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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cork Wine Business Expands

Cork Wine Business Expands
Advises "Skip the bank, go to the people"
Curious Wines Mike Kane at a Cork tasting
Cork wine company Curious Wines run by brothers Mike Kane and Matt Kane, one of the first wine companies in Ireland to use the web and social media to get business, are innovating again. The brothers are expanding their business by opening a wine warehouse and retail space in Naas, just off the M7 as a foothold into the greater South Dublin area. However, rather than relying on the banks to finance the expansion, it was apparent they had the necessary funding right at their finger-tips – through their own customers.
No more cajoling
"We needed an additional €30,000 of financing but instead of jumping through hoops by having to educate, prod and cajole a bank manager, we went to the people who understand and believe in our business: our customers, our friends,” stated MD Michael Kane.
Curious Wines are one of many businesses in Ireland using new forms of financing, based on peer-to-peer lending or crowd-funding. Here they're using LinkedFinance, where individuals get to bid "micro" loans at rates that suit them. When enough people bid the loan becomes an auction, with the loan fulfilled at the lowest rates bid. Where Curious have struck gold again is in offering the loan to their customers first.
“We’ve never seen such an enthusiastic response to a loan on our platform.” commented Marc Rafferty of LinkedFinance. “Normally we would experience 20-30% loan fulfilment in the first week of a loan being offered. With Curious it was 75%, and at rates we haven’t seen before.”
Rafferty continued: “Curious Wines has embraced Linked Finance as a way to raise finance to expand their Irish business in the ultimate fashion. By engaging with their own customers, they have driven the speed of the fulfilment, and driven down the rate at which people are prepared to invest in them. Not only are they receiving the finance they need to grow, they’re turning their current customers into lenders and advocates for their business and they’ve also publicised their wine business to the thousands of lenders supporting Irish SMEs on Now that's what we call a real alternative to the banks!” continued Rafferty.
The loan auction ends on Tuesday 24th June and details can be read here:
Would you get €30,000 from your bank in a week?
Matthew Kane, Curious Wines’ Operations Manager, who will run the Naas location: "We're blown away that in just a week we're at 75% of our €30,000 loan without pushing it that hard. We sent an email to our newsletter list and put up a few tweets and our friends and supporters spread the news via word of mouth. It's a total endorsement of what we're doing by our own customers."
Curious Wines are of the view that new direct to public financing models are a future that SMEs need to consider.
Michael Kane MD: "Despite all the fancy advertising saying banks are lending money, they're still far too conservative and strangling people in paper and conditions, we would urge many SMEs that are looking for financing to investigate LinkedFinance. These are the credit unions, the community coop banks of the 21st century"
The new Curious Wines location will be a 6,000 square foot unit in Tougher Business Park, Newhall, between Naas and Newbridge, just 3km from the M7 Dublin-Cork motorway. Around half the space will be used for retail, with the other half supporting the growing warehousing and distribution requirements of Curious’ nationwide online and wholesale business.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bordeaux’s Chateau Bauduc. Hail and Terroir. My 159 Steps.

Bordeaux’s Chateau Bauduc. Hail and Terroir. My 159 Steps.

Day 9 in Arcachon 10th June

Gavin Quinney knew about terroir but was somewhat sceptical when he started winemaking at Chateau Bauduc fifteen years back. Hail stones weren't in the wine equation then. But they sure are now. Fifteen years on, Englishman Gavin believes in hail and terroir. And much more besides.

Gavin checking Merlot

Chateau Bauduc is found in the area known as Entre deux Mers, the wide strip of land between the Dordogne and the Gironde. Bauduc couldn't be more entre. Gavin, and his dogs, took us around his 25 hectares of vines, some quite young, some quite old (Semillon planted in 1947). Vines are like people, mused Gavin as he pointed out the gnarly old Semillon and its lack of vigour (though not necessarily of quality). Seems though, they will not be here much longer.
This is a working vineyard and in between Gavin had chats with various people - work goes on. And it is detailed work, labour intensive, hands on. He pointed to his many rows of vines, including Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and said each single plant would be visited by man or machine at least twenty times over the year

After all that hard work we retreated to the steps of the chateau itself for the tasting. Having seen so many museum like chateaux in France, it was some change to see a lived-in one! On the steps and in the sunshine we met his wife Angela.

