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12 Best Malbec Wines Under $20: Quality on a Budget (2024)

Best Malbec Under $20

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Looking for the best Malbec wines under $20? I’ve always been drawn to Malbecs for their luscious purple hue and rich, full-bodied taste. These Malbec wines, crafted from dark grapes, bring an exotic flavor profile to the table.

They are a bit rare in the West, often hailing from the Malbec mecca of Argentina or the intense sunlight regions of Southern Europe.

So, if you want to savor the potent kick of alcohol and robust aromas of Malbec Wines without breaking the bank, check out below the best Malbec wine under $20.

Top 12 Best Malbec Wines Under $20

1. The Fableist 437 Malbec

Person Drinking The Fableist 437 Malbec: Best Malbec Wines Under $20:

Average Price: Approx. $19.99 per 750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 14.3% ABV

Nose: Oak and red fruits

Palate: Balanced Malbec taste with herbaceous notes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: The Fableist 437 delivers a well-balanced profile with an aromatic nose and herbal palate. It’s a wine that pairs with more than just food; it pairs with moments and memories.

The temperature and vineyard grapes grown within the Paso Robles greatly contribute to the pleasant tasting notes of this Malbec.

Malbec, the signature wine of Argentina, offers a fascinating symphony of wild berries and structured tannins, proving itself as a serious contender on the world stage of fine wines.” – Robert M. Parker Jr., American Wine Critic

It can compete with the native Malbec wines from Argentina, which makes it my top choice.

2. Catena Malbec

Bottle of Catena Malbec and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $17.97 per 750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Nose: Dark fruits and sweet spice

Palate: Black cherries, mineral, and black pepper

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Catena Malbec, a Mendoza Malbec, is a testament to quality and flavor. It has a velvety texture with robust blackberry notes, making it one of the best Malbec wines.

Besides, Catena Malbec respects its roots as it delivers a transcendent experience, ensuring that each sip is worthy of being savored.

Fun Fact: This Malbec is sourced from grapes that flourished in the high-altitude vineyards of the Catena family in Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, Tupungato, and San Carlos within the foot of the Andes mountains.

3. La Linda Malbec

Bottle of La Linda Malbec and a Glass

Average Price: Around $19.99 per 750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Nose: Blackberry and vanilla scents

Palate: Soft Malbec taste with oak notes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: La Linda Malbec is a charming wine with a vivid violet-hued exuding the signature Malbec scents intertwined with spice and subtle floral touches.

Tasting notes reveal a fruit-forward profile and smooth texture. I like the mature tannins and harmonious acidity, showcasing a refined and robustly constructed Malbec. But is Malbec sweet?

4. Alberti Malbec

Average Price: Approx. $15.91 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Black plum and chocolate

Palate: Chocolate and black cherry

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Alberti, from Mendoza, Argentina (also known for their Cabernet Sauvignon wines), captures the essence of the Malbec grape with its luscious dark fruit flavors.

Given its tasting notes, it’s a crowd-pleaser – perfect for any occasion. The way the chocolate notes play with the essence of dark fruits is impressive.

It delivers a richness usually found in more expensive Malbec wines in South West France.

5. Vinalba Reserve Malbec

Average Price: Around $15.75 per 750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Earthy with leather aromas

Palate: Bold with fruit notes

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: From the Uco Valley, Vinalba Reserve Malbec is a good Malbec, delivering a bold taste with a fruit-forward profile grounded by its earthy undertones.

It’s one of the robust red wines with a pleasantly surprising complexity. Its bold character is an ode to the adventurous spirit of wine lovers. 

6. 90+ Cellars Old Vine Malbec (Lot 23) 

Average Price: Around $12.49 per 750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 14% ABV

Nose: Blackberry, plum, spice, and blueberry

Palate: Smooth and spicy

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: This Old Vine Malbec wine is a steal for its price. Thanks to the quality Malbec grapes grown on the foothills of the Andes mountains, it brings an unexpected depth with its juicy fruit flavors.

 I like the balance between fruity and spicy, which I find exceptional, providing a sipping experience that’s both robust and smooth. 

7. Areo Malbec

Bottle of Areo Malbec

Average Price: Roughly $11.24 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 14.6% ABV

Nose: Violet and mineral notes

Palate: Smooth with a raspberry flavor

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Areo’s Malbec is a delightful find with its floral scent and smooth raspberry palate. It’s a versatile wine that’s easy to enjoy, embodying the spirit of vineyard Malbec wines from juicy grapes.

I like the richness of this wine, complemented by the lush flavors of berries. This bold Malbec has a firm finish that confidently lingers on the palate.

