Showing posts with label Curious Wines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curious Wines. Show all posts

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Curious about wine in a bag in a box? Curious Wines is the place to go

press release

Curious about wine in a bag in a box?

Curious Wines is the place to go.

LEADING Irish wine importer Curious Wines has started selling high-quality bag-in-box wine from Spanish organic winemaker Tempore. The Cork-based company has struck an agreement with the vineyard to sell its Tempore Generación 76 Tempranillo 2020 in a 3-litre bag-in-box at an extremely competitive per-litre price compared with that of a standard 750ml bottle.

“This is a smooth, aromatic and beautifully expressive Tempranillo from the Yago Aznar family, one of the most forward-thinking winemaking families in Aragón,” says Mike Kane, Curious Wines’ co-founder and Chief Taster. “They’ve been making wine for four generations. The 70-hectare estate is currently run by siblings Paula and Víctor Yago Aznar. (Víctor’s face is on the Generación 76 box.) Their organically certified operation is built on the principle of ‘Tempore’ or time, or more precisely ‘seedtime’, leaving the vines to express themselves free of intervention and with the utmost respect for the land.” 

The Yago Aznars cultivate exclusively native varieties of the Aragón region, Garnacha, Tempranillo, Macabeo and white Garnacha grapes, with 70+ year old traditional Garnacha bush vines coexisting with younger fully trellised vineyards. The entire estate is organic with a state-of-the-art winery built in 2002.

“There are significant advantages to putting wines in a bag-in-box. Not least of which is that the bag contracts as you take wine from it, which means no air gets to the wine inside. That in turn keeps the wine in peak condition for much longer once you start drinking from the bag, compared with wine in bottles, which typically have to be drunk within a couple of days of opening them. On top of which, this new 3 litre bag-in-box works out around a third less in price per unit than the standard 750ml bottle, so there is real value here,” Mike says.

Mike’s Tempore Generación 76 Tempranillo 2020 tasting notes:

“A dark cherry colour with a brilliant violet rim, on approach, lively notes of strawberries and blackberries are immediately apparent. The aromas grow in complexity with a mineral yet fruity bouquet and give way on the palate to ripe red berries with soft liquorice, delicate hints of toasted French oak and pure cocoa seeds. A perfectly blended young wine that nonetheless displays unexpected velvety maturity.”

Curious Wines is a family owned wine importer based in Cork City. It was founded in 2008 by Mike and Mary Kane as a more open, fun and approachable wine merchant for trade and private customers. It specialises in lesser known, quality wines that will tantalise the palate of curious wine drinkers in Ireland. The company distributes wine to both consumers and the trade throughout the Republic of Ireland from its headquarters and warehouse on Tramore Road, Cork, and its online shop at

For more information, please contact: Lucy Holme,

Friday, March 3, 2023

Curious Wines Becomes Exclusive Distributor of Dom Brial Wines in Ireland

press release

Curious Wines Becomes Exclusive Distributor

 of Dom Brial Wines in Ireland

LEADING Irish wine importer Curious Wines has become the exclusive distributor in Ireland of wines from French collective Dom Brial. The Cork-based company has just added two reds, one white and a fortified wine from Dom Brial to its catalogue.

“These are cracking wines produced by a collective that represents around 250 growers cultivating over 2,000 hectares of vineyards in the Côtes du Roussillon. The collective’s vineyards make up a patchwork of terroirs and microclimates, allowing them to plant a wide range of varietals that are suited best to a particular location. We’ve chosen four that are a true expression of the region,” says Mike Kane, Curious Wines’ co-founder and Chief Taster.

The four wines from Dom Brial are (with Mike’s tasting notes):

Dom Brial ‘Les Camines’ Blanc 2022
“A blend of Rhône grapes Grenache Blanc and Viognier, 50/50 in proportion, grown in three distinct terroirs. Harvesting is done at night, with cool fermentation in stainless steel putting the focus firmly on the fruit. This is fresh and lively with aromas of white flowers and tropical fruits, beautifully balanced on the palate. It’s ripe and round with sweet stone fruit flavours and a clean, citrussy finish.”