We started with his 2012 Bordeaux blanc, all Sauvignon blanc, and a real beauty. Then we moved onto the lightly oaked Clos des Quinze 2012 Bordeaux, a classic blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Just sipping a glass of it again now as I type and it is just perfect, a great balance of fruit flavours and acidity.
From the 159th step!
They just kept getting better.  Next up was the 2010 Les Trois Hectares, a Bordeaux superieur Merlot. Marvellous. And the good thing about these wines, unlike many that I write about on these trips, is that they are available in Ireland via Curious Wines
Crossing the Gironde at Langoiran
Bauduc is near the town of Créon and here we enjoyed a lunchtime sandwich and a drink in a bakery recommended by Gavin. Headed on then to a local landmark, the Abbaye de la Sauve Majeure. It is now a ruin but much of the shell remains as does the bell tower. The receptionist more or less dared me to take that on and, with some power from the Bauduc wines, I scaled the 159 steps in record time.

Had been hoping to visit a top restaurant in Arcachon but it closes on Tuesday. Luckily for us, we found another traiteur just across the road and the madame here was welcoming and smiling. We liked that and liked her food as well, including a main course of beef tongue. Three courses costs us about twenty one euro. And we had lots of Bauduc to wash it down! Say no more.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Foot-treading has its merits! Douro Delight.

Foot-treading has its merits! 
Quinta do Judeu
A Cracking Douro Red.
Quinta do Judeu Corgo da Régua 2012 (Douro), 14%, €13.99 at Curious Wines, other stockists

If you thought foot-treading in wineries was a thing of the past, think again. It is alive and kicking, at least in the Douro region of Portugal. Chris Forbes of Taylor’s Port sang its praises - it maximises the juice and the flavors - at a tasting in Ballymaloe the other evening and, at the weekend, I had its merits beautifully confirmed by this bottle.

Colour is a dark red and the aromas are of red fruit. On the palate it is fresh and fruity and with a gentle mouthfeel. Tannins have their say but they are mild. Perfect with red meat, this is your everyday wine. And not just weekdays! Weekends as well. Very Highly Recommended.

While you might not expect the foot-treading, you won't be too surprised by the cork closure as after all it is a Portuguese wine. Grape varieties are local: Tinta Roriz 35%, Tinta Barroca 35%, Touriga Franca 20% and Touriga Nacional 10%. Decanting advised.

Domaine de Rochelin, Macon-Lugny 2012, 12.5%, €14.60 Karwig Wines
Must say I rather like the Chardonnays from this region and this is no exception. You've got a pale straw colour with tints of green and a nose of white fruits, peach and melon. It is fruity and fresh, with an almost plump feel and with a floral finish..

It is the result of sustainable cultivation, the aim being to create a style of freshness and exuding fruit aromas. I reckon they succeeded. Highly Recommended.

Bodegas Exopto, Dominio del Viento, Crianza 2010 Rioja, 13.5%, €15.99 Curious Wines.
Colour here is a light red and a bright one. The red fruit flavours are pleasantly obvious in the mouth while a mild acidity is enough to balance. Some spice too. All the delicious elements at play too in a decent finish. A well made rounded example of the type and Highly Recommended. It is made from 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha and has spent 12 months in oak barrels.

Domaine des Geslets, Les Geslets Bourgueil 2010, 13%
Domaine du Raifault Clos du Villy, Chinon 2009, 12.5%
Not sure you'll find either of these two in Ireland (you will find similar) but if you are in France during the summer, do watch out for them. I have been praising the reds of Chinon and its neighbour Bourgueil recently and these are two really excellent examples.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Two Excellent Reds. Well priced also! And two from the Loire.

Quarisa Enchanted Tree Pinot Noir (South East Australia) 2012, 13.5%, €13.99 Curious Wines

Wine is the colour of this excellent Pinot Noir. Didn’t know there was a colour with that name but apparently it has been in use since the early 18th century!
The wine itself is juicy and fruity, a silky medium bodied feel, well balanced with no alcohol burn, and tannins that shake hands without too much of a grip, and good length also.

Liked it (and the colourful label) at their pre-Christmas tasting and liked it even more when I brought a bottle home. Very Highly Recommended.

