My final two wines I’m tasting as my tribute to the Vancouver International Wine Festival are from Argentina, as the theme region for this year’s Festival would have been South America. I have the Bodega Vistalba Corte C 2017, a Malbec with Cabernet Sauvignon blend, and the Bodega Luigi Bosca Malbec 2018. Malbec is the signature red grape of Argentina, which is why I chose these two wines to taste. Both wines are showing ripe, juicy fruit flavours and soft, light tannins.
My Tasting Notes
Bodega Vistalba Corte C 2017 (BC $23.98)
Did you know that “Corte” is the Spanish word for “Blend”? This wine is their “C Blend”. They also have an “A” and a “B Blend”. Their 2018 blend is listed as 85% Malbec and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. I think that the 2017 is about the same percentages.
Appearance: Garnet with a ruby tint. Almost opaque, 98%, to the rim.
Nose: A medium intensity nose, with deep ripe aromas of blackberries. Light smokiness, oak, vanilla, black plums and sweet spices. With decanting the aromas get a bit stronger.
Palate: Slightly off-dry, medium bodied with a very soft, silky, light mouthfeel. A mix of plums, blueberries, black berries and black cherries flavours. A touch of dark chocolate and oak. Some floral with swirling. A significant mineral streak. Very fine, light tannins. As with the nose, with decanting, the wine gets a slightly bigger, thicker mouthfeel. The tannins are a little stronger and have a chalky feel. There is more blackberries than blueberries and no floral, but you do now get a coffee component. The minerality persists with decanting and gives some additional excitement to this wine
Finish: Medium length. A round finish, with sweet ripe black fruit flavours. Tannins are quite light and not that observable; more acidity. Some light pepperiness with swirling. With decanting the tannins become a little more firmer as well as an increase in pepperiness. You still get nice sweet, ripe, black fruit flavours on the finish.
You can enjoy this wine with or without decanting. If you do decant, you get stronger aromas, and a bigger, thicker mouthfeel, but lose a bit of the fruit flavours on the palate. Either way, the wine is very enjoyable. You can of course enjoy this with a juicy grilled steak, but grilled lamb would also work.
Rating: – A medium intensity nose with aromas of blackberries primarily, with smokiness, black plums and sweet spices as well. Medium body, soft and silky with a mix of blackberries, blueberries, and plums on the palate. Quite mineral. Light tannins and pepperiness on the finish, but both increase if you decant.
Bodega Luigi Bosca Malbec 2018 (BC $23.99)
Appearance: Almost opaque with mostly garnet colour and a touch of ruby. The Vistalba has a greater ruby tint.
Nose: Lighter intensity sweet fruit aromas of blueberries, raspberries, and black plums, along with candied red fruits. The aromas get slightly stronger with decanting, plus you can add a touch of smokiness and tea leaves.
Palate: Dryish, a medium-plus body, thicker, silky, fully round mouthfeel. Medium acidity and very fine grained light tannins. Ripe, sweet blueberries, black berries, cherries and plums on the palate. A touch of dark chocolate, sweet spices, and floral with some swirling. With decanting you primarily get blackberries and blueberries, and some plums, with the other fruit flavours fading. The wine still has a nice thick, round, silky mouthfeel. Nutmeg spice becomes more obvious.
Finish: A medium plus length, finishing round with rich, sweet, ripe, blackberries and plums. Light pepperiness and slightly drying tannins. You get slightly firmer tannins, light oak, blackberries and plums on the finish with decanting.
The difference between newly open and decanted wine aromas and flavours are subtle, so you can enjoy the wine throughout your meal, or the next day. Again a juicy steak or grilled lamb would work as a food pairing.
Rating: – A lighter nose showing aromas of blueberries, raspberries, and black plums upon opening. These aromas persist to flavours on the palate. This wine is fully round, thick and has a silky mouthfeel. Fine, lighter tannins that get a bit stronger with decanting.
The Reason for the Vancouver International Wine Festival
We all enjoy the wines at the Festival, but there is a reason for the Festival. It is to raise funds to support the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. This Festival is held at Vanier Park in the summer and shows up to 4 different plays. The 2019 Festival offered The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare in Love, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Coriolanus. The status of the 2021 Festival is not 100% certain. Let us hope that some version of the Festival can commence this summer. You can donate to Bard on the Beach through this link.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
I purchased the Bodega Vistalba Corte C wine from the Everything Wine store in North Vancouver. The Bodega Luigi Bosca is available at BC Liquor stores and at Everything Wine. Thank you to Pacific Wines & Spirits for providing the bottle of Bodega Luigi Bosca Malbec for me to review.