Showing posts with label Cullen Wines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cullen Wines. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Food & Drinks Posts for Past 12 Months

Top Food & Drinks Posts for Past 12 Months
(to end of April ‘14)
The Wine Geese. Top of the Charts!
Have decided to publish these regularly. If I do it annually, those coming in at the end of the year will hardly ever have a chance of making it to the top. Minimum requirement is 700 hits, just reached by Ballycotton newcomer Pier 26.























Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Cracking Madeira and So Much More at Liberty Tasting

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 Boyle  who 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.



Ian Brosnan (left) of ely Wine Bars
with Yours Truly.
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 length.

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: superb!

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top restaurant posts 2013

Top restaurant posts 2013
Aubergine & Roast Pepper Parcels at Chapel Steps

For the second year running, Bandon's Chapel Steps tops the restaurant charts. This year's post didn't score quite as high as the 2012 review but still, thanks to the many fans of this lovely restaurant, came out ahead. Good performances too from newcomers like Brendan Cashman's Gallo & Galettii in Wilton, Finn's Table in Kinsale, and the Greenroom at Sage in Midleton. Electric is tops in city centre, Cafe Gusto is leading cafe while the Sultan is best ethnic.

Top Drinks Posts
Kinsale's Black Pig Wine Bar is the place to go for a glass of wine (and a meal), the newcomer quickly establishing itself at the head of affairs. This was the Year of the WineGeese and great to see the visit of Cullen Wines to Cafe Paradiso featuring as does the series' opening night at L'Atitude 51. The rise of craft beer is underlined by the popularity of the post on the Cotton Ball, Cork's newest micro-brewery; this post, just up a week or two, is gathering in the hits even as I write.

Most popular restaurant posts
1
Speciality Nights at Bandon's Chapel Steps
2
Brendan is back
3
Electric. Easy to Book. Hard to Leave.
4
Magic at Myrtleville
5
Al Fresco dining at the Titanic Bar and Grill in Cobh
6
Old Friend's at Finn's Table
7
The Sultan of Penrose Wharf
8
Tapas in the Greenroom
9
Grazie Cafe Gusto

Most popular drinks posts
1
The Black Pig Wine Bar in Kinsale
2
On the tapas trail with Campo Viejo
3
Cullen Wines at Cafe Paradiso
4
Wine Geese Heading Home
5
Happy New Beer at the Cotton Ball
6
My Curious Case

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cullen Wines at Cafe Paradiso

Cullen Wines at Cafe Paradiso

Ger (Paradiso) and Emma in great form.
Tuesday’s coming together of Cullen’s biodynamic wines from Australia’s Margaret River and the renowned quality cooking of Cafe Paradiso, looked, on paper, like a match made in food heaven. You won’t be surprised to learn that it lived up to that billing.

This multi-course meal, part of the Wine Geese series, was one highlight after another. I really lapped up the Baby Carrots with the buttermilk yoghurt and the roast kombu. And then another highlight: grilled asparagus with miso beurre blanc and nori gomasio, matched with the 2010 “Mangan Vineyard” Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon.
Nettle-lemon sorbet.
The last of the whites was the superb 2010 “Kevin John” Margaret River Chardonnay and that went so well with the sublime Toonsbridge buffalo mozzarella with beetroot, pickled fennel, roast grapes and dukkah.

Emma Cullen, from the Western Australian vineyard family, was with us  and she was proud to say that the Kevin John, named after her grandfather, had sold out in the UK. It is a complex elegant wine which has spent nine months in new oak. If you hurry, you might get some (along with more of the Cullen wines in Bradley’s, North Main Street).
On then to the substantial and delicious Aubergine involtini with a pistachio-lemon salsa, potato and broad beans, paired with the 2010 Margaret River Red, “an incredibly popular wine”.

Chocolate and Cherries followed, enjoyed with the 2010 “Mangan Vineyard” Margaret River Merlot-Petit Verdot-Malbec. “This is a very interesting blend,” said Emma. “and has a bit of a cult following. Try it with roast duck, it is incredible! It has not seen oak. It was a terrific vintage and the fruit was so great, it didn’t need the oak!”
And we finished with that superb Crozier blue cheese (with celery and dates) and matched with the big red, the 2010 “Dian Madeline” Margaret Rover. Diana was Emma’s grandmother. This last wine also benefitted from the incredible vintage of that year. “It is very much a Bordelaise style, the cream of the crop.”
Cullen Wines, now in its 42nd year is, since 2004, certified A Grade Biodynamic by the BFA of Australia. “Put simply, biodynamic viticulture is a philosophy combining the maintenance of sustainable soil fertility and the recognition of the link between plant growth and the rhythms of the cosmos. It is a method of farming that treats the vineyard as a living system, which interacts with the environment to build a healthy living soil that helps to nourish the vines and general environment.”
Emma is a big fan. “The results have been incredible. All bug related problems are gone. We have better water retention. The quality of the fruit is absolutely flawless...and there is an extra life and vibrancy in the wine”.
If you’d like to read more of the fascinating details, including the famous cow horns filled with cow manure and planted in the fields, then go direct to the Cullen website here 
Cullen Wines are distributed in Ireland by Liberty Wines

So a big big thanks to Emma, to Gerry Gunnigan of Liberty, to Ger and to all the staff (especially to chef Mark) at Paradiso for a stunning mix of excellent food and top class wine.