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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Out of Africa. A Pair of Impressive Reds
Percheron Shiraz Mourvèdre, Western Cape (South Africa) 2014, 14.5%, €11.95 Le Caveau
The Percheron horse owes his place on the label to the fact that these draft horses (now a rare breed), once worked the land here; the ancient vines, another national treasure, survive also.
This medium red comes with dark fruit aromas, some savoury notes too. It is warm and rich, spice, vanilla notes too, savoury elements also, tannins more or less fine, and a long and warm finish. Well balanced, well made, great value and Highly Recommended.
The producers recommend matching it with smoked meat, red meat and cheeses. I found it superb with the Macroom Buffalo burgers from Eoin O’Mahony in the English Market, Cork.
A dark ruby red is the colour here; it is a little lighter at the rim. There are intense aromas. Delicious fruit too on the complex palate, a drift of pepper also, and fine tannins. Superb balance of fruit and wood and those dark fruits stay with you through the persistent finish. Very Highly Recommended.
Though the old cellars, situated underground in the limestone bedrock, most probably date from Roman times, the winery was founded by the Jesuits in 1857. Must have been some nuns there too - there usually were - as couvent is French for convent. The estate is no longer in Jesuit hands but the French influence is strong. Next parish by the way is unhappy Syria. Amazingly, Ksara produces some 3 million bottles per annum.
It is a blend, 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Franc and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Red meat and small game are the suggested matches for this delicious and complex wine.
Friday, April 11, 2014
No holding Bekaa with this Convent Reserve!
Chateau Ksara, Reserve du Couvent 2011, Vallee de la Bekaa (Lebanon), 13.5%, €19.15 Karwig Wines
Hard for me to believe that there is just 30 per cent Cabernet Franc in this gorgeous wine. The red grape of the Loire dominates here and I wouldn't have been surprised to see its contribution at about 70%. But no. The blend is 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc.
The winery was founded by Jesuits in 1857. Must have been some nuns there too - there usually were - as Couvent is the French for convent. The estate is no longer in Jesuit hands.
The wine has a beautiful mix of fruity aromas and the colour is a deep ruby. On the palate it is rich and delicious, the refreshing input of Cab Franc obvious methinks, there are hints of the wood (and of the French influence!); it is fine and full flavoured with a lasting finish. Can't help thinking though that I got into this 2011 a bit too soon as it seems there is more to come from it. Still, it is even now an excellent wine and Very Highly Recommended.