Argentinian malbec continues to rock the market. What’s remarkable is how quickly the category has evolved from semigeneric (when every label read “Mendoza”) to specific subdistricts that impart their own terroir impressions on the wines. While soils may be different, they’re all at ultra-high elevations, and the vines benefit from direct sunshine and cool windy conditions, which build intense flavor and great structure into the grapes. These three are delicious springtime choices for the grill or barbecue.
Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec, LujÁn de Cuyo, 2015
This is a ripe, muscular style from a region that’s emerged as Argentina’s quality leader, if you prefer richness and intensity in your red wine. Owned by over-the-Andes neighbor Concha y Toro, this impressive malbec has a plum jam, cocoa-like, dark fruit intensity, with medium tannins and outstanding concentration. Lush in texture with a charming berry character, this would perfectly complement barbecued ribs.
$23, Roche Bros., Boston
Zuccardi Serie A Malbec, Valle de Uco, 2016
Zuccardi is a winemaker that rarely misses the mark. This terrific bargain is produced from sun-drenched but very high-altitude vineyards, which experience wide daily temperature fluctuations, ensuring ripeness and balance. It’s got a complex aroma of violet, ripe berries, coffee and smoke that’s mellow and silky on the palate. This bottle can take a slight chill and is juicy enough to work with grilled burgers or tacos.
$14, Whole Foods at Ink Block, Boston
Viña Cobos Bramare Malbec, LujÁn de Cuyo, 2014
Just like his California wines, this Paul Hobbs’ project is unerringly delicious. Its powerful flavors are layered and bold, with leafy blueberry aromas, dark coffee/mocha-like fruit and substantial yet velvety tannins. This vintage is a bit earthier than in the past, with depth and length in the finish. If there’s a malbec to drink now—but also consider aging—this is it. Pair this with grilled lamb chops.
$45, Federal Wine & Spirits, Boston
Sandy Block is a master of wine and the vice president of beverage operations for Legal Sea Foods.