Posts Tagged Vallee de l’Aude

A lighter weekend’s drinking

A lighter weekend’s drinking

Fewer bottles last weekend, mainly because I spent Saturday down at the West Waterford Food fest in Dungarvan. My first time, and a great event if you haven’t been.


Simone Joseph Chardonnay Le Petit Moe 2014, Vin de France
€13.99 from Searsons, Monkstown, The Drink Store, D7.

An attractive light refreshing crisp dry white, without any of those confected fruits you find in southern French Chardonnays. Nice well-priced wine, perfect by itself or with fish and seafood.

Ch. Sainte-Eulalie 2013 La Cantilene, Minervois La Livinière

€21.70 from Karwig Wines, Carrigaline, Co. Cork.

Not cheap for a wine from the Languedoc, but still very good value. Delicious full-bodied wine crammed with swarthy dark fruit s, a touch of oak, and a long satisfying finish. Perfect with red meats.

Domaine Begude Esprit Pinot Noir 2014, VdP de Haut Vallée de l’Aude


From down in Limoux, a lovely light piquant Pinot Noir. O’Briens usually bring it in, so hopefully it will appear over the next few months.

Givry 1er cru Servoisine 2013, Domaine Joblot

I bought this, for around €35, from 64wine recently. Owner Gerard Maguire suggested I stash it away for a few years – advice I should have heeded. As he said, it is an excellent wine (imported by Burgundy Direct I think) but very closed and quite tannic for a Burgundy. It does however, have a wonderful unevolved nose, and masses of tight dark cherry fruits and good acidity on the palate. I decanted and enjoyed it.

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A WEEKEND’S DRINKING – four wines worth seeking out


Domaine Begude Terroir 11300Domaine de Begude Chardonnay Terroir 11300, 2014
Haute Vallée de l’Aude 13%

Available for €17.99 from O’Briens

Made from organic grapes by James Begude in the cool climate of Limoux high above Carcassonne, this was one of my favourite white wines of last year. It appeared in Wilson on Wine 2016. 75% of the juice is fermented in stainless steel, the remainder in large 600 litre casks. The result is a beautifully balanced wine with plenty of zesty citrus, plump peaches and apple fruits, and hints of toasted nuts. We drank our bottle on its own as an aperitif, and with some roast chicken. Please don’t be put off by the word Chardonnay; this is a brilliant wine. I can also recommend most of the other wines of Domaine de Begude, which include a Gewurztraminer, a Pinot Noir, and Le Bel Ange,, his entry-level Chablis lookalike. 11300 is a postcode by the way.

Riesling Junge Reben 2013, August Kesseler, Rheingau, 12%

Available for €24.95 from Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlinstown

I love Riesling but generally don’t drink too much of it over the winter months, unless it is fairly rich and full-bodied. However, I wanted something light to sip before dinner, so I cracked open this bottle and was very pleased that I had. Vivid and refreshing with delectable pure Riesling fruit. Herr Kesseler is one of the finest producers of Pinot Noir in Germany, but is no slouch with Riesling either. I think Whelehan’s are currently out of stock of the Pinot Noir, but I would certainly recommend it when it makes their return. In the meantime, you can enjoy this wine, and the excellent Rieslings Lorch (€28.95) for a few euros more.

Pie NegrosArtuke Pies Negros 2014, Rioja
14%, €18.90
64wine, Glasthule; Clontarf Wines; Redmonds, Ranelagh; Ennis Butchers, South Circular Road; Wicklow Wine Company.

The previous vintage of this appeared in my book and the 2014 is a worthy follow-on. At first it seemed a little alcoholic, but after half an hour it all came together beautifully. Arturo and Kike (hence the name) Blanco are responsible for this lovely wine. The grapes are trodden by bare feet. The wine is very different to your normal Rioja, with no obvious oak at all, and intense dark fruits and minerals with some tannins on the finish. I suspect it will improve for a year or two, or served in a decanter with food now. Great wine and streets ahead of most Reserva Rioja at the price.

Grégory Pérez Mengoba 2013, Méncia del Espanillo, Bierzo
13.5% €33.50

Available from Sheridan’s Cheese Shops

Having graduated in enology and viticulture in Bordeaux, Grégory Pérez worked in several of the top chateaux before decamping to Bierzo, up in the north-west corner of Spain. This is one of the regions where Méncia is grown. This variety makes some of the most exciting wines in Spain today; they remind me a little of Northern Rhône Syrah with their delicacy and enchanting savoury dark cherry fruits. I tasted the Pérez wines at the SPIT tasting in November and thought both red and white wines were stunning. I haven’t changed my mind. This may be expensive but it is a brilliant wine, nuanced and sophisticated, with wonderful smooth dark cherry fruits, a subtle oakiness, and a lovely finish. I see it has a small proportion of Alicante Bouschet and a white grape variety, Godello, included. Only 3,000 bottles made.

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