malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. the grapes tend to have an inky dark color with robust tannins and are known to be one of the six grape varietals allowed to blend in bordeaux red wines, malbec is increasingly celebrated as an argentine varietal wine and is being grown around the world. the malbec grape is thin-skinned and requires more sun and heat than both cabernet sauvignon and merlot to mature. it ripens mid-season and brings very deep color and ample tannin, and a plum flavor that brings a complexity to claret blends. as a varietal, malbec creates a red inky, intense wine, which is why it is usually used in blends, such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot to make the red french bordeaux claret blends.