Recoleta Malbec Bonarda 2007

For a moment I found myself transfixed by the nose of this wine… it smelled familiar, and yet not. But what was it? Ah, there we are: scented permanent markets, just like the ones we used to huff in elementary school. Childhood memories… Seriously, it smells like children’s fruit candy: plums and raspberries and nothing too complicated or unusual. There’s also a slight hint of camphor there as well; on the whole, a promising start.

In the mouth, it’s just this side of off-dry (as I’m coming to expect from fresh&easy’s own label wines), with a fleeting sourness and not much else in the way of flavor, save for something that’s reminiscent of raspberry flavored wax lips candy. There’s a bit of tannin on the finish, probably more from pressing the grapes too hard than any kind of barrel fermentation, and then it’s gone. It all works reasonably well and would be a fantastic accompaniment to spicy barbecue or good old fashioned meat loaf. Amazing value and recommended for your next braai.

Recoleta [but really fresh&easy]
Price: US $2.99
Closure: Short, low quality cork amusingly labeled “estate bottled”
Tasted: November 2007

I’d like to note that I won’t always be tasting bargain basement wines from Tesco’s new US chain stores; it’s just that they happened to open their doors here two weeks ago, which prompted me to buy a case of their least expensive wine just for the heck of it. So far, I’m impressed by the QPR [quality price ratio] but haven’t found anything I’d drink on a regular basis. Thankfully, I’m down to only a few bottles – the most expensive one almost breaking the ten dollar mark – and when they open one near my home in San Diego, I promise I’ll go back and try their high-end own-label wines [I think I remember seeing a $15.99 Napa merlot, for example].