Tag Archives: Argentina

Weekly Wine – Alta Pinot

17 May

Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio
12.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

This is a more expensive cheap wine.
Is it good?
Yes, it is good. A little acidic and a little fruity. Quite dry and a little tart. There is a little bite to it that makes you take notice. There are no off flavours. There is nasty after taste. Yeah… it is good.
Does it sing?
It is very nicely balanced. I’m drinking this in the dead of winter here but I can feel the summer in Argentina. Upon further tasting I can taste peach and banana – and I am not a big fan of banana flavoured stuff. But I like this wine and I want to sing. So yes to that.
Does it make you want to order a case?
This kind of wine does not age well so unless you are consuming vast quantities…
But this would be a great table wine for a wedding or other reception. I have been to some and the wine was atrocious. There are a few wines that cost less than this but why would you ever order undrinkable wine to save a dollar, if that much, a bottle.

Note: since I bought this wine, drank it and reviewed it, this wine has shot up in price to a lofty $11.00.

Weekly Wine – Tarquino

12 Apr

Tarquino Savignon Blanc
12.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This wine has the essence of a bull.
It has bull horns prominently displayed in front. It says so on the label in back that Tarquino was “the first pure-bred Shorthorn in Argentina.” This bull, as it goes states on the label, was introduced by a “British-born rancher John Miller, marking the start of huge improvements in cattle breeding in the country.”
What does this have to do with wine?
What does this have to do with the Falklands? (Damn, I wasn’t supposed to mention the war. I did a bit but I think I got away with it…)
The label is White and black – like a Herford cow. I don’t think bulls are white and black. I might be wrong. I could look it up on the interweb but… I have a bottle of wine and a blank page to deal with.
The wine is wine – a fair white wine It does not stand out as being a great buy nor does it make one recoil in horror. It is slightly acidic and that conflicts with the bouquet of fruit flavours that underline this wine.
Good for the bulls, the wine and the British ranchers.

Weekly Wine – Alta CS

1 Feb

fuzalt_csFuzion Alta Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I drank this wine’s cousin a while back. It was the Malbec wine.
This is the cabernet sauvignon grape.
And this wine is all right.
The best thing about it is that the price has not changed in the last three years. I drank that bottle in October 2013. WOW.
Well not really wow. The Argentinean economy has been down quite a bit so that explains why this wine hasn’t gone over ten bucks.
This wine has a very nice colour and a very nice balance. It is a very nice standard table wine that will not offend anybody but those that are making airs of being wine connoisseurs. Those people should be served real crap. I have a list if you need it.
But I digress…
This wine will not win many, if any, awards and you might not remember it next morning. But that’s OK. It is a good wine that is meant to be drunk.

Weekly Wine – Astica White

31 Aug


Trapiche Astica Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon
13% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

I had this wine three years ago. It was the 16th wine that I reviewed for the blog.
Now it will also be the 177th wine. My how time flies.
The review is there – https://tonalsurge.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/weekly-wine-astica/
And a few things have changed since then.
One is the label. It is a bit more modern looking – a bit more hip.
The second – and this is important. It is a much better wine. The harsh tones are gone – it is so much smoother. I opened this with some friends and they were surprised that it was under ten bucks.
It is a perfect wine for relaxing in the back yard. Perfect summer barbecue wine.
The previous wine was a 2012 vintage – this is a 2015. Perhaps the vintage has made it better. Perhaps the winery smoothed out the process.
It is a great wine.
One thing that did not change with this wine is the price. Take that inflation … this wine is under eight bucks.

Weekly Wine – Astica Rose

17 Aug

AsticaRoseAstica Malbec Rose
13% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

I like the Malbec grape.
Malbec wines are, as experienced in my limited and narrow perspective, red.
This is rose wine.
Is this just watered down Malbec wine?
At this price, it is well worth a try.
It is a sharp wine. Crisp and taut. One can taste the fruity flavours – mostly berries and a bit of citrus as a rather pleasant aftertaste. It gets more pronounced, but not worse, as the wine warms up after taking it out of the cooler/fridge/freezer/whatever.
It is a nice summer wine – a little bit too heavy on the alcohol for my liking as one could probably down a whole well-chilled bottle lickety-split on a hot humid day and the 13% alcohol will do you a bit.
This is not just watered down red wine but a fairly nice rose. Not as elegant and refined as some of the competitors and several times the price, but a good one to have for the BBQ or the beach.

