Image Credit: Ian L






The Grape

One of the six Bordeaux grapes, Malbec is a grape known for its deep color and robust tannin structure. Known for its popularity in France and Argentina, Malbec has developed a strong following in the America for its mysterious, intense fruity flavor.

Malbec produces a thin-skinned grape that requires sunlight and heat to mature, but also needs cool evenings to develop its acidity or else it may taste weak and watery. Malbec can be trellised or left to grow as a bush, and both are common depending on where it's produced. Due to its susceptibility to frost, mildew, and disease, Malbec has a relatively low yield that produces smaller berries that are complex and rich in flavor. 

The Wine

Malbec is dark and purple in color with a range in tannin structure from mild to medium depending on when the grapes were harvested. The wines have aromas of raisins, violets, garlic and the occasional hint of smoke. Malbec has a complex flavor of blackberry, black currant, leather and tobacco.

Perfect Pairings

Malbec features a flavor profile similar to that of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, but with much softer tannins. The softer tannins allow Malbec to pair with leaner meats such as chicken, lamb, and pork. The complex flavors of Malbec also pair well to the tangy, spicy flavor of barbecue sauce and the distinctive flavor of charcoal grilling. When pairing with cheese, look for an Iberico or Manchego as their flavors pair well with Malbec.

Shop Malbec Wines

2013 Essere Franco Malbec
$ 95.00

Robert Parker - 91+ Points

“The stylish and impressive 2013 Malbec comes from the Las Cerezas Vineyard in Yountville. This wine will make people stand up and notice. Dense purple-colored, with loads of licorice, coffee bean, blueberry and blackberry fruit, medium to full body, good acidity and ripe tannin, it should age beautifully for 15 or more years.” 

The fruit for this delicious wine was sourced from the Las Cerezas Vineyard in the Yountville AVA of Napa Valley.  Aged 18 months in 80% new French Oak, this medium to full bodied wine has flavors of dark berry and chocolate, with a touch of black pepper. It carries a crisp acidity with ripe plum aromas on the nose. It pairs incredible with Italian foods, and has quickly become our favorite wine to make since we bottled our first stand alone Malbec in 2007.

Only 116 cases produced

Alc. 15.5%


2014 Napa Valley Merlot
$ 44.00

Gold Medal - 2016 SF Inter'l Wine Competition


Tasting Notes

Deep, dark red color with garnet tones. Blackcurrant and cherry aromas are beautifully integrated with earthy, chocolate notes. This wine is layered with juicy blackberry, cherry, espresso, and clove notes while remaining varietally correct with subtle tannins and a smooth, fruit-driven mouthfeel.

The Merlot expressed traditional red fruit notes with a touch of oakiness. The wine was fermented in a stainless steel tank and aged in 100% French oak barrels for 17 months. Blending took place in November 2015 where we added Cabernet Franc for its floral element, Petit Verdot for its earthiness, and Malbec for its dark fruit impact. After blending, the wine was returned to the barrels until bottling.


Vintage:           2015

Varietal:           Merlot (93%),  Cabernet Franc (5%), Malbec                              (1%), Petit Verdot (1%),

Appellation:    Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

Alcohol %:       14.7

2014 Testament Bordeaux Blend
$ 86.00

DOUBLE GOLD - 94 Points - 2018 Toast of the Coast Wine Competition

SILVER MEDAL - 2018 LA International Wine Competition

BRONZE MEDAL - 2018 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

Tasting Notes

Our 2014 Testament offers glorious aromas of fresh cut roses, blueberry, cassis, and blackberries. A silky creamy entry gives way to layers of complexity that unfold in the mid-palate with velvety tannins enrobing a center of concentrated black-fruit. Elegantly balanced, the acidity and core structure deliver an exhilarating finish with hints of dark chocolate.
Varietal: 38% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot, 8% Malbec
Year: 2014
Vineyard: Cass Vineyard
AVA: Paso Robles Geneseo District 
Blend: 38% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 17% Cabernet Franc14% Petit Verdot, and 8% Malbec 
Alcohol: 13.9%

Limited Production – 215 Cases

2016 Troon Vineyard Cuvée Côt Malbec, Applegate Valley, Estate Bottled
$ 35.00

We’ve named our Estate Malbec Cuvée Côt to emphasize how different our style is compared to the many malbec wines coming from South America. Côt is the name that malbec goes by in southern France and our bright, balanced and zesty style of malbec was not only inspired by, but also reflects, the elegance and exuberance you find in the delicious malbec wines from Cahors. True to the Applegate Valley our Cuvée Côt is fresh and mouthwatering with rich dark fruit flavors and a long, lingering finish. We recommend enjoying this wine over the next several years due to the pleasures to be found in its charming, youthful personality.

As with all of our wines, our Estate Malbec was crushed by foot, then fermented by our native, natural yeasts in small fermenters. No additives, including commercial yeasts, sulfur, tannins, enzymes, sugar or acids were added to the fermenters. It is bottled after aging in mature French Oak Burgundy barrels for eighteen months.

2016 Troon Vineyard Estate Cuvée Pyrénées Tannat/Malbec Co-ferment, Kubli Bench, Applegate Valley
$ 60.00

No other wine speaks so clearly about the terroir and character of the Kubli Bench in the Applegate Valley than the distinctive co-ferment of Tannat and Malbec, Cuvée Pyrénées. In the shadow of the Pyrénées Mountains in southwestern France Tannat and Malbec reign as the premier grape varieties in the famed appellations of Madiran and Cahors and we named this wine in their honor. Cuvée Pyrénées was formally known as MT, but its new name better
reflects the traditions and inspiration that created this one-of-a-kind Oregon co-ferment.  Troon is firmly committed to co-fermentation instead of blending as they believe adds many layers of complexity and texture than cannot be obtained in any other way. Their 2016 Cuvée Pyrénées is svelte yet substantial wine with brilliant lifted aromatics. More than cellar-worthy, with a bit of patience this wine will develop into a wine of even greater complexity than it already possesses.