Eco Viognier 2015, Chile, (Organic)
A very tasty refreshing Viognier from Chile; light and brimming with citrus and peachy fruits, this is a well-made well-priced wine.
With oily fish; mackerel, salmon or maybe sea bass.
Even inside its home territory of the Northern Rhône, Viognier varies from light and refreshing to rich and flabby. Get it right, and you get a combination of zesty acidity and luscious slightly bitter apricots and nectarines. However, cheaper versions often have very confected sweetish flavours. This is one of the better examples I have tasted recently.
Stockists: Searsons, Monkstown
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.
Three bargain red wines that I came across this week; the first featured in my weekly online piece (Take It Home) in the Irish Times on Wednesday. The other two I came across at the Lidl tasting earlier this week. I have tasted them before, but on this occasion they stood out amongst a sea of inexpensive wines. Spain is one of the few countries that continues to offer amazing value at less than €10.
Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Family Selection Pinot Noir 2013
Herewith my lightening guide to the world of Pinot Noir, fast becoming the wine everybody wants to drink. Burgundy produces the most complex wonderful Pinot of all. The best are hideously expensive, the cheapest are very variable. New Zealand probably comes next with excellent wines at the top end and lovely fruit-filled wines at the cheaper end. The problem is the cheaper end is generally around €15.
Germany, next door to Burgundy, produces some fantastic elegant wines too, but again they tend to start at €15. Sadly the best value (as opposed to cheapest) wines from the three above mentioned areas generally cost between €20 and €30, with nothing drinkable at €10. Only Chile can deliver here. The above wine, a mere €10 from SuperValu and O’Donovan’s in Cork, is a very gluggable light wine with earthy dark cherry fruits. Great value too.
Lidl DO Tarragona Reserva 2010
Ever so cheap, this is a good soft sweet juicy crowd-pleasing red with no tannins and a decent amount of ripe red fruits.
Lidl DO Tarragona Gran Reserva 2009
This is older, smoother and a little oakier than the basic Lidl Tarragona. Soft, easy-drinking wine at an amazingly cheap price. Not sure I would pay the extra euro for this one, but either wine would be great with a casserole or grilled red meat on a wet winter evening.
Fully mature, even fading gently, but Pinot heads will enjoy both the soft easy light sweet fruits and reasonable price. Drink it lightly chilled over summer.
Available from Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown.