Value South Africa

A bit late posting this but just had to share quickly before I forgot!  I’ve long been a fan of Nederburg’s wines having been introduced to them by a friend who moved here from South Africa.  It’s a massive company producing mainstream wines.  Generally average price and well worth every cent.  This particular wine really just popped into my line of sight recently.  I had tasted the Shiraz’s, the Cab’s and the Winemaster’s line but this one seemed frankly too cheap to be true.

This 2015 56 Hundred line is a blend of Shiraz and Cab Merlot, which is pretty routine for Nederburg and it would appear it is for the value conscious and really just a quick and easy wine to serve in a group on a patio.  Nothing big about it really but a solid taste for a backyard gathering.  It was leathery and earthy and dark cherry-ish – nothing unexpected here, but the price.

So if you are looking for an 11 buck wine that packs a decent punch this is the one I’d grab in heartbeat.  Click here for Nederburg’s flashy site!




#Garnachaday is a thing.

Honestly until I checked my twitter feed over the last couple of days I would have never known there was such a thing as Garnacha Day or Grenache Day.  You say tomato….

Apparently in 2010 there was a Garnacha conference and it was so decided that the 3rd Friday in September would become an international garnacha/grenache day!  Screw those silly Beaujolais Nouveau drinkers and their 3rd November Thursdays, this shall be in the fall! And warm!  Down with Gamay and up with Garnacha/Grenache!!!

I am a victim of marketing and peer (twitter) pressure so I rushed out and bought myself a Garnacha to partake in this “event”.  I also did some reading on the “day” and the grape itself.  Little did I know I had long been a fan.  I had (because wine seems to always be in the past tense) quite a few Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape over the years.  It was a birthday ritual that somehow ended about 5 years ago (Note to Self: Start this up again).  I also have a nice Languedoc bottle waiting for the right day (which wasn’t yesterday).

So in the rush to grab a bottle I really didn’t spend much time looking around I literally grabbed the first one that I saw and it happened to be a $12 bottle of Borsao.  Nothing special for sure, but above the label was a rating that is was a great value wine!  Regardless there are so many better wines out there this was more to partake in the day rather than to experiment with better qualities.  I can do that some other time.  So off I went and grabbed some Spanish themed charcuterie for the event.

All in all even though it was a lower end Garnacha it was fun, very berry-like and sort of smoky.  I enjoyed it with the meats and would grab it again for a BBQ or pizza to be honest.  Good fun, I’ll have it again before next September!

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Prince Edward Island Has Gamay?


I have many friends from PEI, I have many friends who have been to PEI, heck even I have been to PEI and not ever was I aware that there was a vineyard let alone several vineyards on the island.  So, the fact that a friend recently brought me a Matos Winery Gamay Noir was a bit weird.  Maybe I should have known about this.  Maybe I also shouldn’t have bought that Duran Duran album way back when, but one learns.

Man oh man, did I ever get a surprise upon opening this one.  I love Gamay almost as much as Pinot Noir.  Hell, I even spent a ridiculously expensive year of highschool in Lyon which allowed me countless Beaujolais tours (maybe not countless but certainly enough that I can’t remember).  This was by far the most surprising Gamay I have had.  Honestly I had no expectations given what (obviously) little I knew about the Island of red sand, brilliant oysters and Anne of Green Gables.  I thought of it as a novelty, a bottle my friend bought to simply say “Hey you like wine and I was on PEI so here is a gift.”  Like a snowglobe from Vegas or something.

Alas, like most things in my life, I was wrong.

This was a really fun Gamay.  A bigger Gamay than I am used to, but really quite nice.  Earthy big cherry flavours and a bit leathery, in the good sense, not the worn glove sense.  I’d truly buy this if I were able to in my province.  The local Gamays in my corner of the earth are beautiful but this has a very noticeable difference.  It’s not stronger in alcohol but it is indeed bolder.

Well done PEI, sorry for my assumptions!  Website: Matos Winery


Anciano Gran Reserva 2008

I have yet to find a Spanish wine that doesn’t just blow me away every time.  Honestly I’d be pleased to find a crappy one but I haven’t.  That’s not to say that they are the best in the world, simply that value-for-money a Tempranillo rarely lets you down.  This one was in the 13 dollar range (CDN).  nothing exquisite or elitist about it, just a pure dark berry flavour, woody and lightly spicy.  That’s it.  7 years old, aged for a year and a half in oak.  It’s actually weaker than I had figured it would be and after having read about the 2007 it makes sense.  I’d rate it as a “Buy Again” and will do so.  It’s quirky enough to have with unassuming guests and Ramones playing in the background.  Yep, that’s how I’d sum it up.

Note: I have absolutely no clue why the “7 Years” is in quotations.  If I find out the update will be here.

Here is their pretty slick website with a video explaining their wines and process…. ANCIANO WINE