Top Five Malbecs of Mendoza

1. Carmelo Patti 2004 Malbec

Grown in the famous Lujan de Cuyo region of Argentina, this medium bodied Malbec bares strong notes of dark cherry, prune and chocolate, while maintaining medium acidity and strong tannins. Sounds divine? That is because this red is nothing short of sheer genius, made by one of the country’s most renowned wine-makers. When drinking, notice the garnet core fading to a watery rim.

Subtle, understated and the best wine we have had the pleasure to taste

2. Familia Bonfanti 2008 Malbec

Our second favorite Malbec can also be found in the Lujan de Cuyo region. At first glance, you will notice Familia Bonfanti sparkles ruby red when held up to light but as the wine maker told us, “pay attention” to the bouquet. Sour cherry, strawberries, vanilla and black pepper make this Malbec a treat that can be enjoyed solely on its own. Boasting a 14.5% alcohol content, the wine maintains a great structure with velvety tannins, fresh acidity and a long lingering finish.

Familia Bonfanti, bold and delicious

3. Pulenta Estate Gran Malbec 2007

You might have guessed that our third favorite Malbec is once again from the Lujan de Cuyo region. Call us unoriginal but Lujan produces some excellent Malbecs and Pulenta Estate is no exception. An intense ruby red appearance with purple highlights makes this little devil almost to pretty to drink. Twirl the wine in your glass and take a quick sniff, you’ll notice red fruits, plum jam, vanilla, dark chocolate with a hint of coffee. Oh my! The taste is even better – a full bodied wine with a long finish, silky, elegant tannins.

Gillian checking out where all the wine-making magic starts - the vineyards

4. The Vines Rose 2009

No, you are not mistaken. You did just read the word “Rose” on a list of Top Five wines. Our fourth pick for best Malbec is none other than The Vines 2009 Rose. Before you write us off as blabbering fools who consider Rose to be an elegant drink, let us remind you that a Rose is not a Zinfandel. It should not be chastised because it bares a striking resemblance to the sugary-sweet syrup produced in California. Instead think of the Malbec Rose as a sexy mistress to the manly red you might expect. With strong notes of cherries, strawberries, floral and peach, the Rose is not only well balanced, she maintains fresh acidity and is cuter than a button – a bubbly pink color with orange highlights.

Rose is best enjoyed on a sunny day or in a tumbler glass

5. Alta Vista Malbec Terroir Selection 2007

Last but certainly not least, the Malbec Terrain Selection from Alta Vista wineries is produced with grapes from both the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo. With 15% alcohol, the wine’s strongest notes are prominent dark chocolate with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Focus your nose on the vanilla, plum, strawberry and anise aromas. Enjoy this bad boy with something meaty, say a lovely slab of Argentinian beef served jugoso.

A blend of two different regions, this wine is most certainly well-balanced