Fuzion Alta Reserve Malbec

2008 Fuzion Alta Reserve Malbec, $9.95. LCBO#135475.

This is my first review of a bottle kindly provided by friends.  Johann & Tiffany heard of my quest for an affordable bottle and made sure to have a $10 bottle on hand for dinner this weekend.  The bottle comes from Argentina’s Zuccardi family, the famous makers of Fuzion. I’m not sure how popular Fuzion is in the rest of Canada, but Ontario is bananas for Fuzion.  My handy LCBO website tells me there are 150 bottles of this wine alone in Kingston, and when you consider their many other varieties, the size of the empire becomes apparent.  I first heard of Fuzion last summer when CBC Radio did a segment on “Recession Wines.”  Between that, and the threat of an LCBO strike last June, I think it was hard to keep Fuzion on the shelves last year.  The great appeal is that they make very drinkable wines for very affordable prices, with Chardonnay and Shiraz Malbec at $7.45, and organic Malbec Cabernet at $12.95.

This bottle of Reserve Malbec is well-rated on Wine Align, getting an 88, which is notable for a wine at a $9.95 price point.  I found the wine very smooth and drinkable, and I must say it disappeared quickly along with our fresh linguine and bolognese sauce from Pasta Genova.  To my knowledge, this was my first taste of a Fuzion wine, although Fuzion frequently shows up at parties and may have made its way into my glass previously. It had a very lush, balanced taste with plenty of berry flavours and just enough oak.

The reviews say to splurge on this bottle vs. the Shiraz Malbec at $7.45, apparently the $2.50 extra gets you a better taste and a prettier bottle. This is definitely a wine that appeals to the masses, and would be a very safe buy for a party or a dinner where wine preferences vary.

Overall, I give this wine an 8/10 for taste and 4/5 for value.

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