Bill Zacharkiw's wines of the week: Oct. 11, 2019

Every week, Bill Zacharkiw identifies his top wine picks available at the SAQ and offers ideas for food pairings.

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Every week, Bill Zacharkiw identifies his top wine picks available at the SAQ and offers ideas for food pairings.

Under $16

Pinot Noir 2018, Estate, Patagonia, Humberto Canale, Argentina red, $15.95, SAQ #13684211. I had to check the price a few times to make sure I had the right wine. This is proper pinot: red fruited, fresh, soft, but with a focussed and almost mineral finish. In a world where too many pinots taste like they are trying to be something else, this wine revels in its simplicity. Residual sugar: 1.4 g/l. Grape varieties: pinot noir. Serve at 15C. Drink now. Food-pairing idea: Aperitif, grilled tuna with sweet and sour sauce.

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$16-$20

Alchymiste 2018, Domaine Sclavos, Greece white, $18.50, SAQ # 13503766. Here’s a weird one for you. From the Greek island of Cephalonia, a blend of indigenous grapes that shows very pretty aromatics, floral and citrusy, a palate that amps out nicely if you let it warm, and finishes on a mineral, salty, refreshingly bitter note. Works really nicely with plumpish oysters and fried squid. Residual sugar: 1.2 g/l. Grape varieties: vostilidi, moschatela, tsaousi, zakynthino. Serve at 10-12 C. Drink now. Food-pairing idea: aperitif, fried seafood (with or without tatziki).

$20-$25

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Rioja 2018, Rayos, Olivier Rivière, Spain red, $21.20, SAQ # 13076071. Burgundy and Rioja’s weirdo child. This wine will redefine how you look at Rioja. Youthful and vibrant with a juicy, cherry and strawberry driven palate. The tannins are so fine, so razor thin, so elegant. This finish is wonderfully fresh, with just a hint of tempranillo earthiness. This wine just envelopes your mouth, then finishes with a slow and lingering fade to spice. Beautiful. Grape varieties: tempranillo, graciano, garnacha. Residual sugar: 1.4 g/l. Serve at 16C. Drink now-2021. Food-pairing idea: Fabada (Spanish bean stew with sausage.)

$25 and up

Gamay 2017, Wismer Foxcroft Vineyard, Bachelder, Niagara red, $29.90, SAQ # 13993822. Niagara produces some world-class gamay and this is one of the better ones I have tasted. Wonderfully textured, delicious red fruit, and has that low end of white pepper on the finish that adds depth. This has pinot noir elegance, just a touch more playful. Grape variety: gamay. Residual sugar: 1.4 g/l. Serve at 16C. Drink now-2022. Food-pairing idea: Aperitif, pâté and charcuterie plates, veal liver and onions.

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