Get your Riesling on

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Riesling is always the next big thing, even though it never gets there. It is a poor unfortunate, maligned grape in Ireland. Always considered to sweet, people balk as soon as you pick up the tall Flask bottle. Riesling is the poster child for identity crisis. Normally considered sweet but in many cases bone dry.
I love Riesling! It is a delight to drink. It’s instantly inviting when open, with lovely ripe fruit aromas or ‘petrol’ notes if its more mature. In the mouth, usually an intense fruit explosion followed by zesty acidity or in the sweeter styles a lingering fruitiness.
Pure, fruity and unoaked, Riesling gives you only the pure flavours of the terroir and grape itself. Riesling’s fine structure and naturally high acidity give it a unique vibrancy, making it very crisp and refreshing.
In terms of food pairings it is really versatile. The nearly infinite diversity of sweetness levels, regional styles and individual vineyards means that there is a Riesling to fit any wine-drinking situation, with or without food. Two dry styles from opposite ends of the globe are below.
7wvr19139_600x600O’Leary Walker ‘Watervale’ Riesling, Clare Valley, AustraliaPale straw in colour with a green tinge. Aromas of lime with hints of lemon and chalk.  A wine of great fruit purity. Intense varietal citrus, refreshing acidity and beautifully balanced.

Muller ‘Neubergen’ Riesling, Krems, Austria

Strong green yellow in the glass, juicy stone fruit aromas on the nose, compact and minerally on the palate, with crunchy granny smith flavours and a touch of spritz.

Give Dad what he wants this Sunday

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We have a selection of Fine Wines on Offer this Friday & Saturday for Dad. So forget the novelty mug with ‘World’s best Dad’ that says you forgot it was Father’s Day, or the socks and ties which he most definitely has an abundance of and get him a great bottles of wine. We have put together the below selection and are offering 20% off this Weekend.

Logan ‘Ridge Of Tears’ Shiraz 2010, Mudgee, NSW, Australia          €32.95         €26.36

The darker of the two single vineyard Ridge of Tears wines. The alcohols may be identical yet the nose is sweeter too, sweeter fruited and almost more conventional in its dark berry form. It tastes less ready too, more hulking, a wine that seems to have been squeezed into the bottle, and will need some cellaring before it is at its peak. The tannins are broader, the alcohol more prominent, the flavours bigger and easier to get your head around, more berried and sweeter through the middle.

Logan ‘Ridge Of Tears’ Shiraz 2010, Orange, NSW, Australia          €32.95         €26.36

Sourced from a vineyard sitting at 870m (which is very high for Shiraz), both this and the Mudgee wine had similar handling in the winery, the fruit basket pressed and hand plunged. It has a spice and fragrance to it that marks this as a wine of prettiness whilst the Mudgee wine is one of brawn. This could well be a Syrah to the other wines Shiraz. Still, it is a close-run thing. Bright ruby-red in the glass, the nose here is built upon black pepper and redcurrant fruit, set lightly but not without concentration behind it. The oak is well integrated – that is, it’s not obvious in any way – and spice dominates everything. That spice runs through the palate too, a line of dark leafiness to the slightly less serious fruit flavours. Light and shade once again. Tannins are firm, proper firm and slightly bitter (yet not unripe) and the acid noticeably high. A very good modern Australian red in terms of style, yet also just a very good Orange Syrah. For some raised on a diet of sweet inky Shiraz this will seem almost wimpy in its leafy daintiness, yet I can’t help but be attracted by the Pinot-esque delicacy. Should be even better as it puts on more weight in the bottle too.

Yalumba ‘Habermann Vineyard’ Grenache 2005, Barossa, Australia  €39.95         €31.96

From the Habermann vineyard, located on the corner of Basedow Road and Thiele Road, Tanunda, this block of Grenache was planted in 1972, and is grown on heavy textured grey to brown clays. These soils are generally cracking clays and therefore tend to have visible ‘cracks’ in summer. They are characterised by high vigour as they have a high water holding capacity and high nutrient content. This wine has a medium depth of red in colour with an aroma of red berry fruits and floral aromatics, combined with chocolate, cherry ripe, pepper and spices. The palate is fuller and denser with sweet fruit-confection middle – a complex, textured wine with chalky tannins to finish.

Bafarela Grande Reserve 2009, Douro, Portugal                             €24.95         €19.96

The Bafarela Grande Reserva is produced by Casa Brites Aguiar only in exceptional vintages. The 2009 was aged for 12 months in 500 litre French oak casks after fermentation. Intense, deep dark ruby colour. The nose offers distinct and complex floral aromas. In the mouth, it is precise and well-rounded with seductive obvious fruit flavours compliment by floral and mocha notes. Extremely well structured with dense yet fine tannins. The wine stands out more for its freshness rather than its concentration, and its long seductive finish.  The wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo).Bafarela Grande Reserva is a wine that encapsulates the elegance of one of the specialities of Casa Brites Aguiar at its best, only 15,100 bottles were produced.

Muller ‘Lagenreserve’ Gruner Veltliner 2011, Krems, Austria                   €26.95         €21.56

The 2011 Lagenreserve is a blend of the best Gruner Veltliner grapes from the Eichbuhel and Gottschelle vineyards. Aged in oak barriques for nearly a year giving this Gruner Veltliner a very white Burgundy quality. Light green-yellow in the glass, yellow apples in the nose, the palate reveals elegance and flavour of fresh spices; quite substantial, a convincingly long finish with superb fruit flavours.

Monte Zovo Amarone della Valpolicella 2010, Veneto, Italy             €32.95         €26.36

The 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella boasts incredible richness and depth. Blackberry jam, graphite, smoke, licorice, tar and plums are beautifully integrated in this dark, seamless Amarone. Despite its considerable weight and density, the 2010 is accessible. Hints of truffle, tobacco and new leather wrap around the finish. A wine to enjoy rather than cellar.

