Time for an Old Favourite

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In the last blog I was talking about the big winter reds that we would recommend this time of year and I completely forgot about my regular go to guy this time of year, Monte Zovo Ca’Linverno, in fact I was only reminded of how much this wine suits the weather this morning when a customer came in and uttered the words ‘Time for an Old Favourite’, before buying a few bottles if this lovely Super Veronese.

The wine is indeed super, Deigo Cottini of Monte Zovo has created one of those wines where the ‘Believing the Hype’ is what you need to do! The wine is a product of carefully selected grapes left to fully mature on the vines right until the misty Veronese winter weather arrives. Once these grapes are harvest they are dried slightly in the Amarone mold before the winemaking begins. This unique method creates a wine that is rich, full-bodied with an elegant smoothness and charming aromas.  The wine is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Croatina and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Light a fire a relax with a few glasses of an OLD FAVOURITE!!


Time for Big Winter Reds

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Arnie some people’s favourite big red!

Man it’s cold today and with heavy rain and gale force wind howling around over the last week or, its got me thinking of big winter warmers. The weather let’s be honest has been miserable dark wet days and long dark evenings, so we need something to warm us up, beside a great roaring fire, and a good glass of a big red not only warms us up but cheer us up.  Now the great Galileo had the opinion that ‘wine is sunlight held together by water’ and we like to think how right he is.  So our theory on big winter reds is based on this, go for the regions that get the most exposure to sunshine, think Australia, Rhone, Southern France and Italy, Portugal, the places we go for that sun holiday.   We love wines made from Primitivo in Puglia at the heel of Italy; big rich and fruity Aussie Shiraz,and rich silky Douro Reds. So here’s mt current shortlist of big winter warmers:

1) Yalumba ‘Scribbler’ Shiraz Cabernet 2008 €17.95 €13.95 The Scribbler 2008 is dense crimson purple in colour with a very appealing nose, displaying excellent concentration of dark fruits, spices, liquorice and dark olives. Fresh aromas of violets and lavender are present. The palate is silky and elegant, tasting of sweet black currants and blueberries. The Shiraz is nicely layered within a tightly integrated and beautifully structured Cabernet Sauvignon palate.

2) Ferme St Antonin Cotes Du Rhone Villages Plan De Dieu 2009 €16.95 Intense colour of deep garnet. The nose is complex, spicy balsamic hints, black raspberry and cherry cola notes. Very good balance in the mouth. Structured and focused at the same time, offering energetic red and dark berry flavours and a late note of bitter chocolate before finishing off with a spice edge.

3) Rivera ‘Truisco’ Primitivio 2007 €17.95 Intense purple in colour; rich nose with aromas of black berry fruit such as blackcurrant and blackberry, over spicy hints of toasted almond; very full-bodied but smooth on the palate, with heady, alcoholic warmth and flavours of dried plum, chocolate, and blackcurrant.

4) Quinta Do Soque Douro Tinto 2008 €14.95 Spicy and sweetly fruited with attractive cherry, plum and blackberry fruit with nice texture and some richness, as well as a hint of savoury earthiness. Nice depth of flavour on the palate that keeps you coming back for more with a smooth blackberry and raspberry fruit with some warmth. Finishes spicy.

Joyful Joyful Rioja

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Marques de Caceres Gaudium(Joy) is made from grapes grown in their oldest vineyards, located in unique areas that are well exposed to the sun, with very limited yields.

Very dark, almost black, garnet colour. Rich and complex Bouquet combining notes of morello cherries, coffee and tobacco with depth of soft spice. Very full in the mouth where dense and refined tannins provide a balanced structure that mingles with mature fruit and nice complexity.

The greatest care is taken during vinification to extract the singular character of each vineyard, after which this wine is aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months. The ageing process is completed with 24 months minimum in bottle during which Gaudium acquires its elegant style.

This wonderful wine will make not only truly joyous with it depth and character but also with its price until November 31st we have a massive €14.95 off this wine! You can buy a bottle for €40.00.

One for the Designated Driver

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The people at Belvoir have released their wonderful Winter Mulled Punch again.This festive offering in the shape of their non-alcoholic Mulled Winter Punch, is a great adult alternative to mulled wine, the drink combines the festive flavours of nutmeg oil and mixed spice extracts with blackcurrant juice, red grape juice, elderberry juice and orange juice. The drink is designed to be served warm or cold. So get a few in for the designated drivers this Christmas better than loading them up with coke or seven up and lets them enjoy some festive drinks! And just add a bottle of red if you want to create a wonderful mulled wine as the spice are all ready included.

Buy 2 750ml Bottles For €5 While Stocks Last.

Life in the Black Cottage

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The Black Cottage is located in the heart of the Wairau Valley.Here winemaker David Clouston lives and quality time with friends and family. It is also the quiet space in which he contemplates and constructs the very special wines on which he has built a fine reputation. And we are proud to stay we have tried his wonderful Sauvignon Blanc and it makes the cut;  Pale yellow in colour this Sauvignon Blanc has a vibrant nose, full of passion fruit and gooseberry. The palate is lively and well-balanced with concentrated tropical and passion fruit flavours, mingling with juicy acidity and leading to a long lingering finish. Very very drinkable.

Normally: €16.95

Special Introductory Price: €12.95 (Save €4.00)


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WHEN: SUNDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2pm-6.30pm

TICKETS: €15 EACH or 2 FOR €20

Our 10th annual wine fair is back. We will have over 100 wines open to try. A great way to pass an afternoon and all proceeds go to a wonderful local Charity ‘Voices for Down Syndrome Galway’

Barale ‘La Preda’ Barbera D’Alba

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The roots of the Barale Fratelli wine tradition date back to 1870 when Francesco Barale began the production of the Langhe vines, and more specifically, Barolo. Francesco already owned vineyards in the commune of Barolo, when he acquired acreage in Costa di Rose, Preda and Monforte, all in the Bussia area.  Sergio Barale, the present owner, takes great care in overseeing all phases of cultivation of the 42 acres of vineyards, situated on the most historical hills of the Langhe. The subsoil of this region contains precious microelements that make these wines unique in the world (indeed, their subtle nuances & characteristics vary from one hill to the next). “The quality of the wines is obtained from the vine.” This has been the guiding philosophy of the Barale family, not only in the years blessed with lots of sun, in which it is easy to produce great wines, but also when climatic conditions make it necessary to carry out stringent manual operations such as green pruning and the thinning out of the bunches, which, though very low production levels are yielded, still make it possible to obtain a good vintage.

Barale La PredaA deep connection to the Langhe and knowledge of the hills’ memory have always guided Sergio to respect the region and its vines. Sergio Barale’s Selection is evidence of this, fruit of his long research into the company’s best vineyards.The Castellero ridge was chosen for the late harvest for which Barbera d’Alba La Preda is now renowned. Ideal soil and climate conditions and very limited production characterize these wines, Sergio’s homage to the land.

The ‘La Preda’ is sourced from vines over 30 years old, the bunch are carefully selected by hand before whole berry pressing and fermentation in oak vats. The wine is then aged for 12 month in oak and a minimum of 6 months in bottle in the winery prior to release.  The 2009 has a bright crimson ruby colour with a fresh bouquet of red berries, raspberry and preserved cherries. The palate is full and elegant with a rich fresh feeling and flavours of nicely integrated oak and fresh red berry fruits. The tannins are nicely balanced on the lingering finish. One of Piedmont’s best Barberas without a doubt.

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