March 13, 2017
Food & Wine, New Arrivals, Wine Info
Cabernet Malbec, Clare Valley, Diaspora Wine, Irish Connections, O'Leary Walker
We’re getting really topical today, with the talk of giving the vast Irish diaspora a vote in the general election we decided to raid the shelves for an interesting Irish conection wine. Now many of you are familiar with our good friends David O’Leary (not the footballer) and Nick Walker, the two driving forces behind the eponymous O’Leary Walker Wines, but todays wine is a new one to their stable. It has more conections to Ireland beyond David’s surname as the wine is produced in the Clare valley named after the Banner county. Anyway on to the wine.
The two varieties are sourced from two sub regions within the Clare Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon is organically certified from the ‘Doctor’s block’, located in the Polish Hill River Region, a superior cool climate vineyard which is dry grown and low yielding. The Malbec is from the O’Leary Walker Wines winery block situated in Watervale. The two varieties are fermented seperately then racked to oak barrels (25% new French oak; 75% two-three year old oak) for a total of two years.
Incredibly perfumed with red forest fruits, sweet cassis and intense florals. This powerful blend is textural and concentrated with generous flavours. The gorgeous florals follow on to the palate with juicy tannins and acid length. This elegant style of Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by the dusty tannin structure of Malbec. Classic forest fruits and intensity of oak. Pair with fresh Easter lamb or some nice fillet steaks.
March 2, 2017
Education, Food & Wine, Wine Info
The Tavares da Silva acquired the farm in the 1980’s but it’s origins goes back to the 16th century. When they arrived there was around 110 acres of nearly abandoned vineyards on the farm, the family immediately embarked on an investment program to replant and re-graft the vines with the thriving varietals of the area, both indigenous and international. By 2000 the new plantings had reached maturity, Sandra Tavares, the youngest daughter, assumed duties as winemaker. Sandra is a passionate and skilled winemaker who produces great wines from the family’s vines. Sandra uses both traditional and modern techniques to produce her wines. Some of the wines are vinified in traditional Lagares. Her philosophy shines through in her wines which combine traditional minerality and elegance, but are also modern fresh and fruit forward.
One of Sandra’s wines that show this combination is the Quinta de Chocapalaha Castelão. Castelão, one of Portugal’s most famed and widely planted varieties, is known for its beautiful, fruit character. Sandra’s interpretation of this varietal is a stunning example. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak for 12 months, this Castelão retains its fresh fruit essence long after its 6 month of refinement in bottle. The 2014 wine pours a bright purple colour with an inviting nose of fresh raspberries, ripe cherries and subtle nuances of cocoa. The silky tannins and supple body attribute great balance and elegance to the palate. Perfect for casual Friday night with pizza or charcuterie.€17.95
February 9, 2017
Food & Wine, Wine Info
So next Tuesday I am instructed that I must cook a delightful meal (no pressure) and pair with a quote “memorable wine”. Now the meal has yet to be finalised, if I’m lazy Steak, if I’m feeling adventurous maybe something more complex. Who knows but I have the wine picked, Il Poggione’s ‘Leopoldo Franceschi’ Rosso di Montalcino 2012.
The wine is made in limited amounts, from barrels selceted in the cellar by Leopoldo Franceschi, 5th generation owner of Tenuta Il Poggione. It then ages in large barrels and barriques for 12 months, before bottling and more aging.
When poured it is a deep ruby-red colour. Lots of red and dark berries aromas with some understated wood and sweet spices. It is rich and complex on the palate. Very elegant at the same time, with velvety tannins and a very persistent finish. Dark cherry, plum, spice and licorice add nuance to the textured palate. The perfect wine for next Tuesday!
January 24, 2017
During the recent stock take we discovered a few bottles of the excellent 2008 O’Leary Walker Watervale Riesling a white wine showing excellent freshness at nearly 9 years of age. We have a limited amount for sale drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to order one.
Grown at Neil and Heather Grace’s vineyard at Watervale The Grace vineyard has rich soils of red loam over limestone on a westerly aspect. Grace’s “dry-grown” vineyard is hand-pruned and hand-picked and relies only on the natural rainfall. The limestone is able to retain moisture and assist the vine throughout periods of warm weather, almost drought-proofing in the summer months. Viticultural practices include vertical shoot positioning which not only encourages even ripening but provides important shade to prevent the impact of sunburn on the resultant wine. Fruit was harvested in the cool of the night. The fruit was de-stemmed and crushed then gently pressed, resulting in a fine free-run cut and a pressings component. These were handled separately. The free-run juice was chilled to preserve the vineyard expression and purity of fruit. Once the juice has settled, it was racked off solids and seeded with yeast. A cool, temperature controlled fermentation was carried out over 10-14 days. The wine was chilled to 5°C and filtered prior to bottling.
