This week, two wines I enjoyed during a three day visit to East Cork. Along with Colm McCan of Le Caveau, I gave a talk on religion and wine (a fascinating subject) in Cloyne Cathedral. If you ever visit East Cork, take a few minutes to visit this hidden gem, a lovely church with a fascinating history. We tasted the Viré-Clessé below, as many vineyards in the region were first planted by the monks in Cluny.
The following morning, I gave a talk and tasting on Spanish wine to the students at Ballymaloe Cookery School. I thought the Camino Real stood out against some pretty serious competition.
Viré-Clessé 2016, Les Pierres Blanches, Domaine André Bonhomme
Gorgeous generous textured apple and pear fruits with a lovely crisp mineral streak, finishing dry. Lovely pure unoaked Chardonnay.
This would go nicely with chicken dishes – either roast or in a creamy tarragon sauce.
I have been a fan of the Bonhomme wines for many years; they drink well young and age very well too. In the sea of indifferent wines found in the Mâconnais, they stand out as special – and very well priced too.
€22.95 from Le Caveau, Kilkenny, lecaveau.ie; Listons, Dublin 2, listonsfoodstore.ie; Ely 64, Glasthule, Ely64.com; Blackrock Cellar, Blackrock, blackrockcellar.com; MacGuinness Wines, Dundalk, dundalkwines.com.
Camino Real 2017 Ribera Sacra, Guímaro
Lightly aromatic with seductive perfectly ripe dark cherry fruits, a spicy savoury edge and a freshness, an elegance that draws you back for another sip. Delicious wine.
A seared breast of duck, or maybe belly of pork.
Pedro Rodríguez is one of the rising stars of Ribera Sacra, a region that has been receiving huge interest in recent years, for the amazing scenery as well as the unique wines. Made primarily from ancient Mencía vines clinging to the slate soils on vertiginous slopes sweeping down to the river, the wines can be spectacularly good.
€26 from Green Man Wines, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie; Ely 64, Glasthule, Ely64.com; Redmonds, Dublin 6; Redmonds.ie.