Showing posts with label Kelly's Patch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kelly's Patch. Show all posts

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Happy Apple Time In Idaho. She Said Apple Brandy. Not Bramley!

Happy Apple Time In Idaho

Bramley? No, Apple Brandy! 
Blackended chicken salad

Apple Time in Idaho Café. Well, apple time all over the country. Just check out Mealagula Orchard’s stall in the English Market and sink your teeth into those delicious Katie, maybe cook up a tart with the Bramley. And if you want the very best Apple Crumble, ever, head on over to sunny Idaho. Maybe the sun doesn't always shine outside on the tiny terrace but it never fails inside.

The warm welcome is a given and you’ll get all the info on the day's specials without even asking. And our server was just delighted to tell us about the Crumble. She and the rest of the crew had been knocked out by the aromas earlier in the morning and were just about restraining themselves from scoffing it all. It was an easy sell. First I thought I heard Bramley but, no, it was apple brandy that the raisins had been soaked in.

The deep dish was packed with the moist apple and crumble. It may not make the prettiest of pictures but, with a little dollop or two of cream, it is a magnificent dessert. And the good news is that there’ll be plenty more of it. The Jacobs, Richard and chef Mairead, have their own orchard at home. You can't get more local than that and you'll be hard pressed to find a more delicious crumble (just managed to type that as a half-hearted-kick in the shins was delivered by the official blog cook!).

The popular city centre café is just a hop, skip and a jump from Patrick Street, at the rear of Brown Thomas. It is small and often full, whether for breakfast (from 8.30) or lunch, or for coffee and “hippy teas” (and crumble!) anytime.

We were in for lunch and you'll notice a few regular items on the menu such as the Fish Pie (smoked fish pie topped with mash or cheddar), The Shepherdess’s Pie with local Irish beef and topped with mash, and the Potato Bake, with Gubbeen and crispy bacon. The day to day variety comes via the specials (and the background music!)

I had been half-hoping that the salad Niçoise they had for the Cork Bounty Week was still on but no such luck! So I picked the Blackened chicken salad. Another superb dish, the chicken was moist and tender, cooked to perfection, the salad fresh, crisp and well dressed, the nuts giving it a welcome crunch. Delicious. 
The finalé.

CL was also full of praise for her crumble and also enjoyed her Quesadilla. This too changes regularly but last Friday the tasty mix was chicken, mozzarella, sun-dried tomato and red onion

Produce is the best of local, cooking is fab, service is friendly, prices are fair (34 euro for two mains, two desserts, two Americanos; add €4.95 for a glass of Kelly’s Patch Chardonnay). By the way, they only use Irish meats, fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs. “Not just because they are the best, but because we believe in Ireland.” And I believe in Idaho! Join up.
Idaho Café (by Idaho)
Idaho Café
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5:00pm

(to 6pm on Fri/Sat)
19 Caroline Street, Cork.

Just Behind Brown Thomas.
No Phone. No Reservations.
Just Ireland's Best Café 2013.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kelly’s Patch Wines Victoria to Magherafelt

Kelly’s Patch Wines
Victoria to Magherafelt
Jonny Callan (left) and Matt Herde in Dublin
From way down in South-Eastern Australia comes the collection of very drinkable Kelly’s Patch wines. I came across them a year or so ago in Karwig’s and came across the team behind them at the recent Australia Day Tasting in the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin where Wine Australia showed over 200 wines to illustrate the diversity of wine in the vast country.

Cabroso Wines were showing the Kelly’s range and here we were delighted to meet up with Jonny Callan and Brian Shaw from the Irish end (they are based in Magherafelt, County Derry) and Matt Herde (see his short tasting videos via the links below) from the Australian end in Victoria. Brian himself was just back after no less than four years spent working and studying in the wine industry in Australia and New Zealand.

All their wines are single varietal. The whites are Kelly's Patch Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay while the reds are Merlot and Shiraz. They also have a pair specially developed for the on licence trade, namely Kelly's Gang Shiraz and Kelly's Gang Sauvignon Blanc which you can watch out for in restaurants.
Took the opportunity to taste most of these in Dublin and they are very pleasant wines indeed, all easy drinking and all well priced at €11.99 for the off licence bottles. The Pinot Grigio is beautiful and fresh. The Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and vibrant with good tropical fruits.


The Merlot surprised me with its plummy spicy fruit, very concentrated with a lovely soft mouthfeel, a very nice drop indeed. The Kelly’s Patch Shiraz is also very good, warm and hearty, fruit-forward and enjoyable as Matt says here in this short video.

We later had the chance to taste two of the wines, including their star, the Kelly’s Last Wish Shiraz, at our leisure and the notes follow.

Kelly’s Patch Chardonnay 2014 (South East Australia), 13.5%, €11.99, available at Karwig Wines and other stockists http://kellyspatch.com/wheretobuy/


The fruit for this comes from Goulburn Valley where Chardonnay is the leading white grape. The aromas are an inviting mix, mainly fruity but with some floral elements. Colour is a bright medium gold with green tints. Importantly, oak use has been careful and applied to only a portion of the wine. Extended lees contact has enhanced the structure. There is indeed a refreshing balance of fruit and lively acidity and a very good finish to boot. Well made, good value and Highly Recommended.


