Black Sage offers upscale wine experiences for those with slightly more discriminating tastes. Twitter

WINE NOTES: Sumac Ridge offshoot a favourite discovery for 2019

Black Sage’s 2016 Cabernet Franc offers good value, plenty of flavour for medium bodied red: Moyes

Located south of Santiago in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, Cono Sur Winery was founded in 1993 and is well known for producing good-value, expressive wines.

Their “organic” Sauvignon Blanc ($17.25) is a vibrant, refreshing mouthful that balances a limey, citrus core with layers of melon, green apple and minerality. Juicily acidic and medium-bodied, this wine boasts vivid flavours and a youthful exuberance that would go well with oily fish such as sardines and mackerel or big garlicky prawns.

Robert Moyes, Monday Magazine wine columnist

An upmarket offshoot of the Okanagan’s Sumac Ridge Winery, Black Sage quickly established a reputation for intense and memorable wines. Of particular merit is their 2016 Cabernet Franc ($30.50), whose heady nose leads into a lush palate of blackberry, plum, black cherry, and spice. Medium-bodied but brimming with mouth-filling flavour, this Cab Franc sat on oak for 16 months and combines structure and balance with hedonistic charm. Possibly my favourite wine discovery of the year, it represents notable value. Try it with lamb, venison, or duck confit.

For those who think you have to fork out at least $30 to get a decent Rhone-style wine, better grab a bottle of the Chapoutier Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2017 ($20). Hailing from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southeastern France, the Bila-Haut is a full-bodied blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan that combines flavours of plum, cherry and dark berries with subtle hints of dried herbs. Suave, smooth and delicious, this would be ideal with fennel sausages just off the barbecue – yum!

And drinkers who like their wines to be organic and fair trade should check out the lineup offered by Argentina’s Believer winery. I can particularly recommend their blended white, which is predominantly Pinot Grigio, but gets a bit of spiciness from the addition of Torrontés, an unusual varietal indigenous to Argentina. Aromatic, full-bodied and dry, this attractive blend offers pear, peach and green apple flavours and a long finish. Fairly priced at $18.50.

(All prices include tax.)

Robert Moyeswine

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

Jazz singer to perform ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with Italian lyrics on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend for outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Life mimics art for CCPA students who performed in play about Spanish flu pandemic

Performing arts students see parallels between story from Unity 1918 and current health crisis

Deadline extended for annual writing competition

Mail-in entry format makes Victoria Writer’s Society contest perfect for the times

The Lonely singer reaches out and gives back, with online birthday show

Michael Demers sharing a musical chat tonight at 8 p.m. on Facebook

Netflix reducing video quality in Canada to lower Internet bandwidth use

Bell Media is also planning traffic measures affecting the Crave streaming service

Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options for 2020

Summer events running out of time to stay on schedule, in wake of COVID-19 uncertainties

Relief fund for Canadian performing artists gets $100,000 boost from foundation

Facebook started the fund with a first $100,000 donation last week

Henley, Tucker, Cyrus and others mourn the death of Rogers

Country music icon remembered as a crossover pioneer, a supporter of young artists

Joseph Blake: 10 amazing CDs to explore in our COVID-19 isolation

Longtime music writer shares his favourite records from his vast collection

Most Read