8. Bodega Benegas Juan Benegas Malbec

Average Price: $12.49 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 14.8% ABV

Nose: Berries with floral scents

Palate: Complex with chocolate notes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This wine impresses with its complex palate and berry-driven nose. The subtle chocolate hints make it a refined choice for discerning palates at a budget-friendly price.

This approachable Malbec packs a punch in terms of flavor for its price. It provides pleasant scents alongside the signature Mlabec spice and mineral tones of Uco Valley wines.

9. Menage a Trois California Malbec

Menage a Trois California Malbec Bottle Label

Average Price: Approx. $12.99 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV

Nose: Jammy, berries, and spice

Palate: Bold with dark cherry notes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: It’s a playful wine and a great conversation starter. This Napa Valley Malbec sweeps over the taste buds with a compelling mix of berries and dark cherry flavors laced with subtle spices. 

It boasts a luxurious feel, with smooth, sweet tannins and a sumptuous, lingering finish that embodies the very essence of passion in a dry red wine.

10. Alamos – Malbec 2021

Bottle of Alamos - Malbec 2021

Average Price: Approx. $11 per 750ml (Wine.com)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Nose: Black cherry, truffle, and spice

Palate: Vibrant with dark plum bites

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Alamos Malbec is a vibrant wine with exceptional value. With a fragrant nose, dominant black cherry, and a lively plum palate, it’s a solid choice for any day of the week.

Complemented by a smooth texture and well-structured tannins, it boasts a creamy texture and a broad finish, delivering a sophisticated twist on the traditional red wine experience.

11. Aballero de la Cepa Malbec (Finca Flinchman)

Man Pouring Aballero de la Cepa Malbec (Finca Flinchman) on a Glass

Average Price: Approx. $10.66 per 750ml (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 12.5% ABV

Nose: Spice and tobacco

Palate: Full-bodied with a silky texture

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This signature Malbec stands out for its full-bodied character and spicy overtones, complemented by flavors of ripe red fruits.

The vineyards where Malbec grapes flourished allow this wine to cultivate its deep, fine tannins [1]. I find it a classic choice for a hearty meal or dishes with red meats and lamb chops.

12. Condor Peak Malbec

Average Price: Around $9.99 per 750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV

Nose: Dark fruit and cocoa

Palate: Silky with black fruit and mocha

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Condor Peak Malbec provides a silky mouthfeel with mocha notes that complement its dark fruit aroma. It is one of the inviting Malbec wines that pairs well with tomato-based pasta dishes.

“Every Malbec bears the hallmark of its home, a blend of tradition and the winemaker’s craft.” – Liquor Laboratory

This luscious red boasts ripe, smooth flavors of black fruit. The tasting experience reveals gentle tannins and vibrant dark fruit notes.

FAQs Related to Best Malbec under 20

Are there any specific regions known for producing affordable Malbec wines?

Argentina is the primary region known for producing affordable Malbec wines. The Mendoza region, in particular, offers a wide range of options at various price points, including many excellent choices under $20.

What factors should I consider when choosing a Malbec under $20?

When selecting a Malbec in this price range, consider factors such as the winery’s reputation, the vintage, tasting notes, and any awards or accolades the wine may have received. Additionally, personal taste preferences play a significant role in finding the right Malbec for you.

Can I expect good quality from Malbec wines under $20?

Yes, many Malbec wines priced under $20 offer excellent quality and value. While they may not have the complexity or aging potential of higher-priced bottles, they can still deliver enjoyable flavors and characteristics representative of the Malbec varietal.

Are there any specific vintages or years to look for when buying affordable Malbec?

While certain vintages may be more highly regarded than others, the quality of Malbec wines can vary from year to year due to factors like weather conditions and winemaking techniques. It’s a good idea to check professional reviews and ratings for guidance on specific vintages.

Can I find organic or sustainably produced Malbec wines under $20?

Yes, many wineries produce organic or sustainably farmed Malbec wines within the $20 price range. Look for labels indicating organic certification or sustainable farming practices to find wines that align with your values.

Final Thoughts

Looking into Malbecs under $20, it’s clear that quality and unique tasting notes aren’t sacrificed for affordability.

From the balanced The Fableist 437 to the vibrant Alamos to the pocket-friendly Condor Peak, there’s a Malbec to suit any palate.

But considering the overall characteristics and affordability, the winner for this roundup is The Fableist 437 Malbec, which stands out for its exceptional balance.

It captures the spirit of Malbec [4] with finesse at a price that allows for everyday indulgence.

References:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2021/07/16/what-are-tannins-wine/
  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlsson/2022/02/24/malbec-the-french-grape-that-conquered-argentina/
  4. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/what-is-malbec-wine
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