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Sean P. Sullivan

2019 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Washington Malbec

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a blind tasting of Argentine Malbec with the folks from Wine Peeps. While overall production of Malbec in Washington is very low (700 tons crushed last year) and most wineries are using it purely as a blending grape, there are a small but increasing number of wineries producing it as a single varietal wine. Is this just another winemaker dalliance or will Malbec become another feature grape for Washington? Only time will tell. What is clear for the moment is that, with production low and the prices therefore high, it’s difficult for to compete with the wines from Argentina.

Below are some of the most interesting examples of Washington Malbec I have come across this year.







Walla Walla Vintners Malbec 2005

Campfire. Chocolate. Excellently balanced. Full bodied. Not as true to the varietal as some.



Saviah Malbec 2005

What a whopper! A rich nose loaded with spice and chocolate with hints of toast. This wine has evolved quite a bit since I last tasted it.



Gifford-Hirlinger Malbec 2007

An outrageous nose. Taste is quite good. Exceptionally promising for such a young wine. Barrel sample.


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  1. Kori Says:
  2. Good post, Sean. You are exactly right in that it's tough for Washington Malbecs to compete with Argentina on price right now. It'll be exciting to see where Washington wineries go with this grape. I think it has great potential here. A Washington Malbec that I really enjoyed at Taste Washington was the 2005 Gilbert Cellars Malbec.

  3. Adah Says:
  4. Well written article.


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