A Remarkable Garden – Chateau Val Joanis

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Château Val Joanis is a winery located in the Vaucluse Department of France, in the region of Provence-Alps-Cotes d’Azur. The wines it produces are classified Cotes du Luberon and the gardens of the winery are listed by the Committee of Parks and Gardens of the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Remarkable Gardens of France. Producing wines since Roman times, today the estate is owned by the Roozen family, who are continually striving to produce delicious wine, whilst protecting their environment. A beautiful estate of 400 hectares, the 186 hectares of vineyard spread over the hills at altitudes ranging from 280m to 499m, the site of the famous plot ‘Les Griottes’. If you are in Provence do visit this beautiful estate, admire the wonderful gardens, and try its splendid wines!

 

5_1Our personal favorites are the Chateau Val Joanis ‘Tradition’ Rouge 2016, a well structured and balanced wine, supple and round with a deep purple colour. A slightly spiced wine with notes of blackcurrant and red berries. Offers a juicy core of dark licorice, plum and blackberry coulis flavours, maintaining good focus and tension through the finish. Syrah and Grenache. €19.95

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And the Stunning Chateau Val Joanis ‘Joséphine Rosé 2017 made with a selection of best juices, the cuvée Joséphine is aged on lees for some months. The result is a charming, fruity and elegant rosé. Perfumed notes of raspberry and red currant are juxtaposed by bramble and crushed stone on the nose of this elegant rosé. It’s irresistibly juicy—full of red berry and cherry flavors yet revitalizing and fresh, with a cooling salt- and mineral-laced finish. €23.95

 

You can check out our full range of wines from Chateau Val Joanis here

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What is ‘Natural Wine’?

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Natural wine has a bit of a buzz going on at the minute. But what is it? And importantly how does it taste? Simply put natural wine is a very low intervention wine that is made by simply picking the grapes, crushing them and allowing the yeast present on the grapes and in the air ferment them. The result tastes more like a kombucha or  sour beer than what we traditionally expect wine to taste like.

Decanter Magazine sums up Natural wine as follows:

• Vineyards farmed organically or biodynamically – certification was strongly preferred, but uncertified wines were accepted
• Hand-harvested only
• Fermentation with indigenous (wild) yeasts
• No enzymes
• No additives added (such as acid, tannin, colouring) other than SO2
• SO2 levels no higher than 70mg/l total
• Unfined, and no (or light) filtration
• No other heavy manipulation (such as spinning cone, reverse osmosis, cryoextraction, rapid-finishing, Ultraviolet C irradiation)

http://www.decanter.com/learn/advice/what-is-natural-wine-ask-decanter-368773/

 

But here’s the thing there is no official or regulated definition of natural wine.  It is not defined and controlled like  So, if someone says you’re drinking a natural wine, it technically doesn’t mean anything!

Is Natural Wine Better For You?

Without the use of sulfites or any other manipulation, people believe that natural wines are better for you. The problem is as above with out regulation this can be true in some cases and not in others. Firstly there is no evidence that sulfites cause wine headaches, blame the alcohol! Secondly SO2 that is used in wine is used in small amounts and helps the wine last longer, sulfite free wines spoil quicker and are more unstable due to not

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having SO2 to sterilise the wine from impurities and may have funkier flavours as a result of these impurities.

We don’t currently stock any Natural wines but we do have Monte Zovo’s É Senza 2016, a wine made with out the addition of Sulfites. This wine is similar in style to a Valpolicella but has matured more rapidly, with more tertiary flavours developing in place of the bright cherry fruits. Very soft and enjoyable and worth trying if you wish to see what a low/no added sulfite wine tastes like.

International Wine days – Sauvignon Blanc

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Celebrate International Sauvignon Blanc Day 4th M078f8f3c-e314-46c4-887d-0358230d4867.pngay

Seriously wine grapes have their own days! Sauvignon Blanc’s is this friday and to celebrate we have 15% off all Sauvignon Blancs until 7pm Saturday 5th May. And if that wasn’t enough to strike your fancy we’re hosting a free drop in tasting between 6pm and 8pm on Friday evening.

As a grape that is widely planted is has many different flavours and characteristics, some apply all over the world such as it has low to no tannins, it is rarely oak aged but can be oak fermented. It also maintains a medium to high level of acidity making most wine refreshing and is almost always dry in style.

Common aromas and flavours included citrus, gooseberry, Lime, granny smith apple, pear Guava and Passionfruit. Some more funky aromas are in the herbal category like basil, green bell pepper, freshly cut grass, lemongrass, celery and the just plain strange aromas of Cat’s piss, chalk, and wet concrete.

Call in on friday a sample some of the Sauvignons we have open!

Sign up for our Summer wine Classes

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Wine School 2

We are running our wine classes again this June, Starting Tuesday 5th of June and running for 4 weeks through until Tuesday 26th June. Each class begins at 7.30 and runs for about  one and a half hours. We will sample between 8 and 10 wines each evening witht the themes as follows.

  • Introduction to Cabernet Sauvignon / Sauvignon Blanc          
  • Introduction To Pinot Noir / Chardonnay
  • Introduction To Syrah, Grenache / Riesling
  • Introduction to National Heroes ( Tempranillo / Gruner Veltliner etc. )     

LIMITED TO 8  PLACES

€120 FOR ALL FOUR EVENINGS.
THIS INCLUDES NOTES ON THE WINES AND 8-10 WINES TASTED PER EVENING.
Places can be booked by emailing tadhg@woodberrys.ie or alternatively by calling 091-533706. The course is sold as a complete 4 week course

2017 Wine Harvest, a difficult year.

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Healthy chardonnay grapes, left, and sunburned ones. Photographer: Elin McCoy/Bloomberg

January is as good a time as ever to deliver bad news, and many European countries are taking time adding up the tallies of the previous year’s grape harvest and reporting yield’s down as much as 25%. Adverse climatic conditions in 2017, including heavy hailstorms and hard frosts in the spring as well as drought in the summer, caused considerable damage to vineyards all over Europe. The result, most of the wine-growing regions in Europe are had a very low harvest for 2017.

