With moderate yields in cooler areas, Malbec makes a balanced wine of deep color which has a less intense varietal aroma and is softer than Cabernet wines. It combines well with the other Bordeaux varieties to give wines designed for earlier maturity rather than for very long holding. And it also contributes a deeper color
The clusters are medium sized and well filed out, conical with one or two shoulders. The berries are small spherical, black and rich in color pigments. It is a high yielding, early ripening variety but is susceptible to coulure (failure of flowers to set). It qualities make it particularly useful for blending with more tannic varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon
It produces deep colored wines, less perfumed and more delicate than wines from either of the Cabernet grapes, which enables earlier drinking. The familiar green olive odor of the Cabernets is also sometimes noted.