The overlooked fizz

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With the New Years eve festivities nearly upon us many of our thoughts turn to sparkling wine and while we all have our favourites, the recent popularity of Prosecco and the enduring delight at champagne have led to Cava, the wonderful sparkling spanish wine being overlooked. Many people  the have heard of Prosecco and James Bond has done a great job of introducing us to Champagne but Cava has been less championed. In fact many people simply blindly ignore it as cheap Spanish swirl, tut tut. For the New Year’s we are offering 2 bottles of Rimarts Brut Reserva Cava for €30 thats a saving €5.90 or for those of you into percentages it’s a little over 16% OFF.

Rimarts was founded in 1987 by Ricardo Martínez de Simón, who decided to produce high quality hand crafted cavas. Located in the heart of Catalonia’s Cava producing area with its Bodega and Cellars at  Sant Saduní d’Anoia. All the cava’s are hand riddled and disgorged to ensure quality.  Rimarts have opted for hand disgorging over machine disgorging because when the bottlenecks are frozen with machines, a tiny amount of the dead yeast cells and ice remain in the bottle and are carried over to the final product.  With hand disgorging, none of the yeast is left in the bottle.  All the bottles in the cellar will undergo this treatment to ensure that quality is consistent. They also age their cavas for longer than required by the regulator the belief here is the wine requires longer in bottle then regulated for to reach the perfect balance between fruit, flavour and acidity, thus providing the wine with depth and structure.

The resulting Cava is clean crisp with a nice yeasty note. A bright lemon color. Mid-sized bubbles, elegant and lasting. Strong aroma, fresh, flowery with green apples and citrus fruits.. Full in mouth, creamy, a touch of fresh yeasty sweetness with a good balance and a lovely citrus finish.

We’re back in the blogging business!!!

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It’s all over for another year (insert joy, anger, annoyance, whatever you want here). But as a wise man once said time and tide wait for no man so on we trundle first off let me offer a belated Christmas greeting from us all here in Woodberrys thanks to so many of your efforts to shop with us we had a busy lead in an as a result we neglect our blogging duties, but now the festive season is drawing to a close we would like to say we’re back and we have plenty to say. First up just a little note about New Years we have offers on Prosecco, Cava and Champagne for the big night. We have bubbles in pink and clear from €9.95 upwards. The wonderful Mionetto ‘Il Prosecco’ is on promotion at the minute for €9.95 and we have 20% off Mionetto’s Sergio (RRP €19.95 now €15.96) their high-end Prosecco along with offers on Louis Roederer Brut and the wonderful and limited of O’Leary Walkers ‘Hurtle’ Vintage 2004 Brut.

The Hurtle is named after Nick Walkers Grandfather Hurtle Walker who trained as a sparkling winemaker in France before the great war by Monsieur Duray and Leon Mazure. He made sparkling wine up until his death in 1975 and his son Norm is also a sparkling winemaker with over 50 different wine companies in a career that spans decades. Nick has made this wonderful Pinot Noir Chardonnay sparkling wine to continue the family tradition and keep us fizzing over the New Year. The wine has a creamy, light mousse. Straw colour with a salmon tinge. The bouquet shows complexity from time on yeast lees, toast, strawberry and cream. The palate follows on with creamy fruit with great finesse and length, balanced with clean fresh acidity. A great aperitif style, perfrect for popping over the New Years. €29.95 NOW €23.96.

Same Grape Different Name

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I know we did a blog about this awhile back with our old mate Mr. Shiraz and Mouissuer Syrah. But Shiraz/ Syrah is not the only grape with split personalities. Many a Grape have Clark Kent/Superman personalities, and some are as easy as detectable as Mr. Kent and his alter ego, (well for us viewers at least it’s amazing how taking of your glasses and gelling your hair back makes people think you’re a different person!!).

Another one we did in the last year was Grenache/Garnacha/Garnatxa, the las to being Spanish and Catalonian names for Grenache. Another Rhone variety that the Aussie’s have given a different name to is Mourvedre which they call Matro, so your Grenache, Shiraz, Matro Blend (GSM) is the same as your French Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.  

But a grape with a huge number of alternative personalities is Spain’s Tempranillo, which is known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Tinta del Toro in Toro and in Portugal in the North it is Tinta Roriz and in the South it is Aragonez (betraying its spanish origin). And luckily for us it stays Tempranillo when it travelled further afield. These are just a few of the more common grapes but the likes of Carignan has several synonyms eg. Mazuelo. But that’s for another day.

The Douro/Duera who cares how you spell it the wines are great!

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Well its  a great little river really when you get down to it! Starting in Spain and flowing right through Portugal to the sea. But that’s not all it does – oh no! No, it also provides pretty damn perfect conditions for wine growing in Spain and Portugal! We are lucky to have a whole range of new arrivals in the shop grown on the banks of this mighty  river. The Douro region in Portugal lays claim to being the worlds oldest designated and delineated area for the production of wines.

We are fortunate to be able to deal directly with four small family run wineries in the Douro, the first if you were paying attention a few weeks back is Quinta Das Bajancas, the others are Brites Agular, Quinta dos Pocos and finally Quinta do Soque. Each one of these wineries is committed to the preservation of Douro tradition and history along with producing highly prized wines from the local grape varieties. My own personal favourites include the Bajancas Tinto and Reserva and the delightful Quinta dos Pocos Reserva with its pretty label. This is an elegant french styled red packed with flavour and gentle tannins.

An over looked wine, Moscato D’asti!

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We love this wine! We could drink glass after glass of this during the summer, but it works great as an aperitif at Christmas or even with lighter desserts. We are always surprised by how overlooked it seems to be. Made in Piedmont in north-west Italy from, as you might have guessed, the Moscato bianco grape, its taste is typically reminiscent of ripe orange-fleshed melons, nectarines and blossom, it has an uplifting perfume and although sweet it isn’t a syrupy, viscous drink but light and refreshing, a real perker-upper.

Far be it from us to entice anyone into daytime drinking but if you do feel like a drink of an  afternoon over the Christmas then this would be a relatively harmless and delicious thing to choose. It goes particularly well with apricot or mango tarts oozing with creme patisserie or good old sherry trifle.