Back to school

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Wine School 2

An informal and fun way to discover a whole world of wine!

€160 for 6 Weeks Limited to 10 Places

This course runs for 6 weeks, one evening per week, starting on Tuesday 2nd of October. 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 7.30 pm 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

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

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 Argentinean, Chilean & New Zealand Wines

Much like Australia these countries that boomed for one style of wine and are now looking to attract people with their regionally distinct styles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc,  Malbec, Carmenere, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Introduction To New Old World

Fairly new entrants to the Irish market Portugal and Austria are fast become a customer favourites with its fruit driven stylish reds and crisp refreshing whites. We will also take in a selection of German wines.

Introduction to Spanish Wines

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 Italian Wines

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 and only cover one region. Areas covered will be Piedmont, Valpolicella and Tuscany.

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 €160 required to secure a place.

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Rioja Reserva Shoot-Out

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9-1494360416This month we have two stunning Rioja Reservas on offer. We’re calling it a Rioja Shoot out as both wines represent not only different sub zones of Rioja, Alta and Alavesa but also modern vs more classical styles of wine making.

Rioja has 3 sub-zones, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental ( Previously Rioja Baja),each one enjoys a diversity of soils, terroirs and micro-climates, each making wines of unique personality and character.

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Rioja Alta: Located on the western side of Rioja, this sub-zone has an Atlantic climate and its soils are mostly clay mixed with limestone. Due to the sub-zone’s varying elevations, the wines produced here can have great structure and high acidity.

Rioja Alavesa: The smallest of the sub-zones, it also experiences an Atlantic climate. In fact, it is coolest of the three. The soils are predominantly clay and are situated in terraces. The wines from this region tend to be lighter-bodied.

Rioja Oriental: This eastern sub-zone is  much warmer, drier climate due to the Mediterranean influence and its lower elevation. This area, composed mainly of alluvial soils, produces wines with high extract and alcohol, lower in acidity.

Both Rioja Alta and Alavesa are considered the higher quality areas. Most wines are produced mainly from the local Tempranillo grape although blends and even wines with no Tempranillo are allowed by the DO. For our purposes here comparing the ostatu_reservaReservas here’s a brief refresher on what makes a Reserva.

Reserva: Wines from the best vintages, have to be aged for a minimum of 3 years and at least one year in oak barrels.

And now the wines:

Ostatu Rioja Reserva 2011, Rioja Alavesa

Intense and clear aroma, red fruits with outstanding expressive notes on a creamy wooden background, spicy nuances and mineral touch. Tasty, fleshy, with excellent weight of fruit, firm and sweet tannins, fine toasty notes with a great structure.  From 50 year Tempranillo Vines and aged for 16 months in New French oak barrels.

1765109bGomez Cruzado Rioja Reserva 2010, Rioja Alta

30-year-old bush vine Tempranillo was hand harvested into small baskets, where the grapes undergo a three-day cold soak. The grapes were fermented in cone-shaped stainless steel vats. The juice is the racked to half French and half American barriques, of which 50% is new wood, where is ages for 18 months. The wine is blended to tank prior to bottling and laid to rest in the cold cellars for 2 years prior to release. Clean and shiny, dark red cherry colored. Very expressive nose, with the tertiary aromas of the aging displaying vanilla, cocoa and orange peel, and those of the variety, showing dark and candied fruit. In the mouth it’s rounded, fresh, with a fine acidity, silky tannins and fruit driven aftertaste. It clearly shows the character of a classical Reserva from “Barrio de la Estación.”

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

One for Him this Valentines

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With Valentines day hurtling towards us rapidly we would like to recommend a nice bottle of red for the special man in your life. The Manium Crianza has all his wants wrapped up in one handy bottle! Its got a nice picture of an oldie style warrior, a little story about Homus Manium and to top it of a lovely drop of wine inside.

Homus Manium, was the name given by the Romans to the inhabitants of Bierzo because of their resistance and fortitude. Tiny hamlets, misty hills, running water, the passing of pilgrims lost in thought, thatched silos, all harmonise with the native variety, Mencía, rooted to rocks of quartz and slate, to make Bierzo a magical land for wines. 50-100 year old vines on terraced slopes are hand harvested and produce low yields of no more than 1.2kg per vine. 100% Mencia, spending 12-14 in French Oak Barrels.  The wine is a deep crimson colour that indicates the intensity and concentration of the wine. On the nose, there is plenty of toasty oak character, spice and pencil shavings overlaying a heady mix of blackberry, cassis and violets. On the palate, the structure is firm but with sweet tannins and an elegant, silky finish.