Dom Brial ‘Les Camines’ Rouge 2021
“A blend of Merlot, Grenache and Syrah, fermented and matured in stainless steel. The three grapes work beautifully together here, the Merlot providing soft tannins and red fruit, the Syrah black fruit and acidity, and the Grenache some savouriness and spice. Supple and fruity, it offers aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and a hint of earthy garrigue, with a summer fruit bowl on the palate, raspberries and damsons providing sweetness and depth, with a dry, elegant finish.”

Dom Brial ‘Mirade’ 2021
“A three-grape blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from a single terroir, Hautes Terrasses — clay terraces with a proliferation of round stones — with no oak involved in the winemaking, just 12 months maturation in steel with further development in bottle. Gorgeously dark in colour, a deep purple-red, the nose is jam-packed with blackcurrant, blackberries and dried fruits, prunes and dates, with prominent herbal characters and earthy notes. The palate is rich in fruit, layers of summer berries and dried black fruit, with a fine tannin structure and minerally texture, hints of smokey meats and fruitcake, and a lithe, precise finish.”

Dom Brial Rivesaltes Ambré Hors d’Age
“Rivesaltes is a sweet, fortified wine. It’s made in a similar way to Port, the addition of grape brandy stopping the fermentation early and leaving the wine higher in sugar and alcohol. There’s a more oxidised effect to Rivesaltes though and for that reason they’re a bit more like Madeira. With a minimum of three years in oak barrels and two years in bottle, this speciality of Dom Brial is such a treat. Golden amber in colour and with thick tears in the glass, the nose is a concentration of sweet dried fruits, toffees and Christmas pudding spices. The balance on the palate is exquisite — viscous and sweet, dried apricot and candied orange combining with vanilla toffee, with a tangy citrus peel acidity and dry, piquant nuttiness giving the wine a savoury dimension and mouth-watering finish.”

Curious Wines is a family owned wine importer based in Cork City. It was founded in 2008 by Mike and Mary Kane as a more open, fun and approachable wine merchant for trade and private customers. It specialises in lesser known, quality wines that will tantalise the palate of curious wine drinkers in Ireland. The company distributes wine to both consumers and the trade throughout the Republic of Ireland from its headquarters and warehouse on Tramore Road, Cork, and its online shop at

Monday, November 28, 2022

Wonderful Tasting Menu in Rare with chefs Meeran and Chad showcasing the Autumn bounty of Cork and Kerry

Wonderful Tasting Menu in Rare with chefs Meeran and Chad showcasing the Autumn bounty of Cork and Kerry

Teamwork. Concentration from chefs Meeran (right) and Chad (centre)

An rud is annamh is iontach!

Thought I might start with an old Irish proverb: what’s rare is wonderful.

And Kinsale’s Rare 1784 was certainly wonderful last Thursday night when Head Chef Meeran Manzoor and guest Chef Chad Byrne (Brehon Hotel) served up a six course festival of local food in one of the most comfortable dining rooms around.

Lots of nationalities involved in the kitchen and out front, including Rebel Cork and the Kingdom, plus a Rare crew that has people from India and Brazil and from places in between.

Chad, also well known for The Hungry Donkey food truck, brought a treasure trove of goodies from Kerry to the Blue Haven’s premier restaurant, including some of the finest cured and dried meats from Olivier in Dingle, Eileen’s black pudding from Annascaul, the famous Ardfert spuds, Wilma’s cheese, Venison from Beaufort, Wild Sloes and Cromane mussels.

Meeran, of course, has his finger on the pulse of all that’s best in Cork, particularly the growers and fishermen in and around Kinsale, and also adds a well judged touch of his native India. Both chefs and their crew were visible through a large window to the kitchen. They didn’t stay there, coming out regularly to detail the dishes and have a conversation or two with the tables.

And it wasn’t just in the kitchen that Rare excelled. The front of house team, led by restaurant manager Charlie, were busy but that didn’t mean they couldn’t have the odd chat with you. They came to the tables with big smiles, informal but on the ball, you never had to ask for water (or something stronger!).

Cheese, black pudding, potato

Quite a wine list! We started with two engaging whites. One was Carallan Albarino, a fine example of the wine of Rias Baixas,  quite pronounced on both the nose and fruity palate, excellent with the lighter dishes. The zesty Diez Siglos Verdejo, vibrant and intense, from Rueda (the home of the grape), paired well also with the earlier plates.

