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‘One of the most satisfying wine discoveries I have made’: Wine Notes

Robert Moyes spills the goods in June’s edition of Perfectly Potable
Columnist Robert Moyes photographed at the Artisan Wine Shop on Broughton Street. (Don Denton photography)

Chile’s Carmen Winery has been making wine since 1850, and winning innumerable awards during those 174 years. The latest wine in their expansive portfolio, the Frida Kahlo Cabernet Sauvignon, is named in honour of the iconic Mexican artist, and would surely have pleased its bold namesake. Coloured a deep ruby red, the wine has seductive aromas leading to notes of black cherry, blackberry, coffee, and chocolate on the palate. Earthy, dry, and full-bodied, this single-vineyard bottling is well-priced at $23.

Finca Sophenia is a premier high-altitude vineyard in Argentina’s prized Mendoza district, and its Altosur Malbec is a serious wine made with 100 per cent estate-grown fruit aged in French oak. Vividly aromatic and offering lush fruit evocative of blackberry, cherry, plum, and blueberry, this smooth and well-balanced wine was awarded 97 points and “best in show for value wines” at Decanter’s 2022 World Wine Awards. Delicious and slightly spicy, this slides over the palate like velvet. It is definitely worth a bit of a splurge at $25.

Chenin Blanc originated in France’s Loire Valley but has long since spread widely. South Africa is a noted source of this versatile wine, and Spier, one of the country’s oldest family-owned wine farms, produces a particularly consistent and attractive Chenin Blanc that is elegant, crisp, and well-balanced. You get touches of pear, melon, and white peach on the palate, with a hint of minerality and a dry finish. Goes well with fish, summer salads, and barbecued chicken. This is good value at $17.

And here’s a succulent, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina, intriguingly named Eccentric. This is an offshoot of the famed La Mascota Winery, and it’s the winemaker, a certified llama whisperer, who’s eccentric and not the wine. Full and round, with velvety tannins, Eccentric is rich in flavours of blackberry, black cherry, and cassis. Jammy and juicy but also elegant, this would be a beautiful match for a spicy lamb burger on a Friday night. At $22, it’s one of the most satisfying wine discoveries I have made in the last several months. (All prices include tax.)