A relatively new varietal here in the U.S., Malbec really only emerged here within the last ten years, where it has fast become one of the most popular red wines on the market. Easy-to-drink and with an abundance of fruity flavors, Malbec actually originated in Cahors—a city in south western France. Here, the purple grape variety was predominantly used as a blending grape, most notably in the country’s renowned Bordeaux blend. It is still a popular choice in many red blends, where it is most often mixed with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. While today it might be hard to imagine a wine cabinet at home or a wine store without at least one type of Malbec on hand—it is a relatively new varietal, at least here in America. One explanation for why Malbec was so slow to be recognized as a viable varietal outside of France was the grape’s susceptibility to rot and disease. As it turns out, the French climate is not an ideal one for weak Malbec vines. It was not uncommon for a winemaker’s entire crop to be rendered useless by rot, often before it was even time to harvest the grapes. These less than ideal characteristics plagued the Malbec grape and caused many winemakers in the region to shy away from them altogether.
It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that Malbec was introduced elsewhere—specifically Argentina. After consulting with a French agronomist by the name of Michel Pouget, a group of Argentine winemakers took some Malbec wine cuttings back home, planting them in their country’s Mendoza wine region. It was here in this hot, high-altitude climate, that the Malbec vines thrived. For nearly a century, Malbec was a consumed, for the most part, exclusively in Argentina. Then, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, when the world economy took a turn for the worse, and the cost of importing wine from Europe rose exponentially, Americans sought cheaper alternatives—enter Malbec. While Argentina remains the biggest exporter of Malbec wine, other regions are becoming known for it as well, including Chile, Australia and in some parts of California. Oddly enough, the wine is starting to make a comeback in Cahors—the part of France where the wine originated—thanks largely to the wine’s international appeal and increasing demand. Fine Wine Online offers a wide array of Malbec to choose from. Many are available, both by the bottle and by the case. Shop popular brands, including Luca, Diseno and more! Can’t find the bottle you are looking for? Contact us with a special request, and we’ll do our best to locate the wine you’re looking for.