Love my BoJo

Later we moved on to two stunning reds. Gamay is always on my radar and I plumped for the organic Les Pépites Gneiss, fresh, fruity and nicely spicy. Big thumbs up for that and the same from the other side where CL renewed acquaintance with the multi-grape aromatic, fruity and intense (perfect with venison) Quinta do Judeu.

The dining started with the Organic Kerry Wild Meat Board (by Olivier), all kinds of tastes and textures (that soft goat chorizo!) and all superb. Then on to Jamie’s Oyster from nearby Oysterhaven, beautifully presented and accompanied by Alexander’s Jelly and a Ginger Beer Foam. Jamie’s oysters never disappoint and here the jelly and the foam enhanced it.

Scallop, Sole

And the plates just kept getting better. Eileen’s Annascaul Black Pudding made a huge tasty contribution as it combined with the renowned Ardsallagh Goats Cheese on an Ardfert potato skin!

Up next came the fish, a  two part perfectly cooked wonder with Union Hall Sole and Scallop in a Vol-au-Vent with a little Yuzu in the bisque. Chef Chad: “..really tasty dish of bang in season gear”.


For me the star course of the superb meal came with the Beaufort venison: Sika Deer, Cromane Mussels and Roasted Celeriac. The deer had been roasted for six to seven hours and was beautifully flavoured. The sloe jus was just amazing, a great fit with the meat. And that meat was as tender as can be, yielding easily to the blade of our  “chopper” knife!

A wee pause then before dessert came and that too was rather special: Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Kulfi. Meeran’s dark chocolate walnut cremeux was enhanced by Achill seasalt and Szechuan caramel and crunchy bits. Kulfi is a no-churn Indian ice cream. And there was also an Indian twist to the Petit Four that came in a mini-treasure chest!

Petit Fours

Quite a wonderful meal and occasion in Rare and there’s a promise of more. So do keep an eye on their socials!




Thursday, June 14, 2018

Iberian Way. A Generous Bite Of Spain In Cork

Iberian Way.
A Generous Bite Of Spain In Cork 

Made my first visit to Iberian Way in Douglas Street recently, expecting some small one-bite tapas. It didn’t happen. Just wonder why, in Ireland, virtually every tapas provider, either Irish or Spanish, doesn't serve the one-bite tapas you get in Spanish bars, though Feed Your Senses in Washington Street did have a few on the menu last time I called.

Anyway, back to Iberian Way, a restaurant cum deli that is contributing to a new lease of life for the old Cork street. The Tapas here are served on plates or platters or in bowls and are generally meant for sharing (some are designated two units, four units etc). There is a choice of 17 on our menu, including some well-known ones eg. Patatas Bravos, Croquetas, CalaMARi.

We order four, starting with the IBERAGUS: green asparagus in olive oil with slices of ham and grated cheese. A good start with the warm asparagus blending in well, especially with the cheese. Thumps up there.

I like honey and I like Aubergines so I thought I was on a good thing when I ordered Aubergines with honey. The vegetable was deep fried and well drizzled with honey, a bit too sweet for me. Maybe one round would have been enough but we got about five each. Overall, they are pretty generous here!
Aubergine and lots of honey

We passed on the Mini BURGERS, the TACO, and the FLAMENCObergine (they do play a lot with capitals here!) and the BrOkEn EGGS. But we would have eggs with our CoJoNuDaS, toasted slices of bread with black-pudding and quail eggs. Very tasty indeed.

Our final plate yielded six CROQUETAS, creamy and crusty bites of béchamel, three with cheese, three with ham. Deep fried and pretty filling, pretty flavoursome too in fairness. Each of our four dishes cost eight euro, a fair price indeed.

Would we finish on a sweet note? Yes, we would. There is a short list including a homemade soft cheese with coulis, chocolate brownie with white chocolate soup, and a selection of cured cheeses. 

We picked the Coulant of Turrón, the “chef’s signature”, described as Almond Nougat with hazelnut pralineé and spiced corn ice-cream (€6.00). It came in a huge bowl, packed with delicious flavours and textures’ it was a true delight for the sweet tooth, an outstanding finalé indeed.

