With the success of Argentinian Malbec in the last few decades came the claim to fame of the Malbec from Cahors, France, where it originated before Phylloxera and diseases decimated the vineyards.  Today's French Malbec, used in small quantities brings very deep color, ample tannin, and a plum-like flavor component and  adds complexity to Bordeaux  blends.

However,  Malbec comes into its own in Argentina, where it is most often bottled as a single varietal and where it seems to age fairly well — unlike its French counterpart . As a result,  the grape’s new-found fame has expanded to the rest of the world and vintners are planting it in high and dry areas from Patagonia to Chile, and from the State of Washington to California in the US and now Australia.

Here are three excellent value Malbecs from the same winery which straddles the Andes and the two countries: Chile and Argentina.  An interesting one from the Rapel Valley in Chile, just across the Andes from Mendoza and two from Mendoza, where Trivento Bodegas y Viñedos, founded por Viña Concha y Toro in Chile owns vineyards. The three wines are an ideal match to red sauce pastas, roasted red meats, roasted vegetables, robust salads  and barbecues.

2011 Trivento Malbec Reserve, Mendoza, Argentina ($11) 100% Malbec. Hand harvested and aged for 6 months in French oak.  Deep red with violet hues, this full-bodied wine is redolent of red fruits like plum and cherry with vanilla hints from the oak and hints of spice, leather and pepper.   Tamed acidity and medium tannins give it a robust finish.

2011 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserva Malbec, Rapel Valley, Chile   ($12.00) This 100%  Chilean Malbec is the most interesting of the three. Inky purple,  full-bodied, with luscious dark fruit mixed with hints of spice, black pepper and vanilla, it has a velvety texture and a delightful fresh acidity, ending in a long finish. It is perfect when paired with spring vegetables - which play well with the wine's minerality -, spinach gnocchi with pesto, pasta with a hearty tomato sauce and roasted poultry and meat.

2011 Trivento Amado Sur Malbec  2011 Trivento Amado Sur,  Mendoza, Argentina ($15) 75% Malbec, 15% Syrah, 10% Bonarda  produces a deep red wine with dark blue tones, aromas of plums and berries combined with black pepper and anise, chocolate and cinnamon.   With a velvety structure and thick tannins it ends with a persistent and pleasant finish.