This week, four more wines that I couldn’t quite into my Irish Times articles but are certainly worth considering for your Christmas celebrations.

La Grange 2022 Le Landreau, Domaine Luneau-Papin
Muscadet de Sèvre & Maine, Tiré sur Lie

Fresh, luscious pear and apple fruits, zingy citrus peel, and a lovely saline mineral note. Concentrated and long. All this with a mere 12% alcohol. Perfect as an aperitif, with oysters or other seafood.

€23 from Whelehan’s, Loughlinstown,

Luneau-Papin is one of the great producers of Muscadet, now in its 9th generation. You have to look hard to see the name Muscadet de Sèvre & Maine sur Lie on the label, as the producer would prefer us to concentrate on the village of Le Landreau where the vines are planted. From vineyards planted in 1974 around the winery, the soils are schist and mica schist, giving real verve to the wine.

Lopez de Haro Rioja Crianza 2020

Medium-bodied with smooth ripe red cherry and raspberry fruits and very subtle vanilla oak. The fruits shine through, and there is good balancing acidity to give it life. Great value for money. This would certainly go nicely with turkey, lamb or dishes with red peppers.

€16 from 64Wine, Glasthule; Green Man Wines, Dublin 6W; Martin’s Off-Licence, D3;;

Lopez de Haro is part of Vintae, a very dynamic relatively young company, founded in the early part of the 21st century. They have 300 hectares of vines, half of those in Rioja, the rest in Navarra, Aragon, Toro and Ribera del Duero. The Riojas are made in a modern style with plenty of ripe fruit and subtle oak, usually offer great value for money. Look out too for their excellent white Rioja Reserva.

Chapelle de Potensac Médoc 2016

Perfectly balanced fresh, elegant blackcurrant and red cherry fruits, a light spiciness, and soft mature tannins. You could keep it a few more years, but it is perfect now. Great value for money too.

€29 from Whelehan’s, Loughlinstown.

Château Potensac has always been one of my favourite wines from Bordeaux, offering a true reflection of the Médoc at very fair prices. The property is owned by Domaines Delon, also proprietors of Ch. Léoville Las Cases, Clos du Marquis and Château Nénin in Pomerol. La Chapelle is the second wine of Potensac, first released in 2002. Like its elder brother it is a classic Médoc. 75% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc.

Castas Escondidas 2018, Douro, Casa Ferreirinha

Smooth and rich with intense firm dark fruits, good freshness and acidity, with plenty of well-integrated tannins. You could drink it now; I would decant it just before dinner. A bit too tannic for turkey, but this would be great with game and red meats.

€56.95 from Contarf Wines; Redmonds, D6; Pinto Wines, D9; Ely Wine Store, Maynooth;

Casa Ferreirinha was the first producer in the Douro region to dedicate themselves exclusively to table wine, as opposed to Port. Owned by Sogrape, they have 520 hectares of vines in various parts of the Douro valley. Castas Escondidas or ‘hidden varieties’, is a blend of some of the lesser-known grape varieties of the Douro, including Tinta Amarela, Touriga Femea, Tinta Francisca, Tinto Cão, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Bastardo, Marufo Tinto and some old field blends.

Posted in: The Wine on Wednesday, Top Drop

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