A Guide to Investing in Malbec


Malbec, the iconic grape of Argentine wineries, has become an enticing opportunity for wine investors. Still available at reasonable prices, many of these wines are improving their scores year over year and demand and value are rising accordingly. Made in small batches from elite vineyards that focus on regional expression, many of these Malbecs can be enjoyed today or kept for several years when their scarcity will drive up the price.

“The great Argentine vintages possess all the attributes of collection-quality wines, just like in Italy and France. Especially those made in the top micro-terroirs in the style of the famous Burgundy crus,” says the winemaker Susana Balbo, who is well-known for her obsession with quality. The rise of this new category of wine with excellent aging potential is a reflection of the quality of the best Argentine terroirs.

For this section, we explored around 50 labels with aspirations to rub elbows with the global winemaking elite and selected 12 of the most promising potential investments.

 

La Linterna Microterroir Parcela Nro13 La Yesca Malbec 2014 (Pedernal Valley, San Juan). Bemberg Estate is a limited edition project overseen by Daniel Pi. La Yesca (4276 bottles) is a Malbec from the Pedernal Valley (1400 masl), a sunny but cool terroir. Concentrated aromas of cherries, strawberries, blueberries, wild herbs and violets accompanied by mineral notes. Juicy and structured mid-palate with textured tannins. The finish is lengthy with hints of smoke. Drink through 2025.

 

Viña Cobos Chañares Estate Malbec 2016 (Uco Valley, Mendoza). Paul Hobbs was one of the first winemakers to produce collectible Malbecs. This Chañares Estate comes from Lós Árboles, a mountainous area 1184 masl with a moderate climate. An opulent character defined by the juiciness of bright red fruit. With solid tannins, it offers plums, blueberries, red cherries, mountain herbs, lingering oaky notes, and spicy elegance. Drink through 2026.

 

Colomé Altura Máxima Malbec 2016 (Calchaquí Valley, Salta). Set 3111 masl in Salta, Colomé produces the grapes for this unique wine. Only 28 barrels are made of this Malbec, which presents the customary heft of high altitude vineyards. The 2016 vintage delivers a fresher expression than usual while maintaining the power. Fragrant with dense red fruit, herbs and peppery flavors from nose to mouth. Concentrated, robust and mature on the palate with grippy tannins and well-rounded weight. Drink through 2028.

 

Terrazas de los Andes Grand Malbec 2017 (Mendoza).  Recently launched on the market, this new Terrazas de los Andes wine combines three exquisite terroirs from Mendoza: Las Compuertas in Luján de Cuyo and, from the Uco Valley, Los Chacayes and Paraje Altamira. The result is a serious, refined Malbec for sophisticated palates. Rich in black plum, blueberry and balsamic notes with oaky hints, it is a full-bodied Malbec with rounded but grippy tannins. Drink through 2028.

 

Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Coletto Malbec 2015 (Uco Valley, Mendoza). Every year, Bodega Trapiche rewards the best grape producers with a wine that bears the name of their vineyard. Finca Coletto is the result of a producer’s commitment to his 50-year-old vineyard in El Peral (1130 masl) in the Uco Valley. In this full-bodied Malbec, aromas of plums, blueberries, black cherries and violets give way wild herb flavors. Delivers well-integrated tannins and a powerful, lengthy finish. Drink through 2026.

 

Zuccardi Aluvional Paraje Altamira 2016 (Uco Valley, Mendoza). Sebastián Zuccardi produces an exciting Malbec collection with grapes from different Uco Valley regions. Aged in used barrels and concrete vats, the Paraje Altamira is a clear expression of mountain wines with wild herbs, balsamic notes and rich red fruit aromas. The firm yet smooth palate reveals the effect of the mineral soils with its chalky texture. Drink through 2027.

 

Pyros Single Vineyard Block No 4 Malbec 2015 (Pedernal Valley, San Juan). Among the newest Argentine terroirs for Malbec, the Pedernal Valley is an exciting prospect and Pyros Wines is a leading winemaker in the region. The result of wise selection of their plots on flinty hillsides, this medium to full-bodied Malbec is their focused and taut with aromas of mountain herbs and rich red fruits giving way to mineral flavors. The palate presents fresh acidity with chalky, grippy tannins. Drink through 2026.

 

Achával Ferrer Finca Bella Vista 2015 (Luján de Cuyo. Mendoza). Collectors who already have Argentine wines in their cellar are already likely to be aware of the potential of Achával Ferrer’s Fincas. Among them, Bella Vista—Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo—is the least well-known but undoubtedly the most original vineyard. The cold air from the Andes and the stony, bare soil combine to create a perfectly balanced Malbec. The stand-out aromas of this lush, complex expression are black plums, cherries and thyme. The palate is rich with fruity flavors framed by a medium body and firm tannins. Drink through 2028.

 

Nosotros Single Vineyard Nómade Paraje Altamira 2014 (Uco Valley, Mendoza). In 2010, Susana Balbo began using grapes from different vineyards in a manner worthy of the name Nómade. The 2014 edition comes from Paraje Altamira (1200 masl). Matured for sixteen months in French oak, it presents an elegant profile. Black plums, blackberry flavors, and a profound finish. Presents a dense concentration and velvety texture on the palate. An exuberantly fresh and expressive Malbec. Drink through 2026.

 

Altocedro Gran Reserva Malbec 2017 (Uco Valley, Mendoza). La Consulta, a traditional wine-growing region in the Uco Valley, is where Karim Mussi obtains the grapes for his signature wine, a Malbec co-fermented with Semillón (also from the area) and aged for 24 months in barrels.  Cedar and vanilla combine with candied red and black fruits. Lush but well integrated in texture. Built to last. Drink through 2028.

 

Trivento Eolo 2016 (Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza). Using grapes from a Luján de Cuyo vineyard planted in 1912, Germán di Césare and Enrique Tirado, produce this memorable Malbec for Bodega Trivento. Complex and intensely powerful, this big red delivers aromas of black cherries, black plums, blueberries, spices and smoke. With thick, structured tannins it stands out for its balance and lasting grip. Drink through 2028.

 

Kaiken, Mai “The First” Malbec 2016 (Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza). MAI is an iconic Malbec produced by the renowned Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes in Mendoza with grapes from a century-old estate in Vistalba. The wine offers a traditional, complex and elegant aromatic profile. Presenting red fruits with shades of violets, this well-integrated wine shows all the signs of aging well. The palate is rich and full, with velvety tannins that offer lasting length and complexity.  Drink through 2027.

Published on April 8, 2020