Matt’s video here.


Kelly’s Last Wish Shiraz 2014, Central Victoria, 14.5%, €19.99 Stockists

Central Victoria is Shiraz country and the Last Wish, with its abundant succulent flavour and character is an excellent example. The fragrance of plums and the lift of spice are found in the attractive aromas and a palate full of concentrated fruit follows, oak too but really well integrated. With its tremendous fruit and spice, this is a complete wine, one that the winery say will keep for seven years. Not full on but nicely judged, as Hugh Johnson might say. Highly Recommended.
Ned Kelly's "mark" on left hand pic.
Just in case you haven't guessed it, Kelly's Patch is named after Ned Kelly,  an Australian bushranger of Irish descent. He was born in the British colony of Victoria as the third of eight children to an Irish convict from County Tipperary and an Australian mother with Irish parentage.


Kelly is one of Australia's greatest folk heroes, according to a government website. “He has been memorialised by painters, writers, musicians and filmmakers alike. More books, songs and websites have been written about Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang than any other group of Australian historical figures.” Read more here.

Briefly, he was born in 1855 and hanged in 1880. His last wish was to be buried in consecrated ground but that didn't take place until 2013 when he was reinterred in Greta Cemetery in Victoria.


South-Eastern Australia is a Geographical Indication (GI) covering the entire southeastern third of Australia. This area's western boundary stretches 1250 miles (2000 km) across the Australian continent, from the Pacific coast of Queensland to the Southern Ocean coast in South Australia. This vast viticultural "super zone" effectively encompasses every significant Australian wine region outside Western Australia.


Australia Day Tasting in Dublin 27.01.16
Part One (whites)
Part Two (reds)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dublin's Australian Day Tasting. The Red Wines. Shiraz Stars

Dublin's Australian Day Tasting
Part 2. The Red Wines. Shiraz Stars.
Shiraz. Wine Australia photo from 2016 vintage.
To see Part 1 (on the white wines, mainly), please click here

The diversity of Australian wines wasn't perhaps the most demanding of themes for the recent Australia Day Tasting in Dublin! There are some great choices already in Ireland and more coming our way, at all price levels. Australia has over sixty wine regions, so somewhere there is a terroir suitable for virtually every single grape variety and indeed almost all grape varieties are grown there; resulting wines can be single varietal or a blend.


We are moving on now to our second tour of the room in the Royal Hibernian Academy, the red route. All that after a chat with fellow wine scribe Richard Magnier who was enjoying the concentrated excellence available at the Focus Table for Chardonnay and Shiraz. Check Part 1 (the whites) here.


But before we get on to the well known Shiraz, I’d like to draw your attention to some less well known ones from Australia.  Wine Australia: “Winemakers and principals have been visiting the market throughout the year to promote the diversity of flavours and styles, regions and terroirs together with the food friendly, vibrant, evolving styles and emerging varieties.”


Food friendly and vibrant can easily be applied to the Merlot from Kelly’s Patch and shown by Jonny Callan of Cabroso Wines. McGuigan’s too have a Merlot in their Black Label series as have Yellow Tail while Wolf Blass has a Malbec. Penfolds have a Mataro (Mourvedre to you and me).


And if you like your Chianti it's entirely possible you'll like the De Bortoli Bella Riva Sangiovese 2013, from the King Valley in Victoria. Not too many Pinot Noirs on show but I did enjoy the De Bortoli Windy Peak 2013 from the Yarra Valley, superb flavour and balance here, even it's their third label. 

Missed out on tasting one from Tasmania, an ideal area for the grape, but there was Tasmanian fruit (along with fruit from Victoria) in the excellent Hardy’s PRB Pinot Noir 2014.


No shortage of red wine blends in the tasting.  And one of the best was the Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (2012) from the Barossa, so well balanced, very quaffable indeed. All we were short was Jane Ferrari! Didn't quite get the same grá, at first sip, for the Peter Lehmann Clancy's Red (Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) - might need a second go!


And then, at the Findlaters table, there was 19 Crimes, named after the 19 listed crimes that made you a criminal in these parts and gave you a one way ticket to Australia. The “wine celebrates the rules they broke and the culture they built”. 

And this intense flavoursome wine is quite a blend with Shiraz (57.1%), Cabernet Sauvignon (19.3%), Grenache (10%) and Merlot (6.4%) included. The Australians can blend a wine as good as any and can also tell the tales. Read about one of the “criminals” here, a Irish poet called John O’Reilly.


But tales and marketing can only bring you so far. The quality must be there and it is rarely lacking in Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Let's start with the Cab Sauv and a lovely easy drinking one, again from the Findlater table, the Gentleman’s Collection 2014 from South Australia. For fifteen euro, this one ticks most of the boxes.


