Saturday, July 18, 2020

California Pinot That Thinks It's A Burgundy

And that's a good thing! Let me introduce you to Coastal Vines California Pinot Noir, definitely not the fruit bomb you might expect from the sunny Golden State. Not that there aren't many majestic Pinots from thereabouts, of course! But many tend to be great for the first sips and not so great with food.

This little Coastal guy, meanwhile, is a real crowd-pleaser.

By that, I mean it's food friendly and refreshing, even after the first couple of elegant gulps. Only snag is you have to call The Small Winemakers Collection in T.O. at 416 463 7178 and it will cost you $18.10 a bottle X 12 for a case. Delivery is free, though. I quote the LCBO here because they are dead on: blackberry, cherry, cola and leather. Soft vanilla tones from the oak blend perfectly with the intense fruit core and soft tannins, providing complexity and balance and leading to a lingering finish.
I would simply add that tasted blind you would think this was a village Burgundy.
Meanwhile, there's a great little beauty from Argentina by the name of Toro Centenario, not to be confused with the giant-killer from Spain called Toro Bravo! That's good, too, especially for the price. The South American star is from Argentina's signature red grape, the magnificent Malbec. They're both in the same phenomenal low price range, though. 
The Toro Bravo Tempranillo Merlot, from Valencia in southern Spain is $8.15 and the South American gem, from Mendoza, is full-bodied and smooth for $8.60. Both at the LCBO and moving fast!

But, back to the Malbec, the LCBO describes this as showing "black fruit, plum and smoke with notes of herb and spice. Rich and smooth with balanced acidity and notes of dark berry, smoke and earth. Great with grilled or BBQ lamb, beef or ribs." Couldn't have said it better myself! Hard to go wrong with any of these bargains!