Very Highly Recommended from Bordeaux and Alsace
Bois de Rolland Vieilles Vignes Bordeaux Supérieur (AC) 2018, 14%
€18.35 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
Beautiful bright cherry red colour on this blend of Merlot (mostly) and Cabernet Sauvignon. Quite an intense bouquet of darker fruit, a hint or two of spice (including vanilla). It makes an immediate and impressive impression on the palate. Harmonious for sure, rich and ample with a lengthy finish. With juicy flavours of cassis and cherry, this is easy drinking and Very Highly Recommended
Perhaps because there is so much of it, Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur are often, sometimes lazily, shunted into the realm of second-rate wines. Just look a little harder, find a trustworthy importer and a producer such as we have here and the consumer can find both quality and value for the money.
They say: Château Bois de Rolland 'Vieilles Vignes' is a Bordeaux Superieur that tastes really honest, made with care, with a definite sense of place. When Bordeaux are made that way, they are quite irresistible. Gorgeous black fruit, meaty hints on the nose, very subtle oak presence, perfectly integrated, ripe, fleshy on the palate with cool undertones which adds to its drinkability and saline touches in the end.
The property has a wonderful history and pedigree. Situated just 17 kilometres from Saint Emilion on the Coubeyrac plateau of clay and limestone – the blend that helps to express some of the best wines in Bordeaux. The property became renowned for its vines, cereal production, and cattle rearing. Now just a winery, the perfect exposure of a plateau with south-facing vines upon ancient sedimentary soils allow the Geromin family to produce fabulous wines.
Serve this multi-award winner at 16 to 18 degrees after decanting. Red meats, game, grilled meats, cheese, chocolate desserts are the suggested pairings.
Is there oak? Yes indeed. Vinification and aging details: Mechanical harvest, traditional fermentation at 25 ° C., maceration for 2 weeks at 30 ° C. Aging in vats on staves medium heat and medium heat plus for 8 months. Packaging: Bottled at the Château.
Binner Cuvée Béatrice Pinot Noir Alsace (AOP) 2016, 13.5%
€39.75 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
I removed the glass closure and poured, its deep pink (rosé, if you like) filling the bottom of the glass. Concentrated red fruit aromas rise up. Those juicy red fruits flavours (mainly strawberry, cherry) engage you as the juice spreads across the palate. Don’t judge a wine by its colour - this has quite a backbone, no wilting rose. Tannins are smooth and there’s a long and satisfying finish. A generous unfiltered Pinot Noir that stands out from the crowd and Very Highly Recommended.
Good acidity too and that makes it an excellent food wine. Recommended pairings are: Filet-mignon, cold meats and terrine with friends, with a white meat, or simply to accompany the cheese plate. Serve at 18 degrees. The label discloses that this organic wine has spent 11 months on lees in traditional large oak foudres (casks).
This Pinot Noir from Alsace was, for me, one of the stars of the Le Caveau portfolio tasting in Cork in March 2019, and indeed my wine of the year. Heartened by that tasting and also the words of Jean Frédéric Hugel (at a Cork tasting) that Pinot Noir from the Alsace is now “incomparable to what it was twenty years ago”, I put it on my buying list and didn’t wait long before giving the wine an extended “trial”. I wasn’t disappointed.
I put it on a recent buying list as well and no disappointment this time - a year for so later. Every bit as good, complex and delicious, the perfect companion for the dishes above along with the likes of roasted chicken, and crispy pork.
Christian Binner is the wine-maker and this wine is named for his sister. The Binners own nine hectares in total, with only six planted to vine and the estate has been chemical-free for over two decades. They harvest in October, later on average than any of their neighbours, with patience that allows for fully ripe fruit and resulting complexity of flavour.