Wednesday, June 19 2024

These two red wines both cost $22 but take you on different journeys

Estimated read time 3 min read

Here’s an interesting tasting exercise: Two red wines of the same price but widely divergent expressions. To use a musical analogy, the ripe, New World-style Bottelary Hills Estate Blend from Kaapzicht winery in South Africa is a comforting, harmonious chord, while the Cottanera Barbazzale from the slopes of Mount Etna rings out with a clarion sound that slowly reveals its complexity as it reverberates across the palate. To continue the musical analogy, the Jean-Pierre Large Morgon from Beaujolais adds an earthy basso profundo.

Kaapzicht Bottelary Hills Estate Blend 2020

(3 stars)

Stellenbosch, South Africa, $22

Polished and concentrated in a New World-style, this lush red blend will appeal to fans of ripe, jammy wines. Flavors of blackberries and sage mingle with smoky mineral notes. The wine softens and improves a bit the day after opening, so it can benefit from decanting or even aging for a few more years. Alcohol by volume: 14.5 percent. Bottle weight: 595 grams (Average).

Cottanera Barbazzale Rosso 2021

(3 stars)

Bright flavors of red currant, raspberries and juicy cherries dance around a taut framework of tannin. The volcanic soils of Mount Etna’s north coast express themselves through the structure of this wine, a blend of two red grapes native to Sicily: nerello mascalese and nerello cappuccio. ABV: 14 percent. BW: 490 grams (Light).

Imported by Indigenous Selections. Distributed locally by Salveto Imports.

Jean-Pierre Large Les Délys 2021

(3 stars)

Morgon is one of the cru appellations of Beaujolais and produces sturdy, earthy red wines from the gamay grape. This lovely example is broody and reticent, but with a bit of aeration and paired with a hearty roast or stew, it shines. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 640 grams (Heavy).

Imported and distributed locally by Elite Wines.

Prices are approximate. For availability, check, and the websites and social media feeds of the wineries, importers, distributors, and your favorite local wine store. You can also ask your local retailer to order wines from the distributors listed. Have wine questions for Dave McIntyre? Send them to

★ Good: The wine delivers what it promises at a fair price. If it says chardonnay, it tastes like chardonnay.

★★ Excellent: A wine with character and added interest. May elevate your eyebrows at the first sip.

★★★ Extraordinary: An exciting wine that stands out from others in its class. Fist-pumping, table-thumping good.

★★★★ Sublime: Otherworldly. May have you thinking, “So this is what they were talking about.”

#red #wines #cost #journeys

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