O'Briens Introduce Exciting New Wines
Including This Very Highly Recommended Viognier
Lynne Coyle MW, O’Briens Wine Director: “We are delighted to have recently added these exciting new wines to our range over the past couple of weeks. Six of them are organic, of which three come from our long-time Chilean partners, Emiliana.”
The two wines featured below are among the newcomers and both are on offer until July 18th. Others will come on offer after that date and we’ll get to those as well (including two more from the Emiliana Novas series).
Watch out also for the O'Briens Spanish Wine Sale between 21st July and 2nd August.
Emiliana “Novas” Viognier Gran Reserva 2020 Valle Casablanca (DO), 14%, €12.95 until July 18th (was 15.07).
Light to mid straw is the colour of this organic Viognier from Chile’s Casablanca Valley, part of a group of wines new to the O’Brien portfolio this year. Peach and nectarine feature in the pleasantly intense aromas and also on the palate. It is quite dense and silky in the mouth, certainly ample, and the balancing acidity is key to this excellent experience, right through to the harmonious finish. Very Highly Recommended.
The vineyards, just 100km north-west of Santiago, are only 30km from the Pacific Ocean, so cooling sea breezes and ocean fogs help to moderate the long hot summer days and lengthen the ripening season, allowing the grapes to develop greater complexity of flavour, whilst retaining acidity. After fermentation, the wine is aged in oak barrels for 8 months to add a creamy texture. Those cooling sea breezes are a key factor as Viognier can easily over-ripen.
The label tells us that these “Premium organic wines are made with carefully selected grapes to create unique and high-quality products that faithfully express their terroir”. The Cabernet Sauvignon was listed as the 7th best value red in Chile by Wines of South America (pub. 2014).
We’ll have another couple from Novas (a Riesling and a Syrah-Mourvedre blend) over the next few weeks and, after this, I'm really looking forward to those.
Emiliana are one of the largest producers of estate-grown organic wines in the world. Their spectacular biodynamic vineyard and winery at Los Robles is a model that attracts visiting viticulturalists and winemakers from all over the world. General Manager José Guilisasti and winemaking consultant Alvaro Espinoza were key to establishing this project to convert a large commercial winery into a commercially viable organic one. These innovative wines are made with great care and attention and the results are inspiring.
Emiliana’s “Gé” is Chile's first ever certified biodynamic wine and is listed at #9 in the Twenty Wines to Drink Before You Die (Wines of South America pub. 2014)
Luzon Monastrell Jumilla (DOP) 2020, 14.5%, €10.95 until July 18th (was 13.95)
This unoaked Monastrell from Jumilla in Murcia, a small region on the Mediterranean coast of south-eastern Spain, has a deep cherry colour. Intense yet elegant on the nose, a pleasing melange of red and darker fruits (cherries, plums and strawberries). And, on the intro to the palate, you immediately think juicy and fresh, as the fruit and acidity combine in impressive harmony. Tannins are pretty well integrated and the finish lingers. Highly Recommended.
This excellent newcomer has no added sulphur (as you can see on the label), is certified organic and vegan. The label calls it “honest, fresh, fruity and flavoursome” and indicates it should be served at between 14 and 16 degrees.
O’Briens: Bodegas Luzón was established in 1916 and specialises in growing Jumilla´s Monastrell grape. The estate is now owned by the Fuertes Family, who have invested heavily in the vineyards and winery. Luzón are one of our top Spanish producers, making a range of good value red wines. This Monastrell is a good example. It is a very good price point and already proving popular with our customers.
Note too the climate in this part of Spain is Mediterranean, with dry, sunny growing seasons. This helps the grapes remain healthy, disease free and allows for easier implementation of sustainable farming practices. Not all plain sailing though. Wine-Searcher.com says that “frosts, violent storms and torrential rains still pose real threats to vines” here.
Monastrell is known as Mourvedre in France where it is a key component of the Rhone GSM (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre) blends.