Once a major grape in Bordeaux, Malbec was relegated to an also-ran in the 1950s; it continues to grown along the Atlantic side of the country in the Loire and Cahors, but its spiritual home these days is across the Atlantic in Argentina.
A thick-skinned, heat-loving grape, Malbec produces dark, inky, intense wines wines with plummy flavours. It is perhaps the heir to Aussie Shiraz, a New World grape that makes Big Reds that can take a lot of oak.
Also like Aussie Shiraz, it is capable of deftness as well as heft; in the right hands, it is plummy but not blowsy, fruited and spicy but fresh and food-friendly
The Malbecs of Argentina are an historic clone brought over from France in the 19th century that is now considered extinct in its native country. Argentine Malbec is has a deep colour, intense fruit and a plush, velvety texture.
Malbec is one of the UK's more popular grapes and is a great match for grilled red meats, especially char-grilled bone-in steaks.
Here are three Argentinean Malbecs from Tesco, all with a bit of age.
My personal favourite here is the DV Catena for its European-style fresh fruit, lower alcohol and sophisticated oaking.
Also from Catena, the Tesco Finest is a little more expressive, so think barbecue more than dinner table. With a degree more alcohol, the Vinalba is a more concentrated, bigger, fuller wine that demands rich, gamey foods.
All these wines will benefit from an hour or so in the decanter and have further aging potential.