Whether you’ve been affected by the current state of the Albertan economy, or are just a fan of a good deal this was the tasting for you! While it would be nice to drink Chateau Margaux and Petrus every day, most of our bank accounts just won’t support that. Trying to find an affordable wine that will impress can often be a game of roulette, but if know where to look some amazing deals can be found. When making my selections for this tasting I was able to find great deals from all over the world, though the countries with noticeably more offerings tend to be Chile, Spain, and Portugal.
As a group, we dove into the wine. Peasant Cheese provided an amazing selection of cheese. Here are the wines we tried:
This winery in Penedes (just west of Barcelona) was founded by Antoni Canals Nadal in 1986 (though the family has been involved in wine since 19th Century), and now his sons’ run it. The Brut Nature Reserva is made in the same method as Champagne, though with three non-Champagne grapes. This Cava is made from 45% Macabeu, 40% Xarel·lo and 15% Parellada. $25.99
Mayu (which is an Inca word for the Milky Way) is located in the high-elevation Elqui Valley in Chile and was established in 2005. The singular Pedro Ximenez grape is more typically used for sweet sherry production, so it is quite unusual to see it turned into a dry white wine. $17.99
CVNE was founded in 1879 by the Asua brothers and is still run by the descendants of the original family. They are well known for having some of the most advanced wineries in the world and maintain a very low carbon and water impact. This Rueda in made with 100% Verdejo and is aged in stainless steel. $16.99
The Alorna Palace and 2800 acre Estate were established in Portugal in 1723. The Estate can be found the Tejo wine region, close to Lisboa in central Portugal. This Rose is made from 100% Touriga Nacional (in the maceration method) and aged in stainless steel. $17.99
The Tedeschi family has been making wine for nearly 400 years, focusing on traditional grapes expressing the terroir of the region, while using modern wine making equipment like horizontal temperature controlled fermentation vats. The blend on this Valpolicella is 30% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 10% Molinara, and it spends one year in Slovenian Oak Barrels before being bottled. $19.99
The winemaker and viticulturist moved from Burgundy to the Languedoc region of France in 1999 to explore different grapes and a warmer region. The “Forbidden Fruit” used in this red are grapes transported from the famous Chateauneuf de Pape region in Southern Rhône to Languedoc in the 1960’s. The grapes in question are 90% Cinsault and 10% Syrah. Aged in concrete tanks. $17.99
This organic red from the Douro region of Portugal is a strictly family run project, that has been running since the 17th century. The red blend consists of 40% Touriga Nacional, 30 % Tinta Roriz, and 30% Touriga Francesa. $19.99
While at the end of the night every single wine received at least a couple of votes as the favourite, we were able to pick a winner. First place went to Canals Nadal Cava Brut Nature Reserva, second to the always crowd-pleasing Tedeschi Valpolicella, and third to Magellan Le Fruit Defendu. I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see the Cava come first (as it was my favourite too!), but it was fascinating how to see how even the voting was across the board.
Well, that was our summer saver tasting. A good time was had by all, and I hope to see you at our next tightwad wine event!