Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A Super Spanish White Plus A Burgundy Blend (yes, a blend!)

A Super Spanish White Plus A Burgundy Blend (yes, a blend!)

Menade Verdejo Ecologica Vino De La Tierra De Castilla Y Leon (DO) 2019, 13%

€ 18.35 64 Wine DublinBradley’s of CorkGreenman DublinLe Caveau Kilkenny

This Verdejo from the heart of Spain comes in a light gold robe. White fruit aromas (pear) and some floral elements in the inviting aromas. And on the palate, the welcome continues as you get that lovely fresh fruit (nectarine, grapefruit, passionfruit) plus a refreshing acidity, harmonious all the way to the excellent finish. Very Highly Recommended.

This versatile wine is ideal for a tapas evening and I’ve certainly enjoyed it on a few excursions, The Gallery in Westport one such occasion that I remember well. Luckliy I had a bottle on hand the other night when our dinner was a fabulous box of Tapas from Cask. And the Verdejo excelled itself across most of the “courses”. I didn’t chance it against the Chocolate Empanadas but it stood out when paired with Monkfish Croquettes, Prawn & Chorizo Stew and especially with the Lamb Kofta (with Raita sauce). A very impressive display indeed.

Brothers and sister Marco, Richard and Alejandra Sanz run this certified organic estate in Rueda, South of Valladolid. The estate has 160 ha in production (including 30 ha of pre-phylloxera vines). Hand-harvesting, natural yeasts and low yields with minimal intervention in the cellar is how the trade-mark Menade style of pure and expressive wines is created.

Rueda is one of the DOs within the larger Castilla Y Leon region and here the Menade estate is always looking for ways to help the land and the environment. Their mobile tree project is one: “Our on-going mobile tree project consists of towing a variety of different tree species into different vineyard parcels. Planted on trailers some 3 meters high, the objective is to see how they adjust to their individual destinations, where we monitor them to assess where and how their eventual presence might prove most beneficial on a potentially permanent basis.”

Domaine Lacour Bourgogne Passetoutgrains (AOP) 2017, 12%, 
€18.95 64 Wine DublinBradley’s of CorkGreenman DublinLe Caveau Kilkenny

Burgundy Passetoutgrains is a regional appellation that can be harvested all over Burgundy. This is one of the few exceptions for blending grape varieties in Burgundy: instead of using only Pinot Noir the wine here will be composed of Pinot Noir and Gamay, in proportions chosen by the wine producer (at least one third of Pinot Noir). 

While this blend has been around for hundreds of years, it rarely makes it out of France. Punch, in 2017, put is near anonymity down to the fact that many winemakers still keep back a good portion of their production to drink with family and friends. And it may be harder too get in the future; , the production of Passetougrain has drastically decreased mainly because Pinot Noir grapes are more profitable in the area. So get it while you can. A few bottles would be perfect for the summer. But do look for a more recent vintage. Highly Recommended.

Colour is a light to mid ruby. Aromas are insistent, mainly red fruits, especially strawberry. The Gamay is credited with contributing the red fruit aromas. It is light and smooth on the palate, rounded fruit flavours abound, tannins are smooth and the light and delicious wine finishes long. Easy-drinking and well priced.

Serve at about 16 degrees. Made to be enjoyed young, it is an everyday wine for snacks and picnics and its light and fruity qualities means it is also a great accompaniment to cold cuts and grilled meats.

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