Malbec has had one hell of a ride, starting from its origins in Cahors — a region on the Lot River in southwest France where it is known locally as Côt — to the Gironde where it is used as a blending variety in Bordeaux. The grape then made its way to the greenhouses of independent Chile, and finally, to its true spiritual home of Argentina, where it thrives in Mendoza, San Juan, and in the Uco Valley. Additionally, Malbec has been here in the U.S. for years, and is experiencing a renaissance in the Pacific Northwest.

As Malbec has been plunged into various soils and planted in a wide range of climates, it has taken on different personalities. Sure, the wines from this grape will always express notes of dark fruit with a weighty palate, but it’s the subtleties just beneath the surface that tell its tale. Whether it’s thousands of feet above sea level in Argentina or from the breezy Umpqua Valley of Oregon, Malbec is still telling its story. In the list below you’ll find examples of this. We tasted through a wide range of Malbecs and these are 14 of the best around.

Best Malbecs Under $25

Bodega Vista del Sur High Note Malbec

Bodega Vista del Sur High Note Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

Buy a case! This was my first thought when tasting this wine. It’s so soft and balanced, fruity and juicy. It’s crazy to me that this is under twenty bucks. I’m gonna buy a case.

Average price: $14
Rating: 89

Waterbrook Malbec

Waterbrook Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

This wine shows the easy side of Malbec. It’s uncomplicated and very well balanced. It’s a wine that could be a serious crowd pleaser when the pizza arrives.

Average price: $16
Rating: 89

Trabun Soloist Côt

Trabun Soloist Côt is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

It’s hearty and jammy with some savory notes on the nose. The mouthfeel is all soft fruit and brilliant acidity balancing the prominent yet calm tannins. This is such a great wine from Chile. Keep an eye out for more from here.

Malbec was once a part of the Chilean wine landscape and maybe it should be again. This winemaker has intentionally used the French word for Malbec, Côt on the label, and for good reason. This is a medium-bodied Malbec, made in the Cahors style. The mouthfeel is soft with a quiet tannic frame. The acidity lies just beneath the fruit making for a very balanced wine.

Average price: $17
Rating: 92

Best Malbecs Under $50

Bodega Aleanna ‘El Enemigo’ Malbec

Bodega Aleanna 'El Enemigo' Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

With a mix of fruity and savory notes and a distant hint of smoke, this Malbec punches above its weight…er…price point. It’s so balanced and expressive with soft tannins and a plush mouthfeel. Hello, weeknight steak pairing.

Average price: $26
Rating: 92

Rocamadre Paraje Altamira Malbec

Rocamadre Paraje Altamira Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

Paraje means “place” in Spanish, and this producer set out to show that wines from Argentina can express a sense of place. This is one of those wines. It’s soft, dense, and earthy with that high desert acidity that keeps it balanced.

Average price: $26
Rating: 89

Ricardo Santos El Gran Malbec

Ricardo Santos El Gran Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

This aged Malbec from Mendoza is showing us how this grape can evolve. The dense fruit is moving into savory territory with dark fruit and balsamic feels. The tannin has almost disappeared into the wine, but not completely, lending a great structure.

Average price: $36
Rating: 92

Familia Zuccardi ‘Concreto’ Malbec

Familia Zuccardi 'Concreto' Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

This is the earthiest Malbec. It’s made in concrete eggs that were built from the land the winery was built on! This winemaking style lends to some very interesting wine. This bottle is unctuous and fruity. It coats the entire palate with chewy fruit.

Average price: $36
Rating: 92

Canoe Ridge Vineyard Summit Series Malbec

Canoe Ridge Vineyard Summit Series Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

Washington is showing a consistent offering of great Malbecs. I mean, no bigs but this could be one of the Evergreen State’s go-tos. Like, keep an eye out. This bottle has some age on it and brings the harmony of weighty fruit and great minerality. The oak is an added layer instead of a distraction.

Average price: $39
Rating: 92

Pyros Single Vineyard Block No 4 Malbec

Pyros Single Vineyard Block No 4 Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

Yes, it’s from Argentina. No it’s not from Mendoza. It’s from an hour or so north, and it comes through in the wine. Among the plunging fruit lingers a waft of herbs that’s so welcome. The palate is concentrated but has that high desert minerality that brightens things up.

Average price: $47
Rating: 92

Browne Family Vineyards Malbec

Browne Family Vineyards Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

There is a lightness to this Washington State Malbec. The nose is all dark berries and mocha and the fruit is soft and deep. But the mouthfeel has this comfy, medium weight that brings a casual vibe.

Average price: $47
Rating: 88

Foolhardy Vintners Malbec

Foolhardy Vintners Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

Washington State is coming through with some seriously balanced Malbecs. This one will definitely make you do a double-take. It’s so balanced with ripe fruit and a hint of spice from the natural acidity. The palate has this calm depth that rests easy on the palate.

Average price: $49
Rating: 90

Best Malbecs Over $50

Abacela East Hill Block Reserve Malbec

Abacela East Hill Block Reserve Malbec is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

Yes, Oregon is known for Pinot Noir. But in the Umpqua Valley, there is so much more happening, like this well-aged Malbec. It has a distinct focused concentration of fruit, like really focused. The palate is wonderfully balanced with a tannin structure that is still melting into the wine.

Average price: $60
Rating: 90

Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino

Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino is one of the best Malbecs for 2023.

Can a Malbec be huge and powerful yet balanced and judicious with oak and alcohol? Catena Zapata says yes! This wine comes at you big and heavy, but when it hits your palate it’s a calm deep lake of awesome fruit and minerality with a lingering finish. Bravo!

Average price: $120
Rating: 92


Where is the best Malbec made?

Though it originally hails from France, Malbec is most notably produced in Argentina, especially in the Mendoza region.

Why is Malbec so popular?

Malbec appeals to the masses due to its affordability and approachable, juicy fruit flavors. It’s easy it is to drink and pairs very well with a range of foods.

VinePair’s tasting methodology

Throughout the year, VinePair conducts numerous tastings for our popular Buy This Booze column, and wine and spirits reviews. Our mission is to provide a clear, reliable source of information for drinkers, providing an overview applicable to day-to-day buying and drinking.

Tastings are not typically conducted blind. In alignment with our reviews mission, we believe in purposefully tasting all products as our readers typically would, with full knowledge of the producer, the region, and — importantly — the price.

For Buy This Booze roundups, we typically include a maximum of one expression per brand, though we do allow multiple products from the same production facility (i.e., released under different labels).

For this roundup, we aimed to consider the best Malbecs from a variety of origins and price points. From notable to up-and-coming regions, we looked for wines whose flavor profiles went beyond the grape’s standard characteristics and showcased terroir. The lower-priced bottles of the list represent those with the most balance and concentration at their price points. As for the more expensive inclusions, these wines were chosen due to their nuanced notes and their well-rounded acidity and balance.