The Spanish blend La Casona de Castaño, made with 50-year-old Monastrell vines, offers a pleasant flavour at a bargain price, write Robert Moyes.

WINE NOTES: Discovering valuable Spanish gems

Check out the Spain section of your local wine store, recommends Monday expert Robert Moyes

Spain is a great source of well-priced and eminently quaffable plonk.

Case in point is La Casona de Castaño ($12), a juicy and surprisingly elegant mouthful made from 50-year-old Monastrell vines (common in Rhone blends and known outside of Spain as Mourvèdre). Palate-pleasing flavours of blackberry and cherry dominate, along with pepper, herbs and a touch of licorice. This offers exceptional value and would be ideal with sausages or other meats fresh off the barbecue.

Monday Magazine wine expert Robert Moyes

Known for their distinctive, tasty wines, the Minervois appellation is part of the increasingly respected Languedoc wine region in southeastern France. La Condamine Paulignan 2015 ($25.50) is a complex and well-balanced blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. Seductive aromas lead to complementary flavours of red and black fruits such as plum, currant and raspberry, combined with hints of chocolate and spice. There’s some attractive minerality, and an herbiness comparable to a decent Rhone. A worthy splurge.

Founded by an Italian immigrant 150 years ago, Graffigna Winery produces fine, good-value wines in the San Juan region of Argentina. Their flavour-rich Pinot Grigio ($15) is quite dry, but still offers a lush mouthful of pear, melon, apple and citrus notes. There’s a bit of weight to the Graffigna, and enough spritz and acidity to make it a refreshing aperitif. Definitely under-priced, this Pinot Grigio would be excellent with everything from shellfish to a lightly herbed salmon fillet.

Another delightful treat to splash into your glass is the Hester Creek Pinot Blanc 2018 ($21), which hails from south of Oliver in the Okanagan. Made from some of the oldest Pinot Blanc vines in B.C., this medium-bodied wine boasts a lively, quite citrusy nose and flavours of peach, pear, melon and other orchard fruits. Soft and rich and nicely concentrated, this unoaked Pinot Blanc is an ideal accompaniment to creamy pastas.

(All prices include tax)



editor@mondaymag.com

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In case you missed these suggestions by Robert Moyes:

WINE NOTES: Hester Creek uncorks a delicious surprise

WINE NOTES: Going gaga over B.C. Gewürztraminer

WINE NOTES: Fall is the time to check out the full-bodied reds

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