Friday, July 31, 2009

Adelaide Hills Tasting coming up

An Evening in the Adelaide Hills

Thursday 3rd September 2009

Tutored Tasting; 6.45pm – 8.15pm
Tasty Nibbles; 8.30pm
Dun Library, Royal College of Physicians
N.O. 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Tickets are €15, if you want to go along, contact:

John McDonnell,
Wine Australia Ireland
065 7077264

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't listen to the Central Bank

On a day when the Central Bank have told us that we are in even more shit that their last terrible prediction, we can only console ourselves with the thought: What do they know?

Sticking with the positive, here is some news from us, all of it good.

Rosso di Sera 2000 - Supertuscan from top Chianti producer Poggiopiano reduced from €50 to €25 until its all gone. Only bottle quantities left. We drank this last weekend and it is seriously good.

Foradori - price reduction from €22.50 to €19.99. Had this last night, gorgeous.

Grauzan Pinot Noir just in - this is light, juicy Pinot from the uber-reliable Domaine Grauzan. A very un-Pinot price of €10.99

Hamelin Chablis is back in after a spell out of stock. We have been unable to get same quality at this price, so it's a big relief to get it back in.

Zenato range are all reduced in price, including Ripassa down to under €20.

So, don't listen to the Central Bank - for some cheerful news, try us!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yalumba Dinner report - better late than never

The night before I went on holidays, we were lucky enough to have Jane Ferrari, Yalumba's worldwide wine ambassador, in Dalkey to do a Winemaker Dinner for us. Jane is brilliant craic, keeping the room's attention with a mixture of wit, charm and deep knowledge of the wines in front of her.

We had about 50 people in Jaipur for a Monday night and we tasted the following:

Wild Ferment Eden Valley Chardonnay 2007
Virgilius 2007
Barossa Patchwork Shiraz 2006
Barossa Shiraz Viognier 2006
Bush Vine Grenache 2007
The Signature Cabernet Shiraz 2004
The Menzies Coonawarra Cabernet 2003

The wines were all really very good, but the winner for me was The Signature 2004, a glorious blend of Cabernet and Shiraz that had concentration, fruit, elegance, balance and long, long length. Even at €40 ish a bottle, I really recommend this wine, the nicest drop from Oz that I have had in a long time and it would give similarly-priced bottles from Bordeaux something to think about.

Jaipur was excellent as it always is. I had to scoot off early as we had a taxi coming at 4am the next morning; the party was in full swing as I left....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What to drink when it's hot?

I know it's not hot, but I'm just back from Portugal where it was hot. Very hot. We tried a couple of times to drink the very nice Portuguese reds, but just couldn't face them, even chilled. We had a half bottle (we were with the children, so we had a limited window for consumption!) in an Italian restaurant one night served at room temperature (about 27 degrees) and it was like having a glass of soup.

The answer? Rosé. Cheap. Cold. Wet. Lowish in alcohol. You don't have to think about it too much. All in all, perfect holiday fare. Of course, they figured this out ages ago in the South of France.

Is there any point in trying to drink expensive Rosé? We have different ones on sale in the shop from around a tenner up to Domaine Ott at €32. Is it worth it? I don't know - I feel a tasting coming on....

Any views welcome - I need to be convinced.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Amazing Henschke Tasting at L'Ecrivain

Stephen and Prue Henschke were in town during the week and I was lucky enough to be asked in to taste the wines of this historic estate from Australia's Eden Valley. The wines are far from cheap, but the quality is very, very good indeed. We tasted:

Lenswood Coralinga Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (about €25) - best Oz Sauv Blanc I have tasted (not hard) very, very good. Nice texture, mineral edge.
Tilly's Vineyard Semillon/Chrd/ S Blanc 2006 (€25)- fresh, fruity, mineral finish again
Julius Riesling 2006 (€29) - lemons and limes, stony finish, good
Lenswood Pinot Gris 2006 (€29) - rich, soft fruit character, again quite mineral
Lenswood Pinot Noir 2004 (€45) - found this a little confected, tinned strawberry fruit on the nose, but nice spicy finish. Would expect more at the price
Abbotts Prayer Merlot 2004 (€65) - prices getting a bit mad for Ozzie merlot? This didn't do it for me I'm afraid
Henry's Seven 2005 (€30)- Shiraz Grenache Vignier blend - this is more like it. Rich dark berry fruit, sliky smooth tannins, 15% but carries it easily.
Johann's Garden Grenache (€33) - Chateauneuf du Pape? Yes it carries it off well - full-bodied, full on, peppery finish. A bit hot, but that's to be expected of Grenache...
Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2004 (€40)- a blend of shiraz, cab etc - refined and restrained, elegant, not a blockbuster. concentration and balance - very very good.
Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2004 (€85)- opulent, rich fruit jumping out of the glass. Hugely complex, concentrated but not too heavy, very drinkable. Smooth texture, long finish. World class.
Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (€100) -very polished, concentrated, beautiful cassis and cedar fruit, classic stuff. Long finish, really excellent.
Hill of Grace 2001 (€400?) - spice, black fruit, damsons on nose. Amazing concentration, balance and fruit definition. Needs time, cheese and solitude.

All in all, a very impressive tasting. The issue for me is, at these prices, how do I sell them?

L'Ecrivain was excellent as always.