Thursday, April 1, 2021

Highly Recommended Wines from The Rhone and The Danube

Highly Recommended Wines from 

The Rhone and The Danube

We've got two lovely wines for you, red from the Rhone and white from the Danube. Organic wine-maker Jacques Frelin has vineyards all over France from the Languedoc (where he is headquartered) to the Loire. The Diwald vineyard is about 20 minutes from the Danube; they have been pioneers in organic wine in Austria and are well-known for their Grüner Veltliner.

Contrefort du Delta Côtes du Rhône (AOP) 2018, 14%

€15.62 - Widely availableFields Supervalu, Skibbereen; Scally’s Supervalu, Clonakilty; Organico, Bantry; Taste, Castletownbere; Quay Co-Op, Cork; Bridge St. Kenmare; O'Donovan's Off Licence; The Grainey, Scarriff; The Connemara Hamper, Clifden, Mary Pawle Wines

Colour  of this C-d-R is ruby, slightly lighter towards the rim. Aromas are not shy and speak strongly of soft red fruit. And that pleasing red fruit is found in the soft and velvety mouth, a confident true expression of the grapes and the region, with round tannins and a persistent aftertaste. Highly Recommended.

The label is brief but gives quite a lot of info: No sulphites. Organic wine. Produced by Jacques Frelin. Well rounded and aromas of red fruit. Matches well with red meat, spaghetti Bolognese or cheese. Serve at 18 degrees.

Frelin, whose company is called Terroirs Vivants has, for over thirty years now, been at the forefront of the organic wine movement in France. While organic is often associated with small, this is not the case with Frelin who has vineyards all over the country, in the Languedoc (where he is headquartered), in Bordeaux, in Gascony, in the Rhone and Provence and the Loire.

Many of the wines reviewed on this blog are organic and I often take for granted that everyone knows what organic is. Just in case you don’t, here’a a pretty good definition from the producer website:

Organic wine is made from organically grown grapes in accordance with the rules of organic farming, which specifically excludes the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

The winemaking process must then comply to European regulations, which limit the use of SO2, ban certain physical processes and insist on the use of organically-sourced materials. All organic producers are audited each year by an independent body, which makes the European organic logo a trustworthy seal.

Diwald Grüner Veltliner Alte Weingärten Wagram 2014, 13%  

€27.00 - Organico, Bantry; Mary Pawle Wines.

Light straw, with a touch of green, is the colour of this 2014 Grüner. Spice notes in the aromas, white pepper and rocket. Vivacious on the palate where’ll you again meet the spice, also fresh flavours of apples and pears. Complex, elegant and precise and Highly Recommended.

Mary Pawle: “These vines are about 30-40 years old and the grapes are harvested in November. Would work very well with roast pork or asparagus”.

The Diwalds (Paula and Hans) are pioneers of organic wine-growing in Austria (1980), with their roots in the region of Wagram, and the younger generation is now running the show. The Alte Weingarten is Martin Diwald's top Grüner from the oldest vineyard in the village. Painstaking selection of the best grapes all the way into October pays off with this gem.

Today, the Diwald wine style follows a simple credo: the wines – whether white, red, rosé, orange or cloudy – should be lean, elegant and cheeky, but still offer depth and body. They are individual wines which speak to our – and your – taste buds…. this Gru-Vee is just one example. By the way, their other wines from this grape are also excellent and Mary Pawle has quite a few on her list.

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