Malbec Around The World


Malbec wines from Argentina have achieved astounding acclaim around the world.   They cover a range of bold and luscious styles and price points. The best are produced in Mendoza province.  Exports keep rising, especially to the USA.

Malbec wines from Mendoza have a deep purple color and flavors of blackberries, plums, blueberries, and earth.   They have softer tannins than from Cahors (see below) and elsewhere.

Scientists believe Malbec is descended from a northern Burgundy grape.  Malbec was a commercial grape first in southwest France.  It was a blending component of Bordeaux wines before the phylloxera epidemic that destroyed most of European wine grape vineyards in the late 19th century.  Today it is grown essentially only in a small area around Cahors in southwest France.  Quantities there have been low since 1956 when a severe frost destroyed most of the vines.

Why has Mendoza had such great success with Malbec?  The dry desert climate naturally prevents both insects and rot.  Rot forming in the tight Malbec grape bunches is a problem often found in France.  The fact that moisture from Pacific Ocean winds is knocked down by the Andes Mountains permits Mendoza to have sunshine most days of the year.  Tightly controlled drip irrigation systems use pristine mountain runoff.   The high altitude and cool nights (especially in the Uco Valley) extend the ripening season, allowing better flavors to develop. 

Wine producers in Mendoza have increasingly been taking advantage of different subregions and terroirs to bring out the best characteristics of Malbec.  Higher vineyards tend to give more elegant, aromatic and complex wines.  The Uco Valley (where our vineyards are located) produces some of the very best Malbec wines.

Other parts of the world (especially California) are trying to emulate the Argentine popularity of Malbec, but with limited success to date.   We have tasted a few Malbec wines from outside Argentina and found them to be inferior to even mediocre Malbec wines from Mendoza.


The Vines Resort and Spa opened in January and has received numerous rave reviews from leading publications.  Here are 2 of the latest (past the URL’s into your browser):

 Siete Fuegos Wine List Receives Wine Spectator’s coveted ‘Award of Excellence’

 The Vines Resort & Spa named to Fodor’s Most Luxurious Wine Country Hotels!9-the-vines-resort-&-spa

Our villa is part of the resort, and is close to our vineyards and the winery.

Wayne Tamarelli