Showing posts with label Chablis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chablis. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

O’Brien’s July Sale. Three to Consider

O’Brien’s July Sale
Three to Consider


The monthly sales at O’Brien’s are always worth a look. I’m afraid I was a little late getting to Douglas this time. But the bottles I wanted were still there and here are three of them, from a great selection of close to one hundred! Check them out here.

Tons de Duorum, Douro (DOC) 2014, 13.5%, €15.45 (11.95 in July sale) O’Brien’s

The name is inspired by the bright colours that result from the reflections of the sun on the Douro creating different tones in the vineyard. Local grapes Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz are used; they are hand-harvested and the wine goes on to spend six months in oak.

Intense dark and red fruit aromas greet you from this ruby to violet coloured wine and the legs are slow enough to clear. No shortage of ripe fruit flavours on the elegant palate, refreshing with a little spice there too, fine tannins and a lovely soft finish. Another good value wine from the Douro and Highly Recommended.
Brocard La Boissoneuse, Chablis (AOC) 2013, 12.5%, €24.95 (22.95 in July sale) O’Brien’s

You really don't have to wait to get this light gold wine into your glass to appreciate the gorgeous aromas. The white fruits and some floral hints emerge from the bottle the minute you extract the cork.

The cork has a wax coating. A bit of a nuisance I thought - until I looked up this You Tube demo. Suitably instructed, I warmed the top of the wax with the palm of my hand and then extracted the cork as normal, the wax top breaking off cleanly as the cork emerged.

There is true harmony on the palate, those white fruit flavours (apple, citrus) and a charge of bracing minerality giving a superbly clean combination and a long and very satisfying finish.

The winery has respect for its ancient soils and notes the cycles of the sun and the moon, all with the aim of bringing the Chardonnay grapes to “perfect harmony”. Their organic principles have been rewarded with this Very Highly Recommended Wine. Two euros off may not be a great draw. Definitely you’ll get bigger bargains in the sale but few better wines than this. O’Brien’s themselves say it “leaves some of the best Premier Crus in its wake... a revelation”. "Not your typical Chablis," says Nicolas, the Douglas manager. But a very good one.
Bethany Creek Shiraz, Barossa 2011, 13.5%, €19.95 (€12.95 in July sale) O’Brien’s

The grapes for this excellent wine come, as is not uncommon in Australia, from their own and a number of neighbouring vineyards. Vintage commenced on 4 March at Bethany Wines, later than usual and a full month later than in 2010; the cooler temperatures resulting in slow, even ripening of the fruit and good flavour development. So, no harm done! On the contrary.

Colour is purple and there are fruity aromas, some spice too. Those red cherry characters follow through to the palate, fruity and spicy with fine tannins, a soft mouthfeel, an elegant wine that has “gained from two years careful oak maturation”. This approachable well-balanced wine is Highly Recommended. So get in quick as stocks, at this bargain price, may not last until the end of the month!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Burgundy Bourgogne. Five of the Best

SuperValu Feature Burgundy
Some of Bourgogne's Best


The French Wine sale is underway at SuperValu until the 23rd of the month (September). The focus here is on Burgundy (Bourgogne) and indeed mainly on the whites of the iconic area.

Burgundy and Bordeaux are perhaps the best known wine areas of France but there are major differences. Bordeaux is the area of the the big chateaux, the extensive vineyard. But Burgundy is the land of the small holder.

In Bordeaux too, they blend both reds and whites. In the Bourgogne region, the wines are mainly single varietal. This “purity of expression” means that each plot gives each vintage its own personality and unique characteristics. Chardonnay (48%) and Pinot Noir (34%) are the most widely grown here.

The current sale gives you, and me, a great opportunity to sample the superb wines from the region. Andre Goichot, best known as a negociant but who is also a producer, has been here since 1947 and all the wines below are his.

Maison Andre Goichot Mercurey (AOC) 2013, 12.5%, €18.00.
Colour is a light, and bright, red while the aromas give you a nice mix of raspberry, cherry, strawberry. Red fruit flavours, cherry prominent, on the palate, light as you'd expect, the lightness of a classic youthful Pinot Noir; acidity and tannins combine well as you go into the dry finish. Very Highly Recommended. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better example at or about this price - if you do, let me know.

Don't think I'd go as far as to say it's a divine wine but the village of Mercurey is named after a local Gallo-Roman temple to Mercury, the messenger of the gods.

Did you know that Pinot Noir juice is clear? The grapes must be macerated in vats to put the skins in contact with the juice. The colour is in the skins and, without this maceration, the Pinot Noir would produce a white wine. Pinot Noir accounts for about a third of the Burgundy harvest.

Maison Andre Goichot “Les Petit Meix” Chablis 1er Cru 2014, 13%, €18.00.

