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A Cracking Madeira and So Much More at Liberty Tasting
“Before you go, you have to try the Justino’s Madeira Colheita
1996,” she said.
I saw she was serious so, before she’d make a song and dance
about it, I thought I’d better try the wine. Oh, it was fabulous. A real star
of the wine world, just like Miss Susan Boylewho
gave me the tip!
There were many stars on view, thanks to Gerry Gunnigan and
Liberty Ireland, over 200 wines I think, from well established areas such as
France and Italy to newcomers such as Armenia. And there was quite an impressively
large attendance as well at Fallon & Byrne yesterday.
Started off with a couple of Grüner Veltliner from Austria. The 2013 Lois was fresh and fruity as you might expect
(you’d certainly expect so if you were getting it in one of heurigers on the
outskirts of Vienna). But the more serious Loimer 2012 Kamptal, from one estate, was
the better of the two.
New Zealand also had a couple of GV’s on show and Tinpot
Hut’s 2012 McKee Vineyard effort wasn't a million miles away from the Lois. The
Paddler’s 2012 Marlborough was really engaging, loved its fruit and good
Now it was time to compare a couple of Sauvignon Blanc /
Semillon in what turned out to be a Bordeaux v Margaret River contest. Great to
meet Emma Cullen again as she poured her 2011 Mangan River. Just one word here:
France would have to go some here to match that and the
Chateau de Rayne Vigneac took up the challenge with its 2012 Le Sec Bordeaux
Blanc, a wine new to the Liberty portfolio. There was a distinct aroma of
celery, unusual, but it is quite a fine smooth wine and refreshing, though without
having quite the same heft as the Cullen bottle.
Emma was also showing a smashing new red, the Margaret River
Mangan Vineyard 2012 Malbec/Petit Verdot/Merlot. Malbec has the lead role here
with 54% while the Petit Verdot has 29%. It is an exciting blend and an
excellent wine. Look out for it!
Bordeaux would come into its own with the reds and we had a few
good ones in a row. Started off with the basic Bordeaux Superieur (2011) from
Chateau de Mahon Laville, an excellent effort at that level, full of flavours
and with a good finish.
The standard raised another notch with the Château Tour de
Capet, St Emilion Grand Cru 2010, a superb wine. That got a close run from Clos
St Vincent, also a St Emilion Grand Cru, also 2010. This too was very good but
my vote goes to Tour de Capet. Must call to one or two of those when I’m in the
area in June!
Tried some very good Italians also, including two gorgeous Amarones,
but Bordeaux had stolen a march and we left it that. Well, not quite. We sipped
happily on the Valdespino NV Manzanilla Deliciosa before ending on another high
with that gorgeous Madeira*.
*Gerry told me that Cork readers will find the Madeira at
O’Brien’s in Douglas. My 44 Hours in Dublin. Accommodation, lunch, dinner, more. Details all here