Monday, April 11, 2022

Merlot’s the link in a couple of superb wines from Puglia and Bergerac

Merlot’s the link in a couple of superb wines from Puglia and Bergerac

Amastuola Onda Del Tempo Puglia (IGP) 2015, 14%

€19.50 Lettercollum Kitchen, Clonakilty; Morton’s of Galway; Mary Pawle Wines

Primitivo, Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the grape varieties that give life to Onda Del Tempo (Wave of Time), an organic wine from the warm lands of the south east of Italy (the heel of the boot).

It’s got a dense ruby red colour. Fairly intense too on the nose with red and darker berries in the mix, along with spicy notes. And it is also a little spicy on the palate where it is dry and warming, elegant too. Sixteen months in oak has helped here, tannins are smooth and pleasant. And this complex unusual blend finishes harmoniously, persistent and dry. Very Highly Recommended.

The producers are well pleased with this effort saying it is the “Maximum expression ….. of the garden vineyard.” And that each grape in the blend has “individually each express(ed) their own note”.

Excellent in combination with beef, lamb, pasta, pizza and aged cheeses. Serve at 16-18 degrees.

Puglia has long been noted for its production of olives responsible for close to fifty per cent of the country’s total. Though I should add that a relation, who had some growing there, told me a few years ago that many are just left to rot on the bush. Grapes are the second biggest crop there now, especially those for red wine. 

Terroir Feely Résonance Vin de France Rouge 2017, 13.0%

 €22.00 Ballymaloe Garden Shop at the Cookery School, The Little Green Grocer, Kilkenny, On The Grapevine, Dalkey, Co. Dublin and Mary Pawle Wines

Ruby red in the glass and aromas of black cherry, plum and red berries almost jump out at you. And the palate is packed, deliciously, with flavours of the same fruit, a little hint of spice in the background. Tannins are mid to smooth and, with the fruit and spice staying the distance, there’s a most engaging and lengthy finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Serve at 16-18 °C. This Merlot is an ideal match for lamb and spicy dishes says importer Mary Pawle. Pasta and pizza and dark chocolate, say the winemakers. Personally, I’ve had good experience with Osso Bucco. Generally moderate in both acidity and tannin, Merlot is quite versatile at the table. 

It is also the most widely grown red grape in France, most famously in the Pomerol area of Bordeaux where a bottle of Pétrus could set you back several thousand euro.

Who are the Feelys? In their own words: “When Sean and I (Caro born Caroline Wardle) met in Johannesburg in 1993 we both had a passion for wine. Sean’s grandfather was a winegrower in the Cape of South Africa and I had been sharing a house with a Master of Wine. We wanted to pursue our dream of winefarming so we moved to Cape Town to continue our careers in the heart of the winelands.

Shortly afterwards we had an opportunity to move to Ireland. With Irish roots we jumped at the chance. A year later on our first wine trip to France we were smitten. Eight more years of work and saving and our dream came to fruition.”

The Feelys have one of the best wine websites around. Check up on their wines, yoga, vineyard visits, and accommodation here.  

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