This, of course, is a Chardonnay, dry and fresh. If this is your first Chablis, you’ll probably find it much drier and fresher than the non-burgundian Chardonnays you've been drinking. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the wines of Chablis are surely the most flattered in the world - according to DK's French Wines 1999.

Colour is pale gold and it has the characteristic mineral aromas that hint of the dryness and freshness to come on the palate. It is quite a gorgeous mouthful, fruit and acidity in good balance and a super dry finalé.
Matches indicated include fine poultry, oysters and veal in a white sauce. But this is a complex wine, very versatile (you'll have no problem with duck or pork) and Very Highly Recommended.

Maison Andre Goichot Meursault (AOC) 2014, 13%, €35.00.

Colour is a greenish gold, limpid and brilliant, and here again the fruit and acidity match up in an exceptional balance. Fresh and smooth it has an excellent refined mouthfeel with a streak of minerality and a long finish that keeps giving.


On the area’s website, I read: “Nowhere in the Côte de Beaune does the Chardonnay grape do better that its does here”. Maybe a little early with this one, as they say “it is a great white wine for laying down”. It is indeed excellent now, and Highly Recommended, but whether it is twice as good as the Chablis or Montagny is debateable. Perhaps its best days are in the future! So maybe I’ll buy a few of these for that special occasion in a couple of years and lots of the Montagny for the here and now!

Former US president Thomas Jefferson once visited the region and reported: "..at Meursault only white wines are made, because there is too much stone for the red".


Domaine Les Guignottes, Les Resses Montagny 1er Cru 2014, 13%, €20.00
Not too much to say about this - just go out and buy and enjoy! This classic Chardonnay has beautiful intense white fruit aromas, peach the most prominent. Colour is a bright gold and there are amazing fruit and nut flavours, some spice too. The acidity too is outstanding. Fresh, with  a gorgeous mouthfeel and a long finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Domaine Les Guignottes, Montagny Les Guignottes, 13%, €18.00
Falling in love with Montagny, for sure. Tried this out with a trio and they all loved it as well, its amazing colours, brightness and aromas but above all for the outstanding flavours and acidity and that long finish. Great value too. Very Highly Recommended. 

Montagny (in the Chalonnaise region) produces white wines only - fresh, young, alluring classic burgundian. Very versatile as a food wine, including seafood, many cheeses (including goat) and it won't be intimidated by paella.



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Chardonnay Rocks. All Over The World

Chardonnay Rocks

All Over The World

Chardonnay is the best known white grape. It tolerates a wide range of climates and is loved by winemakers as it is easy to grow and very versatile. Sometimes it is let down by the winemaker. It has its detractors, of course. Ironically, quite of of them love Champagne in which Chardonnay is a key ingredient. Below are a few that I like, all available online.

Jip Jip Rocks Chardonnay 2011, Pathaway (Australia), 12.5%, €18.30, Karwig Wines
Colour here is a very pale gold, hints of green. White fruit aromas greet you. On the palate it is smooth, extended lees contact adding texture and complexity. Fruity too, notes of citrus and melon. Light and fresh with lively acidity and a medium finish. Perfect for seafood and quite good solo too. Loved this unoaked beauty and it is Very Highly Recommended.

Chateau de Maligny Chablis (AOP) 2013, 12.5%, €22.55 Karwig Wines
Again colour is very pale, very clean. Citrus in the aromas. On the palate, it is crisp and clean, citrus flavours too; it is light and fresh with excellent acidity and there is a good finish. No sign of oak here as “the goal..is to preserve natural character..without any foreign intervention”. Excellent with grilled fish and seafood and Highly Recommended.

El Grano Chardonnay 2012, Chile, 13%, €14.45 Le Caveau
This one does get some oak, 20% of it is fermented in French oak. It is made organically in Chile’s Curico valley by French winemakers Denis and Gregoire Duveau and is Very Highly Recommended.

This well balanced beauty scores on the palate with its engaging natural freshness, absolutely engaging sip after sip, glass after glass. Medium bodied, fine flavours too plus a long finish. Colour is a pale yellow, aromas (peach and exotic fruits) are not overly strong but the character shines through on the palate. Nice wine, nice price.

Domaine de Rochebin Chardonnay 2012 Macon-Lugny (AP), 12.5%, €15.50 Karwig Wines

There is a rich honey colour here, with micro bubbles clinging to the glass. Clinging to it myself as well as this is a good one, aromas are lovely, if a little muted at first. It is fresh and light, refreshing fruit flavours (apple, pear). It has an excellent body, good acidity too and a long finish.

The fresh and fruity style is a direct result of vineyard policy. It has spent 4 to 5 months on fine lees. No oak is used for this gorgeous Chardonnay (popping up in a quite a few restaurants) which is Very Highly Recommended.