Posts Tagged Red Wine

Ch. Pey du Pont 2012, Médoc Cru Bourgeois

<strong>Ch. Pey du Pont 2012, Médoc Cru Bourgeois</strong>

DSCF6922Ch. Pey du Pont 2012, Médoc Cru Bourgeois

Classic Médoc with slightly austere blackcurrant fruits, a bit of structure and some drying tannins on the finish. Well made wine. If that sounds a bit negative, it shouldn’t – this is good value and an enjoyable wine.

I wouldn’t try this without food, and it would go best with roast red meats – lamb or beef.

Lidl have a very decent range of inexpensive Bordeaux in their French wine sale. I have covered a bigger selection of their wines in earlier blogs.

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Ch. Janoy Bellevue 2014, Bordeaux

<strong>Ch. Janoy Bellevue 2014, Bordeaux</strong>

Image 2Ch. Janoy Bellevue 2014, Bordeaux
€14.95 from Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlintstown

Very attractive modern Bordeaux with generous plum fruits and light soft tannins. With roast meats (red and white) or firm cheeses. Very good value.

I started out in the wine trade at a time when everyone drank red Bordeaux and have always retained a fondness for what I call ODC – ordinary decent claret; unpretentious, medium-bodied wine with plum and blackcurrant fruits and some drying tannins. They make for perfect everyday dinner wines. This is one such example.

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Bairrada 2012, Lagar de Baixo, Niepoort

<strong>Bairrada 2012, Lagar de Baixo, Niepoort</strong>

IMG_4467Bairrada 2012, Lagar de Baixo, Niepoort
€23.95 from Baggot Street Wines; Whelehans Wines, Loughlinstown; Corkscrew; Chatham St; Hole in the Wall, D7; Redmond’s, Ranelagh; Martin’s, Fairview.

Lovely cool wild dark fruits, all damsons and brambles, with a fine mineral acidity and firm tannins on the finish. Perfect with a fatty roast of pork.

Winemakers have been trying to tame Baga & Bairrada’s fierce tannins for years now with some success. Having worked there for several years, Douro producer Dirk Niepoort took over this estate in 2012. Here he believes the limestone soils and cool Atlantic climate make for more refined and elegant wines.

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Oak free wines

Oak free wines

IMG_4680I tried out the wines of two very different producers last week, Philip Vincens of Ch. Vincens in Cahors and Antonio Diez Martín of Bodegas Martín Berdugo in Ribera del Duero. In both tastings I preferred the cheapest wine. Why? In each case, the wine was unoaked and possibly a little less smooth than the wines that followed. But I loved the bright pure fruits, accompanied by a light refreshing acidity; wines that give a simple pleasure. It makes you wonder how good the wines could be if they used the best quality fruit for their unoaked wines.

I have known Antonio for many years, and worked for the company that imported the wines. In 2013 tragedy struck when the family winery burnt down, destroying much of his stock. He says the local community were fantastic, giving him wine to sell to help tide him over. The new winery is now up and running, and fitted with the best modern equipment insurance money can buy. Although the unoaked joven (we used to call it ‘spotty youth’ – see the label above) was my favourite, all of the wines have a lovely clean purity of fruit and an elegance not always found in Ribera del Duero. They are all very reasonably priced too.


Philip Vincens has caused quite a stir with his wines; they have been very well-received by many critics and competition judges. His first wine was a more classic style of Cahors, with cool dark fruits, good acidity and light tannins on the finish. It was a very well made wine and really well priced at €14-14.50. As you went up the scale the wines became more oaky, riper, more extracted and more alcoholic – 15.5% for several. I can see why they are so successful, but they were not really my style of wine. The next wine up in price, Ch. Vincens Origine 2013 (€17-18) is also pretty good in most vintages; this according to the importer, is the best-selling wine of the range.


Malbec 2012 Cahors, Ch. Vincens
€13.99-14.99 from The Vintry Rathgar; Hollands Bray; Fresh Stores Dublin; McGuinness Dundalk.

Ribera del Duero Joven 2014, Martín Berdugo

€18-19 from Mitchell & Son; Morton’s, Ranelagh; Martin’s, Fairview; Sheridan’s Cheese Shops.

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Pinot Noir La Roncière 2014, André Vatan, Vin de Loire

<strong>Pinot Noir La Roncière 2014, André Vatan, Vin de Loire</strong>

ImagePinot Noir La Roncière 2014, André Vatan, Vin de Loire
€14.95 from Whelehan’s, Loughlinstown.

Light refreshing red fruits with an earthy edge. Serve cool with all sorts of summer salads, cold meats and chicken dishes.

For a long time, Sancerre was one of the few parts of France other than Burgundy attempting to make red wine from Pinot Noir. Red Sancerre has got a whole lot better, but is always quite pricey. This wine, made by one of the leading producers of Sancerre (white and red) is very moreish and offers pretty good value for money.

