Argentine Malbec

Up or down? Argentine Malbec is at an inflection point.

Dark and rich with nutty oak on the nose along with aromas of caramel, melted licorice, dried thyme, vanilla, and asphalt framing a core of dark fruit. Smooth and plush on entry, this has nice acidity adding some liveliness on the palate and plenty of soft tannins helping to support the black cherry, mulberry and vanilla flavors that lead to a nice, bright, and fairly fruity finish which shows some toasty wood spice along with a nice herbal streak, hint of minerality and tart red fruit character. This is a little raw today, not quite rustic but lacks the integration of the best wines, though it delivers a lot. 89pts
Candied raspberry, tobacco, and dried herbs greet the nose nicely accented with floral, fennel, and gently meaty aromas. Nice and bright on entry and texturally a great success with it’s fresh integrated acids supporting red cherry and raspberry fruit and fine, ripe tannins forming a real foundation but this does lack some oomph in the mouth. the flavors are there, and attractive at that. The red and black fruits, spice and herb notes and lovely savory complexity that yields to a touch of minerality on the rather long finish but this will prove underwhelming to many. I find this to be delicious and eminently drinkable with a freshness and complexity that is rare at this price point. 88pts
Stemmy , smoky and filled with underbrush nuances on the nose, there’s also plenty of dark berry fruit here along with a hint of mushroom. Smooth, focused and rather restrained in the mouth, this has a fine tight core of polished tannins and integrated acidity supporting tobacco and tar framed flavors of dark plum and cherry fruit. Some wood spice shows up on the backend, though in a supporting role with the fruit remaining vivid and fresh through the moderately long finish. Showing a bit more elegance than you average malbec. 88pts
Tight on the nose, a little smoky and herbal with and smelling subtly of dried grasses over the base of sour plum and vanilla. Rich and yet restrained in the mouth with good acids and fine grained but present tannins supporting a nice blend of earthy red fruit and fresh plums. There’s a touch of autumnal rusticity here adding nice nuance on the palate, though the backend is more oak and fresh fruit driven with hints of caramel emerging on the backend but yielding to earthy, dry flavors on the moderately long and austere finish with it’s streaks of sour cherry and tart plum flavors. This is quite attractive, a value malbec for grown ups. 87pts
Smoy and lightly caramelly on the nose with lots of darkly jammy blackberry fruit and hints of both dates and pomegranate with a dusting of white pepper as a top note. Smooth as wool on entry, a little fuzzy but ultimately plush and friendly with a big core of dark, almost coffee accented blackberry fruit which shows hints of fresh bay leaf and a little citrus peel nuance. S little chewy in the mouth, and a little sticky on the finish, this highlights the bold fruit that made malbec such a household name, layers of blackberry, black currant, and black cherry fruit all gently spiced with oak and supported by enough acid to become obvious on the finish and help keep everything fresh. This is a bit of a big, chunky wine and while it may be inelegant it will be very popular. 87pts 

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Top Argentine Malbec tasted 10/13

Bodega Mendel Malbec Mendoza (2010)
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Angulo Innocenti Malbec la Consulta (2011)
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Bodega Cuarto Dominio Malbec (2009)
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Bodega Cuarto Dominio Chento Malbec (2010)
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Mora Negra Valle de Pedernal (2009)
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Finca las Moras Malbec Black Label (2010)
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Las Moras Malbec Reserve (2010)
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Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec (2010)
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Bodega Cuarto Dominio Malbec Tolentino (2011)
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Alamos Malbec Wines Imported South American (2010)
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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: chrisc
    30334 87

    Maipe Malbec 2012 and Maipe Malbec Reserve 2012

    Oct 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM

  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 5,447

    Wow, one of these wine review articles to which I can add a semi-related comment. So many times these articles have wines that are pretty hard to find in retail stores--and I live in a pretty big metropolis. However, last spring my brother-in-law gave me a bottle of the 2007 Mora Negra that a friend had brought back from Argentina. You reviewed 2009 version, but your comments were similar, although much more elegant, to my notes on the 2007.

    Oct 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM

  • Snooth User: A tineo
    1383250 23

    I believe that are others high quality malbecs from wineries like: O.Fournier, Carmelo Patti, Achaval Ferrer...I will be glad with you commet this, because this wines are my favorites. Tks,

    Oct 22, 2013 at 7:41 PM

  • it´s really Interesting to see ... thank you it's well done :)

    Oct 23, 2013 at 1:21 AM

  • Snooth User: LaraMza
    1395602 25

    Thank you so much for your article, it's very interesting I just was wondering where did you get those prices, I mean, when I go to the supermarket or to a wine boutique store, is impossible to find such a low prices. Besides, nowadays I will not buy a wine lower than $40 that is EUR 5. In France to ensure you are buying a good (not outstanding) wine you have to spend around EUR 12 - 20, preferible with a gold or silver prize won by the cepage. If you are demanding you will spend more.
    I like good wines, I also take the time for discovering new propositions and I'm demanding with quality. Of course I like to share it with family and friends.

    Nov 04, 2013 at 3:09 PM

  • Snooth User: LaraMza
    1395602 25

    I think I made a mistake if you are talking in USD prices.

    Nov 04, 2013 at 3:20 PM

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