Weekly Wine – Melodias

10 Aug

MelodiasMelodias Red Blend
13.5% ABV
$6.95 (LCBO)

Is it possible for a wine to be too full bodied?
Is possible for a wine to be too fruity while not being sickly sweet?
Yes to both counts with this wine.
It is heavy and fruity. The sweetness is listed as medium and that is about right – it is not sweet but it is just bordering on being a grape or fruit drink – with a bit of a punch.
It is wonderfully inexpensive though.
I figure it could make some passable home-made Sangria but I feel that the heavy body will make that experience unfulfilling.
This is cheap, fruity, heavy wine. I wouldn’t use it for Sangria or sauses because I would spend a buck or two more for something better.
It has a nice label though.

Weekly Wine – Esquinas

3 Aug

Esquinas de Argento Cabernet Sauvignon
14% ABV
$6.95 (LCBO)

This wine is cheap. Very cheap.
At under seven bucks a bottle, this might be the cheapest alcohol there is.
I actually should say it is inexpensive – very inexpensive.
The reason is that it is actually not that bad of a wine. Make no mistake – this will never pass for a great wine and it would even be a stretch to label it as a mediocre wine.
It is full bodied – but it is heavy and dank. Like a change room where everybody is showering after a long and heavy workout. There are flavours in this body that need not be investigated. Better left undiscovered. There is a strange aftertaste. After the second glass I feel that I should brush my teeth. And then mouthwash.
I’ve had worse wines. This is not a wine I would spill out. I would not use it for sauces either as some of those off flavours might escape.
The saving grace for this wine is that it is inexpensive and one can muddle through it. And then go spend an extra dollar on something much better.

Weekly Wine – Astica

20 Jul

AsticaMMTrapiche Astica Merlot/Malbec
13% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

This is the first Argentinian wine that I have had in a while.
I was conducting a very quiet boycott doe to the political situation in that country. As well, I had sampled everything under ten bucks – and even some above 10 dollars.
This wine was new to me. I did drink and review the white wine from this label many moons ago.
This wine is nice and robust. I like the spicyness that the Malbec grapes give to the wine. It has a full body and for some reason that dulls the wine a bit. It is not as lively as some other Malbec wines. It might be the way it is blended with the Merlot grapes.
The wine is fine but it does have a palate of inexpensiveness. In a blind taste test you would have no trouble distinguishing that this is wine under ten bucks.
But it is actually under eight bucks. So it is a great value wine.
It just tastes a little dodgy.

Weekly Wine – Argento

30 Jul

SONY DSCArgento Pinot Grigio
13% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

Now here’s a good wine.
Here’s a wine that a discriminating wine buff can enjoy.
Make no mistake – this is not vin bon. This is very pedestrian wine.
Yet it wears its pedigree well. In fact it wears it very well.
It is unpretentious. It is refreshing. It has a nice kick. It goes down nicely – whether sipped or gulped. It does not have nasty after-tastes.
Most of the Pinot Grigio that I have consumed came from Italy. This Argentinian grape is very much the same. It is a go-to white wine grape. You can get it rather inexpensively or pay a hefty premium. Honestly, I have never tasted or experienced a difference.
As we are in the midst of summer this is a great wine for the outdoors. It needs to be chilled so it is better for the backyard/patio/balcony situation unless there is a nice ice filled cooler present.
There are many dodgy white wines out there that claim to be refreshing and pleasant. This one is all that. It is also very affordable.
Enjoy it.



Weekly Wine – Bonarda

4 Jun

SONY DSCArgento Bonarda
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

So I’m perusing the wine racks and looking for the under ten dollar gems. I feel that I should be disheartened because I have consumed many of these bottles. Some now cost more then ten dollars.
Nickels more than ten dollars…
As I’m passing by the Argentinian section, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, wisely segregates the wine by country of origin, I give a cursory glance. The section is small, and I think that I have sucked all the nectar out of it.
And I see Bonarda.
I have no idea what it is. But the price is right. And the vineyard/company that bottles it has made passable inexpensive wines that I have approved of.
I buy it.
I try it.
It is good.
Spicy. Light. A nice classic plonk that will only offend the most anal and hateful sommeliers. (Why would you associate with such people anyway is beyond me)
This wine will cost ten cents more in a year from now.
Buy it now.

BTW – Bonadra is a type of grape that was originally from France, called Douce noir, but now is mostly grown in South America. Hence Argentina. In California it is called Charbono. Lots of names for a good grape.