Two Highly Recommended Wines From O'Briens
Emiliana “Amigo Secreto” Valle de Cachapoal 2016, 14.5%, €12.95 on offer, normally €16.95 O’Briens Wine
This organic blend of Syrah and Mourvedre, from Emiliana in central Chile, has a ruby colour of medium intensity. Fresh cherry and plum aromas. Silky and soft on the palate, generous fruit, tannins are close to smooth and the finish is long. A friendly everyday wine that may be enjoyed with grilled meats and spicy food. Highly Recommended.
O’Briens say: Made by our long-time Chilean partner, Emiliana, the organically farmed vines for this wine are planted on their own rootstocks in the Cachapoal Valley. In the cellar there is minimum intervention and the wine is aged for 12 months in French and American oak.
Emiliana were founded in 1986 and the Giulisasti family are the major shareholders. They began the move to organic and biodynamic in the late 90s and their “Gé” (named after the Greek word for earth) was Chile’s first certified biodynamic wine (ref: Wines of South America). They run what they term “interactive vineyards” with biodiversity the major factor.
Many different kinds of plants (employees are encouraged to grow their own to feed their families), many different types of animals ( alpacas, horses, cows, birds, chickens, sandpipers, geese, etc. live together here and also contribute to the compost used on the land), lots of cover plants (that contribute nitrogen and nutrients to the soil while planting of flowers draw insects away from the vines). Read and see more about their organic and biodynamic practices here.
Ophalum Albarino Val do Salnes Rias Baixas (DO) 2018, 13%, €18.95 (12.95 at time of purchase) O’Briens Wines
This zesty Albarino, made from young vines, has a light straw colour with a little splash of green. White fruit (“doughnut” peach) feature in the moderately intense aromas. And more white fruit, citrus too, as the fresh wine moves over the palate, quite a fruity finish too. Highly Recommended.
Producers indicate it is ideal with all kinds of seafood, oriental and vegetarian cuisine. O’Briens themselves say the crisp acidity “is an ideal pairing to cut through oily fish or tapas dishes”. We tried it with the delicious smoked chicken crown from Skeaghanore and a garden salad and it worked perfectly well. Serving temperature: 8 – 10 °C.
O’Briens: made exclusively for O'Briens by the Paco y Lola winery in the Salnés Valley, the largest cooperative in Galicia's Rías Baixas region. It has the typical pear and citrus fruit profile of Galician Albariño with a saline mineral note on the long tropical fruit finish.