At Table 14 (Whelehan Wines), I asked for the Parker Coonawarra Estate Terra Rossa Cabernet 2013 (29.95). CL is a major Cabernet fan and thought she had struck gold. And it is a beauty - great balance structure and fruit.
Coonawarra Terra Rossa soil


But it would soon be eclipsed(!) by the Parker Coonawarra Estate First Growth 2010 (€85.00). This is produced only in seasons of exceptional fruit quality. It's made from predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon from their Abbey vineyard and some vintages, including this one, contain a small portion of Merlot and/or Petit Verdot. It is perfection. Best Cab Sauv I tasted for the afternoon!


Australia can boast much richer stocks of ancient Shiraz/Syrah vines than France. It was one of the country’s original varieties and many vines there are now well over 100 years old. While Shiraz (42,000 hectares) may well be Australia's signature variety (think Penfolds Grange), the style is ever-changing, from “classic full-bodied” to “delicate interpretations”.

“While Barossa may be the jewel in Australia's Shiraz crown”, quite a few other, often cooler, areas are also making their mark. Let's see what I got to taste in Dublin and, remember again, I didn't taste every example.


Kelly’s Patch, the vineyard with the Irish connection (not the only one!), had no less than three, headed by the award winning Kelly’s Last Wish 2014 (€19.99), from Central Victoria, really well-made, with fragrant aromas and a palate full of concentrated fruit and spice. The name comes from a story concerning the outlaw Ned Kelly's final wish, another tale on a bottle.


Peter Lehmann is famous for reds and, from a whole stable of Shiraz, my pick was the Futures 2011 (30.00), from the Barossa. Fruit and spice galore and an ABV of 14.5%. Most Australian Shiraz will be up around that, some even above.


D'Arenberg’s Dead Arm is their best known Shiraz but, with diversity in mind, I sampled the mid-range The Footbolt 2012  (€22.00) from the McLaren Vale. Another superb example with typical fruit and spice.


Hard to go wrong with Shiraz in this room. They just kept getting better. And Findlaters had quite a gem in the Wynns Coonawarra Estate Michael 2012, succulent, well integrated, well made with great length. The Shiraz Star of the Show?
The O'Brien family: Helen, Charlie and Kevin at home in McLaren Vale


That’s what I was thinking until I came to taste the Kangarilla Road The Devil’s Whiskers 2013 from the McLaren Vale. After that, I reckon the Best in Show title will have to be shared with Kevin and Helen O’Brien’s magnificent wine. Kevin was there himself: “It is consistent, ages beautifully. I tasted the 05/06 recently and it is beautiful vibrant, lovely.” This 2013 seems to be heading in the same delicious direction.


We have been missing the brilliant Kangarilla Road wines these past few years in Ireland. Kevin, like quite a few other Australian winemakers, came to the Dublin show searching for a distributor. Kangarilla, with so many superb wines in the range and popular in the UK, would be a fantastic addition to any portfolio here.


To learn a little more on Shiraz, check out this podcast.

To see Part 1 (on the white wines, mainly), please click here
Post also on the wines of Kelly's Patch here


  • Over 200 wines. Phew. To be honest, I didn’t set out to taste every one. And, even if I had managed the feat, that still wouldn't have given the complete picture of the diversity found in Australian wine today. Many more wines were available in the London tasting for example and some Irish favourites, such as Cullen Wines from the Margaret River, Tim Adams from the Clare Valley, the Palmers of Skillogalee, gentleman Chris Pfeiffer of Rutherglen, the Brysons of Morambro Creek in Padthaway, were among those not present in Dublin for one reason or another.
The Royal Hibernian Academy



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Excellent Ehrhard Riesling. .. from the source..

An Excellent Ehrhard Riesling

from the source

Carl Ehrhard Rheingau 2010 Rudesheimer Riesling Kabinett, 11%, €17.80, Karwig Wines

The Rheingau is the spiritual heart of German wine, the birthplace of Riesling, according to the World Atlas of Wine. This bottle from the source is excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

The colour is a light honey and you’ll see quite a few tiny bubbles clinging to the glass. And yes there is a wee whiff of petrol in the aromas. On the palate, it is lively, full of fruit flavour, even a hint of sweetness too but it is tart as there is a crab apple acidity at play, all making for a lovely finish. Well worth a try.

Kelly’s Patch Chardonnay 2013, Australia, 13.5%, €11.05 Karwig Wines

This crisp Chardonnay, all the way from Victoria, is highly recommended. Colour is light gold, with green tints, and it has white fruit aromas. Crisp and fruity (melon, peach, and citrus), it has moderate acidity and not a bad finish at all. The year was a good one and this well made wine is Highly Recommended.

The story here is that Kelly’s Patch is named after the Kelly family whose homestead stood here long before the vines. The notorious Ned Kelly was born here and his iron mask features on the bottle. His father was a Kelly, deported from Tipperary in 1841. His mother came from Antrim, so it is rather appropriate that the wine is now imported via Magherafelt.

Winzer Krems, Grüner Veltliner Kremser Goldberg Kellermeister Privat, Kremstal DAC.


This is another superb white wine from Karwigs, that I tasted with the two above. Did a review of it late last year and you may see that here.