Monday, December 9, 2019

Reds for Christmas? Supervalu's got you covered.

Reds for Christmas? Supervalu's got you covered.

Any of you who enjoyed the Campo Viejo tapas trails that used take place in Cork city a few years ago will know all about the Reserva. But have you met the Campo Viejo Garnacha, also from Rioja? It is my first pick from the current SuperValu Christmas Wine range. It’s a beauty as you may read below. And so too is the robust Stomper.

Reductions on a large selection of wines, both red and white, and beyond, continue right up to closing time on Christmas Eve. This post, the second of two, takes a look at the reds and may help you with your choices. Check out the whites and sparkling wines here.

Campo Viejo Garnacha Rioja (AOC) 2017, 14%, 
Usually, and still mostly, it is the grape Tempranillo that is used in Rioja but increasingly Garnacha is coming to the fore here and this Campo Viejo is their very first 100% Garnacha, the grapes coming from their own vineyard in Rioja. The wine is aged for four months in new French oak barrels.

Mid to dark ruby is the colour. Red berries, cherries and a waft of vanilla on the nose. Bright and lively and vibrantly fruity (strawberry, raspberry) on the palate, a wee bit of sweetness too, tannins too in the mix as the lengthy finish approaches.

Very versatile at the table: meat, pasta, appetisers, charcuterie, a vegetable lasagna have all been suggested. Watch out too for the Viejo Rioja Reserva, fruity and smooth and going for a song at ten euro, same price by the way as the famous Faustino.

Nugan Estates Stomper’s Cabernet Sauvignon Single vineyard Riverina 2015, 14.5%, 

Dark ruby is the colour here. Pretty intense aromas, blackcurrants featured, blackberry too, vanilla in there as well. You half expect it, yet the palate is surprised by the concentration of dark fruit flavours as the wine lives up to its Stomper billing. And the intensity, with sweet tannins in play, lingers in the long finish. Try with red meat, including venison.

Nugan tells us their “Cabernet vineyard requires more work than the Shiraz and it's become a favourite for the birds as the bunches ripen. There's never any short cuts on the barrel program and this wine sees only French oak, of which 25% is new. …We’re really proud of this and hope you like it”. I certainly liked it, one of the easiest-drinking Cabernet Sauvignon around. And now at a superb price.

Il Capolavoro Vino Rosso Appassimento from Puglia is another big red, €10.00 (down from 14.99).The colour is a rich ruby and you’ll notice the legs are slow to clear. There are intense aromas of dark fruits, chocolate notes too. On the palate, concentration is pleasantly evident; it is full of flavour with a touch of smooth spice, a hint of sweetness and it is juicy too. Easy drinking.

The Rhone is a source of some excellent wines and I’ve enjoyed a few from Vacqueyras over the years. The Remy Ferbras doesn’t let the side down here. Colour is ruby red and ripe dark fruits abound in the inviting mix of aromas. There is a great balance between the ripe fruit and spices, plus a hint of liquorice, impressive texture, full bodied and rounded. A good bottle to have on your table at this time of year.

No shortage of big reds on offer. They include the Special Guest Wine, an intriguingly entitled Uncle Zin Appassimento, not from California but a Primitivo in disguise from Italy.

Paço das Côrtes Friendship FADO Reserva (Vinho Regional Lisbon), 13.5%, €10.00 (13.99)

This Fado is a blend of Tinta Roriz (40%), Alicante Bouschet (30) and Syrah (30) and has been aged for 4 months in French oak. Colour is a dark ruby and there are aromas of ripe red fruits plus balsamic notes. Smooth, fruity and spicy, this warmly introduces itself on the palate. Quite intense all through but with good acidity and a persistent finish. 

Nice and satisfying with approachable ripe fruit, this ticks a lot of boxes and well worth looking out for on the SuperValu shelves. And, with its spectacular label you should find it easily enough! Kevin O’Callaghan, Head of SuperValu Wine, is a big fan: “The Fado is one of the best at that price position I’ve seen in a while….. This is a no-brainer for me.”

Have to admit, I’m a big fan of the Gamay grape which is the main red one in Beaujolais. Wines from here are not big and bold like some of the ones mentioned above.  But these lighter wines are very pleasant to drink and I see at least two in the current sale, each by André Goichot and each from a top area.

The best wines come, potentially, from the “crus” of Beaujolais. There are ten in all and the two represented on the Supervalu offer are Moulin á Vent and Fleurie. The Moulin á Vent is on offer for a limited time only.

Check out the SuperValu whites (and sparkling) here

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