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Characteristics of Malbec wine

I haven't tasted too many(and I am no wine expert) but the ones I've tasted were bold..strong..had a kick..much stronger(?) than Cabernet. Since I like wines that are more lighter like rhone wines, I didn't find Malbec too appealing..am I missing out something?

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  1. Interesting. I find Malbec (Argentine, I presume) to be medium-bodied, medium in acid and low in tannins, which usually equates to a lighter style wine than a Cabernet Sauv.

    1. I find them to have more of a ripe fruit profile, which could be taken as the way you described. Accurate or not, I sort of equate today's Argentine Malbecs to the Zinfandels of the 80s and early 90s. Good wine for grilled food.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        >>Good wine for grilled food.<<

        And lamb...

        1. re: Brad Ballinger

          Had a glass tonight with pot roast, and it was excellent.

        2. I am not a huge Malbec fan either. I pick up some weird licorice taste in most of them. My palate focuses on it....ruins it for me. Kind of like the "don't think of an elephant" thing, LOL

          1. Juicy, linear, simple, soapy fruit. Slightly sweet, not very structured, and not very interesting.

            7 Replies
            1. re: andtheodor

              I had a 2005 Luca Malbec over the Christmas holiday, and I would definitely call it structured, not sweet at all -- a very nice wine, but I believe my friend said it was "rather pricey for a Malbec."

              1. re: pikawicca

                Aha! See my post below. Do you know what "rather pricey" would be?

                1. re: Midlife

                  This friend spends a lot more on wine than I do, so I'd guess "rather pricey" for her would be over $100, but that's just a wild guess.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Ouch! at $100+ that Malbec should feel like 'buttah' going down.

                    1. re: Midlife

                      It did have that lovely, velvety mouthfeel.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        If it was a "Nico" then it cost around $100; if not, about $35.

                2. Almost every Malbec I've tried has been a moderately priced wine............. $10-$15, and most all have had something of a harder edge to them than a Cab. What I'm not sure about is whether that's a characteristic of the Malbec grape of a function of the price level I've tried. Many Cabs in that same price range seem to have a harder 'edge' to me too. I find the same thing with Tempranillo, although I have had some higher level Tempranillos that were 'softer' to me.

                  1. The flavors of Malbec seem to vary by continent.

                    In France still today, and up until a few years ago here in California, Malbec was a Bordeaux blending varietal used to add structure and a hit of solid pine resin or rosemary flavor to a Cab-dominant or Bordeaux blend. Since South America has been growing the grape and making Malbec, the pine flavor and firm structure have retreated and Malbec's black fruit flavors have come more to the fore. I'm not a huge fan of South American Malbec but occasionally I've come across a great spaghetti/pizza quaffer at a decent price. My palate, though, is not enthralled with South American reds in general -- the fruit to me often tastes "dirty" or muddy or lacks clarity. But YMMV.

                    1. Your description is a better fit for Cahors, the area of France where Malbec (also known
                      as Cot) is produced. Cahors wines date back to the Roman era:


                      In their French version, they are intense and robust wines which go well
                      with the heavy food of the SouthWest region of France (like cassoulet).
                      Cahors has bever been known as a subtle wine, but on a cold winter night
                      it can be a wonderful drink at trhe dinner table.