The Argentinian hero
Malbec was once one of the regular participants in Bordeaux blends. Today it has fallen out of favour. Further south in Gascony it still has a role to play in Cahors, producing dark and tannic 'black' wines.
Malbec was brought over to Chile in the nineteenth century, and is often known there by its French name of Cot. It is over the Andes in Argentina that it has been most successful - so much so that Malbec has almost become Argentina's keynote red, identifiable by its violet and plum aroma and smooth, supple tannins. The variety also pops up elsewhere in the world, and is becoming increasingly popular.
Colour: red; deep ruby to very dark
Tastes include: expressive and flavoursome, full bodied and rich, with damson and black plums
AKA: Auxerrois (France), Cöt (Loire, France), Cot (Chile)
Often blended with: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot for Bordeaux-style blends
Spotter's guide: France: Cahors, Loire; Chile; Argentina, Australia, South Africa
Keep or drink? Drink; or keep the seriously fine wines
Price range: £4.99 to £30