Lifted nose, with floral tropical fruit and lime top notes over a semi kerosene backdrop. Displays flavours of lime over lemon followed by orange and mandarin on the back palate. Crisp acid backbone. Orange and mandarin aftertaste with lime persisting on the finish. This wine is still superbly fresh with a kiss of aged notes on the nose. It pairs with fresh shellfish and a a spicy Thai green curry.
April 12, 2016
Education, Wine Info
#SpanishWineWeek, Galicia, Mencía, Spain, Wines of Spain
Mencía (“Men-thee-ah”) is a medium-bodied red wine grape that produces high quality wines with floral and red fruit flavours. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s not surprising, Mencía only grows in Spain and Portugal on the Iberian peninsula.If you love Pinot Noir and other medium reds, then Mencía is something worth investigating.
Mencía has lovely flowery aromas, strawberry, raspberry, black licorice, pomegranate and cherry sauce.It has a deep red colour with some violet edges.The palate tends towards medium to full bodied with recurring notes of cherry, red currant, pomegranate and some peppery spice. Like all Iberian grapes it doesn’t mind the kiss of oak or even a big hug.
Mencía grapes are grown in Bierzo, Valdeorras and Ribera Sacra in Spain, and Dão in Portugal. The highly prized Mencía wines generally come from older hillside vineyards where the grapes are more concentrated. In the mountainous Ribera Sacra region, the position of the vineyard slope will also affect the ripeness of the grapes.
Check out some of our great Mencía’s at our wine tasting this Friday.
April 6, 2016
Education, Wine Info
#SpanishWineWeek, Bierzo, Jumilla, Ribera Del Duero, Rioja, Rueda, Spain, Spannish Wine, Terra Alta, Toro
Somehow, Spain seems to fly under the radar compared to its next door neighbour, France. Spain is actually the third largest wine producer in the world and has the most land dedicated to vineyards–over a million acres. Spanish wines range from great values to highly prestigious wines, such as Vega Silicia’s Unico.
Northwest “Green” Spain
Galicia, very unlike the rest of Spain, is where lush green valleys are plentiful and the common cuisine includes lots of fresh fish. Albariño is the champion grape of the sub-region called Rias Baixas (RYE-us BYE-shus), which skirts the coast. The area specializes in zesty white wines and a few aromatic red wines made with Mencia in the Bierzo & Monterrei Region which is also famous for the whites of Godello and Treixadura.
The coast is a very diverse macro-region that contains the sub-regions of Valencia, Catalonia and Murcia. Catalonia is known for Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and a highly acclaimed red wine sub-zone, Priorat based on Garnacha but also the up and coming Terra Alta Region. Valencia and Murcia are warmer growing regions that produce a bulk of value wines from deep red Monastrell especially in the Jumilla Region.
Ebro River Valley
The sub regions of La Rioja and Navarra are found in the Ebro River Valley. Here, Tempranillo is king. Rioja produces some of the most age worthy wines. Navarra produces a large volume of rosado (rosé) wine of Garnacha. Rioja aging explained: Joven – a young wine with no oak aging; Crianza – A minimum of one year in casks and a few months in the bottle. For white wines, the minimum cask aging period is 6 months.; Reserva – aged for a minimum of 3 years, with at least one year in casks. ; Gran Reserva – Selected wines from exceptional vintages which have spent at least 2 years in oak casks and 3 years in the bottle.
Duero River Valley
The Duero River is the same river as the Douro in Portugal. This region is notable for the rich white Verdejo of Rueda and the red wines of Toro, Ribera del Duero and Leon. The wine grape of Toro, called Tinta de Toro, and Ribera del Duero called Tinto País or Tinto Fino are local synonyms for Tempranillo.
Because of its climate characteristics, vines are spaced very far apart and close to the ground. Some of the best value red wines made of Monastrell, Syrah, Tempranillo and Garnacha come from this area. And some serious contenders from districts such as Mentrida based on Graciano & Cencibel (Tempranillo).