Western Living Magazine
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At only $22, you would not believe that this bottle of Albarinño is made right here in B.C.
I always fret when I see a new bottle of British Columbia malbec. It’s not that we can’t make it—we’re actually far better than California or Washington with the grape. It’s that Argentina is so good at it and, more importantly, so deadly efficient with it that they can grow it, bottle it and ship it 10,500 kilometres and still be easily 25 percent cheaper than our cheapest bottles. And, yes, it’s not all about price, but when you’re dealing with wine that’s under $25, it’s mostly about price.
I had the exact opposite reaction when this bottle of Albariño by Stag’s Hollow crossed my desk. Firstly, I happen to love the Spanish/Portuguese grape, with its signature crisp flavours of peach with lemon rind. But I don’t buy it all that often because by the time it makes its way here over the 8,100 kilometres from northern Spain, it’s always at the $30 range, so this bottle—at $22—is actually undercutting the competition and giving non-believers a solid reason to try B.C. wine. All of which would be for naught if the wine wasn’t good, but thankfully winemaker Dwight Sick has kept the grape true to form, emphasizing the melon and citrus while softening a bit for first-timers with some oak and some malolactic fermentation. It’s a winner at $30 and a veritable steal at $22—and should be exhibit A for how to sell wine in this province.