Malcolm Jolley finds a bargain at the LCBO and talks to the lady who makes it…

QPR is the shorthand wine writers use for ‘quality price ratio’, which is in my humble opinion the the golden fleece for the typical wine consumer, most of the time. Yes, I am sure the $100 Barolo and the $300 Grand Cru are good wines, but what’s the best wine on the shelves today for $20 or less? A contender for this prize at the moment is the Vins de Bonhomme El Petit Bonhomme 2018 ($16.95 | LCBO# 16578). The south of Spain is coming up with some great value wines lately, in part because of vine age. El Petit Bonhomme, from the region of Jumilla, is dominated by fruit from 35 year old Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvèrdre) vines. It’s 55% Monastrell with 30% Garnacha and 15% Syrah, making it a ‘MGS’ blend, I guess. In any event, the big fruit note for me, in this fruit forward wine, is red like raspberries at first, then going into a blacker, spicier and herbal finish. The French have a word for a wine like this: glug-glug

When I tasted it, I wanted to know about this interesting wine from Spain with a French name. It turns out it’s made by a Canadian expat, Nathalie Bonhomme, who left Montreal to see the world and ended up in the lower right corner of the Iberian Peninsula in the 90’s. She began her work in wine as an exporter, and worked with some of Rioja’s top producers, just as Spanish wine was really taking off in the 2000’s. But she wanted to make her own, and in the Zoom video interview below, Bonhomme explains how Les Vins Bonhomme came to be, and how the financial crisis nearly ended her dream before it even began.

If you can’t see the video, click here to watch it at GFR.