The 14 Best Malbecs for 2024

By now, most wine lovers are aware of Malbec, the once-blending grape from southwest France that was catapulted into fame in Argentina. While Malbec has certainly benefited from this attention, the mass production of bulk Malbec has given it a reputation as a one-note, monotonous, “smooth red wine.” But there are an increasing number of examples showing the range Malbec is capable of outside of being plush or jammy.

There are high-altitude expressions from Argentina’s Uco Valley that show the grape’s incredible freshness, age-worthy bottles from Sonoma County, and herbaceous examples from the Pacific Northwest. And yes, if you’re a fan of Malbec’s bold side, there are great wines that manage to bring big oak and fruit flavors together while still being refined and complex. We tried a staggering number of Malbecs and whittled it down to the best bottles that showcase each facet of this variety, from Argentina and beyond.

So if you think you know Malbec, think again, and try these 14 standout bottles.

The Best Malbecs From Argentina

High Note Malbec 2021

High Note Malbec 2021 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

This is one of the best value Argentinian Malbecs in the game. You get brambly blackberries, black cherry, and plums on the nose. An expressive palate with a great concentration of fruit lifted by bright acidity. And just enough tannic grip to help it hold up to a hearty dish. All for a steal at $15. Buy a case for any of your weeknight wine needs.

Average price: $15
Rating: 89

Bodega Amalaya Gran Corte Malbec 2020

Bodega Amalaya Gran Corte Malbec 2020 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

This blend of 85 percent Malbec, 9 percent Cabernet Franc, and 6 percent Tannat comes from the high-elevation vineyards of Salta, Argentina. The nose has bright red fruit notes of pomegranate and raspberries with hints of baking spices and orange zest. The palate delivers more savory, earthy characteristics alongside the fruit and grippy tannins. A good option if you’re looking to branch out from your go-to weeknight Bordeaux.

Average price: $22
Rating: 90

Bodegas Salentein Reserve Malbec 2021

Bodegas Salentein Reserve Malbec 2021 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Bodega Salentein is located in Argentina’s Uco Valley at an elevation of 4,000 feet on more than 121 acres of preserved desert habitat. The altitude brings a freshness to these wines. This bottle has notes of strawberries, cherry, blackberry, and baking spices. The tannins work to balance out the fruit on the palate, giving it great structure and depth, all for a good value.

Average price: $24
Rating: 90

Magna Montis Tupungato Malbec 2022

Magna Montis Tupungato Malbec 2022 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Magna Montis means big mountain in Latin, referring to the towering, mountainous backdrop of the Uco Valley. This is where winemaker Martin Dicuzzo works with high-elevation vineyards, grown at 3,300 to 5,500 feet above sea level, to craft elegant expressions of Malbec. Dicuzzo aims to showcase the grape’s fresher side, as opposed to the bold bottles that dominate the market. This wine delivers on that promise with its bright and juicy profile. It has an earthy, herbal nose with some notes of red plum and orange zest. The palate brings pops of blueberries and raspberries with bright acidity. This is a Malbec that could take a chill.

Average price: $29
Rating: 92

El Enemigo Malbec 2020

El Enemigo Malbec 2020 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

This wine is a joint venture between two legends of Argentina’s wine industry: Adrianna Catena, the daughter of Nicolás Catena, and Alejandro Vigil, the chief winemaker at Bodega Catena Zapata. Together they craft this refined expression of Malbec from the southern foothills of the Uco Valley. The wine has an intriguing balance between vibrant, tart berry notes and more cooked, stewed plum notes. It’s aged for 15 months in 100-year-old foudres, lending some light spice and cocoa notes as well. It’s concentrated and opulent without being overbearing.

Average price: $30
Rating: 91

Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec 2021

Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec 2021 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs founded Viña Cobos in 1988 to explore the different terroirs of Mendoza, Argentina — particularly the esteemed sub-regions of Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. This bottling is sourced from several vineyards in the Uco Valley, where the high elevation and stony soils contribute to the wine’s concentration and complexity. Theres are aromas of blackberries, spice, and earth on the nose. The palate has intriguing notes of tobacco, leather, cedar, and baking spices from aging for 18 months in French oak barrels. It has a great depth of fruit balanced by a firm tannic structure.

Average price: $45
Rating: 93

Pascual Toso Alta Malbec 2020

Pascual Toso Alta Malbec 2020 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Pascual Toso was born in a small town in Piedmont, Italy, and moved to Mendoza in the mid-1880s. Coming from one of Italy’s premier winemaking regions, Toso saw the potential of Mendoza as a world-class site and established his first winery in 1890. The grapes for its Alta Malbec bottling are hand-picked from 60-year-old vines and aged in new French oak barrels for 14 months. The result is an elegant, savory nose that pops with notes of Christmas spices, sweet tobacco, and cocoa. The palate brings more of those well-integrated oak characteristics along with juicy blackberries and plums. The spice notes leave a nice, lingering finish.

