With Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot, Malbec is one of three primary blending grapes in red Bordeaux, typically playing second fiddle to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. By itself, Malbec makes a simpler, softer version of Merlot, though a few areas, especially Argentina, are specializing in Malbec.
In the Northwest, Malbec is a minor player, with plantings in Washington’s Columbia Valley and Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. Resulting wines show off blackberry and black peppr aromas and flavors and pair well with roasted meat dishes.
This story was originally published June 16, 2012 4:46 PM.