By Janie Pace ~
Malbec wine is derived from the Malbec grape, which grows in Argentina’s Mendoza wine region. The grapes thrive in the high-altitude, arid climate, where runoff from melted glaciers in the Andes irrigates the vines.
Malbec’s most prominent feature is the intense dark color and fruity aromas, such as plums, cherries, and raspberries. The palate is soft and smooth due to the tannins, with a well-balanced acidity. It is a medium-bodied to intense wine.
I was not familiar with Malbec wines until I celebrated Malbec World Day and sampled this most deliciously dark purple, spicy, fruity, smooth-tasting wine. I wondered if there were wineries in Texas that produced a Malbec wine, and I was surprised to find several.
Haak Vineyard & Winery—2018 Malbec; $24.95. This Santa Fe-based winery produces a full-bodied Malbec presents aromas of black cherries, red plums, and blackberries, with a hint of chocolate and sweet toasty oak. Pair this Malbec with grilled steak, pot roast, prime rib, beef fajitas, or red snapper.
Becker Vineyards—2017 Malbec; $14.95. Sourced from three Texas high plains vineyards, this Malbec features intense fruit notes of red plum, raspberry, vanilla, rose petals, and pencil shavings. This Fredericksburg Malbec won both the Best-in-Category and the gold medal at the 2019 Lone Star International Wine Competition. Serve decanted, and enjoy a dry, medium-bodied wine with medium tannins and acidity. This wine pairs well with halibut, lamb, beef, BBQ, and grilled veggies.
Red Caboose Winery—2016 Malbec; $32.95. Red Caboose is an award-winning, biodiverse, ecologically friendly, family-owned winery in Meridian, TX. Its 100% estate-grown, full-bodied Malbec is aged in American oak for 32 months, boasting touches of fruits, spice, and medium tannins, with a fresh, woody, smooth character.
Kiepersol Estates Vineyards—2016 Kiepersol Malbec; $38.50. A Kiepersol-style masculine nose of charcoal roasted dark cherry, and wafts of blueberry cream floats through the palate to the finish in this Malbec from the Tyler-based vineyard.
Newsom Vineyards Bending Branch Winery—2015 Malbec; $34.95. This Comfort, TX, Malbec presents outstanding Texas terroir with smooth and vivacious minerality, raspberry with palate-cleansing tannins, and acidity with a long finish. Pair this wine with poultry, tomato-based pasta, tuna, and salmon.
Lone Star Wine Cellars—2015 Antique Red Malbec; $41. This Triple R Ranch Malbec, with a slight high plains’ earthiness, delivers aromas of candied dried prunes, black currant, and bold red cherries, with a robust finish and firm tannins. Pair this McKinney Malbec with beef and Italian food.
Texas Legato Winery—Estate Malbec; $42. A long finish with a touch of a smoky fire pit, this non-vintage, estate-grown Malbec from Lampasas exudes tobacco, cigar box, and pepper tones.
Most of these wines may be ordered online and shipped directly to you, requiring an adult’s signature. Texas wineries would love your business.