Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Celebrate World Malbec Day - Thursday April 17 - with a glass of Malbec from Argentina or France or Canada or the United States or…...

Malbec heaven!  A Top 100 Wine Spectator wine, scored at 90 points and available in BC for just $19.99!

Happy World Malbec Day!  

It's April 17th each year and wine lovers celebrate one of the most accessible, enjoyable and simply drinkable grape varietals you can wine on the planet!

I love Malbec for all those reasons and one more - it is one of the great values in wine, providing a lot of delicious taste for often the most modest expenditure.

Here in British Columbia we have available a huge variety of Malbecs - according to the Vancouver Sun's excellent wine columnist Anthony Gismondi there are dozens of Malbec and Malbec blends in government and private liquor stores at a wide range of prices.

And you can celebrate World Malbec Day Wednesday April 17th at BC Liquor Stores events or just by purchasing a bottle to go with dinner.  

So here are just a few personal favourites that you can easily find: 

Norton Malbec Reserva 2010 - a Wine Spectator Top 100 Wine of 2012, with a 90 point score and for sale for just $19.99 in BC Liquor Stores!  

And there are over 1,000 bottles across BC - so no excuse to not celebrate World Malbec Day with this bottle from Argentina for dinner.  Full of berry, plum and smoky flavours, it would go great with a steak or pasta or sausages or just about anything.
Big, bold Bramare Malbec by Vina Cobos

Want to live large with the Easter weekend upon us?  Then spend a big $44.99 and you won't regret buying the 2011 Vina Cobos Bramare Valle de Uco Malbec.  This is a massive but complex Argentina Malbec that I first tried at the Vancouver International Wine Festival and was blown away by how great it was.

Raspberry, blueberry, spice and herb - this has it all and layers of complexity.  It was simply one of the best values at the Wine Festival and easily outperformed much more expensive wines being poured there. There are over 300 bottles available across BC. 

Last but far from least, try Catena's always wonderful Malbec from Argentina also - currently on sale for $20.99, marked down $2 by BC Liquor Stores till May 3, with a massive 3,200 plus bottles available.

It's scored 91 point by the Wine Spectator -and I tried it tonight and loved as usual.  Lots of bright jammy red berry fruit, a bit of smoke and espresso.

Delicious Catena 2011 Malbec
But whatever you decide - you can't go wrong with Malbec!

Pick one up whether from the Cahors region in France or Argentina and Happy World Malbec Day!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two "must buy" reasonably-priced red wines - Concha y Toro Casa Concha 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and Chateau Maison Blanche 2009 Medoc Bordeaux!

Casa Concha 2011 and Maison Blanche 2009 killer wines
Every now and again a stunningly good wine shows up in British Columbia liquor stores at a price that makes you happy!

So prepare to smile when you buy and taste not one but two excellent red wines!

Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and Chateau Maison Blanche 2009 Medoc Bordeaux are simply great wines at reasonably affordable prices - both less than $30.  

Concha y Toro's Casa Concha series is always awesome - it has consistently won 90 points + scores from the Wine Spectator and other reviewers year after year and is one of my favourite wines because it retails for under $25.

But this year's Casa Concha 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is remarkable - and earned it a 93 point score - while it is reasonably priced in BC government liquor stores at $22.99 and has been on sale at times for $20.99. Amazingly, the U.S. list price is $26 in their dollars.

This cabernet is big, smoky, chocolaty and spicy - lots of blackberry fruit and intense concentration.  The Spectator recommends waiting till 2015 to 2022 to drink this one but there is simply no way I am waiting another year - quaff it now with a steak or red meat cut or just enjoy this big wine.  But I will age some for sure.

You simply cannot touch this kind of wine for value at that price!  Fortunately there are over 1,400 bottles in the BC system.

I also love the Chateau Maison Blanche 2009 Medoc from Bordeaux - a 91 point Wine Spectator scored bottle that is available at BC government liquor stores for $28.99.  They have nearly 700 bottles across BC.

It is a Medoc Cru Bourgeois red wine - don't let the "Blanche" fool you - from the excellent 2009 vintage that allowed the Bordelais wineries to charge extortionate rates for their products - but this is a very reasonable price for such a lovely wine.

The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and it has all the terroir taste you expect from a fine Bordeaux wine - but without the $100 or $200 or $2,000 price tag.

Yummy raspberry and blackberry fruit in this one and it is drinking very well now but will likely get even better for up to five years.

But don't wait long to pick these two wines up - they won't last on the shelves at this price!