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Dao Jardim da Estrela 2014, Carlos Lucas

<strong>Dao Jardim da Estrela 2014, Carlos Lucas

IMG_4613Dao Jardim da Estrela 2014, Carlos Lucas

Available from Clontarf Wines; Browns, Portlaoise; JJ O Driscoll, Ballinlough; O Learys, Cootehill; Hole in The Wall, D7; Quintessential Wines, Drogheda, for €12.95.

Lovely soft juicy blackcurrants and red cherries. Refreshing and ripe, with no tannins. Ideal everyday wine with all kinds of red and white meats. A stuffed filet of pork or bacon with parsley sauce both sound good.

I like Dao. When properly made, it is light and refreshing with very tasty dark cherry and plum fruits. There are expensive versions, and some of these are very good. But most are incredibly cheap given the quality and offer great value. These are very food friendly wines that won’t break the bank; perfect for a wet Wednesday. This one is made from three local grape varieties, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo) and Alfrocheiro.

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Finca el Paso Garnacha 2015, Carineña

Finca el Paso Garnacha 2015, Carineña

Image 513.5%

Lovely ripe juicy strawberry fruits with a tannin-free finish. Light enough to drink on its own, but big enough to take on red meats. This would be perfect if you are having a gang around.

Available from Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown; 64 Wine, Glasthule; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; The Drink Store, D7; The Wine Shop at One Pery Square, Limerick.

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Sa de Baixo 2014, Douro, Portugal

Sa de Baixo 2014, Douro, Portugal

Sa-de-Baixo-Colheita-510x1060Sa de Baixo 2014, Douro, Portugal

Succulent ripe red fruits with a smooth tannin-free finish. Light harmonious and very quaffable.

A good all-rounder to drink by itself or with white meats – creamy chicken with pasta sounds good.

Available from Redmond’s Ranelagh, On the Grapevine Dalkey, Red Island Wine Co Skerries, 64 Wine Glasthule, Blackrock Cellar, Wicklow Wine Co., Morton’s Ranelagh, McHugh’s kilbarrack & Malahide Road, Power Wine Merchants Lucan.

The Douro Valley is better known for Port. This stunningly beautiful region is responsible for one of the world’s great fortified wines, but also offers some amazing red (and even white) wines. It all depends on where the vineyards are located and which direction they are facing. The cooler vineyards make some very tasty wines. Sadly the best are expensive – everything has to be done by hand here, but every now and again you come across a real bargain. This has been one of my go to value reds for a few years now.

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Vale da Capucha 2011, Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal

Vale da Capucha 2011, Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal

IMG_4472Vale da Capucha 2011, Vinho Regional, Portugal

Very restrained with just ripe damson fruits, good acidity and a very attractive mineral core. Great wine with real character.

This has the acidity and tannic structure to cut through fatty meats; grilled duck breast or maybe belly of pork, so long as they aren’t swamped with a sweet sauce.

Available from Corkscrew, Gibney’s Malahide, Redmond’s Ranelagh.

Pedro Marques is better known for his white wines than red (see above), but I tried this red three times over the last six months and was very taken with it. As my tasting note suggests, it was a lovely elegant wine with a slight earthy minerality. I was gobsmacked to find out it was 15% alcohol. So not one to sip while watching TV.

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Is spring here yet? I am never really a fan of bigger more alcoholic reds, but once the weather starts to warm up a little, I quickly switch to lighter wines. Last weekend I met up with one of my favourite producers of red wines, Matthieu Baudry of Domaine Baudry in Chinon. It was at a tasting organised by the Knockranny House Hotel and Cabot & Co, both based in Westport. It was a brilliant tasting, followed by an excellent dinner (Seamus Commons being one of the best chefs in the country). I also gorged myself on one of the best collections of Rieslings in the country (see including those of Klaus Peter Keller. The dry Riesling below is excellent, and the Kirchspiel is magnificent. Sadly it costs around €50 a bottle.


2016-02-27 11.55.21(1)
Klaus Peter Keller Dry Riesling 2013, Rheinhessen

Light and refreshing but with wonderful piercing concentrated lightly honeyed peach fruits. By itself or with plain shellfish.

Available from Cabot & Co. ( ,On the Grapevine, Dalkey, and No1 Pery Square, Limerick.

2016-02-27 11.55.01(1)
Domaine Baudry Chinon Les Granges 2014

Crunchy free-flowing and fresh juicy redcurrant fruits in a lively but very enjoyable wine. Serve it cool, but not chilled, with charcuterie.

Available from Cabot & Co. ( ,On the Grapevine, Dalkey, Listons, Camden St, Donnybrook Fair, Malahide, Red Island Wines, Skerries, Market 57, Westport and No1 Pery Square, Limerick.

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