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Wines of the Week – Deux Les Deux Cols

Wines of the Week – Deux Les Deux Cols

Two wines from the same estate today. Les Deux Cols was founded by Anglo-Irishman Simon Tyrrell back in 2012. A specialist Rhône importer based in Ireland, he studied winemaking in Plumpton College in the U.K. He was later joined by former sommelier and wine importer Charles Derain, and later still by wine retailer Gerard Maguire. They now have four hectares of vines in one of the coolest parts of the Southern Rhône, on the boundary of the Gard and the Ardèche. Most of the vineyards are on a line of hills above the village of Saint Gervais at an altitude of 220 metres. They have a complex soil structure with a limestone base, and a topsoil that may contain loess, granite, sand, clay or loam, all within in a short distance.

I have always found the wines good, but in 2017, I think they have hit new heights. They may seem expensive for Côtes du Rhône, but I believe they offer great value for money.

 

Zéphyr 2017, Côtes du Rhône (organic)

Made primarily from the Roussanne grape, this is fermented and aged six months in in barrique. It is a medium-bodied wine with floral aromas and a very attractive textured palate with succulent peaches and apricots, interwoven with honey and toasted nuts. A lively acidity keeps it fresh and there is a lovely savoury bite on the finish. A nice wine with real character.

Try it with richer fish dishes, or chicken dishes. Chicken in a creamy sauce sounds good.

€24.95 from from La Touche, Greystones, Latouchewines4u.ie; Ely 64, Glasthule, Ely64.com; The Cinnamon Cottage, Cork, cinnamoncottage.ie; No. 21, Cork;

J.J. Fields, Skibbereen, fieldsofskibbereen.com; Eleven Deli, Greystones; Eleven Deli, Greystones, elevendeli.ie: Clontarf Wines, Dublin 3 clontarfwines.ie; Donnybrook Fair, donnybrookfair.ie; Drinkstore, D7, drinkstore.ie; Green Man Wines, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie; Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlinstown, whelehanswines.ie; Deveney’s, Dundrum; Redmonds, Dublin 6; Redmonds.ie; Martin’s Off Licence, Dublin 3, martinsofflicence.ie; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock, jusdevine.ie.

 

Alizé 2017, Côtes du Rhône

A very stylish Côtes du Rhône, elegant and long, with harmonious smooth dark forest fruits and hints of liquorice. At 13.5% alcohol, it is vibrant and fresh, and very different to many of the bigger, more heady wines found under the same appellation.

This would go nicely with white meats, and firm cheeses.

€18.95 from La Touche, Greystones, Latouchewines4u.ie; Ely 64, Glasthule, Ely64.com; The Cinnamon Cottage, Cork, cinnamoncottage.ie; No. 21, Cork;

J.J. Fields, Skibbereen, fieldsofskibbereen.com; Eleven Deli, Greystones; Eleven Deli, Greystones, elevendeli.ie: Clontarf Wines, Dublin 3 clontarfwines.ie; Donnybrook Fair, donnybrookfair.ie; Drinkstore, D7, drinkstore.ie; Green Man Wines, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie; Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlinstown, whelehanswines.ie; Deveney’s, Dundrum; Redmonds, Dublin 6; Redmonds.ie; Martin’s Off Licence, Dublin 3, martinsofflicence.ie; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock, jusdevine.ie.

 

 

 

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Irish wines to try this Christmas

First published in The Irish Times, December 15th, 2017

Kildare-based winemaker is Simon Tyrrell has been making wine in the Rhône valley for five years now.

Kildare-based winemaker is Simon Tyrrell has been making wine in the Rhône valley for five years now.

A bottle of Irish wine arrived on my doorstep yesterday evening. It wasn’t actually made in Ireland, but the winemaker lives in Co Kildare. For many years, a number of Irishmen have owned properties in France and elsewhere; Lochlainn Quinn at Ch. de Fieuzal, Paddy McKillen at Ch. La Coste and Gay McGuinness at Domaine des Anges. More recently I came across Maze wines from California, owned by Sligo businessman Gerry McSharry, and his son Paul, who lives in Napa and makes the wines.

But now wannabe winemakers will be pleased to know that you no longer need to move abroad to fulfill your life’s ambitions. Earlier this year, I wrote about several Irish winemakers who have managed to combine living here in Ireland with winemaking abroad. Sinéad and Liam Cabot bought a house and small vineyard in Slovenia in 2007 and made their first wine three years later. They do everything themselves, from pruning the vines to bottling the wine while still living most of the year in Westport, where they run a wine-importing business.  Last week, their three Roka wines, from Stajerska in Slovenia, received rave reviews from renowned critic Jancis Robinson (see jancisrobinson.com). The wines include a delicious scented racy Furmint, a crisp floral Laski Rizling, and a red wine, a beautiful pure Blaufränkisch. All sell for €16.99 in independent wine shops.

Also from Mayo is Roísín Curley, where she helps run the family pharmacy in Ballyhaunis. Her two wines from Burgundy, a white St. Romain and a red Beaune, are excellent, but sadly in very short supply. You could try looking in Sweeney’s in Glasnevin, Jus de Vine, Portmarnock, 64 Wines, Glasthule and other independents. Expect to pay around €50 a bottle.

The ‘Irish’ wine that arrived last night is called Oludeo La Soñadora, and comes from Spain. The Kildare-based winemaker is Simon Tyrrell, who has a degree in winemaking from Plumpton College in East Sussex, and has been making wine in the Rhône valley for five years now. The 2016 version of his Les Deux Cols Alizé (see below) is excellent. More recently, with several colleagues in Ireland, he bought three hectares of vines in the southern Rhône. The first vintage is currently fermenting away.

Oludeo 2016, La Soñadora, Yecla, Spain
14%
€16.99 from Searsons, Monkstown; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock.
A rounded medium to full-bodied wine with a certain elegance, combined with abundant dense dark fruits, a touch of liquorice and smooth tannins on the finish. Enjoy now with red meats, or keep a year or two.

Alizé 2016, Les Deux Cols, Côtes du Rhône
13.5%
€16.95 from Searsons, Monkstown; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Cinnamon Cottage, Cork; Drink Store, D7; Lilac Wines, Clontarf; Donnybrook Fair; Green Man Wines, Terenure; Martin’s, Fairview; Ardkeen, Waterford.
Also from Simon Tyrrell. Extravagantly perfumed, with smooth rich ripe red fruits, a delicious refreshing note and a lingering finish. Lovely wine.

Posted in: Irish Times

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