It is Fairtrade fortnight in the UK and so I wanted to take the opportunity to review a good/do good wine. Apparently, despite the tough economic times, the amount British consumers have been spending on Fairtrade goods has risen by nearly 20 per cent.
The Co-operative have always been one of the leaders in selling Fairtrade wine. Last year, I recommended their Gran Reserva Malbec. This year, I’m going suggest you try a tipple of the Co-operative Fairtrade Bonarda Shiraz 2011, which is made by the same cooperative in north-west Argentina – La Riojana.
It’s a different type of wine; more juicy, spicy, red fruit. Less serious in a way. The blend is the majority Bonarda, with 38% Shiraz and just a touch of Malbec. In case you haven’t heard of Bonarda, I call it (informally) Malbec’s little brother. It’s Argentina’s second most planted red grape and generally produces less dark, alcoholic wines than its ‘older sibling’. A quick look at “Wine Grapes” confirms, of course, that these grapes are not really related and that we should really be calling Bonarda “Douce Noire” its proper French name!
To me, this wine smells of black cherries. It has black cherry flavours too, with a bit of a spicy, peppery finish. It’s got reasonable length and good mouth-watering acidity. There are no big tannins to dry the mouth. I could see this going well with pasta or pizza. We tried it with a steak in pepper sauce – and it did the job.
The alcohol level is 12.5%.
Co-operative Fairtrade Bonarda Shiraz 2012 is definitely good value for the price. It usually costs £4.99, but like all Fairtrade products is on sale at 20% off – so £3.99 – until March 10.
W.O.W. Factor 7 (inc 0.5 for value)
Check out the other Fairtrade wines reviewed by Window On Wine.