Beso de Vino, Seleccion 2011, Cariñena (Spain), 13.5%, €11.99, Wine Alliance stockists.
This was not supposed to be the Valentine’s Night star. That role went to a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the Adriatic ace didn't disappoint.
But then the Beso, the supporting player, took to the stage. Took its chance. Grabbed the taste buds’ attention with the initial friendly approach, strong and spicy and all things nice-y. This pleasantly potent blend of Syrah and Garnacha, soft and dry and with a fine finish, proved itself a class act and comes with a price tag that won’t worry the bank manager. Very Highly Recommended.
Vincent Gregoire Domain des Geslets, L'Expression 2009, Bourgueil (France), 13%, €8.80 Syndicat des Vins Bourgueil.
This dark red Cabernet Franc has aromas of dark fruits with some spice. It is smooth, fruity and refreshing and an excellent example of what they do with the grape in this area.
All the grapes used have been raised under the “Sustainable Agriculture” method and come from old (65 to 80 years) vines. It is matured in 400l casks for nearly 12 months, “gaining black cherry, vanilla and spicy aromas”. If you do get your hands on a bottle, be sure and decant! Very Highly Recommended.

Domaine du Clos d’Epinay, Vouvray Brut, Methode Traditionnelle, 12%, €9.00 at the estate.
Well, unlike Dom Perignon, you won’t be tasting “the stars” when you open a bottle of this Clos d’Epinay. But there are lots of bubbles, maybe not the smallest, and the wine itself has many of the elements associated with champagne. Indeed, it is quite a lovely substitute for the real thing and at a fraction of the price. Recommended.
It is a small vineyard and when I called there in the late summer of 2013, they reported that up to ninety per cent of the crop had been damaged by hail stones earlier in the year. “That’s nature.” Let us hope they’ll have a better summer this time. The grapes used are 100 per cent Chinon Blanc.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mountains, Football, Nutella and Good Wine!

Stars of Northern Italy

One well known, the other not so.

“The haunting Nebbiolo has no rival as the first red grape of Northern Italy,” says the current World Atlas of Wine. But, you do have to wait for it, according to the authors of Vino Italiano:  “Nebbiolo is more about complexities revealed over time”. Difficult to grow too and often late.

Both wines below come from Piedmont, famous not just for its wines but for its mountains, its football (Juventus), its Nutella! Red wines are mainly produced but the Roero area is the home of the little known Arneis, a fragrant pear scented old local white.
Bosio’s Boschi dei Signora, Nebbiolo D’Alba 2009, 14%, €16.99 Curious Wines
The fruit of 40 year vines is used for this wine. Vineyard practice encourages a low yield and a final thinning means that only the best grapes make it through. The wine-making uses a mix of modern and traditional methods and the product is refined in Slovenian and French oak barrels before a wine that befits the noblest Piedmontese vine is released.
Colour is ruby and there are aromas of red fruits, even blackberries and indeed some floral elements. It is full bodied, velvety with some spice but generally mellow with a very pleasant mouthfeel, and is further enhanced by a long dry finish. This one would be a good sub for a more expensive Barolo and is Very Highly Recommended.

Fontanafredda Pradalupo, Roero Arneis 2010 (Piedmont, Italy), 12.5%, €18.36 Karwig Wines
I don’t come across the Arneis variety very often but, going by this bottle, it is well worth looking out for.
Colour is that of a light honey, invitingly clean and bright. It has beautiful aromas, both floral and fruity. On the palate it is vibrant and full of flavour with an almost creamy mouthfeel, yet it possesses a lively acidity that gives a beautiful balance and a very pleasant clean finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Last Minute Wine Suggestions

Last Minute Wine Suggestions
 Top one goes with "a variety of meats" - ideal for Christmas!

Tim Adams, Bluey’s Block Single Vineyard Grenache, Clare Valley 2009, 14.5%, €16.99 Curious Wines 

Colour is a very light red and the aromatics are pretty if restrained. The magic is on the palate. Fruity for sure but very very refined and so well balanced. It has of course, the typical spice of the variety and, what you might not expect, an ABV of 14.5%. Must say it was love at first bite (well, first sip) with this mouth filling beauty, with its subtle tannins (supple, the label says) and its long fruity driven finish. Goes with a variety of meats and is Very Highly Recommended.

Viñedos Iberian, Yaso, Tinta de Toro 2010, 13.5%, stockists 

Familia Osborne (of Sherry fame) owns Viñedos Iberian and this Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo to most of us!) is a classy bottle. Yaso comes from a selection of old vineyards in the Zamora region of the Toro DO. They’ve been growing vines here for over 2000 years and this is named after the Greek goddess of healing.

Not sure I needed any healing when I opened this red the other day but I sure felt good as the initial sips came in and better as the silky liquid reached all areas.  It has an intense concentration of red fruits – you see it in the bright cherry colour and catch it in the aromas – and it is prominent again on the long finish. Highly Recommended.

