Posts Tagged Tindal Wines



This year, I intend going magnum where possible on Christmas Day. See below for the plan, and please excuse the poor image.


Bollinger Special Cuvée (Magnum)

For many years, I received a magnum of Bollinger every Christmas from the late Pat Byrne, a friend and colleague in the wine trade. He is greatly missed. The magnum was my fee giving a wine talk to the members of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, a very nice bunch of people. I would put the magnum away for a year, sometimes two, before opening it up on Christmas morning. This is my final bottle, so I will drink a special toast to Pat, who loved his Christmas dinner. The Champagne should be pretty good too.

Calvarino 2013, Soave, Pieropan (Magnum)

I have been eying this up in my local wines shop, La Touche Wines for the last year or more. I am a huge fan of Pieropan, one of the great white producers of Italy, and have a number of bottles of Calvarino stashed away; it matures beautifully. This one won’t get the chance to age gracefully. It might be a bit light for the seafood – prawn salad I think, but I doubt it. In any case, it will be light and elegant with a mere 12.5% alcohol, keeping everyone sober for the moment.

Viognier de Rosine 2014, Stephane Ogier, Vdp des Collines Rhodanniennes

In case that isn’t quite enough, I will chill a bottle of this wine from Stephane Ogier, also responsible for the wine below. This is made from vines located just outside Condrieu, home to the greatest Viognier in the world, which explains its lowly Vin de Pays status. I have written about the wine before, and it appears in Wilson on Wine 2017. It will provide an interesting contrast to the Soave, although it has the same 12.5% alcohol, less than in most Condrieu.

Côte Rôtie 2010, M&S Ogier (Magnum)

Stephane Ogier is one of the bright stars of the Northern Rhône and 2010 a very good vintage. Possibly a little young, but I will decant it into my magnum decanter, which up until now, has only been used for mere bottles. This was a thank you gift a couple of years ago. I am really looking forward to this.

Clos des Papes 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Magnum)

I am not sure we will need it, but I will have this standing up as a fall-back. A wine with an incredible reputation, from the amazing fine wine room at Jus de Vine in Portmarnock. I last tried this a few years ago down in Kelly’s Resort Hotel, at a tasting tutored by Vincent Avril, the owner of Clos des Papes, and brother-in-law of Bill Kelly. Back then it was very very good, but closed. We shall see.

Quinta do Noval 1970 Vintage Port

I intended opening up a bottle of Fonseca 1970 bought in the 1980’s, when I worked with Mitchell & Son, then located in Kildare Street. I think I have drunk two so far, but there is no rush with vintage port. However, I wasn’t able to get to my cellar, which is located in a (trustworthy) friend’s house, so I will open up this Noval 1970 instead. Some online reviews are very lukewarm, but we shall see. I have plenty of alternatives, including a few nice bottles of sherry.

Ch. Coutet 1989, Barsac (1/2 bottle)

I have a diminishing pile of ½ bottles of assorted Sauternes from my time in Searsons, so I intend opening up my last ½ bottle of this, to drink over a few days.


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My Top Ten Red Wines under €20 for 2016

This post came about as a result of a challenge set by a Twitter follower; to name my top five red wines for under €20. I have expanded it out here to ten wines. All have appeared in the Irish Times or on my blog before, and many in Wilson on Wine 2017, but I thought it might be good to see them all together. Doubtless they will change soon. In the meantime I have bought myself six bottles each of the Dâo, Geil Pinot, and Roka for drinking over the next few months.



DSCF7103Albizu Tempranilllo 2015, VdT de Castilla, Spain


I have a weakness for unoaked (or very lightly oaked) Rioja. I love the lively aroma, the pure cherry fruits and the refreshing acidity. Here they come together in an easy-drinking but sophisticated wine, great for sipping alone or for drinking with a variety or red and white meats. This example, made by a Rioja producer, from grapes grown within the region, doesn’t actually have the name Rioja on the label, but it certainly tastes like it. Worth buying in quantity for the season ahead.


€11.95-€12.95 from Mitchell & Son; Avoca Rathcoole; Le Caveau, Kilkenny; Baggot St wines; Blackrock Cellar; Corkscrew; Fallon & Byrne; Listons; MacGuinness; Green Man; 64 Wines; World Wide Wines.



Sa de Baixo 2014Sa de Baixo 2014, Douro, Portugal       


This has been one of my go-to wines for a few years now, and I know I am not alone; many of our independent wine shops do a brisk trade with it. The label has changed recently, but the wine is just as good . 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.


