RKS Wine: More Penniless Pensioner Wines: South Africa’s Alvi’s Drift Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

In today’s Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s monopoly any wine under $15 falls into the Penniless Pensioner Category.

The question of course is it any good. Cheap does not mean plonk. It may help there is no glowing review accompanying its description in the LCBO Vintages Catalogue which might keep the cost down.

Geez it has a gold medal sticker on it from what competition I don’t know as the print is too small to find out. It also has a generic” Ultra Value Wines” sticker whatever that means. Not to be nasty but cheap supermarket tactics to entice buyers?

On the nose a certain rawness with notes of blueberry, black plum, black cherry and cassis. On the palate the tannins are soft rather body checking out the rawness on the nose. There is some black cherry, pomegranate, red plum and a bit of black pepper all with a short finish.

There are no flaws in the winemaking as the acids and tannins are just fine. The grapes are not overripe. It is not a wuss nor is it a hidden gem. The best term I can think is a bistro carafe wine. When I bought this wine I ran into a restaurant owner that was buying a $9.00 per bottle case of Spanish wine for his Greek restaurant. I know that wine from a few years ago and as a house wine it passes the mark. This wine passes the mark for a house wine in your house!  I can’t say you can pour and savour by the glass but I will say with confidence that for simple carnivore or vegetarian fare like steak or burgers or Swiss Chard sauteed with onions, garlic, mushrooms and hot red peppers it does its job. It is about as exciting as John Diefenbaker but it gets the job done.

(Alvi’s Drift Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, WO Western Cape, Alvi’s Drift Private Cellar, Worcester, South Africa, $13.95, LCBO # 19571, 750 mL, 13.5%, Robert K. Stephen, A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating, 87/100). I am not impressed by the vague and enticing stickers on the bottle but the wine is not plonk and as seniors when we assemble for our dinners and parties we can serve with confidence patting ourselves because that hot shot wine reviewer Robert Stephen said this is in the range of a $25 California Cabernet Sauvignon

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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