Top Rated Malbec Wines to Drink

By Gayot Editors

Originating in France, Malbec has become a booming trend in Argentina and Chile, where the grape is able to flourish. With a deep, inky-red color and intense, complex flavor — particularly the distinct taste of plum — Malbec often has notes of blackberry, pepper, tobacco and leather. The varietal’s robust tannins make it perfect for pairing with steak.

These are the best Malbecs we’ve tasted, starting with our highest rated wines.

1. Alamos

2006 Catena-Zapata Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$15 | Rating: 16.5/20

Flavors of plum and blackberry dominate this wine, finishing with medium length and smooth tannins.

2. Kaiken

2007 Mai
Mendoza, Argentina
$85 | Rating: 16/20

At 15 percent alcohol, this is a big, hearty wine boasting intense black fruit flavors and sturdy tannins. 2,000 cases.

3. O. Fournier

2008 Alfa Crux Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$55 | Rating: 15.5/20

The O. Fournier Group produces wines in Argentina, Chile and Spain, and uses local winemakers in each region to produce wines that are internationally recognizable. The 2008 Alfa Crux 100% Malbec hails from their Uco Valley vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina, which sits in a picturesque location at the foot of the Andes Mountains. This dark crimson wine boasts aromas of ripe fruit with notes of sweet dark cherry and spice. On the palate, intense flavors of blackberry and creamy oak lead to a long, smoky finish. The elegant profile of this full-bodied wine is perfect for the changing temperatures and rich, meaty foods that are coming into season. Food Pairings: Wild boar, beef stew, cheese and mushroom enchiladas.

4. Mt. Brave

2008 Malbec
Mt. Veeder, CA
$60 | Rating: 15.5/20

From pomegranate and blackberry aromas on the nose to raspberry and spice in the mouth, this earthy red wine is full-bodied and complex.

5. Chappellet

2009 Malbec
Napa Valley, CA
$49 | Rating: 15/20

This robust red wine offers pomegranate and plum aromas on the nose and reveals red berry flavors and spice in the mouth.

6. Hand of God

2010 Old Vine Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$75 | Rating: 15/20

Venture capitalist Jon Staenberg founded Hand of God Wines in 2006. The previous year, he had visited Argentina and rekindled an earlier friendship with fellow Stanford MBA alum Santiago Achával of Achával-Ferrer. With the acquisition of two estate vineyards and Achával acting as co-founder and winemaker, Hand of God released its first two wines in 2013. The 2010 Old Vine Malbec comes from the eight-acre Stolen Horse Vineyard, planted entirely to Malbec in 1922 and still plowed by horse. Bold, big-bodied and complex, the wine boasts concentrated black fruit flavors with earthy and herbal notes and supple tannins. Food Pairings: Steak and other fine cuts of beef.

7. Val de Flores

2007 Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$85 | Rating: 15/20

A robust and dense red wine containing 15 percent alcohol, it boasts concentrated dark fruit flavors and peppery notes on the long finish.

8. Allamand

2011 “H”
Mendoza, Argentina
$35 | Rating: 14.5/20

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this full-bodied red has great natural acidity with good minerality. 230 cases.

9. Bodega Catena

2007 Malbec
San Rafael, Argentina
$21 | Rating: 14.5/20

Deep garnet in color, this robust wine displays flavors of spices and dark berries. Pair with spicy foods or barbeque.

10. Chakana

2010 Estate Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$26 | 14.5/20

This full-bodied red wine features blackberry and plum flavors with a touch of spice and supple tannins.

11. Ñandú

2010 Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$21 | Rating: 14.5/20

The Ñandú 2010 Malbec, 98 percent Malbec & 2 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, features intense flavors of blueberry and blackberry with a touch of sweetness reminiscent of an Amarone. In the mouth, it shows a bright acidity, supple tannins and an expressive finish. Food Pairings: Steak, empanadas, sausage ravioli.

12. Piedra Negra

2008 Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$30 | Rating: 14.5/20

This robust, full-bodied Malbec boasts complex black fruit flavors with earthy and peppery notes.

