Ripe and rounded with plenty of sweet strawberries and other red fruits and a hint of spice. Drink with red meats; my bottle went down perfectly with grilled lamb chops.
The 2011 vintage of this wine was one of my favourite bottles of 2014. I loved the combination of elegance and rich fruit. The 2012 is equally as good and possibly even better. The Simone Joseph label was developed by Rhône specialist Simon Tyrrell, who, using his intimate knowledge of the region, either buys parcels of wine from individual growers, or personally puts together blends. This is made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.
Available from 64wine, Glasthule; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; The Drink Store, Manor St.; Cases, Galway; No1 Pery Square, Limerick.
Fully mature, even fading gently, but Pinot heads will enjoy both the soft easy light sweet fruits and reasonable price. Drink it lightly chilled over summer.
Available from Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown.
A well-made crisp dry white with refreshing apple and pear fruits, finishing dry. Good summer drinking and would appeal to Sauvignon Blanc drinkers on the search for something a little bit different.
Available from O’Briens, SuperValu, Molloy’s and many other independents.
€15.99 or buy two, get one free.
Available from O’Briens
Light plump melon fruits, with a touch of honey, and enough acidity to keep it lively. Very good summer quaffing.
I featured the Aldi Picpoul de Pinet a few weeks back; at €9.99 it is very great value. The O’Briens Picpoul version is pretty good too, to my tastebuds slightly better, and if you buy into the promotion, it works out at €10.66 a bottle.
Aromatic with vibrant juicy dark fruits, and a rounded finish. Great everyday drinking with red or white meats. Try it with your barbecue.
The label doesn’t give much info, but it does come from Bodegas Fontana, a winery in Uclés, on the northern border of the vast La Mancha region. They make wines from both D.O.s. I have always found the wines to be very well-made, with a freshness sometimes lacking in La Mancha, and generally very keenly priced. This wine is cracking value at €13.99.
Available from the following; Red Island Wine Company, Skerries;
Drinks Store, Manor Street; Martin’s, Fairview; Mitchell & Son, CHQ, Glasthule and Avoca Kilmacanogue; Probus, Fenian Street; Blackrock Cellar.
Plump medium-bodied dark fruits with lovely soft tannins. Note the alcohol level is a refreshing 13% unlike many wines from this region. A very tasty easy-drinking red at a great price.
Available from Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlinstown.
Primitivo is one of the mainstays of the Puglia region that runs along the heel of Italy. Both region and grape were relatively obscure until the 1990’s despite this being a massive wine producing area. Primitivo would probably remained in the shadows had it not been discovered that it was closely related, if exactly the same as, the Zinfandel grape of California. It has now been definitively proven that both are one and the same and originate from Croatia. As soon as the Italians found the link, they began exporting Primitivo labeled as Zinfandel to the U.S. market with some success. Puglia is very dry and hot, and Primitivo can make huge deeply coloured alcoholic monsters if desired. However, some producers now make a more drinkable restrained style of wine – such as this one.
Available from O’Briens
Plenty of juicy ripe raspberry and strawberry fruits, with a rounded off-dry finish and good balancing acidity. Perfect summer drinking, either as an aperitif or with salads and lightly spicy foods.
With a couple of exceptions, this is the best way to drink Pinotage as far as I am concerned. There are a few producers in South Africa who have tamed this variety, but not many. I am not a fan of the Coffee/Chocolate style that was (and maybe still is) popular with many consumers. To me it tastes of oak and not wine. However, Pinotage Rosé can be very good indeed and Delheim consistently produce one of the best at a very affordable price.
Light in alcohol and bursting with fresh crunchy dark fruits backed up with a lively acidity. Absolutely delicious wine and perfect summer drinking with all sorts of red and white meats.
My mood is always lifted when a sample arrives from Terroirs in Donnybrook; they have impeccable tastes in wine (and all sorts of other nice things) and a clientele that is prepared to pay a few cents more for something good. This wine was no exception. It has ‘vin de nature et vivant’ on the back label, suggesting a natural wine. Some of these low/no sulphur wines are good, others are, well, interesting. This was certainly in the former category – one of those wines where I fought with my wife for the last few precious drops.
Available from Terroirs, Donnybrook, or online from www.terroirs.ie
Plump and rich with clean pear and melon fruits cut through with just enough refreshing zesty citrus.
I featured this in my blog on the recent Aldi tasting, but thought it worth mention again. Picpoul de Pinet is becoming increasingly popular with the multiples as an inexpensive fruity dry white wine. Grown on fairly flat vineyards along the Mediterranean coast, right by the oyster farms of the Etang de Thau lagoon. Picpoul de Pinet is often called the Muscadet of the South because of its crisp light lemony fruits (and yes it does go very well with those oysters). Recently I have detected a change in style by many producers to a richer wine that is certainly less like a Muscadet. Most versions offer good value for money and perfect for inexpensive summer drinking. The Aldi Picpoul is made by Jean Claude Mas, who supplies a huge range of wines to various supermarkets, as well as producing some quite up-market wines from the Languedoc. Picpoul is also used to make Noilly Prat, that delicious French vermouth.
€13.99 down to €9.99
Light smooth ripe plum and blackberry fruits in far greater concentration than you would expect in a wine at under €10. Very gluggable wine to drink with red and white meats.
The natty label features the historic tram that runs around the streets of Portugal’s capital city. António Mendes Lopes of Vidigal had bought the picture, but had great trouble tracking down the artist to get his permission to use it on a label – it turned out to be a slightly eccentric German artist by the name of Hauke Vagt, who sold his works to tourists during the summer months.
Available from O’Briens