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The Best Argentine Malbec Wines

The Best Argentine Malbec Wines

Malbec is widely regarded as Argentina’s signature grape. The French varietal, which is permitted in Bordeaux blends and is a key grape in Cahors, is grown all across the South American nation in a wide array of styles. It “is cultivated extensively throughout Argentina, spanning from the northernmost to the southernmost, and from the eastern to the western regions,” says Jesica Vargas, Wine Enthusiast’s resident reviewer of South American wines.

In the north, regions like the Cafayate Valley have warm days, long growing seasons and high-altitude vineyards, which leads to robust, fruit-forward wines that are higher in alcohol. In the south, regions like Río Negro have cooler climates and short growing seasons. These Malbecs tend to be lighter with crisp acidity. The larger central wine regions of Argentina include Mendoza, La Rioja and San Juan. Vineyards bordering the mountains are planted at different elevations, which help to create a diversity of flavors and styles.

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“High-elevation Malbec is particularly noteworthy, with numerous winemakers growing vines in both established and emerging geographical indications, such as San Pablo in the Uco Valley, which sits above 3,860 feet,” says Vargas. The cool temperatures and rocky soils, which boast electrifying limestone, enable the production of wines with a fresher profile that’s aligned with current consumer preferences. These elegant bottles join a growing slew of selections that have been specially made to represent their place of origin. “The vibrant reds that are now being crafted in Argentina differ from those oaky bold Malbec of the past, with a new generation of winemakers using both traditional and modern techniques to achieve wines that express the terroir,” Vargas adds.

That’s not to say the bold and jammy wines that earned the country international acclaim are no longer on the table, “but now those wines are more balanced,” says Vargas. “There is a wide range of Malbec wines.”

To help you find the most impressive expressions of the increasingly diverse varietal, we tapped our experts to round up their favorite versions on the market. From splurge-worthy Editors’ Choice picks that will develop and evolve for years to come, to highly-rated bottles for under $30, here are the best Malbec wines from Argentina right now.

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Trivento 2018 Eolo Malbec (Mendoza)

Great complexity on the nose with enticing floral, blackberry, plum and subtle oak notes. This red is concentrated and lively with firm and silky tannins. The palate delivers plenty of dark fruit flavors with hints of smoke and nice acidity due to a smart use of oak. It is an elegant full-bodied wine made from 100 year old vines, and has a lingering finish with fruit flavors. 94 Points — J.V.


Kaiken 2020 Mai Malbec (Mendoza)

Aromas of Jarilla, thyme and chalk serve as an introduction to this Malbec from high-altitude vineyards in Luján de Cuyo. Full-bodied, it features a solid structure holding fresh fruit flavors of blackberries. The palate is deep and smooth and includes hints of dried herbs, chocolate truffles, black pepper and nutmeg. 92 Points — J.V.

$ Varies

Magna Montis 2022 Malbec (Paraje Altamira)

After a few minutes in the glass, this wine opens up and features hints of herbs on the nose that repeat on the palate. Subtle notes of oregano and bay leaf followed by dried rose petals and hints of cranberry are backed by chalky tannins. Moderate acidity adds freshness to a persistent herbal finish. 90 Points — J.V.

$ Varies
Wild Child

Viña Cobos 2021 Bramare Malbec (Luján de Cuyo)

The winery was founded by Paul Hobbs in 1998. The winemaker and his local team focus on Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, two grapes that love Mendoza’s terroir. This is a balanced Malbec, with notes of raspberry and oak-driven aromas. It delivers flavors of cherry jam, mulberry, herbs and vanilla bean. Excellent acidity infuses energy to the palate, as round tannins provide support. Editors’ Choice. 91 Points — J.V.


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