A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Review Of $15 Wine – A Kosher Red Blend From Chile

Today’s offering is not associated with any website. It is sold by Royal Wines, the largest kosher wine distributor but I can find no information about this winery. The wine comes from Chile’s Maule Valley, a part of the Central Valley Viticultural Region, the country’s oldest, most central, and most traditional wine region. It is a half and half blend of Malbec (Argentina’s signature red grape) and Syrah (Australia’s signature red grape under the name Shiraz). The companion wine is a cheaper Argentian Malbec that is also Kosher.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Alfasi Reserva KP 2010 14 % alcohol about $14.

There were no marketing materials so let’s start by quoting the back label (my sight translation from the French). “This Alfasi Malbec-Syrah is the fruit of combining carefully selected Malbec and Syrah grapes sourced in Chile’s most respected vineyards. From this oh so refined blend is born a well-structured wine characterized by rich notes of plums and grapes heightened by a soupcon of vanilla and coffee. This wine pairs marvelously with hearty meat and poultry dishes.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was dark and almost burnt with good length but its acidity was somewhat sour. A single Wasabi pea shortened the wine. The initial meal was a boxed Ziti Siciliano that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. This Chilean was flavorful and multilayered. Fresh strawberries rendered this liquid long and oaky.

The following meal featured slow cooked beef with potatoes. Now our blend provided good acidity. It was long with the taste of chocolate and provided balanced tannins and acidity. The accompanying potatoes rendered its acidity harsh. Louisiana hot sauce rounded and lengthened this drink. When paired with a Turkish salad consisting of tomato, tomato paste, onion, sweet red pepper, garlic, sugar, and other spices this libation tingled; it was mouth filling and long.

My final meal centered on a rather tasteless barbecued chicken leg. In response this wine was dark and chewy, tasting of plums and a tinge of salt. When it met potatoes roasted in chicken fat the wine lengthened and deepened, as did that almost disgusting taste of salt. In response to tasty leeks sauteed in olive oil the wine was oaky and fruity.

Final verdict. Sometimes decisions are hard to make. I may end up buying this wine once again as some of the pairings were quite good. I think what kills me is the price I had to pay, especially when I see some much cheaper offerings on the Internet. Check them out. I can cross town and pick up this producer’s (label’s?) Merlot for a few dollars less. That’s a real decision.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine Iwine with good company. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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