WSET3 Palate Notes

Body - Medium,
Acid - Low,
Tannin - High,
Alcohol - Medium.

Tastes Like: Blackberry, Plum, Violet

Malbec is a red grape variety known for producing deeply colored wines with robust tannins and ripe fruit flavors. Originally from France, it has gained global recognition, particularly in Argentina.

What you can expect to taste and smell?

Malbec wines often exhibit intense aromas of dark fruits such as blackberry, plum, and black cherry, complemented by floral notes of violet and sometimes hints of spice.

Cool vs. Warm Climate

Cool Climate: In cooler climates, Malbec tends to retain higher acidity levels, resulting in wines with more structure and a pronounced freshness. The fruit flavors may lean towards red fruits with herbal undertones.

Warm Climate: Warmer climates promote riper fruit development in Malbec, leading to wines with deeper color, fuller body, and softer tannins. The flavor profile may emphasize dark fruits and baking spices.

Appellations / Producers of Note

France: Malbec historically thrived in Cahors, known as the “Black Wine” region, producing tannic, age-worthy wines. Look for producers like Château Lagrézette and Clos Triguedina.

Argentina: Argentina has become synonymous with Malbec, particularly in Mendoza, where high-altitude vineyards produce concentrated wines with vibrant fruit flavors. Producers such as Catena Zapata and Bodega Norton are prominent.

Other Regions: Chile, California, and Australia also cultivate Malbec, each offering unique expressions of the grape with varying styles and characteristics.


Malbec wines are approachable in their youth, showcasing their fruit-forward characteristics and plush texture.

High-quality Malbec wines can age gracefully, developing more complex flavors of leather, tobacco, and dried fruits. Depending on the style, they can improve over 5-10 years or more, gaining in depth and nuance.

First Published: Monday, Jun 10, 2024 Last updated: Jun 10, 2024

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Damien Saunders
WSET3 award - Has been on a journey to learn more about wine, viticulture since I started travelling. Every country has something to drink.
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