essence of a Mendoza Malbec taste.

Tasting Notes: Black plum, black cherry, dark berries, oak, leather, earthy

uco valley

This is another fantastic example of the best Malbecs being from the Uco Valley a key wine producing region in Mendoza. 

With a deep violet color this full bodied has rich aromas of crushed blackberries, black cherries, blueberry, and other black fruit with some chewy tannins to finish make for a good Malbec and a delicious red wine. 

Tasting Notes: Oak, chocolate, dark fruit, milk chocolate, dark berry

mendoza argentina

This Uco Valley (east of the Andes Mountains), Argentina wine is made with the best Malbec grapes that have been grown in perfect conditions. 

The wine has a fruity nose, with a balanced structure, it is a full-bodied wine unparalleled in flavor and drinkability for any wine enthusiast. 

Tasting Notes: Blackberry, plum, leather, oak, pepper, dark cherry, hint of sweet spice

southwest france

A Southwest France Malbec with lots of flavor of red fruits. And is rich and persistent throughout your drinking experience while also being complemented by fine tannins which give elegant length to this bottle.

Tasting Notes: Red fruit, black cherry, raspberry, cranberry, vanilla

Cahors wine regions of France is known for their Malbec grape. Basically when you see Cahors, its a Malbec.

This wine has a deep ruby color with rich dark fruits and red fruit in your palate with bright acidity and soft tannins.

Tasting Notes: Earthy, blackberry, plum, leather, tobacco

La Posta Paulucci Malbec​

This has some vibrant dark fruit aromas that are smooth on the palate. You can taste the fresh plums and blackberries in each glass, with a nicely balanced flavor and easy to drink red wine!

Tasting Notes: Dark cherries, fresh picked blackberries, ripe red fruits, hints of sweet spice

Luca Malbec

From Mendoza wine region, Luca’s winery was the first in Argentina to bottle old vine Malbec from small family-owned vineyards. Luca is part of the Catena family of wine.

Its a great wine but let it breathe for at least 20 minutes before consuming.

Tasting Notes: Black cherry, blueberry, strawberry, oak, chocolate

costco wine

Awarded Vivino’s Most Awarded Winery in the World for a 2nd time! One of the Malbec wines you can find in most wine stores and restaurants. Mainly because its always a solid choice and a great QPR.

Tasting Notes: Blueberry, blackberry, black plum, vanilla, oak, chocolate

Marcelo Pelleriti Signature Malbec

Another good choice for Malbec wines from Mendoza. This wine is very accessible and has flavors of blackberry flavors and dark fruits with some robust and oaky flavors with excellent smooth finish. This is a great value wine for any part of the world! 

Offers a dark fruit profile of blackberries, plums, and black cherries. Hints of chocolate and oak. Another tasty Malbec you must give a try!

Achaval-Ferrer Malbec

Expansive aromas and flavors of black fruit, savory spices, oak, and slight bitterness. With a nice smooth finish. 

Complex, Interesting, and Rich! Classic French Malbec taste with green, earthy, and blackberry aromas with red berry, cherries, and plum flavors. 

Another fantastic Malbec on this list. Try the 2017 vintage! Blackberry, plum, vanilla, oak. Also has some good hints of leather and smoke. 

What are the Best Malbec in the World?

Malbecs over $30. If you want to impress and/or try some of our favorite Malbecs!. 

One of, if not, the BEST Malbec I have tasted. It’s a elegant, balanced, and complex wine with flavors of blackberry, plum, black currant, oak, some earthy notes. The wine is made well and will impress anyone!

This is a Malbec-based red blend (Bordeaux blends). El Enemigo produces some of the best Malbecs in the world and this one may be their best out of the bunch!

This medium-to full bodied red has aromas of blackberry, bitter chocolate and violets. The taste is complex with rich flavors that include tar as well a silky smoothness throughout each sip thanks to its elegant tannins interwoven by layers dark berries.

mendoza argentina

Along with Cheval (above), one of the best Malbec wines I have ever tried. And of course it comes from the Catena family of wine. 

Nicolás Catena Zapata is a dark, intense purple with bluish-black tones. You will find aromas of blackberries, black plums,  and black cherries mixed together as well as hints of vanilla and underlying sweetness in chocolate that gives it all complexity while the minerality adds depth to this delicious wine perfect for any occasion!

The wine has a rich and elegant aroma that smells like sweet spice notes, fresh plums and cherries. The flavor is smooth with delicate tannins in an elegant finish to make it perfect wine for any wine drinker to enjoy! 

What are the Wine Regions of Malbec?

Malbec grapes Wine Regions

While it is most commonly grown in Argentina and France, Malbec can be cultivated all over the world. The variety has recently seen an increase of vineyards throughout Chile and in the western United states. Additionally, Malbec can also be found in much smaller numbers in Australia and South Africa. 

California, USA is a prime growing location for Malbec due to the warm daytime temperatures with cool nights. It is commonly used in blends and as a top recommendation for new tasters looking for a robust Merlot alternative.

Malbec made its way to Chile about the same time it ended up in Argentina. It is one of the top local wines in the region and has become well known due to its ease of growing in the country. Even though it has been grown for well over a century, a large number of other varieties still take precedence. 

Fun Facts About Malbec

  • Malbec thrives in high altitude (i.e. Mendoza region) because of the sunny, hot days and cool nights. (Most highly-rated Malbec comes from High Altitude regions)
  • Malbec is #4 in red wine sales for the US (behind Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir).
  • Malbec is a great wine for pairing with red meats, game meats, duck and rich hearty stews.
  • In 1868, French agriculturist Miguel Pouget imported a number of Malbec cuttings into Argentina. Most notably, the Mendoza and Salta regions. At the time, the goal was to preserve the original varietal, but due to a frost in the mid 1900’s, most of the French-grown Malbec was lost. As a result, the specific Malbec variety grown in Argentina today is no longer found in France.

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