Food & Wine Photo Credit: International Cellars

The Best Under $20 Red I’ve Had in Months

At $18, this Bordeaux-inspired blend re-energized me on South African wines.

2010 Grand Classique Glen Carlou $18

If I’m being honest, the frequency that I visit the South African aisle at the liquor store is a fair bit less than the Italian aisle and a fair bit more than the Romanian one. This is more a factor of the largely uninteresting wines available—in B.C., they’ve increased the focus on Shiraz from South Africa, which is almost uniformly….not the best. But lost in that are some really great wines—Pinot Noirs from Hamilton Russell, the Cabs from Rust en Vrede—and this amazing deal from Glen Carlou.

I had been sitting on this bottle for a year (this vintage is still available a bit, though mostly it’s the 2011 that’s on shelves now) and I was blown away by it’s old world nose and palate—all cedar and spice and red currants. It’s a blend of the five classic Bordeaux grapes—Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc—and they create a pleasantly rustic, slightly sweet, very spicy glass of wine. It’s wonderfully mouth-filling.

People always ask, “What wine should I get for my wedding” and because it’s such a personal question I usually dance around it with an endless series of qualifications. But after polishing off a bottle of this last night and noting the $18 price tag, my answer is this wine. You should buy this wine for your wedding. Or Bar Mitzvah. Or Wednesdays.

 

 

 

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