Highly Recommended Wines from Puglia and Bordeaux.

Highly Recommended Wines from Puglia and Bordeaux.

Amastoula Aglianico Puglia (IGP) 2017, 14%, Mary Pawle

Manning’s Emporium, Ballylickey; Mortons of Galway; The Connemara Hamper. at approx €17.50

This organic wine from the south of Italy has a deep red colour. It has intense aromas, peppery and toasty with vanilla. And you’ll find all those and more on the warm palate plus red fruit flavours (cherry, plum), juicy, with firm tannins, and there is a persistent finish. Highly Recommended

Aged for 24 months in oak barrels, it goes well with red meats, baked or grilled, game and aged cheeses. Other suggestions: rabbit, chicken with paprika sauce, barbecued lamb.

Aglianico is prominent in the vineyards of Italy’s warm south. Haven’t heard of it? Don’t worry. The Italian vineyards are among the most diverse in the world and hundreds of varieties have been “authorised” for planting and selling as wine, according to Vino Italiano.

Wine_Searcher.com says Aglianico is known to produce full-bodied red wines that show musky berry flavours with firm tannins and good ageing potential. “Even when grown in hot climates, Aglianico is capable of retaining high levels of acidity, which makes it a particularly useful vine in the Mediterranean.”

Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours “Le Blanc Bonhomme” Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux (AOC) 2018, 13.5%, new to Mary Pawle List.

The Vintry in Dublin and Mannings Ballylickey RRP approx. €25-€27. You'll also spot it in a few restaurants.

I like Bordeaux whites and like them even better if there’s plenty of Semillon in the blend and that is the case here, it is fifty/fifty with Sauvignon Blanc. The classic Bordeaux white will contain at least 25 percent Sauvignon Blanc, to ensure a certain aromatic freshness. For a richer style, a higher proportion of Semillon is used. Muscadelle is the third possible grape in the blend but many Bordeaux whites do not include it.

By the way, if you are ever in the Graves area of Bordeaux, make your way to the small town of Podensac and its Maison des Vins de Graves. With about 200 wines from the area sold at château prices, the vinothèque offers wine lovers a chance to taste red and white AOC Graves and Pessac-Léognan, and the Crus Classés of Graves. There are daily tastings (not of all 200!) but enough to try out a few white blends for sure. You may also take in the Lillet Distillery in the town where the famous drink has been crafted since 1872.

A light gold is the colour of this biodynamic wine. Aromas of moderate intensity feature floral and citrus notes. The flavours are fronted by a ripe citrus flush, a rich progress on the palate, excellent mouthfeel too. Persistent fruity finish too, drier towards the finalé. Well made (it has been 40% barrel fermented), well balanced, delicious and Highly Recommended. 

Well done again to Guillaume Hubert and his team here. The suggested food pairings are Foie gras ravioli, marinated trout, cooked cheeses.

If you’re among the many Irish that have holidayed in or near Royan, then you’ve probably come across the wines of Blaye on sale in markets and so on on that side of the Gironde estuary. Blaye has a gentle rolling pastoral landscape while neighbouring Bourg is more hilly.

The vineyard has been biodynamic since 2000, pruning is double guyot, spontaneous winter grassing, tillage in spring. Treatments combining Bordeaux mixture in small quantities with herbal teas such as horsetail and nettle are used.