Average price: $50
Rating: 91

The Best Malbecs from Outside Argentina

Madroña Vineyards Signature Collection Malbec 2019

Madroña Vineyards Signature Collection Malbec 2019 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

The Madroña winery started producing Malbec in 1993 as a blending grape for its Bordeaux-inspired blends. But the high-elevation site in California’s El Dorado AVA, at 2,800 feet, proved to make a stunning Malbec that stood out on its own, so Madroña decided to make this Malbec-focused cuvée. The altitude allows Malbec to show fresh, fruit-forward aromas of cherry and raspberry. The palate is a melange of red fruits and spices, with bright acidity.

Average price: $28
Rating: 90

Abacela Winery Malbec 2021

Abacela Winery Malbec 2021 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Between Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Rogue Valley lies the Umpqua Valley, where three different mountain ranges converge and create a unique terroir for viticulture with distinct microclimates scattered throughout the area. This makes it a great place to work with a wide range of grapes — so while Pinot reigns supreme in the Willamette, the Umpqua Valley is home to over 40 different varieties, including Malbec. This wine from Abacela’s estate vineyards is delightfully herbaceous. It immediately hits you with oregano, tarragon, and lavender aromas. The palate has bright cherry with more of that earthy, spicy complexity.

Average price: $32
Rating: 90

Sweet Cheeks Winery Malbec 2021

Sweet Cheeks Winery Malbec 2021 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

This single-vineyard Malbec is sourced from the Pebblestone Vineyard in the Rogue Valley, Oregon’s southernmost AVA. It has an earthy, smoky nose that draws you in and the palate brings brambly berries, ripe plums, dried figs, and a hint of leather. It has grippy, palate-coating tannins, so this is one to lay down for a few years or enjoy with a hearty meal. Sweet Cheeks’ winemaker, Leo Gabica, who grew up in the Philippines, suggests pairing it with a Filipino beef stew called mechado.

Average price: $35
Rating: 92

Dry Creek Vineyard Malbec 2021

Dry Creek Vineyard Malbec 2021 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Ok, hear me out. This Malbec is for the Beaujolais lovers out there. I know, Gamay and Malbec are not typically grouped together, but this wine from the Dry Creek Valley is all about Malbec’s vibrant, fruit-forward side. The nose has notes of candied red fruits, almost like fruit roll-ups (in a good way). The palate brings black cherry, blueberries, and slight hints of sweet baking spices. If you’re looking for Malbec’s fruitier, more easy-drinking side, this is a good place to start.

Average price: $42
Rating: 90

Viluko Vineyards Malbec 2014

Viluko Vineyards Malbec 2014 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Most Malbecs on the market today are made to be enjoyed right off the shelf. But this example from Sonoma County was clearly built to age (there’s also a sprinkle of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, which helps). At 10 years old, this bottle is still incredibly vibrant. There’s ripe red fruits on the nose, and the palate brings flavors of stewed plums and strawberries with hints of spice. The tannins have a strong presence without overwhelming the fruit. After trying a younger vintage, it’s clear the age on this bottle has helped it find perfect harmony.

Average price: $55
Rating: 91

Brandlin Estate Malbec 2019

Brandlin Estate Malbec 2019 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

This Malbec is true to the opulent Napa Valley style. It hits you with bold, brooding fruit on the nose, with notes of currants, plums, and black cherry. There’s clear oak influence from 22 months in French oak (40 percent new) with added hints of sandalwood, vanilla, and cocoa. It has a firm tannic structure, but lands soft and silky on the finish. This is a big wine, ready for your next steak night.

Average price: $75
Rating: 92

Darioush Signature Malbec 2019

Darioush Signature Malbec 2019 is one of the best Malbecs for 2024.

Though California winemakers typically use small portions of Malbec in Bordeaux-style blends, Darioush was inspired by the old-vine Malbec on its estate vineyards in Mount Veeder and Oak Knoll to make this Malbec-focused bottling. This is definitely for those who enjoy the big, bold side of the grape. It’s aged for 20 months in French oak barrels (75 percent new), which gives it warming, spicy aromas of leather, clove, vanilla, and cedar. The palate is bursting with dark fruits like plums, cassis, and blueberries. It’s a heavy-hitting wine, but manages to maintain balance.

Average price: $80
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 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.