Excellent Languedoc Blend and Portugal's "Best White Grape"


Esprit de Crès Ricards Marsanne-Roussanne Pays d’OC (IGP) 2017, 13%, €14.50 Karwig Wine

This Esprit is part of a series made by Crès Ricards from local grapes. I’ve always liked these two, either solo or in a blend (as is the case here) and that’s why I bought this in Karwig’s. It is 70% Marsanne.

Colour is a mid-straw, bright and clear. White fruit and floral notes on the nose. Intense and lasting flavours, passionfruit and honeysuckle, make this a pleasant experience from rich and fresh attack to the apricot affected finalé. Highly Recommended.

Interestingly, one of the suggested pairings is blue cheese. Maybe not that surprising anymore. In Matt Kramer’s book, True Taste (2015), he wrote: “…. increasingly, the most serious lovers of cheese choose white wines over red. This would have astounded our wine- and cheese-loving forebears.” 

The winery suggests seafood, fish, poultry dishes and, yes, blue cheese, and also as an aperitif.

As you probably know, Karwig's are closing their business in Carrigaline and a closing-down sale is in progress. You may well get this one at a better price than above.

Casa de Mouraz Encruzado Dáo (DOC) 2016, 13%, €21.00 Mary Pawle


In 1997, Casa de Mouraz became the first biodynamic winery in the Dao. Portuguese grapes aren't that well known individually in this country. Encruzado, the grape here, is “potentially the best white grape of the DAO” according to Grapes and Wine. Barrel fermentation and lees stirring help bring out the character. It is indigenous and regarded as the most important white grape in the region and this particular wine has had eight months on fine lees with batonage.

The first thing you’ll note is that the cork is covered with a wax. Just remove that with the blade on your corkscrew. It is fairly soft but be careful!

Colour is a mid-straw. Aromas of medium intensity recall white fruits and citrus, floral notes too. Fresh fruit flavours (apricot, peach), excellent mouthfeel, acidity enough to nudge it towards crisp and a decent citrus-y finish too. Highly Recommended.

Food pairing: Oven baked fish (such as codfish, salmon or tuna). Also very good with white meat and some vegetarian dishes like pasta with pesto or cheese sauces. Aside from handling full flavoured fish dishes (also the Portuguese favourite bacalao), it is excellent on its own. very versatile indeed.

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