Malbec: The Grape That France Forgot
By Robert Parker
The Malbec grape was largely a failure in France because vintners could never coax a rich wine from it. But malbec flourishes in Mendoza, a region of Argentina adjacent to the Andes. Characterized by a spicy, dark fruit, these malbec wines can be complex, intense, and worthy of aging. In fact, they can compete with Bordeaux several times the price. Here are some favorites.
Maipe 2006 Malbec Mendoza 89 points.
Maipe 2006 Malbec Mendoza
89 points.This wine has a dense ruby/purple color and an enticing nose of plum, black currant, blueberry, fig, and chocolate. It is delicious, fruit-driven, and medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, heady finish. It should drink nicely for three to four years. $10
88 points. There's lots of chocolate, smoke, and blackberry jam in the nose. On the palate, it's medium- to full-bodied and silky-soft, with some espresso roast notes. Enjoy it in its first three to four years of life. $12
88 points. A delicious floral, blueberry, and blackberry nose with some cherries is followed by a velvety-textured, opulent wine with light tannin, low acidity, and plenty of plump fruit. Drink it soon. $12
La Posta 2005 Malbec Angel Paulucci Vineyard 89 points.
La Posta 2005 Malbec Angel Paulucci Vineyard
89 points.Aromas of white chocolate, black raspberries, and blackberries are found in this medium-bodied wine. It should last another five to six years. $16
Bodega Norton 2004 Malbec Lujan de Cuyo Reserva 90 points.
Bodega Norton 2004 Malbec Lujan de Cuyo Reserva
90 points.This brilliant value has wonderful black and red fruits intermixed with hints of violet, licorice, smoke, and earth. The wine is medium-bodied, soft, and delicious for drinking over the next four to five years. $18
90 points. Dense black/purple-colored and bursting with black fruits and spices, this medium-bodied wine has a juicy, succulent mouthfeel and plenty of richness. It is a seamlessly constructed wine that you should be able to enjoy for the next five to seven years. $35
Yacochuya 2004 Malbec 95 points.
Yacochuya 2004 Malbec
95 points.Made from a vineyard located 6,700 feet above sea level, this wine has a big, juicy, corpulent style with enormous amounts of flavor and richness. It's the perfect grilled-meat sort of wine that just sings, and it should age beautifully for 10 to 15 or more years. $55
Achaval-Ferrer 2003 Malbec Mendoza Finca Altamira 95 points.
Achaval-Ferrer 2003 Malbec Mendoza Finca Altamira
95 points.Inky black/purple in color, with notes of spring flowers, lead pencil shavings, white chocolate, blackberry, blueberry, and coffee, this wine is full-bodied, has fabulous purity and length, and should age nicely for another 10 to 15 years. $85
Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.
Robert Parker is the world's most influential wine critic. Visit www.eRobertParker.com to see tens of thousands of tasting notes, buy his books, or subscribe to his newsletter, The Wine Advocate.