A taste of Spain, France and Italy with a white that’s worth watching for. This week the spotlight is on affordable red blends and a splurge from Northern Italy.
This blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Garnacha , 10% Syrah comes in just under $20, but tastes like you paid much more. It is deep ruby, medium-bodied, fruity and herbal. Jay Miller of eRobertParker.com gave it a 90 and called it a racy red. It even comes with a story – Carlos Estevez, owner of the Can Rafols del Caus estate took a mining company to court because it wanted to create a quarry in the next valley. Estavez argued successfully the project would hurt his vines and destroy the natural beauty of the area. The judge ruled in his favour only if Estevez took over the land himself. Enter Terraprima. Thank you Your Honour! Good pairing with pasta.
Another blend – this one from Southern Rhone combines Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre grapes. It’s dry with plenty of flavour and fine tannins. Juicy comes to mind. Best paired with slow roasted meat. And I saved the best for last. It is only $14.95 at the LCBO.
I am a real fan of Spanish wines – they tend to be more afforable yet still pack a punch. The LCBO advertised this one as “Back by Popular Demand” and after tasting a glass – I can understand why. Dark red cherry, with big fruit and spice, medium to full bodied. The blend is 90% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and Mazuelo(otherwise known as Carignan), Nicely aged at a terrific price, just $17.95 a bottle. I am signing up for a case.
I came across this California wine a couple of years ago on a hot summer day and I was a little weary of my fallback Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. I liked it enough to pick up another bottle this week. Obssession is light and lively. Aromatic, with a sweet finish. The Symphony grape is the star of this show. According to the LCBO website, it is a cross between Grenache Gris and Muscat of Alexandria. Perfect match for a spicy Thai dish. You will find it in general list.
Barbaresco is one of the crown jewels of Italy’s Langhe region. Like its bold and beautiful cousin Barolo, it is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes. Interesting little fact, Nebbiolo comes from the Italian word Nebbia which means fog, which is no stranger to the stunning valleys of the Langhe. And there is an actual town of Barbaresco and Barolo – both highly worth visiting. But in the meantime, this wine is light in colour, earthy with tobacco notes and tannins that will leave you puckering for more. Decant, decant, decant for full pleasure.
Got a blend to recommend? Let us know.