Three To Consider
|Seventeen months in oak.|
Coto de Imaz 2008 Reserva Rioja (DOC), 13.5%, €19.60, Karwig Wines
This dark cherry coloured gem from La Rioja has spent 17 months in American oak and a further three years in bottle.The fruit aromas promise much and, with this well balanced wine, you don't have to wait long for the fulfilment. A complex well-aged, well-made wine “from a selection of the best Tempranillo grapes in Rioja”. In the mouth, it feels close to velvet and the tannins are a little grippy. Excellent overall and Very Highly Recommended.
Almirante’s Pionero Mundi Albarino 2013 (Rias Baixas), 12.5%, €14.95 at Mitchell & Sons, Dublin; Skelly’s of Longford; Bradley’s of Cork; and others
There are more than 600 pages in the 1994 Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine and the Spanish region of Rias Baixas gets about a 1/3rd of a page, enough though for the editors to note that “the Albarino, a variety of such excellence that almost the whole wine industry in the province..has been built on it”. It was indeed a solid foundation and, 21 years on, the results are now being tasted and acclaimed near and far.
Colour in this example is a light gold with green tints. The white fruit aromas are intense and gorgeous. And then there is the unmistakable tingle of the Albarino, fresh and fruity and yet so dry, all followed by a long reverberating finish. Very Highly Recommended.
Piantaferro Primitivo Di Manduria (DOC) 2012, 14%, €13.99 SuperValu
Greeting here is an aroma of dark fruits, plums mainly. Fruit flavours are quite concentrated and there is some spice, maybe a touch of liquorice and a silky input of tannin. Overall it is quite rich with a long finish. Well made, well balanced and Highly Recommended.
Primitivo, genetically similar to California's Zinfandel, has emerged as “the most consumer-friendly grape” of Puglia, the heel of Italy. Could be a handy one to have around when grilling on the BBQ this summer, even if you may have to eat indoors!