Monday, December 19, 2022

Just in time for the Christmas weekend. Very Highly Recommended Reds From Portugal's Alentejo and France's Pays d'Oc

Very Highly Recommended Reds From 

Portugal's Alentejo and France's Pays d'Oc


NEW ZEALAND WINE FAIR DUBLIN Jan 30th. How about a ticket for the wine lover in your life? Details below.



Esporão 2019 Alentejano (IG), 14% ABV, €17.95 Bradleys Cork

Alentejo is an area in the south east of Portugal and it is where this organic red wine comes from. Like most Portuguese wines, it is a blend and the grapes used are Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Franca. 

The country has scores of native grape varieties in regular use, the two Tourigas above for instance. The Alicante Bouschet is  an important variety in Alentejo. It is one of those grapes where both the skin and the flesh are red, that is to say a teinturier grape. It first saw the light of the vineyard in France in the late 1800s where it was bred as a cross. It does very well in Alentejo where, as reported by Grapes and Wines, one of its best producers is our Esporão.

Anyhow, though Portugal is never boring,  enough of the technical stuff.    Deep ruby is the colour. Ripe fruits, mostly red, waft out in the aromas, a little spice too along with herbaceous note. It is quite fresh with a silky texture, that ripe fruit prominent with a touch of spice but superbly balanced right through the persistent finish. Very Highly Recommended.

The producers: The Wine is produced solely from grapes grown at Herdade do Esporão, applying organic farming methods. It expresses the typical features of the vintage year, diversity of the soil where the vines are planted, as well as the character and identity of the selected varieties.

Winemakers David Baverstock and Sandra Alves oversaw co-fermentation of the grapes begin in the wine presses, with foot treading at controlled temperatures (22 to 25ºC), finishing in concrete tanks. Following malolactic fermentation, aging took place in the same concrete tanks for 6 months. The unique micro-oxygenation conditions provided by this type of tank aim to preserve the wine’s character.

A character well worth preserving!


Best Value Wines 2022 Under €18.00. With Reviews & Irish Stockists. 


Brau Pinot Noir Pays Doc (IGP) 2019, 13.5%, 

RRP: €20-€21 Taste Castletownbere / Urru, Bandon / Toon's Bridge Macroom and Dublin / Mortons of Galway / Little Green Grocer Kilkenny / Scally's Supervalu Clonakilty / Mary Pawle Wines

Pinot Noir is perhaps my favourite red wine grape. And I am not alone. Wine Folly declares it “the world’s most popular light-bodied red wine”. 

I’ve enjoyed excellent examples from Burgundy of course  (where you’ll find the most prestigious Pinot Noir vineyards in the world) and also from the Alsace, from Germany, the US, New Zealand, Chile, and Romania. And this particular Pays Doc from this producer (the 2015 and the 2018 vintages).

The Languedoc may not be the usual place for Pinot Noir but this is a winner all the way. This 2019 has a lovely light ruby colour. The aromas are quite complex with cherry and red berry coming through plus notes of the local garrigue. Cherry takes a silky hold on the palate, and you have a light presence of spice in a full and generous mouthfeel. Soft tannins also there as this very approachable wine, more supple than some Pinot Noirs, moves to a pleasant and lingering finish. Very Highly Recommended.

It is part of a series that Brau calls “Unique Flavours” that also includes Fer Servadou, an old grape variety of the South-West. Their suggested pairings for the Pinot are cheese, poultry, and braised meat while Wine Folly go for duck, chicken, pork and mushrooms.



Top Wines 2022. With Reviews & Irish Stockists. 


Press release:

New Zealand Consumer Tasting Monday 30th January, 2023

One of the most popular consumer wine events of the year is back in January 2023.  The annual New Zealand Wine consumer tasting which takes place on Monday 30th January, 2023.  This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in wine to get to know more about the fantastic wines currently available on the Irish market from New Zealand.


This popular tasting will feature an incredible range of wine style from New Zealand.  Taste some of their fantastic reds, their sparkling wines, the aromatic white grape varieties.  The two hour tasting will allow you to explore all the wine styles New Zealand has to offer.


Participating wineries for the 2023 New Zealand Winegrowers consumer tasting include


Akarua, Babich Wines, Caythorpe Family Estate, Decibel Wines, Dublin St, Graham Norton's Own Wines, Greenhough Vineyard, Hunter's Wines, Invivo X, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jules Taylor Wines, LeftField, Oyster Bay, Pyramid Valley, Rimapere, Smith & Sheth, Vidal, Villa Maria, Waipara Springs, Whitehaven Wine Company, Wither Hills


Why not purchase a ticket as a stocking filler for the wine lover in your life? 



6:30 pm - 8:30 pm   Monday 30th January, 2023


Venue:  Grafton Suite, Westbury Hotel, Balfe St, Dublin 2


Tickets available on line priced at €20.00 from:


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