By then, our wine has vanished. The wine list, comes in a ring binder, and looks bigger than it actually is. But you do have a good choice of reasonably priced wines and all the information you need to make a choice. 

Quite a few available by the glass (mostly about 6.50). CL enjoyed her Castelo de Medina Verdejo, fresh and persistent (just like her husband!), while my happy pick was the excellent and refreshing Abadía do Seixo Albarino.

Iberian Way
72 Douglas Street
087 954 6451

Friday, March 27, 2015

Your Weekend Wine Suggestions. Ace Organic Boyo! And More.

Weekend Wine Suggestions

Ace Organic, Boyo! And More.

Cantina Orsogna Coste dí Moro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (DIOC) 2011, 14%, €15.99, reduced from 19.99, at Curious Wines

This splendid “biodinamica” wine, hidden behind its brown paper labels, is made from the Montepulciano grape grown in the Abruzzo area of Italy.
Pour this super organic gem and you’ll see the colour is a dense ruby and that it has amazingly pleasant fruity aromas. On the palate, it is warm and intense, the tannins are soft. Overall, an easy drinking wine that, in its freshness, is reminiscent of a Loire Cabernet Franc, and one, with its almost sweet flavours, that will please many. Very Highly Recommended.

Velenosi Rosso Novello 2014 (IGT Marche, Italy), 13%, €15.50 Karwigs
Montepulciano is the main grape (90%) in this blend, another wine earning a Very Highly Recommended tag.
It is a young and bright wine, ruby the colour. There are intense red fruits on the nose, some spice too. On the palate, it is full of fruit, so smooth and yet is so well balanced as the acidity is not shy either. Light and pleasing to drink but take your time; you’ll enjoy a sip as much as a slug. Hints of blood orange on the finish.

 Falvo Li Veli Orion Primitivo 2013, Salento (IGT), 14%,, €17.25 Karwigs

Ruby, a dense one, is also the colour here and it boasts rich ripe fruit aromas; note also a little spice. This is rich and fruity, quite powerful, yet elegantly smooth and long. The acidity though doesn't let go and so you have a fresh and pleasing wine, really beautifully balanced and you’ll love that long finalé. Very Highly Recommended.
Vigneti del Salento Primitivo 2012, Puglia, 14%, €12.39 reduced from 15.49 at Curious Wines
Pleasant aromas from this one as well and hints of spice too. Fruity, for sure, but balanced, overall soft and generous with fine tannins. Another easy drinking wine with lots of ripe and luscious fruit flavours. Highly Recommended.

Etienne Barret Crozes Hermitage blanc 2012, 12.5%, SuperValu.

This was my St Patrick’s Night wine and I wasn't all that keen on taking notes. But I have to say this blend of Marsanne and Roussanne is a beauty and Very Highly Recommended. Attractive aromas, full of flavour, almost creamy mouthfeel, plus a generous finish. One to note for sure.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bauduc’s Superior Red Double

Bauduc’s Superior Red Double

Summer (2014) tasting at Bauduc

Chateau Bauduc Close de Quinze 2012, Bordeaux supérieur, 14% abv, €18.99 at Red Nose Wines

This single vineyard blend, of Merlot (85%) and Cabernet Sauvignon, is supple and fruity, a classic Bordeaux, produced by English couple Gavin and Angela Quinney in their lovely vineyard, Chateaux Bauduc near Créon, in between the Garonne and Dordogne.

This is a very dark red, almost black, with ripe red fruit on the nose. It is a Bordeaux supérieur, for sure, but with a certain restraint, sophistication even. There's no mistaking its fruit, supple and pervasive all over the palate, right through to a delightful long and dry finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Château Bauduc 'Les Trois Hectares' Rouge, Bordeaux supérieur 2010, 13.5%, €28.00 Curious Wines & Red Nose Wines

“We only make Les Trois Hectares red in really good years, like 2010. The grapes come from the three best parcels of Merlot and the wine is aged in new and one-year old French oak barrels.”

