Going off-piste: Itata and Vipava
We drank these two wines for dinner last night, both from lesser-known regions.Both were very good.
Burja Bela 2010, Vipava, Slovenia
Lovely complex ripe fruits, softly textured with a touch of orange peel and a savoury finish with good mineral acidity.
I first came across this wine at a Slovenian wine tasting in Dublin a few years ago; I think it was actually the same vintage. Primož Lavrenčič of Burja estate is a believer in natural wine, made with as little intervention as possible. He farms biodynamically and uses only local grape varieties. In this wine he blends 30% Rebula, 30% Malvasia, 30% Riesling Italico, and 10% Zelen. Despite, or possibly because of its age, the wine is drinking beautifully. Not cheap though at €27.50 – certainly from Sheridans, and probably Green Man Wines in Terenure, they being very keen on natural wines.
De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2014
D.O. Secano Interior/Colemu, Chile
A very interesting and enjoyable wine; a strange mix of red cherry and canned strawberries with an earthy note, and some light tannins on the finish. 13% alcohol and almost Beaujolais-like at times in its weight.
This is made from unirrigated old vines down in the Itata Valley in Chile. It was part of a tasting of wines from this region for a forthcoming article in the Irish Times. It sells for €17.99; I am still waiting for a list of stockists.
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