By Robert Moyes
Monday Magazine wine columnist
Usually made from 100 per cent Sangiovese, Tuscany’s Chianti Classico wines are usually supple and expressive.
The soft and ripe 2015 Gabbiano ($23) has a bright core of red berry and plum fruit and a long, luxuriant finish. Balanced and medium-bodied, this is a generous, easy-drinking wine that represents good value from an impressive vintage. After admiring the beautiful medieval shield on the label – Gabbiano is a 12th-century estate – pour out a big glass to savour with pork tenderloin.
Sourced from 70-year-old vines, the 2017 El Cipres Malbec ($23) hails from Argentina’s esteemed Mendoza region and is produced by the fourth generation of the Correas family. The characteristic Malbec earthiness and full-bodied heft combine with enticing aromas, supple smoothness, and a deeply flavoured palate of blackberry, plum and cassis. Tannic and peppery, the El Cipres is a good-value performer that brings a lot to the table. Available from Everything Wine and other private shops.
Pinot Gris was born in Burgundy, eventually finding its way to northern Italy where it became Pinot Grigio. Long Italy’s most popular white wine, the dry and zesty Pinot Grigio is a classic patio sipper and is popular all over the world. For good value try the Angelo ($13.90) from the Provincia di Pavia region, which has an enticing nose followed by flavours of peach, pear, apple and lime. The finish is crisp and clean. Ideal with chicken or seafood.
In the heart of the Okanagan’s “golden mile,” Hester Creek has been making fine wine for several decades. Their 2017 Character Red ($23), a blend of Syrah, Malbec and Petit Verdot, is a medium-bodied charmer with oodles of blackberry, cherry and mocha on the palate, plus hints of pepper and spice. Easy to recommend, this is a young wine with enough complexity that it needs some unpacking – decant it and let it breathe for an hour or so.
(All prices include tax.)