Vina Maipo Carmenere – Cabernet Sauvignon

January 21, 2015 § 1 Comment

Score: 8.7 – Over Delivers2015/01/img_0712.png

Price: $10.99

About the Wine: This wine is not available in BC Liquor Stores so check out your favourite private store. Hailing from Chile, this wine is priced to compete with ‘everyday’ wines like Copper Moon etc.

Tasting Notes Sipping: This wine, for the price, is a very good sipper. It is well balanced, offers good fruit, some spice and the tannins are soft and supple making the wine smooth. Aromas of crushed plum and berry are highlighted with black pepper and violets, while the palate shows similar flavours with the addition of a hint of mocha.

Tasting Notes With Food: The complexity of this wine avails itself to simple foods like pizza, tomato based pasta dishes, or straight up meat and potatoes. I had this with a meat lovers pizza and it worked great. The berry fruit flavours and spice tones become more pronounced and the structure was up to the task of refreshing my palate.

Value: Definitely worth the trade up in price from Naked Grape, Copper Moon et al. I would also look at saving myself a few bucks on the likes of entry level BC or California straight Cabs or Merlots.

Added Value: This wine shines as an everyday wine and thus is great when you are serving a big group (Crowd Pleaser, Wedding Wine), or when you are having Comfort Foods.

More To The Story: I have spent the last number of years tasting thousands of wines each year and I have come a ‘generalization’. The best red wine values that are priced under $12 are most often blends. There is an assumption that a single varietal ‘New World’ wine is worth more than a blend, and once you are above $15/bottle that seems to be true. However for red wines under $15 blends are the way to go, and here is why.

Each varietal has its strengths. Cabernet Sauvignon is known for bringing structure and boldness to a wine, Cabernet Franc aromatics. Merlot and Carmenere are often used for their fruit and texture. So where you are making a wine for the ‘value’ market you are usually using grapes that are not the best and thus have some glaring weaknesses. Blending complimentary grapes makes a better wine.

Service: Twist off the cap and let if flow.

Grapes: Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon

Store Section: Chile

Appellation: Central Valley

Available: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Tuscany Village, Legacy Liquor Store, Liquor Express

Buy Online: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Stores, Legacy Liquor Store,

Alcohol: 13.1%

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Garland Crest Chardonnay

January 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 6.7 – Good Drop2015/01/img_0683.jpg

Price: $9.99

About the Wine: This wine gets a good drop rating because for the price it does offer better value than many of the other $9.99 and under wines on the market. It’s a well made value Chardonnay that offers simple fruit flavours of apple and melon on a balanced, yet not too complex, palate. The finish is short and clean.

Value: If I only had $9.99 to spend I would choose this Chardonnay over the likes of Naked Grape, Copper Moon & Barefoot. This is a truer wine, simple straight forward and decent. I wouldn’t, however trade down from the likes of Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay. I would trade up to Lindeman’s everyday.

Added Value: This is a Comfort Food wine as it is great with a simple brothy soup or stir fry. This is also a good one for Weddings where budget is key.

More To The Story: Although it is not apparent on the nose or palate, this wine comes from a wine co-op in the La Mancha region of Spain. Like most co-ops they will bottle the same wine under multiple labels. This can mean that the same wine is under a different name at the chain down the street. That is the case here. You can find the exact same wine at Everything Wine but it is called Belle Grove Chardonnay.

Service: Chill it down. If it is too warm it will lose its balance, if too cold the fruit flavours become muted.

Grapes: Chardonnay

Store Section: Spain

Appellation: Castillo La Mancha

Available: Private Liquor Stores only

Alcohol: 11.5 %

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