It’s the Bauma!!!

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It’s the time of year when a lot of our vintages are changing over as well as some new arrivals hitting the shelves like the wines from Logan and Barale. But another little winery we have started to bring is Bauma from Montsant. Montsant is located in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain). It used to be known as Falset a subregion of Tarragona DO, but was upgraded to it own DO in the 2001.  There are currently about 5,100 acres of vineyards, with Chardonnay, Garnacha Blanca, Garnacha Negro, Samsó, Monastrell, Syrah and Cabernet planted among others. The red wines produced in Montsant tend to be of a style similar to Priorat, in a powerful full-bodied style.

The Bauma Barrica is a classic Mediterranean blend ( 60% Garnacha Negro and 40% Samsó, a traditional variety in this part of spain aged for 6 months in french and american oak) is deep cherry in colour. Intense aromas of red fruits with hints of mineral, toast and tobacco. On the palate the spice comes through with forest fruits and notable oak. Great with lamb dishes, grilled steak with red wine sauce or carpaccio.


Logan Wine Tasting

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Logan Wine Tasting

Thursday 3rd May from 5.30 – 7.30pm

Thomas Woodberrys, Middle Street, Galway


Brilliant Barale

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We’ve had the wines of Barale in for a few months, since last November to be exact, but I haven’t had a chance to talk about them until now (I’ve mentioned their Chardonnay and Barbera D’Alba already). In fact their Barbera D’Alba is one of our wines to try this year.

The roots of the Azienda Agricola Barale Fratelli reach back to distant 1870, soon after Barolo wine made its appearance in the Langhe. Francesco Barale was among the pioneers of this.  Today Sergio Barale, with his daughters Eleonora and Gloria, continue the family’s centuries-old experience of wine production. The cellar has embraced new technologies, always with the aim to increase the quality of Barolo and other typical wines from these hills. Today as in the past, the character of wines is forged in the vineyard through assiduous manual labor. The processes of vinification and ageing merely maintain the equilibrium of the fruit’s components, with the aim of producing harmonious wines, readily recognizable in their organoleptic qualities as true to the grape varietal and the zone of origin.

Barale produces a 3 different Barolos two from single vineyard sources as well as a single vineyard Barbaresco, which for me is their best value for money wine we stock, along with a stunning Barbera D’Alba, Nebbiolo Langhe, Dolcetto D’Alba, Moscato D’Asti and the previously mentioned Chardonnay.

We currently have the Barbera D’Alba  on offer @2 bottles for €30 pop in and see why we think its a must for 2012, with its perfumed nose of violets, ripe black fruits, toasted tobacco and spice. Firm on the palate with recurring black fruits, spice and toasty oak.

Worth the Waiting 4!

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The last and most eagerly anticipated of the Logan wines have arrived in the shop over the last few days, they seem to have snuck on to the shelves in midst of the Easter and Galway Food Festival furore. You can check out our notes on the other two labels in the Logan range, Weemala and the great value Apple Tree Flat wines. But it is the wines produced by Peter Logan under the Logan label I have been waiting for ever since I tasted them last May, God is it nearly a year. Speaking of the labels, the floral printed Logan label is one of the more attractive labels out there, combining with the very fine juice in the bottle to make for a very attractive package indeed.

Any who Peter produces 7 wines under the Logan label and we have 5 on the shelves and ready to be brought home and tried. We have the excellent and highly rated Cabernet Merlot – The fruit for this blend was sourced from the elevated vineyards of Orange, so you get nothing but wine with altitude. If you like a red that’s full of concentrated berries and chocolate with hints of earth than here’s the one. The palate delivers on the promise with summer berries, notes of tobacco and persistent finish; the superb and different Shiraz – imbued with subtlety and finesse, influenced by the old world, yet tasting of the new. This has immense character with complex pepper, plum and berries. The palate is a fine combination of savoury fruit and detailed spice that ensures it’s an ideal wine with chargrilled steak; fresh and fruit driven Sauvignon Blanc– It’s the elevation that provides the revelation in this particular wine as the fruit is the result of long ripening and cool nights. You’ll enjoy a cool night too, if you chill it and serve with some spicy Asian flavours. It’s tropical with passionfruit and some subtle green herb characters before a zingy palate of grapefruit and lime. Clean and refreshing acids make for a persistent finish; a wine to make you fall back in love with Chardonnay –  Putting love back this Chardonnay is perfumed with orange and pear and a touch of spicy oak. The flavours of peach and grapefruit vie for attention complexed by minerals. Textured and long it would pair brilliantly with rich, seafood dishes.

And finally the wine for those of you with a sweet tooth the Logan Moscato – dedicated to Peter’s sister Kylie – this wonderful sticky is semi sweet fresh and very aromatic, with gentle uplifting frizzante bubbles. Concentrated flavours of lychee, pear, apple and ginger and a long lime finish.

turning out wines that are imbued with subtlety and finesse, influenced by the old world, yet tasting of the new. This has immense character with complex pepper, plum and berries. The palate is a fine combination of savoury fruit and detailed spice that ensures it’s an ideal wine with chargrilled steak.

