Malbec Grape Varietal Definition

By Sophie Gayot

Who better to learn about the Malbec wine varietal from than Dr. Laura Catena of Catena Zapata? She has been called “the face of Argentine wine” for her active role in studying and promoting the Mendoza wine region and Argentine Malbec. Catena Zapata was established in Mendoza in 1902. Watch the video below.

Although the Malbec grape is traditionally grown in Bordeaux, areas in the Loire, Cahors, Mediterranean and California also harvest this varietal. It is mainly used for blending, adding a deep red color and tannin, but winemakers in Argentina have taken to this particular grape and now produce Malbec as its own wine.

The grape yields soft, chewy fruit with rich, strong flavors often reminiscent of black cherry or plum. Malbec wines are also perfect for aging. Pair it with slow-cooked red meats, such as stew, or with wild game.