Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Malbec Tasted 4/14

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Chateau Lagrezette Malbec Cru d'Exception Cahors France (2006)
Comments: Earthy, stemmy and herbal on the nose with some sweet, small berry, wild berry fruit tones floating in the glass. A bit tough in the mouth with chewy tannins plenty of richness remaining. there’s great depth to the fruit here, all mineral and dried herb tinged wild red cherry toned flavors. The wine remains firm right through the mouth, but well balanced with the fruit gaining some darker, earthy notes on the backend before changing speed entirely and showing of nuanced red currant and subtly spiced oak note on the long, slightly rustic but delicious finish. Still youthful, this captures another aspect of Malbec, nuanced, complex, and more lively than many new world versions. 92pts
Previously available for $30.00
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2 Perez Cruz Limited Edition Cot Malbec (2010)
Comments: Quie a perfume here and unlike virtually anything else coming out under the Malbec banner these days. This is all sauvage, herbal, gamy, yet bright with notes of wild strawberries, lingonberries and candied cranberries. Smooth and polished on entry, this is seamless in the mouth, though there are some firm, almost stemmy tannins lurking at the heart of the pool of slightly roasted, candied red fruits that form the core of this wine. A touch chewy in the mouth, and with late arriving acids that help refresh the palate, this shows great potential for continued improvement in the bottle. The backend shows off a little black pepperiness before leading to a dried fruit finish of modest proportions. Broad shouldered and narrow waisted, this shows excellent balance and integration. 91pts
Previously available for $22.33
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3 Vina Cobos Malbec Bramare Lujan de Cuyo (2011)
Comments: Crushed black cherries, expensive chocolate, grilled meats, a hint of black pepper and sweet vanilla and powdered ginger greet the nose. A bit tight, and definitely wound up, this shows lovely depth to the fruit with an elegance and almost laciness that is rare to find with malbec. The oak, nutty and showing allspice tones, is dominant today but not offensively so and the fruit ebbs and flows over the oak, giving glimpses of fine balsamic tinged crushed wild berry fruits topped with shaved chocolate. A little blond tobacco and white pepper spice emerges on the finish to add some detail, along with a touch of heat as well. refined and complex, this is a fine wine but it lacks a touch of varietal character. 91pts
Average price: $55.53 from 1 store
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4 Vina Cobos Chardonnay (2012)
Comments: Quite subtle on the nose, though showing a sophisticated blend of nuanced, cigar box oak, crushed wild berry fruit, and hints of ivy and green herbs. Smooth, fairly zesty and even edgy in the mouth, there’s great tension and energy here with the bright crushed wild berry aromas of the nose gaining a bit of sweetness and complexity from the oak on the palate. The finish is a bit short, showing a fine steak of bitterness that helps to define the sweet, slightly jammy blackberry fruit that leads to the cranberry tinged finale. Captures the power of malbec while displaying a bit of finesse. Lovely wine. 89pts
Average price: $13.99 from 1 store
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5 Kaiken Ultra Malbec (2011)
Comments: Dark and exotic on the nose with layers of oak, tropical flowers, pomegranate and zesty wild plums. Rich, powerful and a bit mysterious on entry, this shows slightly aggressive wood tannin today, adding a drying vein to the midpalate, but the fruit is so rich it’s easy to miss. Dark, slightly roasted flavors of black cherry and blackberry are enlivened with subtly toasty oak spice in the mouth, and a hint of vanilla on the backend before this fades away on a moderately long, slightly hot finish. Big and smooth. 88pts
Average price: $14.99 from 1 store
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6 Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec (2010)
Comments: Subtle cigar box oak greets the nose followed by sweet vanilla, a touch of ginger and dark plummy fruit topped with shaved bittersweet chocolate. Smooth and polished in the mouth with plenty of dark plummy fruit wrapped around nicely integrated oak spice. This is well knit together and supple in the mouth with a nice blend of sour plum and blackberry fruit that lasts over the long finish. This is rather elegant for malbec with a nice blend of delicacy and depth in the mouth. 88pts
Previously available for $9.97
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7 Bodega Cuarto Dominio Chento Malbec (2011)
Comments: Dark with hints of carob, earth and leather on the nose this seems a bit tight with reticent aromas of wood spice slowly drifting from the glass. Soft, almost voluptuous on entry with a hint of sweetness wrapped around firm acids and a lacy tannic structure, this unfurls in the mouth with power, yet a sense of restraint as well as there is some subtlety here. The oak pops a bit on the backend before sliding back under the powerful yet subtle dark cherry, candied cherry, berry fruit that dominates the long finish. This might improve in the bottle over the near term, 1-2 years, but is already a pretty classic expression of Malbec today. 88pts
Average price: $19.99 from 2 stores
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8 Apaltagua Reserva Malbec (2012)
Comments: Fruity and spicy on the nose with plenty of nuanced nutty, nutmeg tinged oak layered in with blackberry, plum, and black cherry fruit. fruit forward, exuberant and bright in the mouth, this is supported by nicely judged, firm, little tannins and integrated acids that help to show off the spicy character of the fruit here. Rich yet remaining admirably transparent in the mouth, this finish with lovely freshness and clarity, and lingering sour plummy fruit. Well knit together and fun. 86pts
Previously available for $10.99
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9 Sagelands Vineyard Malbec (2011)
Comments: Subtle on the nose with nuanced oak, spicy fruit and subtly floral aromas. A bit sticky up front with perhaps a touch of RS adding some richness but enough acidity to help bring freshness and brightness to the palate. The oak is well measure with some spice accents helping to highlight the slightly spicy, plum skin and rosemary nature of the fruit here. Finishing with a slight balsamic cast, this shows some nice persistence to the fruit in a style that is slightly lighter than many Malbecs and shows more red fruit character finishing with hints of strawberries. 85pts
Average price: $14.99 from 1 store
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  • 1197158Dennis Haff Also suggest the Antigal Winery & Estates Uno Malbec, $14-16/bottle. Deep ruby red color, with deep nose of oak and blackberry. Great with beef.