Introjuicing Mr. Mal Bec…….

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Today is the 2nd annual world Malbec day and in honour of this, we said we’d do a blog in his honour!! Mr. Mal Bec was born in the Bordeaux  region of south-west France we believe. He has numerous alias such as Cot and Auxerrois amongst others. He appears to have left home early and moved to Cahors where he set himself up as a big tannic and rich full-bodied fella with scents of damson and tobacco leaf and flavours of lush rich dark fruits. He has holidayed briefly in Loire but finds the weather is not hot enough that far north for his tastes. So in search of warmer climes he ventured forth from Bordeaux to the New World, with eyes set firmly on Mendoza in Argentina where he landed in 1852.

Here he has found the warmth and altitude he could not find in his home Country so much so that many people actually believe he is Argentinian. Here in his adopted home he has sweet scents of violets, damsons, spices with a lovely deep purple colour, softer tannins than at home, more of velvety mouth feel and wonderful flavours of damsons, black cherry, black currant and some times hints of spices and mocha.

So let us celebrate this wonderful world traversing wine and raise a glass of Malbec today (preferably with a nice steak).

Personality Matters Martin Smith

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Made from 117 Year Old Vines

Martin Smith has been supplying fruit to O’Leary Walker Wines since its inception in 2000. Thanks to Martin’s careful work in the vineyard and great work ethic the wines produced from his fruit maintain their outstanding quality year after year. Martin and his wife Joan purchased the Polish Hill River vineyard blocks in 1977, expanding on adjoining farmland that they already held. Martin’s family are long custodians of Polish Hill River land, having farmed in the area for generations, with links back to 1849.

The property has been practicing ‘organic’ viticulture since 2006 with National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) approval for the entire farm expected in March, 2012. In order to be classified as ‘organic’ by NASAA, requires adherence to stringent regulations including using your own compost, ensuring that there is native vegetation on the property and showing that the property is long-term sustainable. NASAA need to be regularly provided with soil samples, fruit samples and petiole samples which are then tested for pesticides and residuals. The surrounding properties in the Polish Hill River region are predominately organic which helps to avoid drift spray.

The Riesling vines east of the homestead were planted in 1980. In addition to Riesling, O’Leary Walker also source fruit used in the “Claire” Reserve Shiraz from 117 year old vines on the farm.    All vineyards are hand pruned, and although yields are lower, both Martin and winemaker David O’Leary say the quality of the fruit has improved since organic practices have been implemented. Martin also tends to the ‘Drs’ Block’, situated across the road from his property and owned by two Adelaide based heart surgeons, with some of the fruit from this block going into the European style, ‘Drs’ Cut’ Riesling.

Wines produced from Martin Smith’s Fruit:

O’Leary Walker Shiraz ( The 70% Clare Valley fruit comes from the vineyards tended by Martin.) €17.95

Blue Cutting Road Cabernet Merlot €12.95

O’Leary Walker ‘Claire’ Shiraz €70.00

O’Leary Walker ‘Polish Hill River’ Riesling €17.95

O’Leary Walker ‘Drs’ Cut’ Riesling €32.95

Thanks to the Gang @ O’Leary Walker Wines for the above info.

Race to the Bottom

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I’ll admit that I frequent supermarkets and although I do my best to support our wonderful local butchers, bakers and fishmongers in Galway, some items are just easier to get there such as bin liners, washing powder etc.   And like most people I am often tempted by their offers, some of which seem too good to be true!   It was during last evening’s visit to Tescos that it struck me in just how confusing a supermarket wine aisle can be, packed head to toe as it is with wines and  blatant offers such as “this was X now half price at Y” or “buy 6 bottles and get them for Q that’s a discount of X%”.  Are such offers encouraging responsible drinking?

With half price offers becoming a regular fixture in the supermarkets and the big multiples entering a wine war, we have entered a race to the bottom that affects every one of us independents.   How can we hope to get customers to trade up to a wine that we stock for €10 when they have “tried” one at half price from the supermarket and cannot see the difference (as many of these wines are actually trade drivers or tactical brands that were never the original price but were priced up to be marked down). Jaime Goode had a rant about this last week.

Surely then, in the opinion of Joe Blogs, we are just snake oil merchants trying to swindle them, and only the good old supermarkets are offering real value, giving them a huge array of choice at reasonable prices.   How do we break this mind-set? It was nice to see Jacobs Creek recently deciding they had enough of the bottom of the barrel but surely it is harder to drag a brand back up once it has been associated with cheap drink!   The key is to educate the consumer, share with them our knowledge, let them know what the supermarkets are doing and while some will listen and more will not it is nevertheless our responsibility to get them asking the pertinent questions such as why the wine is half price.   Because as far as I can see this trend of discounting will continue for some time to come.

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