Wine Talk

Snooth User: John Andrews

Malbec Recommendations ...

Posted by John Andrews, Sep 22, 2009.

I'm hoping the Snooth community can help me out with some recommendations. I've have had a couple Argentinian Malbec and Malbec blend wines in the last couple of months that I really enjoyed and I was hoping that I could get some recommendations to expand what I've tried. I'm looking up to $50 but realistically more in the $15 to $30 range. Let me know what you like and why. Thanks!

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 22, 2009.

Achaval Ferrer


Alma de los andes

Poesia Clos de los Andes



That's my short list.

Reply by basilwino, Sep 23, 2009.

Least expensive $11 Trumpeteer
$12 Altos Las Hormigas Hormigas Malbec
$13 Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec
$17 Luigi Bosca Reserva Malbec
Ben Marco
$20 Dona Paula Estate
Amancaya (Cab blend)
Luigi Bosca also makes a higher end Reserva $26 and a Cab blended one $28.

Reply by basilwino, Sep 23, 2009.

I forgot a few in my haste.

Bodegas Terrazas Los Andes Reserva 3 1/2 glass
Layer Cake also makes one at $11


Reply by Degrandcru, Sep 23, 2009.

John, I would highly recommend:

- Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserva
- Norton Malbec Reserva (Norton also has a high end reserva, which is excellent)
- Alma Negra

I am a big Malbec drinker as they are a great value. I don´t care too much about the Malbec blends.
If you want to try something different from Argentina, try a Bonarda, another grape that is doing excellent in Argentina.


Reply by Philip James, Sep 23, 2009.

I'd add Carmenere to Degrandcru's Bonarda recommendation - very similar to Merlot, can do very well (aka fruity) in Argentina.

Reply by Philip James, Sep 23, 2009.

John - did you read Greg's article on Argentine Malbec from 2 months ago?

Reply by GregT, Sep 24, 2009.

All good wines listed. (Well, almost all.)

Incidentally, Alma de los Andes will no longer be making malbec straight. It will only produce blended wines - Tannat/Malbec, Cab Franc/Cab, etc. But the wines will be available as Sur de los Andes.

Phillip - who is making straight carmenere in Argentina?

Bonarda was the most widely planted red grape in Argentina until quite recently when the US acquired a taste for malbec. There are still many acres of it. The history of it is a little confused. There is in fact Bonarda from Piedmont, and in fact there are three kinds of bonarda there. But the Italians also brought some grapes with them to Argentina, including Barbera, Dolcetto, and Bonarda. And more interestingly, Italians left California for Argentina in the 1800s and brought grapes that had been planted in CA and which were originally from Italy.

So the question is - what is Bonarda? Is it Charbono, which may in fact be misidentified Dolcetto in many cases? Is it Barbera? Or is it Bonarda Piedmontese, or another Bonarda? Just like Petite Sirah in California, which is usually Durif but was also a clone of syrah or something else, or like Carmenere in Chile, which was frequently mis-identified as merlot until quite recently, Bonarda may be several different grapes. When the DNA analysis is done, if ever, we will know better. But for now, just remember that for the most part, "Bonarda" as grown in Argentina tends to be juicy, ripe, soft in tannins, wiith bright acidity. It's actually quite good and very food friendly.

Reply by Degrandcru, Sep 24, 2009.

Philip, I´ve never seen an Argentinian Carmenere, always thought thats a Chilenean specialty. Are you sure you don´t mean Chilenean Carmenere?

Reply by Philip James, Sep 24, 2009.

OK, bit of a brain fart there. I meant Chilean. I know Honda was asking for Argentine in the thread, but thought he meant any malbec suggestions.

I could find just 1 argentine carmenere:

Reply by Degrandcru, Sep 24, 2009.

Greg, thanks for the information regarding the Bonarda. Didn´t know that. Bonarda is not exported much, most Argentine wines you find outside of Argentina are Malbec or Cabernet (at least here in Mexico). But as you already stated, it is quite good and worth looking for.

Reply by John Andrews, Sep 24, 2009.

Thanks for all the recommendations! Looks like I'll be drinking a lot of Malbec over the next few months!

@Philip ... missed Greg's malbec article so I'll look it up.

Reply by wineclosetinc, Sep 26, 2009.

I personally like Malbec blends, softens the edges that some young Malbec's display. LaPosta makes a Cocina Blend with Malbec, Bonarda and Syrah that's bold and tasty ($16ish), on the high end side, Cuvelier Los Andes produces a gorgeous 100% Grand Malbec for around ($65ish), Altocedro makes an entry level Malbec as well as a Reserve that run $16 and $22 repsectively that are always pleasant to drink. For a lesser known, smaller production choice, try Caligiore which is 100% Malbec Reserve and great with grilled meats ($15).

Reply by GregT, Sep 27, 2009.

Here are some I just posted on a different Snooth thread. They're all from Cahors.

Reply by chadrich, Sep 28, 2009.

I've had consistently good success with Malbecs from Decero (technically Finca Decero). Their portfolio ranges from a $16 Malbec to a $50 Malbec-blend.

Reply by cookypuss1, Sep 28, 2009.

If you love huge Malbecs, I recommend Luca.

Reply by IKAL 1150, Sep 29, 2009.

Great recommendations here! pardon the self-plug, but...

Ours is a new 100% Malbec with a production of only 700 cases, and we've just released it...

Our absolute fall favorite is this wine, made at high altitude only from the best native malbec clones in Argentina's Mendoza. We like the dark fruit and mulberry on the nose that poke through its river-stone minerality. In the mouth it's more subtle and complex than most others we've tried, made in the “Old World” style and aged in only new and second-use French oak. The finish lasts forever with sweet, round tannins, mint and a pronounced minerality that mirrors the nose.

Reply by rar8888, Oct 3, 2009.

As far as malbecs are concerned I recommend the following:
- Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserva
- Trapiche Broquel Malbec Mendoza
- Bodega Renacer Malbec Mendoza Punto Final Reserva

Luigi Bosca has been my go to malbec for the past couple of years because it is just a solid classic malbec. Trapiche Broquel is a bit more refined and Punto Final is the spiciest of the bunch. I hope that this helps. Let us know what you try and what you think.

Reply by andresv, Dec 13, 2009.

HondaJohn, check this one out:

This is one of the up and coming boutique wineries that has been flying under the radar but worth your while to check out!

Let me know what you think!


Reply by fabi, Dec 13, 2009.

We have been looking for this Malbec in the Bay Area, it came highly recommended by a friend of the family. Maybe you have more luck where you live,
Good Luck,

Reply by John Andrews, Dec 13, 2009.

@IKAL ... interesting. I will look to try your wines in the new year.

@andresv ... thanks for the recommendation. I'll look out for them in my local stores.

@fabi ... BevMo has been the place I've been going to get my Malbecs. I have tried the Pascual Toso but I will pick it up next time.

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