One of the five grapes allowed in the "Bordeaux" blends that are now springing up all over the world. Malbec was once a significant Bordeaux grape, but in that region it has taken a back seat to Merlot and the two Cabernets (Franc and Sauvignon). Its origins are cloudy, as in France it has over 400 synonyms. One of these is Auxerrois Noir or sometimes simply Auxerrois, a hint that it may be from the region around the town of the same name in Burgundy. Malbec is usually low in acidity, high in tannins, and has an inky-black color. Aromas and flavors of red plums, black currants and dried cherries are common.
Malbec comes from the Cahors region of southwest France, where it is known as Côt, though it is also found in the Anjou and Tourraine regions of the Loire valley. It is also still found in Bordeaux (in Bourg, Blaye and Entre-deux-Mers) as well as Australia and the U.S. Perhaps the greatest of all Malbec comes from Argentina, particularly Mendoza, where it is now the most widely planted varietal and is transforming the country's wine industry for the better.