Italian wine body Assoenologi estimated that Italy would see one of its smallest wine harvests for 60 years in 2017, down by 25% on last year, that’s a reduction of roughly 5.5 billion bottles. Things are not much better in France where they have had the worst harvest since 1945, according to France AgriMer, an agency that works with both the industry and government. Wine production to fall by 18% on 2016 after spring frosts ravage vines, but hot summer could deliver top vintages – meaning price increases across the board for low yields but higher quality fruit.

The outlook in Europe’s other large producer is not much better with Spain’s output dropping down 20% from 2016, and in Germany the estimated vintage is down 12%. All in all 2017 proved to be a difficult year in Europe.

Despite wild fires in both California and Oregon the north American harvest is likely to be similar to last year. South Africa saw very small increases in yields, about 1.4%.  In South America, both sides of the Andes were affected to varying degrees by the shift from the wetter El Niño  weather system to the drier conditions associated with La Niña weather system. In Mendoza, Argentina yields were down about 30 percent compared to normal. And in Chile yields were down about 22% due to drought and forest fires. New Zealand also experienced a drop in yeilds by about 9%. Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand winegrowers, attributed the smaller harvest of 2017 to wet weather over the summer season. Australia was the only country to undergo modest yield increases at roughly 5% despite a tricky vintage.

The conclusion is that unfortunately the price of your favourite wines will probably increase this year a wineries increase excellar prices to try to cover lower quantities produced.

 

 

 

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Pinot Noir is a seriously romanticized wine in the world. It gets a cultish following among those who like to drink it. Just look at Paul Giamatti’s character in the film Sideways. One of the reason’s given for the obsession with Pinot is that it is a finicky and difficult grape to grow, but if you achieve this it really expresses the terroir where it is grown.And it is grown or attempts are made in at least most wine-producing countries.

Hailing originally from Burgundy, France, Pinot Noir, and almost all red Burgundy wines are made from 100% Pinot Noir, like all great French wines the village and even vineyard can appear on the label of Pinot Noir wines. For example we have a wine in the shop picture here. IMG_6621This is a wine produced by Stephane Brocard of Closerie des Alisiers, in 2014 from the vineyard of Les Champs Rémy in Gevrey-Chambertin. Confusing isn’t it, you feel like you need a decoder ring to figure it out. The wines from other countries can be a bit easier and straight forward like Antonutti’s Pinot Nero (nero being the Italian for Noir). IMG_6622

Both of these are great examples of Pinot and well worth a try. The Gevrey is a bit young but would be great with a big meal in about a year’s time.

Closerie des Alisiers Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Les Champs Rémy’ 2014 €46.95

A concentrated wine from 40-year-old vines, this is rich and dense. It has a balance between the juicy black fruits and firm tannins, the whole shot through with acidity. Drink this fine single vineyard wine from  late 2018.

Antonutti Pinot Nero 2015, Friuli, Italy €16.95

Ruby red with gently blurred edges. The scent opens with fruity notes such as Blackberry and raspberry and closes in a gently spicy sensations final. The taste is harmonious with a variety of sensations both spicy and fruity, all in harmony with each other; very good gustative persistence.

Spring Wine Course

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Wine School 2

Dates: Tuesday 6th February until Tuesday 13th March inclusive.

€140 for 6 Weeks

Limited to 8 Places

This course runs for 6 weeks, one evening per week. The Wine Appreciation Course will give a comprehensive overview of the wines of the world. The various styles, vintages and the relationship of food and wine will all be covered. Each evening we will sample a selection of wines, notes will be provide. (Should you wish detail information that can be provide also) Each Class begins promptly at 8pm and will run for one hour and half.

Wine School Key Features:

  • Basic tasting techniques including putting words to wine
  • Choosing from a restaurant wine list
  • Tasting the major grape varieties
  • Discovering your favourite styles of wine

The Tasting Schedule

  • Introduction to French Wines Tuesday 6th 2018

Introducing the various styles, grapes and wine philosophies of the leading wine producing country in the world. It starts from basics and it covers France’s principal wine regions and grapes.

  • Introduction To Australian Wines Tuesday 13th 2018

A country that is emerging from a bit of an identity crisis, now looking to produce regionally distinct wines. We reckon Australia has never made better wines. Come and sample Clare Riesling, Orange Pinot, and Mudgee Shiraz among others.

  • Introduction To New Zealand &South American Wines Tuesday 20th Feb. 2018

Much like Australia a countries that boomed for one style of wine and is now looking to attract people with its regional distinct styles of Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Cabernet, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling.

  • Introduction to Spanish Wines             Tuesday 27th Feb. 2018

Spain the trendiest wine country at the minute. This course will acquaint you with Rioja, Rueda and Rias Baixas along with Tempranillo, Albarino and Garnacha.

  • Introduction To Austrian German &Portuguese Wines Tuesday 6th Mar. 2018

These three are considered by us to be the “New Old World” and are fast become a customer favourite with its fruit driven stylish reds and crisp refreshing whites.

  • Introduction to Italian Wines Tuesday 13th Mar. 2018

This will introduce you to some of the major wine regions of Italy, a country that we could focus a whole six week course on an d only cover one region. Areas covered will be Piedmont, Valpolicella, Tuscany and Puglia.

Places can be booked by emailing tadhg@woodberrys.ie or alternatively by calling 091-533706. The course is sold as a complete 6 week course with  full payment of €140 required to secure a place.

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