Did I really drink all that? Sort of – I was assisted by my better half, and I didn’t finish everything. That is my excuse anyway. A few interesting wines, and Fernet Branca of course.
I always see Fernet more as an away drink. I have consumed it late at night in hotel bedrooms, over breakfast, and as a midday digestif on various wine trips. I dusted off my bottle for an article in the Irish Times last Saturday, and enjoyed a small glass after dinner one night; I love it, but I am definitely the only one on the house! If you haven’t tried it, it might be best to order one in a bar first; it is not to everyone’s taste!
Cava Aliguer Brut Vintage 2012,
I have been drinking a lot of nice cava recently, including this lovely floral wine with very moreish apple and pear fruits. Around €23 from Sheridan’s Cheese Shops.
Pinot Noir La Roncière 2014, André Vatan, Vin de Loire
€14.95 from Whelehan’s
For a long time, Sancerre was one of the few parts of France other than Burgundy attempting to make red wine from Pinot Noir. Red Sancerre has got a whole lot better, but is always quite pricey. This wine, made by one of the leading producers of Sancerre (white and red) is very pleasant and offers pretty good value. Light refreshing red fruits with an earthy edge. Serve cool with all sorts of summer salads, cold meats and chicken dishes.
Sin Palabras 2014, Rías Baixas, Castrovaldés
€19.95 from 64wine, Glasthule and Whelehan’s, Loughlinstown.
A fine crisp dry Albariño, with subtle pear fruits. Lighter and fresher than many other Rías Baixas.
Kalkundkiesel 2014, Claus Preisinger, Weinland, Austria
A low/no sulphur wine, made from a blend of Pinot Blanc, Grüner Veltliner and Chardonnay. The quality of fruit is very different, with hints of apples and barley-sugar, with a crisp mineral acidity. Interesting and enjoyable wine.
A natural wine made in Rioja with very low levels of sulphur. It certainly tastes different, with funky, barnyard aromas, raised acidity, and soft strawberry fruits. Not for everyone, but worth it for the back label alone which reads ‘ dedicated to the bank executives that denied loans to us on the basis that wine is not a seizable asset. One day, these greasy and sweaty corporate suits will find that the best things in life cannot be impounded’.
Stockists: 64wine; Baggot St Wines; Blackrock Cellar; Fallon & Byrne; Corkscrew; Le Caveau; Donnybrook Fair. Listons; World Wide Wines; Green Man.
Finca Resalso 2014, Ribera del Duero, Emilio Moro
Tasted more like 14% (or more) to me, but a very good polished wine with smooth dark fruits, very subtle oak, a bit of real power and good length too. Nice wine. Went very well with our Armenian chicken, stuffed with walnuts, prunes and sumac.
Treintamil Maravedíes 2013, Bodega Marañones D.O. Viños de Madrid
€19.95 from many independents, including 64wine, Glasthule and Whelehan’s, Loughlinstown.
Really not sure about this wine. I like Fernando, the winemaker at Marañones, and have certainly enjoyed his wines in the past. He seems to be going on a new route with a different style to his wines. This still has some of the lovely crunchy elegant Garnacha fruit that I have come to expect, but alongside it there is a slightly funky oxidative touch – not quite sure how to describe it. I still like the wine, but not as much as before.
Weisser Burgunder Trocken 2014 Dr. Deinhard Pfalz
€17.95 from the Corkscrew, Chatham Street, Dublin.
Every now and again, a bottle gets lost in the pile of wines I have to taste (I know, tough life). This was sent to me several months ago by The Corkscrew in Chatham Street, one of Dublin’s best wine shops. Weisser Burgunder is Pinot Blanc in France, Pinot Bianco in Italy, where it makes wines ranging from anonymous to pleasantly fruity. This was one of the latter. Clean and refreshing with light pear fruits and a snappy dry finish.