€13.50 from Mortons, Ranelagh; McHughs; Blackrock Cellar; Gibneys, Malahide; Avoca Rathcoole; Wicklow Wine Co.; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Baggot St Wines; DrinkStore, D7; Martins, Fairview; Browns Vineyard, Portlaoise; Red Island, Skerries; Probus, Fenian St; Sweeneys, Glasnevin; 64 Wine, Glasthule.



DSCF6516Borsao Garnacha Seleccíon, Campo de Borja, 2015, Spain


The label is fairly dazzling, and so is the wine. The Campo de Borja region produces large quantities of big ripe warming red wines, usually made from Garnacha. This is a warm hug of a wine. 14.5% alcohol, it is big, rounded and ripe with soft spicy strawberry fruits and a very decent supple finish. Fantastic value for money. Perfect for barbecues and other red meats.



€13.95 from Bradleys, Cork; 64 Wine, Glasthule; Next Door, Arklow; & Searsons Monkstown; Drinkstore, D7.



DSCF7060Acón Joven 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain


A world away from the big tannic oaky monsters that once made up most of Ribera del Duero. This unoaked ‘young’ wine has forward floral aromas and delicious pure damson fruits. It packs a fair punch too, coming in at 14.5%, but you would hardly know it. Great value for money and perfect with roast lamb and beef.


€14.50 Red Island Wines; 64 Wine; Wicklow Wine Co; Clontarf Wines; Listons, Camden St.




Domaine des NuguesDomaine des Nugues, Beaujolais Villages 2014, France    


Beaujolais is finally coming back into fashion as we seek wines that are lighter in style. I spent a few lovely days in the region earlier this year, tasting the various crus. I also visited this estate. This wine is one of the best, and certainly superior to many of the cheap Fleurie you will come across in the shops. Wonderful aromas and pure sweet red cherry and blackcurrant fruits with a touch of liquorice. Patés, cheese and all things porcine, including belly of pork, ham and boiled bacon, as well as roast chicken.


€16.75 from Martin’s, Fairview; 64 Wine, Glasthule.




Roka BlaufränkischRoka Blaufränkisch 2015, Stajerska, Slovenia


Made by Irish couple Sinéad & Liam Cabot from their own grapes, both this and their equally delicious white Šipon are really good wines, and quite amazing for a first real effort after a few limited releases. The Blaufränkisch is a true vin de soif, with fresh supple cherry and damson fruits, but that really does it a disservice; this is a wine with plenty of depth and concentration. Well worth seeking out.


€16.99 from Cabot & Co;, Westport; No.1 Pery Square, Limerick; Grapevine, Dalkey; The Poppyseed, Clarinbridge; McCambridges, Galway.




DSCF6122Dâo Rótulo 2015, Niepoort, Portugal


If your tastes run to rich full-bodied reds, stay away from this wine. It is a delicious refreshing light red with a savoury edge to the clean damson fruits. Moreish, and with a mere 12.5% alcohol, you don’t have to deny yourself.


€16.99 from Redmonds, Mortons, Martins,Jus de vine, Green Man, Donnybrook Fair, Clontarf Wines, Blackrock Cellar and Baggot Street Wines




DSCF7121Geil Pinot Noir 2015, Rheinhessen


Charming free-flowing light supple sweet cherry fruits with a nice kick of acidity. Try it with salmon, tuna or pork. I have tried this several times in wine bars recently, including La Touche and Grapevine in Dalkey. It seems to suit all tastes, and is light enough be drunk without food.


€16.95-17.95 from La Touche; Grapevine; Mortons; Sweeneys; Redmonds; Wicklow Wine Co; Mitchell & Son; Listons; Jus de Vine; Drinkstore; Corkscrew; Blackrock Cellar; 64Wine.




DSCF5905Ch. Pey-Bonhomme Les-Tours 2012, Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux, France

This was a really enjoyable wine, classic Bordeaux, with clean blackcurrant fruits, a seam of acidity running through, and a light dry tannic bite on the finish. I had mine with a roast shoulder of pork (Tamworth, from, excellent) and it was very good. I suspect it would be even better with lamb. Affordable well-made Bordeaux.

€19 from Green Man Wines, Terenure; 64Wine, Glasthule; Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer Street; Clontarf Wines; Mortons, Ranelagh.






Quite 2014 BierzoQuite 2014 Bierzo, Veronica Ortega


Medium-bodied and perfumed with fresh clean dark fruits; delicious, but if I was feeling flush I would go for Ortega’s Roc (at €30). I have been on a big Mencía kick for the last few years. I still love the Castro Valtuillé Joven, and the Brezo de Grégory Pérez, both widely available from independents, but I have really enjoyed this several times at home over the last eight months.


€19.50 from 64wine, Glasthule; World Wide Wines, Waterford; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Blackrock Cellars; Clontarf Wines; Drinkstore, D7;


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