And to make it even better you can save €4.00 this February as the Manium  is on offer @€13.95 (Norm. €17.95)

Gorú’s Puppet Brother

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Last year we added the two lovely wines from Ego Bodegas to our portfolio, and the reaction, well lets just say these wines flew out the door. So when we were re-ordering from the guys in sunny Spain we added a few of their other wines to the order. Including the wonderful Marionette opposite. The grapes for the Marionette are selected from the best vineyards carefully and according to specific requirements. The blend consists of equal parts of Monastrell and Syrah that is matured for 2-3 months in oak barrels. Fresh and fruity aromas of black fruits and hints of spice on the nose and an intense red-violet colour. The fruity notes of dark berries combine with subtle oak notes in a seamless red wine, which is just too drinkable! Supple tannins  on the palate round out the a lovely fruity red. This wine is easy to enjoy one its own, but it also accompanies Mediterranean salads and grilled vegetables.

Ego Bodegas has 25 hectares of vineyard, with varieties such as Tempranillo, Syrah, and the local hero, Monastrell,  which are about 50 years old. They are situated in a privileged location in the Jumilla region of Spain.  The climate of the area is continental, influenced by its proximity to the Mediterranean on the east side and La Mancha plateau on the west side. It is a sunny and dry climate, with scant rains. The average annual temperature is 16º, with cold winters that reach temperatures below zero and hot summer of temperatures exceeding 40º. It is in these baking hot days of summer that the Monastrell grapes ripen.

 

Pick up some Pinot

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Pinot Noir is sometimes regarded as the most highly prized wine in the world, but why? It’s not as rich or big as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz; in fact it’s the opposite. Pinot Noir wines are pale in colour and their flavours are very subtle. The grape itself is difficult to grow and suffers from many  problems in the vineyard. Despite the difficulty in growing the grape, prices for a bottle of Pinot Noir are generally more than a similar quality red wine.  In terms of food combinations it is the ultimate on wine fits all; Pinot Noir is light enough for salmon but complex enough to hold up to some richer meat including duck.

Pinot Noir doesn’t grow very well in Australia due to the heat, it is a grape variety that loves cooler climates think of its home in Burgundy in France. It is however thriving in areas where its sister Chardonnay thrives, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra in Victoria, Orange in New South Wales, Adelaide Hills in South Australia and Tasmania . Expect sweeter fruit notes leaning towards blueberry and even blackberry but in a spicy-gamey tinge similar to New Zealand in the aroma.

1)      Weemala Pinot Noir 2011 Orange, New South Wales 17.95

This Pinot is made using fruit from Orange, providing a supple, fruit driven wine that is mouth-watering and addictive. Cool climate fruit imbues this Pinot with alluring perfumed aromas of cherry, cinnamon and dried herb. Classic varietal Pinot flavour and structure with cherries, red berries and a savoury complexity. Head straight to Chinatown and order a duck to pair with this delicious wine.

2)      O’Leary Walker Pinot Noir 2009 Adelaide Hills, South Australia 17.95

We love this funky and often forgotten wine, the boys at O’Leary Walker make so many damn good wines! Gamey, dark berry plum, with hints of sappy juicy pinot fruit explode out of the glass when [poured. Complex, supported with subtle oak influence. The palate oozes silky, long, balanced acid and fine-grained tannin. Once you try this you’ll be hooked.

3)      Dalrymple Pinot Noir 2011, Pipers River Tasmania 39.95

The wine has a vibrant ruby colour, with lifted sweet summer plums aroma, hints of cherry confiture, Chinese 5 spice and complexed with subtle savoury note. It has sweet summer fruits on the palate with nicely structured fresh acidity and silky tannins which in time delivers a savoury complexity typical of these sites. A style that is approachable now, decant one hour before serving. Although will reward with careful cellaring for the next 5-8 years.

Boys & Girls it’s Refosco not Bosco

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Refosco is a grape found in Northern Italy, it is grown principally in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region in northeast Italy and the nearby Venezia and Treviso provinces of the Veneto region. The grape has been well-known since antiquity and is believed to be indigenous to northeast Italy. Various ancient Roman writers and personalities sang the praises of Refosco wines.

Historically, most Refosco wines were consumed locally and very few found their way into the international markets. However, Refosco wines have benefitted from the upsurge of interest in recent years in wines from the Friuli region in general. More Refosco wines are exported today than ever before and some Refosco wines have found their way to retail shops all over Europe and the USA. But, Refosco wines receive little notice and are not heavily marketed, like other Italian wines such as Chinati and more recently Prosecco. It’s safe to say that they are not on the radar screens of most  wine consumers.

Well hopefully that will all change this week as we have Nicola and Lino from Antonutti one of our favourite Italian wineries in the shop Wednesday tasting a selection of their wines including a wonderful Refosco. This deeply colored wine is medium to  full-bodied with discernible tannins yet polished and supple with black fruit flavours.  It has a long finish with notes of plums and currants. The Refosco’s good acidity, makes it a good partner to a wide variety of foods, especially grilled meats and other hearty meat entrees.