Kerpen Riesling 2010 (Blauschiefer, Bernkastel, Mosel), €17.52, Karwig Wines

This estate bottled Riesling is a my favourite of mine, confirmed as recently as last Sunday. It is bright with straw green colours and modestly aromatic. Ripe fruits reach all areas before a long dry finish. Luscious apple-ly fruits yet really well balanced and with a great texture. Good with fish with light sauces or on its own as an aperitif. Highly recommended, not for the first time!.

The vineyards are on the slopes of the River Mosel, a tributary of the Rhine.

Check out the full 2013 list of recommendations here 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Red Zone of the Loire

The Red Zone of the Loire
Underground in Chinon.
Read more about my 3 weeks in the Loire Valley here
Let me take you to the red zone of the Loire Valley. Let us start in Chinon, just west of Tours. Chinon (population c.16,000) is a lovely old town, full of history (Jean d’Arc, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Rabelais, etc…) and surrounded by vineyards, and is the heart of the appellation of the same name.

The appellation is situated mainly in the triangle formed as the Vienne and Loire rivers meet and also includes some communes to the south of the Vienne. And I’ve read in the latest Wine Atlas of the World (a terrific book) that some seven communes to the west of the Vienne are soon to be included.

Immediately north of the confluence of the two rivers you come to Bourgueil and appellations named after that town and its close neighbour St Nicolas. Wine is so important here that there is a huge wine bottle outside the church in St Nicolas and a huge bunch of grapes is a centrepoint on at least one roundabout..

The communes to the west of the Chinon appellation come under the general Touraine label and I’m sure that the seven mentioned in the Wine Atlas would jump at the chance to join up. Hopefully, Chateau du Petit Thouars will be included as they make some great wines from their Cabernet Franc, the red grape for both neighbouring Chinon and Bourgueil.

Domaine du Raifault, Clos du Villy, Chinon 2009, 12.5%, €7.60 at Caves de Montplaisir
Okay, let’s start at the heart of it, in Chinon itself. Along the bank of the Vienne on the road to the west, you’ll find the unusual wine cellar called Caves de Montplaisir.  The cellar, “unique in the Loire Valley, is a former underground quarry of over 2,500 square metres”. The tufa (a type of limestone) extracted was used to build many castles and manor houses in the region.

It is a pretty cool place in more senses than one! Indeed, there was one area where you need a brolly as the water drips through from the top of the town, many metres above. They were busy at reception when we arrived so we had our own little tour among the damp and mould inducing  “chambers”, passing much wine in storage including some 1977 Chinon and small lots dating back to 1947, 1921 and 1893.

But when it came to tasting and buying (they represent three growers), we came much more up to date and included this 2009 in our lot. It has excellent fruit flavours (with an almost silky mouthfeel) and well matched by a refreshing acidity, then a good long finish and overall is pretty typical of the Chinon reds. I've really gotten to like this grape and what they do with it where the Vienne and Loire meet.
Chateau du Petit Thouars, Selection 2009, Touraine, 12.5%, €5.00 at Chateau

This vineyard, situated in the area of St Germain sur Vienne, is outside the Chinon and Bourgueil appellations. It is owned by Sebastien du Petit Thouars - his winemaker is the experienced Michael Pinard - and is regularly regarded as a top producer (see High Johnson handbook 2014 for example).

This 2009 is quite aromatic, notes of red fruit evident. It has a lively refreshing palate with soft tannins and shows the ripe Cabernet Franc (in another good year here) at its best. And, at its best, it is a memorable glass indeed.

Domaine Thibault, Bourgueil 2005, 12%, €6.80 at Syndicat des Vins de Bourgueil.
After one of the quickest ever tasting sessions (about three minutes flat for six wines), we bought this Thibault at the local syndicate. From a good year, it is really smooth and velvety on the palate. Colour is light red and the nose is fruity with some spice. 
The domaine is certified biologique since the early 90s but organics have been in practice here since 1974. There are two types of soil in the area, one tuffeau (rocky), the other graviers (gravelly). This one comes from the rocky area but sometimes even locals find it hard to spot the difference in a blind tasting.

Domaine de la Closerie, Vielles Vignes, Bourgueil 2005, 13%, €8.00 at Syndicat des Vins de Bourgueil.
This was another purchase from the syndicat and another where the grapes were grown on the tuffeau. Another excellent buy, even if I say so myself! It is a "traditional wine of the estate, this is a very nice open nose and palate with aromas of red fruits". All that and more, underlining again the quality available in Bourgueil and neighbouring St Nicolas.

Not sure you’ll be able to find these exact wines in Ireland but Loire wines are widely available, more whites than reds admittedly. Still, my recent check revealed that Curious Wines, Karwig Wines, and Ballymaloe (at Brown Thomas), sell Chinon red.

