Well worth checking out this red and white double from O’Briens Wine

Well worth checking out this red and white double from O’Briens Wine

Emiliana Coyam Valle de Colchagua Chile 2019, 14%, €25.95

When I was around ten years of age, there was a series of summers when a week or more was spent picking blackcurrants on a farm that was quite close. That came back to me when I smelt the cork of this Coyam from Chile and that mix of berry and leaf wafted into my nostrils. A summer’s day on Dring’s farm and half the neighbours picking currants.

A long long way from the Los Robles Estate in Chile’s Colchagua Valley where this wine, a blend of Syrah (37%), Carmenere (33), Cabernet Sauvignon (8), Carignan (5), Malbec (4), Garnacha (4), Tempranillo (3), Mourvèdre (3) and Petit Verdot (3), is produced organically in a Mediterranean climate.

Coyam (the word means oak forest, there was one here) is a rather famous wine, made under the care of  Alvaro Espinoza, a leading exponent of organic and biodynamic practices, a signature wine of Emiliana, one of the most accoladed wines in Chile and awarded no less than 94 points by JamesSuckling.com .

Colour is a dark cherry with a lighter tinge around the rim. The full aromas are, as you’d expect, more than just the blackcurrant now, other dark berries there too along with floral notes (including violet) in a complex mix. The depth of fruit shines on the palate where the intro is rich and power-packed. Still, for all that, it is juicy and soft with a touch of sweet spice, the friendly finish long ,with just a little tannin grip. Very Highly Recommended. Might take a bottle with me next time I get a call to go picking blackcurrants

You may well note vanilla during your tasting and here’s why. Ageing is 18 months, 75% in 225 L French oak barrels (mix of new barrels, second- and third- use), 15% in 2,000- and 5,000-litre foudres, and 10% in concrete eggs. 

I was advised to decant an hour or so before drinking. This very versatile wine can be enjoyed with both sophisticated and simple dishes. Ideal to pair with red or white meat with either a  black pepper, Roquefort, or garlic butter sauce. There’s also space for spicy foods like Indian or Mexican, or vegetarian dishes with mushrooms, bell peppers, potatoes, aubergine, or peas. 

Kuentz-Bas Le 4eme Tour Pinot Blanc Alsace (AC) 2017, 13.5%, O'Briens Wine

This organic Pinot Blanc has a clear light straw colour. Beautiful citrusy aromas and pear with some floral notes (one is reminded to some degree of the Riesling that is also grown in the Alsace). Elegant and refreshing with a lengthy finish. A dry refreshing white and it is a little gem. Highly Recommended.

Kuentz-Bas was founded in the Alsatian town of Husseren-les-Châteaux in 1795. In 2004 the 10ha estate was bought by Jean-Baptiste Adam, the fourteenth generation of his family involved in winemaking.

'Useful rather than exciting' is a fair description of this versatile grape variety, according to Jancis Robinson. “Austria is perhaps the country which values Weissburgunder the highest … But it is probably in Italy that, as Pinot Bianco, this vine is most widely grown, and produces the greatest diversity of styles. 

This bottle illustrates that they grow it well also in Alsace, well enough to get me excited! 

* O'Briens, by the way, have a "Winter Warming Reds" offer at present. Check it out here. The selection includes the Bodegas Tandem Ars in Vitro, a favourite of mine.