Barale Barolo 2008, Piedmont, Italy                                              €32.95         €26.36

Sergio Barale delivers delicate and elegant wines with refined and complex aromas. Garnet-red in colour with ruby reflections. Intense perfume with clean scent of roses, vanilla, licorice, spices and toasted oak. Gentle notes of absinth and tobacco. The flavour is full and elegant, good-bodied and austere with recurring olfactory sensations. The spicy note and the hints of wood blend perfectly.

Domaine Giuliani Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009, Rhone, France         €29.95         €23.96

The delicious 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre – from vines averaging over fifty years of age and situated on their finest property. It is a deep ruby red and aromas of ripe raspberries, cherries, cassis, smoke, garrigue and spice positively leap from the glass. In the mouth it is certainly not a timid wine. The red and black fruit persist joined by raisins, liquorice and just a hint of pepper. It is full, round, supple, and elegant and long – everything a fine, young Châteauneuf du Pape should be.

Closerie Des Alisiers Vaucoupin 1er Cru Chablis 2010, Burgundy, France    €28.95         €23.16

Premier Cru Chablis from the famed Vaucoupin vineyard. This wine is from the outstanding 2010 vintage and displays floral notes on the nose, with fruit driven hints enhanced by intense mineral notes and lightly smoky touches. A note of honeyed citrus fruit has developed with bottle age. Very rounded on the palate, but also full-bodied yet elegant. This is a delightfully classic premier cru Chablis.

Gaudium Reserva Rioja Gran Vino 2004, Rioja, Spain                      €54.95         €43.96

Dark ruby red colour. Intense, fruity bouquet brings to mind aromas of red currants, raspberries and wild strawberries. On the nose it is lively, complex and aromatic, where subtle notes of pleasant fruit mingle with a delicate touch of oak. Fleshy and delicious in the mouth, its powerful structure and soft tannins reveal a pleasant fullness. A well-balanced wine showing splendid class, which is already drinking very well, while promising to age superbly.

Savvy Sauvignons with a twist

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As the fine weather has evaporate our wall of Sauvignon is coming down quicker than the buckets of rain outside. The Galway Races are in full swing and the been a Weather warning orange, meaning the rivers of orangey brown fake tan from ladies day are about to start flowing. But as the wall came down we noticed a few wines that had tipped along nicely under the radar, sure the Marlborough Sauvignon and Sancerre practically walked themselves out the door in by the case load but two sneaky under dogs went with them and drew many a drinker back for a second sip. So the award for the little wines that could go to Quita De Chocapalha Sauvignon Blanc and Muller ‘Eichbuhel’ Sauvignon.  practice

These two lovely wines may not have been the belle of the ball but they certainly turned a few heads and changed many an opinion.

The 2011 Chocapalha Sauvignon comes from Lisboa region of Portugal, located to the north of the City of Lisbon this area is famous for its Bucelas white wine made from the Arinto grape (incidentally Quinta de Chocapalha do a mean Arinto). So is it any wonder that this area would produce an interesting and vibrant Sauvignon. The 2011 has a pungent nose of prickly nettle, citrus and pineapple fruit on the nose all over classic freshly cut grass. The palate is fresh with a racy edge and lashing of pineapple, melon and tropical fruits.  ( Warning this is probably a Marmite wine, love it or hate it!)

The 2012 Muller Sauvignon comes from the family’s vineyard in Eichbuhel in Kremstal. The Sauvignon blanc vines are located in the highest point in the vineyard and this combined with the terroir gives the wine its minerality, fruity character and finesse. Bright greenish-yellow, the nose has an abundance of citrus and green peppers, fine notes of minerally lemon lime on the palate, slightly stinging nettle. Straight forward compact palate with great length.

The Peaks of Austria

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MULLER KREMS

This Thursday evening we are hosting our penultimate in store wine tasting for the summer, and we are devoting it to one of our favourite wine-producing nations – Austria. Small is beautiful – that is what best describes Austrian wine, when put into international perspective. There are no run of the mill wines, but rather a rare speciality. Austrian wine is one of the most interesting phenomena happening in the world right now. The wines are found on every good wine list, are appreciated by wine experts and highly acclaimed by journalists. It is not uncommon to talk of an Austrian wine wonder. We will tasting everything from GruV ( Gruner Veltiner) to Zweigelt on the night.

Most of the wines we will taste will come from Weingut Muller who are based in the Kremstal DAC which is known for its excellent Gruner Veltliner and Rieslings, produced in the shadow of Stift Göttweig monastery. We will also have a pair of wines from the more well-known Wachau region which lies directly to the east of Kremstal.

Zwei Wunderbare Rotweine

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Yesterday was International Zweigelt Day, again we missed the day they all appear to be on Sundays! A relative new arrival on the scene Zweigelt was developed by Fritz Zweigelt in 1922, It is a crossing of Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent, two grape varieties found in Austria, where Zweigelt is now the most planted red grape variety. It has a relatively short growing season as it buds late and ripens early making it suitable for growing in cooler climates, and mostly avoiding the bad weather. It produces high yields so is often treated with less respect than it deserves. But when treated with care it can produce wonderful wines capable of medium term cellaring.

The most common style of Zweigelt is a bright cherry fruit driven reds similar to Bardolino, which are great for sipping. But when a bit of oak attention is paid to it, it can produce deep concentrated richer reds with deep cherry and red berry fruit flavours and a lovely spicy/peppery note. We have two excellent Zweiglets in the shop, both from our good friends a Weingut Muller, the fresh and fruity Zweigelt selection and the bolder and more complex Zweigelt Reserve