  • 103234Mern Luca has always been my favorite Malbec!


  • 381013Stallion Love the Gascon Reserve Malbec in the purple bottle. A fantastic wine for around $22. The Darioush 2009 Napa Valley Malbec was AMAZING....but a hefty price tag of around $60. Cheers!


  • 426220jamessulis I'm sure all of the Malbec's shown here are of the finest quality and taste. For my money and for reasons no other than that the taste appeals to me and satisfies my palate to unbelievable levels. The one that does if for me is "Layer Cake Malbec"


  • 1304204jolinegkg A second vote for Layer Cake Malbec. One of my favorites.


  • 1105497noelia Hi! I found your selections very interesting. I'm a sommelier from Mendoza Argentina and I would have never chosen tamari or grafigna instead of other much more interesting malbecs such as the terroir selection of three different Malbecs from Catena Zapata, famiglia Bianchi Malbec, Lamadrid Malbec if you prefer a more fruity alternative or luigi bosca. Take them into account when trying malbecs from here.... I liked the article, it gave me another point of view of our wines. Enjoy malbecs tomorrow invthe Malbec world day!!!!


  • 89065Gregory Dal Piaz Hi Noelia, Thanks for the suggestions and comments. I tasted wines that are both widely available, and more difficult to find here in NYC. Trying to give as broad a view to the variety as possible in preparation for Malbec day! I do enjoy the Bianchi Malbec in particular. Hope you have a great Malbec day!


  • 1105497noelia Hi! Thanks for your fast answer!!! I didn't know thodevwined are widely found there. Thsnk you!! There id big celebration in all Mendoza


  • 1390590VoltaireXXIII The Cohoes is an extraordinary value and has been a favorite at our table for a few years. Widely available too, I have bought it in supermarkets in Iowa.



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