Red And White Gems
From The Southern Hemisphere
Montes Limited Selection Pinot Noir Aconcagua Costa (D0) 2018, 14%
€17.99 Avoca Handweavers Shops; Baggot Street Wines; Barnhill Stores; Blackrock Cellar; Cinnamon Cottage; Donnybrook Fair; Ely Wine Store; Menloe Stores; Sweeney’s D3; The Wine Centre; wineonline.ie
“It is totally coastal influenced. In morning there’s mist and fog and then a shy sunshine from mid day. The vines grow happy. The grapes ripen slowly.” This was Aurelio Montes speaking of the Aconcagua Coast during last year’s Zoomed masterclass as he sipped a Pinot Noir. (quite possibly this one).
So this Pinot Noir, with its bright ruby red colour, comes all the way from the coast of Chile. Aromas are concentrated, of fresh summer fruit, cherries and berries. Touch of oak too. The palate is just as intense, toasty oak spice flavour in with the red fruits, elegant and complex, smooth with excellent acidity, rounded tannins also part of the harmony on the way to an abiding finish. Very Highly Recommended.
They say: Our Montes Limited Selection range is a collection of individual wines. This premium wine is recognised as a seductive, voluptuous, smooth and satisfying sensual pleasure. This range includes a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Carmenère and a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère.
The wine has spent 6 to 7 months in oak. Recommended pairings are: White meat (including veal), fish, Pasta, Sushi, charcuterie, desserts. They advise decanting 15 minutes in advance of serving at a temperature of 14 to 15 degrees.
Spice Route Chenin Blanc Swartland 2019, 13.5%
€24.99 Fresh Grand Canal and Smithfield; wineonline.ie
The Swartland is 65kms north of Cape Town (South Africa). The climate is hot and dry. Viticulture here it is not straightforward, according to Fairview and Spice Route owner Charles Back (widely regarded as a wine pioneer in the area). “You have to be very careful to select good moisture retaining soil in the first place, soil that can trap the moisture and slowly release it later when needed.”
“We monitor winter rainfall very carefully and if the rain isn’t enough, the yield must be cut. We use bush vines and the canopy has to be managed.”
That attention to detail is well illustrated here in this superbly complex barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc. Light straw with greenish tints. Fairly intense aromas featuring tropical fruits and peach. It’s a beautiful mouthful, immediately likeable. Very harmonious with fresh fruit and acidity all in tune. Plus a pretty long finish. Very happy with this one on the table (especially in the summer months) and Very Highly Recommended.
Charl du Plessis, the winemaker, said (on Zoom last year): “This Chenin Blanc is from a vineyard planted in 1978. These trellised vineyards are planted on a southeast facing slope and are dryland farmed. The soils are predominantly koffieklip (decomposed granite and iron-rich clay). Due to the late picking of the second portion, there were some raisins present on select bunches. This added a beautiful dimension to this fantastic grape variety which will benefit from 3 or 4 years bottle age. Enjoy!” I certainly did.
He went on to say that there is still a lot to discover from Chenin Blanc, that there is the possibility of getting a broader range of wines from it.