PERFECTLY POTABLE: International tastes delight the palate

Wine notes by Robert Moyes

Robert Moyes

Monday Magazine columnist

Worth buying just for its nifty dark-metal label, Berton Vineyard’s The Black Shiraz ($16) is one of those full-bodied Aussie “fruit cake” wines that pampers the palate: expect rich and spicy flavours of blackberry, plum, blueberry, and mocha.

This multiple award winner from the Barossa Valley has decent structure, impressive ripeness, and a long finish – making it ideal for hedonists who like their wines lush and luxuriant. Try it with prime rib or pepper steak.

And how about a white wine? When Grandma used the phrase “it’s the bee’s knees,” it was used to denote excellence in general, not in reference to the excellent winery in South Africa’s Western Cape region. But she’d have loved the apostrophe-challenged Bees Knees for its interesting blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier, which combines crisp acidity and a hint of minerality with notes of citrus, tropical fruit, pear and melon. With spring now here, this is a good-value patio sipper at $13.90.

Malbec from Argentina isn’t the deal it was a decade ago, but there are still tasty bargains to be had.

One such is Cuma ($15), an organic wine from the high-altitude Cafayate Valley. A seductive berry nose follows through on the palate with juicy flavours of plum, black cherry and blackberry that are lightly dusted with hints of sage and thyme. Medium bodied and soft in the mouth, Cuma is appealingly fresh.

And back in B.C. it’s time to let loose with Church & State’s Lost Inhibitions Red 2016 ($19.60), a Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. With an array of cheeky sayings on the label (e.g., “What’s Your Safe Word?” or “Hold My Glass & Watch This”), the delicious Lost Inhibitions is a smooth, easy-drinking wine with dark-fruit flavours. This one was a hit at a dinner party I attended recently.

(All prices include tax)

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