I tasted this Merlot last June during a very pleasant visit to Gavin and Angela at Bauduc and it was marvellous. Now, in depths of winter, it still comes up trumps, full flavoured and elegant. No difficulty in seeing why the 2006 was the top selling red at Gordon Ramsay’s three Michelin star restaurant in London. Indeed, the Ramsey tasting crew had left the chateau just before we arrived.

Another Very Highly Recommended red from the outskirts of Créon. Indeed, if you are on holidays in the area, why not make a visit. But do contact them before you do so. Better again, why not stay there as they have a large house, with pool, to let in the grounds! Info here

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Karwig and Curious

Karwig and Curious

This old Citroen is now parked up at Chateau Bauduc.
But don't worry, deliveries to Curious Wines continue!

Curious Christmas

Just been flicking through the Curious Wines brochure, another really professional effort. Didn't have to go far to find some good wines at a very good price. With twenty percent off Spanish wines (Chilean also) at the moment, take note of the El Circo wines at 8 euro (I'm impressed with the Macabeo). Note too the Beso de Vino series (including another decent Macabeo). On Page 11, don't overlook the Portuguese pair, Stella white and red, each at 9 euro.

Now that’s the party sorted, how about a few for yourself. I'd be very happy with a bottle of Tim Adam’s “Bluey’s Block” Grenache (16.99) or anything, red or white, even rosé, by Gavin Quinney at Chateau Bauduc. Another Grenache worth a look is the Saint Cosme “Little James”. This is unusual as it is non-vintage but a “winner” according to Robert Parker. And me!

And if you’re feeling especially pleased with yourself, take a look at the Little Beauty Sauvignon Blanc (18.99) and their amazing Pinot Noir (26.00). No shortage of Christmas box suggestions from the folks at Curious. The Chateau Bauduc Bordeaux Sauvignon and Merlot is a twin pack I’d recommend at a reasonable 30 euro. Enjoy.

By the way, if you want to sample before you buy, Curious are open for Christmas Tastings next Saturday (6th) and Sunday (7th), in both the Cork and Naas stores. Times are 12.30pm to 6.00pm both days. More info here  

Casale Vecchio Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2009, 13.5%, €16.95 Karwig Wines

I have to admit that I usually like wines made with the Montepulciano grape, often look for it on restaurant lists, and this is no exception. Confusingly, there is an Italian village of the same name.

This deep red, with intense, fruity, gorgeous aromas, is a superb wine. On the palate it is well endowed with fruit flavours, plum mainly, also spice, dry with good length. This “flagship wine” of a “well respected winery” is best served with meat and grilled food, excellent also with “seasoned”cheese. Very Highly Recommended.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reds to Remember

Reds to Remember
A Margaux chateau this summer.

Marques de Riscal Gran Reserva 2001 (150th anniversary edition), 14%, €49.99 Bradley’s, North Main Street, Cork.

This was produced to mark the 150th anniversary of Riscal and is rather special, a good choice for a special occasion of your own! It is the normal Rioja blend of Tempranillo (mainly), Graciano and Mazuelo, but from vines older than 30 years. The picking was by hand. Two and a half years in American oak was followed by three years bottle aging.

Dark cherry in colour, it has a complex nose: herbs, oaky fragrances, spicy. It is rounded, at this stage, well balanced with a viscous mouthfeel, no shortage of power or backbone, intense black fruits, supple and with a long silky finish. Superb. I’m sure you'll think of a special occasion. Very Highly Recommended.

By the way, I had a special occasion myself! Normally, I'll be sticking to my usual (flexible!) price range on this site, usually between €12.00 and €22.00.

Domaine de Maucaillou Margaux 2009, 12.5%, €12.00 in Margaux June 2014.

Moved on to this just as I was finishing the Riscal. What a pleasant surprise and a pleasant reminder that price is not always the best indicator of wine quality. This is a beautiful Bordeaux from a good year. Thought it was one of the more expensive of the Margaux that I bought there this summer and, on checking, was surprised to see it was the cheapest.

This is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, has spent 12 months in barriques and is produced in a 2.3 hectare vineyard. Confusingly, there is a Chateau Maucaillou not too far away in Moulis.

Colour is a deep ruby, healthy and bright, and it has a rather delicate fruity nose. On the palate, it has power and attractiveness in equal measures, a big wine indeed from a very small domaine, and a very nice finish as well. Check out your local wine merchant for Margaux. This one, if you come across it, home or away, is Very Highly Recommended.

