Saturday next sees the first of a series of tempting tastings at the Carrigaline warehouse of Parsons Wines http://www.parsonswines.ie .
Kevin Parsons tells me that he expects Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc to be one of the main attractions this Saturday when the series kicks off with a firm focus on Dog Point Wines from New Zealand. These wines are made by James Healy, formerly of Cloudy Bay.
On Saturday May 21st, the wines of the Loire, ideal for summer drinking , take the spotlight and one to watch out for here is another Sauvignon Blanc, this the Domaine Octavia from Touraine. “This is a star, a summer quaffer,” according to Katherine Donnelly (Irish independent on Sunday) as quoted in the current James Nicholson Wines catalogue.
Parsons remain in France for the third and final tasting on May 28th. The theme here is Wines of Alsace. No shortage of good ones here but Kevin tells me the Domaine Zind Hambrecht Riesling Close Hauserer 2008 is “special”.
This was one of the wines I tasted during an all too brief visit to Kevin today and it is indeed something special, with a great nose and so well balanced. Another very pleasant wine from the area was the Bott Geyl Riesling Les Elements 2006 which has excellent acidity and no shortage of fruit.
Also sampled one from the Loire: la Grille Classic Chenin Blanc, quite dry yet fruity enough and should go well with a salad in the back garden this summer.
Staying in France, we moved to the south and to the red of le Page de Vignelaure, a Vin de Pays, Coteaux du Verdun. This Provençale wine, 90% Cab Sauv, 10% Merlot, is full bodied with no shortage of tannins and loads of black fruit, quite a red for the price.
Out of Europe then and across the Med to Lebanon from where Kevin produced a gem: the Massaya Silver Selection Red 2005. This blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Cab Sauv and Mourverde is something different. “Fruity and good enough to drink now,” according to Kevin, “but with sufficient tannins to ensure it will age well.”
He is not alone in his high praise of this gem. Jancis Robinson has written that it is rich and explosive. “A sort of cross between Ch Musar and St-Emilion.”
So keep an eye out for those tastings and while there why not have a browse among the collection of wine books that Kevin sells. Oh, and don't forget to take a look at the large collection of national (and other) flags that adorn the warehouse.
The tastings times each Saturday are 11.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm. More details here http://www.parsonswines.ie