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Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark colour and robust tannins. As a varietal, Malbec creates a rather inky red (or violet), intense wine, so it is also commonly used in blends, such as with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to create the red French Bordeaux claret blend. It ripens mid-season and can bring very deep colour, ample tannin, and a particular plum-like flavour component which adds complexity to claret blends.

In South Africa, Malbec vines are found in all the production regions of the country, with the Swartland, Paarl and Stellenbosch accounting for about three-quarters of the total area under production. The variety has spicy berry aromas, such as plums, blackberries, juniper, cherries and bitter chocolate. It seems to produce more intense flavours under softer production conditions.