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Robert Moyes’ Perfectly Potable

The best of wine from reds to whites

Wine Notes with Robert Moyes

Sometimes characterized as a great “bistro” wine, La Vieille Ferme certainly lives up to that romantic description. An inexpensive-but-charming red from France’s southern Rhone, the medium-bodied and velvety Ferme is a blend of Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Grenache. Flavours of cherry, blackberry, plum, oak and chocolate are augmented with beguiling herby notes (and it’s rare to get authentic “garrigue” terroir in a budget Rhone). Deservedly popular for years, this versatile wine goes with everything from cassoulet to duck confit. At $15, it’s a bargain.

Argentina makes an impressive number of tasty Malbecs, but don’t miss out on the Finca Las Moras Reserva ($18.50 at Everything Wine). Sourced from vineyards at the foot of the Andes, Las Moras is smooth and bold and fairly dry, with a lushly fruity palate featuring plum, blackberry and cherry, complemented by hints of chocolate and oak. This is an impressive wine at this price point, full-bodied, deeply flavoured and featuring a long finish. It would be perfect with roasted shoulder of lamb.

Summer is finally here and COVID-19 is in retreat—so let’s head to the patio for some celebratory sipping! South Africa’s Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanc is a light yet undeniably appealing quaffer, offering a spritzy array of tropical fruit and citrus flavours sparked by a lively acidity that either refreshes on its own or enhances the appetite and makes a great accompaniment for appies, salads or dinner. Just off-dry, this versatile and popular wine is appealingly priced at $14.

Sourced from the premium wine district of Mendoza, the impressive 2017 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon ($28) outpaces many of the Malbecs that Argentina is most famous for. Supple, soft and elegant, the nearly full-bodied Catena leads with an aromatic nose then treats the palate to a medley of dark fruits such as plum, cassis and blackberry along with a lick of spicy oak. Its acidity and tannins are in perfect balance, so why wait? This is a beauty, either for sipping or with a wide variety of dinner options. (All prices include tax.)