Trimbach Cuvée Frédéric Emile Riesling 2007
Around €45-50 from independent wine shops – I got mine fro €40 from La Touche in Greystones.
Light and elegant, with intense honeyed fruits, a strong mineral streak and a bone dry finish. A mere 12.5% in alcohol, but packed with flavour. Drink with crab or other shellfish.
A wine that may seem expensive but I still reckon it is a bargain. The wine pictured beside it, Clos Sainte Hune, a great wine made by the same producer, from a single vineyard, costs well over €100 a bottle if you can find it. Cuvée Frédéric Emile is made from two grand cru vineyards, although it doesn’t say it on the label. To me, it is one of the great wines of Alsace. It lasts forever too; I am hoarding the last few bottles of a case of 2002 – a brilliant wine.
Haut Marin 2015, Côtes de Gascogne
€13.95 from Searsons, Monkstown; La Touche, Greystones; The Drink Store, Manor St; Market 57, Clifden; Nolan’s, Clontarf; MacGuinness, Dundalk; Next Door, Kimmage.
Light, aromatic and bursting with crisp apple, exotic fruits and citrus. Great on its own or with white fish dishes.
We had this as an aperitif at a wine dinner hosted by La Touche Wines in Greystones last week. The event, in Theatre Lane restaurant, was great fun, and the food and wines both very good. The white wines of Côtes de Gascogne, generally a blend of Columbard, Ugni Blanc along with other varieties can smell and taste uncannily like a Sauvignon Blanc; aromatic, fresh and fruity. They can offer incredible value.
Bolo Mountain Wine, Godello, 2015 Valdeorras
€17.95 from 64wine, Glasthule, Whelehan’s, Loughlinstown; La Touche, Greystones; Blackrock Cellars; Sweeney’s, Glasnevin; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Baggot St Wines and Clontarf Wines.
Lovely refreshing pure plump peach and pear fruits balanced perfectly with a mineral acidity. This went down a storm at home – one of those bottles that disappears as if by magic! A good all-rounder with fish and white meats or simply by itself.
I tried this twice recently and was reminded just how much I love good Godello. In the right hands, and Rafael Palacios is certainly the right hands, it has some similarities with Chardonnay but with a character all of its own. Delicious wine worth seeking out.
Hunky Dory Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand
Floral aromas, luscious fresh exotic fruits, and a dry finish.
I have written about this wine before, but if you are a fan of Marlborough Sauvignon, this is well worth buying. Made from organically grown grapes, this is a very keenly priced; originally at €18.99, I have seen it in several outlets at a bargain €15.
Available from 64wine, Glasthule; Ardkeen, Waterford; Carpenters, Castleknock; Blackrock Cellar; Gibneys, Malahide; La Touche, Greystones; No. 21, Cork; O’Driscoll’s, Cahirsiveen; The Wine Centre, Kilkenny.
Rizzardi Costeggiola Soave 2014
Textured red apple fruits with a touch of honey. With hake, cod or salmon.
I wrote about Custoza last week; this week it’s better-known neighbour, Soave. Inexpensive Soave is often very watery to the point of tasteless. Pay a little more, and you get a lightly fruity crisp dry white. At the top end (€20+) there are brilliant wines, worth considering for a posh dinner with light shellfish dishes. The above wine is made in a richer style, which works really well.
Available from O’Briens
Custoza 2014, Zenato.
Available for €14.95 from Searsons, Monkstown.
Fresh textured white with pear fruits and good cleansing acidity. Great served solo or with lighter seafood and salad dishes, possibly a prawn salad of some sort.
Custoza, a lesser-known neighbour of Soave, can be more reliable, possibly because there are fewer producers who have to try a little harder. They use the same grape varieties, mainly Garganega, sometimes with a little Trebbiano, to make attractive crisp refreshing white wines.
Lovely fresh textured melon fruits with a zesty acidity and a crisp dry finish. Brilliant inexpensive all-purpose wine.
If only all Pinot Grigio tasted like this. Our shelves are full cheap mawkish versions that seem to satisfy a demand for wine that tastes of very little and therefore won’t offend. I have been following the Fugatti for a few years now – it is proof that you can make good Pinot Grigio at a reasonable price.
Available from Sheridan’s Cheese shops; 64wine, Glasthule; Blackrock Cellar; Rua Deli, Castlebar; Ashe’s of Annascaul.
16 Stops Chardonnay 2014, Adelaide, Australia
Unoaked, with clean fresh apple and peach fruits. Good everyday drinking. Perfect on its own or with fish and white meats.
It has been a while since I wrote about an Aussie wine under €15. Over the last few years, the strong Australian dollar had pushed prices up. At the same time, it seemed as if the quality of entry level wines was not quite as good as in earlier years. This seems to be rectifying itself; certainly I was happy to come across this wine and the 16 Stops Shiraz at a very keen price.
Available from Blackrock Cellar; Miller & Cook, Mullingar;
Fresh Outlets; On The Grapevine, Dalkey; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; La Touche Wines, Greystones; Le Caveau, Kilkenny; Martins, Dublin 3; The Malt House, Trim; Power & Co, Lucan; Redmond’s, Ranelagh; 64Wine, Glasthule; Searsons, Monkstown; World Wide Wines, Waterford.
Cavas Novas Vinho Verde 2014, Portugal
Lively lemon and pear fruits with a touch of citrus pith. Lovely weight of fruit with a bit of depth, and a crisp dry finish. Drink as an aperitif or with lighter seafood dishes.
Oysters or mussels cooked with a drop of the same wine and plenty of parsley?
Arriving shortly in Ireland. Look out for it in independent wine shops.
Time was when most Vinho Verde was light, fizzy and sweet. Not any more; over the last five years, the region has transformed itself and now produces wines that compare favourably with Rías Baixas just over the border in Spain. Alvarinho is the most obvious comparison, but Arinto, Loureiro and Avesso can all produce fresh zippy wines with lovely mouth-watering plump fruits.
Vale de Capucha Branco 2012, Vinho Regional, Portugal
An enchanting combination of zesty citrus, grapefruit pith and plump peachy fruits. One of those that gets better with each sip. Just don’t serve it too cold.
I would have this with richer fish dishes, maybe fairly plain cod, hake or black sole.
Available from Mitchell and Son, Gibney’s Malahide, Corkscrew, Redmond’s Ranelagh, 64 Wine, Glasthule.
Pedro Marques is one of the rising stars of Portuguese winemaking. He visited Dublin last year to attend the SPIT tasting (if you don’t know about it, google and make sure you get to the 2016 event) where he showed his amazing wines. The white wines are brilliant, and the reds pretty good too.