Domaine des Ardoisières Argile 2015, Vin des Allobroges St. Pierre de Soucy
€30 from Blackrock Cellar; 64wine, Glasthule and Jus de Vine, Portmarnock.
Light (12%) pristine subtle green fruits, with a wonderful crisp mineral acidity running through. Delicate and complex, almost like eating snow. Delicious.
Light seafood dishes or simply on its own. It will develop nicely in the glass.
Made from a blend of 40% Jacquère, 30% Mondeuse Blanche (both varieties local to the Savoie) and 30% Chardonnay. Ardoisières is a recently-founded biodynamic estate with two single vineyards planted with local red and white varieties.
Domaine René Favre & Fils, Humagne Rouge 2014, Valais, Switzerland
€32.50 from Searsons Wine Merchants in Monkstown
Lifted fragrant aromas; peppery with cool redcurrant and cherry fruits, good acidity and a lovely long linear dry finish. Lovely wine, not unlike a (very good) Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley.
I would probably decant this, or keep it a year or two, and try it with white meats, pork in particular.
Humagne is an obscure variety grown in the Valais region of Switzerland and the Val d’Aosta in northern Italy. Brothers Mike and John Favre are responsible for this and few other intriguing wines, both red and white, that I tasted. All should arrive into Searsons in the very near future.
Trimbach Riesling Réserve 2010, Alsace
€23 from Donnybrook Fair and Jus de Vine, Portmarnock.
This is a glorious maturing Riesling with complex honeyed toasted fruits and a steely backbone that brings a pleasing austerity. It is completely dry, light in alcohol (13%) and offers great value for money.
This would go perfectly with chicken, pork or shellfish.
I have indulged my love of Alsace Riesling to the full over the last few weeks. First on a trip to Strasbourg with Lidl (they bring us to France every year to taste their new French selection), and then several tastings of the wines available here. I even succeeded in drinking a glass of Clos Sainte Hune, one of France’s greatest white wines while over there. This Riesling Réserve was new to me, and really stood out in my tasting. It is well worth the premium (€4) over the standard Trimbach Riesling. Having said that, Donnybrook Fair have the latter for a very competitive €15.99. Both a great wines.
Guardoilvento Etna Rosso DOC 2014, Sicily
€26 from Sheridans Cheesemongers and Mitchell & Son, chq, Sandycove and Avoca, Kilmacanogue.
A wonderful wine full of the warm herby earthy aromas of the sunny Mediterranean combined with some elegant fresh dark fruits. Very delicious.
Drink with red meats. I enjoyed mine with some spicy Moroccan barbequed lamb.
I am writing an article on the wines of Etna for the Irish Times, and this formed part of a great tasting – it is only one of a number of brilliant wines. It is made from 100% Nerello Mascalase a local grape that has been all the rage for a few years now.
Domaine Olivier Santenay Blanc ‘Clos des Champs’ 2013
€33.95 from O’Briens
White flower aromas; clean and fresh with a nice racy minerality, elegant pears and subtle toasted nuts.
I would drink this with black sole, brill or plaice served simply, possibly with lemon and butter.
Santenay is not the best-known region of Burgundy, and even then you are more likely to come across red wines rather than white. So today’s wine is a bit of an oddity. Santenay lies to the very far south of the Côte d’Or. The wines are sometimes dismissed as being a little too earthy, but I have always enjoyed them. Given the way Burgundy prices are going (upwards!) we may see more Santenay being offered on the future.
Domaine Regnaudot Maranges 1er cru ‘Fussières’ 2013
€24.40 from Le Caveau; Baggot St. Wines; MacGuinness, Dundalk; Green Man Wines, Terenure; World Wide Wines Waterford; Redmond’s, Ranelagh.
Elegant and nicely concentrated with delicious cool dark cherry fruits. It does have some light tannins, and so will probably keep for a year or two, but drinking beautifully now.
Ideal with white meats, chicken and charcuterie.
Maranges is the most southerly name of the Côte d’Or, right beside Santenay (see above). Jean-Claude Regnaudot produces great value wines from this appellation; his Bourgogne Rouge, which sells for around €18, is always worth buying, and this wine, from old vines in his best single vineyard, is a steal at less than €25.
Joha 2010, Primitivo, A.V. Guttarolo, Puglia
€25.50 from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers.
Rich powerful and concentrated with a lovely earthiness. Plenty of full-throttle dark fruits, all held in balance. The alcohol is completely absorbed, and the wine just improves on opening. Great wine.
Partner with robust red meats and firm cheeses. One to open for a posh barbeque.
Having made his other Primitivo a Top Drop last week, this week I finished off a Coravined bottle of this, the amphora wine from Guttarolo (or at least a percentage is made in amphorae). Having preferred the Lamie dell Vigne first time around, I found this different but every bit as good.
Ovilos 2012 Ktima Biblia Chora, Pangeon, Greece
€25.99 from Wines on the Green, Dawson Street; Baggot Street Wines; Jus de Vine Portmarnock.
Textured and rich with creamy peaches and apricots and all the requisite balancing acidity. A delicious harmonious wine full of character.
Big enough to handle white and richer fish dishes. We had ours with barbequed chicken.
Please don’t let the price put you off; this is a fantastic wine and worth every cent. I see I made it a wine of the week twice, once in the Irish Times, and once on this site a year go. It has only got better with time. A blend of 50% Semillon and 50% Assyrtiko, the latter a highly rated indigenous Greek grape variety.
Fattori Sauvignon Vecchie Scuole 2015, Sauvignon delle Venezie IGT, Terrini Vulcanici
€19.95 from Grapevine, Dalkey.
Delicious vibrant complex dry Sauvignon Blanc, with light aromas, citrus fruit, gooseberries and a strong mineral backbone. More Loire than Marlborough.
A great aperitif, herby seafood dishes or light risottos.
I met Antonio Fattori at the Knockranny Wine Weekend in Westport earlier this year. I was tempted to pass him by, as he was offering Pinot Grigio and Soave, not wines that usually set the pulse racing. However, he proved a fascinating man, and had a number of really interesting ‘extra’ wines that he had brought along. This included two excellent single vineyard Soaves, and this wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. Antonio told me that he visited Marlborough in 1991, and was fascinated by the wines. On his return to Italy, he planted some Sauvignon; it tastes nothing like a Marlborough Sauvignon, but I think I would prefer it to most.
Primitivo Lamie dell Vigne 2012, Masseria Guttarolo, Puglia
€24 from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Green Man Wines, Terenure, and Mitchell & Son, chq, Sandycove & Avoca, Kilmacanogue.
A superb wine, powerful and concentrated with morello cherries and plums, a lovely freshness combined with a slight herby funkiness and a long finish with a nice tannic bite.
Try it with substantial dishes; I drank mine with spiced, grilled lamb kebabs.
I have to admit I deliberately ignored this wine for a week or two. I had tasted far too many pumped-up, over alcoholic and over oaked wines from Puglia in my time. When I finally coravined it to try, I quickly uncorked the bottle and drank it. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine, powerful certainly, but complex and balanced with brooding perfectly ripe, but never over-ripe dark fruits, and a solid welcoming earthiness. Apparently Cristiano Guttarolo is a natural winemaker, growing organic grapes, and using little or no sulphur. I also tried his amphora wine called Joha, which I really enjoyed, but for me, this was the real star.