Castelão – Friday Night Delight

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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 choc_castelaoshines 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

A wine for Tuesday

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Barrels resting at Il Poggione (image http://www.tenutailpoggione.it)

il_poggione_rosso_leopoldo_franceschiSo 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!

Aged White Wine

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watervale202008During 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 tadhg@woodberrys.ie 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.

hâteau Cossieu-Coutelin 2013, a December hit.

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The magic of a terroir can inspire the finest chemistry. At Château Cossieu-Coutelin, the wine and the “murrain” oak merge exquisitely, creating perfect harmony.The vines of Château Cossieu-Coutelin, in the prestigious appellation of Saint-Estèphe in the Haut-Médoc, are planted in a clay and limestone soil which contributes to its outstanding quality. The vineyard was bought in 1977 by Marcel and Christian Quancard.

The Vineyard

Location : Saint-Estèphe
Terroirs : Made up of relatively high gravelly hilltops
Surface area : 3,30 hectares
Planting density : 8 000 Vine / ha
Yield : 50 hl / ha
Grape varieties : Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot
Average age of the vine : 28 years

The wine

Blend : 52% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Vinification : Cold fermentation for 4 days then gentle fermentation at 27°C for 32 days.
Ageing : At the end of vinification, the wine is matured for 12 months in french oak barrel (60% new barrels)
Ageing potential : Ready to drink now, this wine will reach its full potential around 2021-2023.
Tasting : Elegant colour with beautiful glints of ruby. The rich, complex nose is dominated by notes of burnt wood and dried flowers. On the palate, this wine presents a superb harmony with the distinguished character of the great terroirs.
Food pairing : Enjoy with red and white meat, poultry and also with soft cheese.

Awards

  • Silver, Challenge Internationnal du Vin Blaye-Bourg, 2016
  • Silver, Concours de Bordeaux Vins d’Aquitaine, 2016

Mencía: What you need to know

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mencia-3Mencía (“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.

Spanish delights

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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.

Mediterranean Coast

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.

Central Plateau

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).

 

Spanish Wine Week Tasting

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As part of #SpanishWineWeek we will be running a drop in tasting of Spanish wines Friday 15th March. We will have everything from Albarino to Tempranillo and loads more in-between. We will have a selection of wines from all over Spain including Bierzo, Rioja, Rueda, Ribera, Jumilla and Terra Alta open for sampling on the night. Admission is free and the tasting takes place in our shop from 17.00 -20.00 Friday 15th April.

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