Agustí Torelló Mata Cava Reserva 2011
Light brioche with toasted almonds, delicate fruit, a subtle creamy texture and a dry finish. Delicious wine; not trying to be Champagne, but every bit as good at the price.
The perfect light aperitif, or with lighter tapas.
This is one of the leading family-owned Cava estates. Based in the Penedès, they remain loyal to the three traditional Cava varieties, Macabeu, Xarello and Parellada. This Cava is a blend of all three, aged for a minimum of two years before release. This is one of the finest Cavas I have tasted in years, and well worth seeking out.
Available for €29 from Mitchellandson.com (online only) and Sheridan’s Cheese shops, Dublin, Meath and Galway.
Primitivo Lamie dell Vigne 2012, Masseria Guttarolo, Puglia
€24 from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, Green Man Wines, Terenure, and Mitchell & Son, chq, Sandycove & Avoca, Kilmacanogue.
A superb wine, powerful and concentrated with morello cherries and plums, a lovely freshness combined with a slight herby funkiness and a long finish with a nice tannic bite.
Try it with substantial dishes; I drank mine with spiced, grilled lamb kebabs.
I have to admit I deliberately ignored this wine for a week or two. I had tasted far too many pumped-up, over alcoholic and over oaked wines from Puglia in my time. When I finally coravined it to try, I quickly uncorked the bottle and drank it. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine, powerful certainly, but complex and balanced with brooding perfectly ripe, but never over-ripe dark fruits, and a solid welcoming earthiness. Apparently Cristiano Guttarolo is a natural winemaker, growing organic grapes, and using little or no sulphur. I also tried his amphora wine called Joha, which I really enjoyed, but for me, this was the real star.
Fratelli Barba Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Colle Morino 2015
€14 from Sheridans Cheesemongers.
Light – a mere 12% – and refreshing with clean pear fruits and a dry finish. It is so much better than most of the confected sub €10 Pinot Grigio on the market and worth the €14 price tag.
It is not often anyone gets excited about a Trebbiano from the Abruzzo. The grape variety is renowned for tasting of very little, and yields in the Abruzzo tend to be high, further stretching any available flavour. I cannot pretend that this is a brilliant life-changing wine; it did however make for very pleasant drinking on a summer’s evening.