13. South Coast Winery

2009 Carter Estate Malbec
Temecula Valley, CA
$38 | Rating: 14.5/20

This full-bodied red wine displays concentrated black fruit flavors with herbal notes and supple tannins.

14. Viña Alicia

2008 Brote Negro Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$90| Rating: 14.5/20

This full-bodied Malbec boasts intense blackberry and mineral flavors with hints of licorice and violet and supple tannins. 230 cases.

15. Famiglia Bianchi

2003 Malbec
San Rafael, Argentina
$18 | Rating: 14/20

An import from San Rafael, Argentina, this deep purple-red wine is a true expression of the lushly intense Malbec varietal. Great care was taken in producing this wine, with its hand-picked grapes, classic fermentation and an aging process of more than 12 months. The wine has deep concentrations of fruit, with hints of plums, cherries, berries and spice. On the palate, the aromas play up even more, adding a soft but full-bodied feel and a long finish. Because of its intensity, the wine pairs best with a number of foods, but we recommend trying it with red meats and sharp cheeses, as well as letting it age a bit.

16. Recuerdo

2010 Malbec
Uco Valley, Argentina
$22 | Rating: 14/20

Blended with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah, this spicy Malbec features damson plum and blackberry flavors, earthy notes and firm tannins.

17. Tikal

2010 Natural
Mendoza, Argentina
$20 | Rating: 14/20

Made entirely from organically-grown Malbec grapes, this full-bodied red wine offers raspberry and cherry flavors with a hint of mocha.

18. Trapiche

2004 Malbec Vina Carlos Gei Berra Single Vineyard Lunlunta
Mendoza, Argentina
$35 | Rating: 14/20

This wine, best enjoyed with food, has a chemical nose. Pairs well with red meat.

19. Valentin Bianchi

2005 Elsa Malbec
San Rafael, Argentina
$7 | Rating: 14/20

A rich, weighty mouth feel with a soft silkiness normally associated with lighter wines. Pairs well with salmon or other flavorful fish.

20. Viña Alicia

2009 Las Compuertas Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$30 | Rating: 14/20

Many of the most highly rated Malbecs, including this Viña Alicia offering, come from Luján de Cuyo. Designated as Mendoza’s first appellation in 1993, Luján de Cuyo is a cool, high altitude region in the foothills of the Andes. The 2009 Las Compuertas 100% Malbec is a dense, full-bodied and unfiltered wine. It features dark, earthy flavors such as blackberry, fig and mocha with hints of sweet baking spice on the finish. Firm tannins provide depth and structure. Food Pairings: steak, pork loin, sausage.

21. Viu Manent

2007 San Carlos Estate Malbec
Colchagua Valley, Chile
$15 | Rating: 14/20

This dense purple wine delivers aromas of plum and fig followed by flavors of dark chocolate and mocha; The finish lingers.

22. William Church Winery

2007 Malbec
Wahluke Slope, WA
$30 | Rating: 14/20

Blueberry and blackberry flavors dominate this rich and complex Malbec. Pairs well with summertime barbeques.

23. Alamos

2013 Mendoza Selección Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$20 | Rating: 13.5/20

The violet and dark berry aromas of this Argentine wine hit the nose immediately and resonate on the palate. There are hints of brown spice and pepper, courtesy of Alamos’ aging in oak casks. A full-bodied Malbec, this is a wine with a deep finish and flavor.

24. Argento

2009 Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$13 | Rating: 13.5/20

This food-friendly red wine offers ripe plum and blackberry flavors with a touch of dark chocolate and vanilla.

25. Don Miguel Gascón

2008 Reserva Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$25 | Rating: 13.5/20

Rich with aromas of black cherry and chocolate; The palate exhibits rounded tannins and flavors of brown spice and oak.

26. Seven Hills

2007 Malbec, Walla Walla Valley
Walla Walla Valley, Washington
$25 | Rating: 13.5/20

Assertive scents of passion fruit, blueberry pie and hints of floral open into ripe blueberry flavor and a slightly dry finish.

27. Alamos

2007 Selección Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
$20 | Rating: 13/20

A deep dark Malbec defined by black fruit, floral, leather, vanilla and spice aromas, velvety tannins and supple raspberry, cherry, violet, black pepper and blackcurrant flavors.