Aresti Trisquel 2012 Syrah (Chile), 14%, €17.99 Supervalu.

This dark dark red has an intriguing nose: blackcurrants, spices, vanilla, caramel, smoke even. The Syrah (rather than Shiraz) suggests a nod towards the European style and it is indeed close to the more restrained Old World style. Quite complex on the palate, juicy, spicy, darkly fruity and a long pleasing finish. Quite a lot going on in this really stunning wine. Very Highly Recommended.

Moulin de Gassac Albaran 2011, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah Old Vines, 13.5%, €14.49 Curious Wines online.

On the lookout for value? Then you could do worse that check out the Curious Wines website as they give genuine discounts throughout the year. I saved three euro on this one a few weeks back. This is an excellent red for the price, great fruit and flavour, a highly recommended easy drinker from this innovative and well established Herault (Languedoc) vineyard.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Superb Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc. Check this Cuvée Grêle 2013!

Superb Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc
Check this Cuvée Grêle 2013!
Gavin Quinney at
Chateau Bauduc June 2014.
Mention Sauvignon Blanc these days and the next sentence will almost certainly contain the words New Zealand and maybe, just maybe, the Loire. New Zealand is well known for its distinctively aromatic pungent style while the traditional Loire style is often described with words like minerality and acidity.

New Zealand, where it is by far the most widely grown grape, is not the only New World country producing good Sauvignon Blanc. Chile is another, excellent examples coming from the cooler coastal areas of this long and narrow country. And there are quite a few more, both old and new world.

But let’s go back to France again and search that little bit harder. In Bordeaux (which may have seen the birth of this grape). I know many of us are under the impression that all Bordeaux whites (now increasingly rated higher by Mr Parker) are all a blend of SB and Semillon in all kinds of proportions.

But there are quite a few one hundred per cent Sauvignon Blancs in the area, including the pair below. And do note that Bauduc is available in Ireland via Curious Wines!

Chateau Bauduc, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Bordeaux, 11.5%

Lovely fruit flavours here with excellent balance, crisp and dry with a little tingle and a lovely long finish. This gem, somewhat fuller than the Loire style, has been the house wine at Gordon Ramsey’s and Rick Stein’s for over a decade, showing you don't have to be in the Loire to make excellent French Sauvignon Blanc. Very Highly Recommended.

We are lucky to have this one at all. Vigneron Gavin Quinney notes on the back label: “We call this our Cuvée Grêle (hail) as we lost half our crop on 2 August, just before the September harvest.”

Chateau Rochemorin, Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Pessac-Leognan Bordeaux.

Came across this beauty in an one star Michelin restaurant in Arcachon (Le Patio) and absolutely enjoyed, even if it came in at fifty euro a pop. Enjoyed it even more when I found I could buy it in Podensac for €11.95.

In the Loire in 2013, I bought more red than whites and this year, in Bordeaux, I bought more whites than red. Pessac-Leognan is, according to Oz Clarke, “one of the most exciting areas in France for top-class white wines” while Hugh Johnson says it has Bordeaux’s “finest barrel fermented dry whites’. High praise indeed.

The highly respected Andre Lurton is the man in charge here and impressed even Jancis Robinson with this one who described it as racy and lively and “giving white burgundy a run for its money”.

It spends 10 months in oak barrels (35% new), on full lees with bâtonnage. Believe it or not  it can age 12 to 15 years but is excellent after 2 to 5 years. I’ll have my purchases wiped out by Christmas, at the latest!

Lots of white fruit on the nose, it is rich and fresh and beautifully balanced. Well worth seeking out if you are on hols in France. Not sure if you’ll find it in Ireland though I see that Wine Online are offering the 2007 version.

Other Sauvignon Blanc recommendations
New Zealand: Fiona Turner’s Tinpot Hut and Fleur McCree’s Little Beauty are both excellent Marlborough examples. Also worth a try is Tim and Judy Finn’s fresh herbaceous Neudorf from the Nelson area.

Chile: Aresti’s Trisquel Sauvignon Blanc and Cono Sur’s Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Valle de Casablanca.