Que Guapo - it means "You're handsome!"

Que Guapo – it means “You’re handsome!”

I’m always looking for ways to re-live last fall’s visit to Argentina, and to remind me of my first visit to Buenos Aires—a truly remarkable city that’s not just big (Greater BA is home to 12.8 million) but amazingly diverse and culturally fascinating.

Here’s a wine that’s a fitting salute to one area. And you can’t miss it, for the label alone, a (literally) brilliant depiction of the colourful houses in Buenos Aires’ celebrated La Boca neighbourhood.(Que Guapo means “You’re handsome”, by the way.)
La Boca: one bustling barrio, Tim Pawsey

La Boca: one bustling barrio, Tim Pawsey photo

This is one bustling barrio that’s home to a slew of non-stop tango clubs (real and tourist-y), artists of every kind,  hustlers, peddlars, bars, cafés—you name it, it’s here—and some of the best parilla (outdoor barbecue) anywhere, even for Argentina! Oh, and we can’t forget La Bombonera soccer stadium—home of Boca Juniors.

Serious parilla, TP photo

Serious parilla … TP photo

Here’s what you get when you crack the bright red screw cap: lots of black fruit with cherry and peppery notes on top, followed by a ‘plush ‘n plummy,’ mouth filling burst, wrapped in easy tannins, that definitely says ‘Malbec—and then some.

...and the guy who cooks it!

…and the guy who cooks it!

The smart part of this snappily adorned blend is that it calls on Bonarda (once the most widely planted Argentine varietal) and Syrah to add some interest. The Bonarda gives it some heft juiciness and contributes that more charry taste and the Syrah brings a bit of a meaty, spicy edge that Malbec on its own—particularly at this price point— can sometimes miss. The big fruit on the palate gets balanced with some nice peppery points before a solid finish. Not fancy but pretty decent value for not a lot of dollars.

And about that label. Judging by the shots we took, I’d say it’s a very accurate depiction.

In short: think good beef (or anything red meat-ish and grilled), and fire up the barbecue—to the strains of “Don’t Cry for Me …”

It’s a deal! BCLS $14.99 – 88 pts.

La Boca, TP photo

La Boca, TP photo