* Read more about my 3 weeks in the Loire Valley here

Monday, December 2, 2013

Portuguese Pearls, one red, one white.

Portuguese Pearls, one red, one white.

Quinta da Lagoalva, Vinho Tinta 2011, 14.5%, Curious Wines (€14.99) and other stockists.

Colour: A bright and beautiful ruby.
Nose: Ripe fruit aromas.
Palate: Fresh and fruity flavours, slight spice, rich and velvety, a terrific mouthfeel and the long finish is more of the same. This has been compared to high quality Shiraz from the Barossa / McLaren Vale, an opinion that may possibly be underselling this outstanding wine. Very Highly Recommended.

This Vinho Regional Tejo is a blend of Castelão and Touriga Nacional. Tejo is the DOC and VR based around the River Tagus and Quinta da Lagoalva is noted by Hugh Johnson (2014 handbook) as one of the “more ambitious” producers.

Tinta, by the way, means red. You’ll notice that both the red and white used the traditional cork closure which is of course produced in Portugal. Cork, by the way, may be making something of a comeback. Indeed, it is well underway, according to Languedoc winemaker Philip Grant of Chateau Bellevue la Foret.

Speaking at a Winegeese event in L’Atitude 51 last month, Grant said he had noted a major improvement in the traditional closure since 2001 when the Portuguese cork industry reacted to the enormous pressure they was coming under from the emergence of the screw cap as the favourite closure of Australia and other wine producing countries.

Young and Refreshing from Setubal
Fontanario de Pegoes Palmela D.O. 2012, 12.5%, €11.99 to 12.99, Stockists 

This white wine is based on the Fernão Pires grape variety with a touch of Arinto. It is young, fruity, ever so slightly spicy, and with a refreshing finish, making it ideal to accompany any fish or salad dish. This aromatic grape is also called Maria Gomes.

It is produced in the Península of Setúbal, a region just south of Lisbon. Palmela is set in the east of the peninsula and it is here that the cooperative San Isidro de Pegões operates and produces quite a variety of wines, including some of the famous sweet wines based on the Moscatel grape.

Cooperatives are often looked down on and indeed ignored by many wine writers and importers but luckily not by all. Otherwise we could miss out on some very good wines indeed. Writer Jamie Goode says this is “possibly Portugal’s best co-op” and, with winemaker Jaime Quendera at the helm, it has won scores of awards.

If you haven’t tried a Portuguese white before, take a chance on this one. It is a gem and Very Highly Recommended.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Curious Case

My Curious Case
Pouring or posing? Mike Kane gets into the swing of it.
Close to a hundred wines available at the very successful Curious Wines Christmas Fair in the Gresham Metropole on Saturday. Spent a very enjoyable couple of hours wandering among the nine tables, two representing Spanish vineyards, and was highly impressed with the quality available.

Now, how would I fill my case? I did start the tasting, as you do, with the whites but it was the reds that really stood out for me, four in particular. And, if I had to pick just one, it would be the Tim Adams Bluey’s Block Grenache 2009 from the Bibendum table, light (not just in colour) and lovely, a velvet touch with an unexpected 14.5% abv!

And then I found, at table four, a new Portuguese star with an intense fruity palate, a full bodied wine with a seriously silky long finish, the Quinta da Lagoalva. Think we’ll be hearing more of this, a blend of Castelao and Touriga Nacional.

Paul Kiernan of Curious had tipped me off about the Château la Négly La Falaise 2011 and he was right. This, from the Languedoc, has it all: aroma, palate, finish. Another absolute gem from Curious.

Tom from Bodegas Exopto has some serious contenders too and the red that really caught my attention here was the Dominio del Viento Crianza 2010. From La Rioja, it is fruit forward and deliciously drinkable.

Some people ignore Rioja when looking for whites. That is a mistake. And Tom had just the bottle to prove it: Horizonte de Exopto Rioja Blanco 2011. This Viura has spent a year in old barrels and is a beauty.
Love that Enchanted Tree label. And their wines too!
And there were another couple of top-notch whites at the adjacent Castelo de Medina stand where Ivan was the host. Both the Castelo de Medina Verdejo 2012 and the Real Castelo Rueda Verdejo 2011 were excellent.

Other whites, that I would be very happy with, include the Viñedos de la Posada Fairtrade Torrontes 2012, the King’s Bastard 2011 Chardonnay, and the Enchanted Tree Semillon Sauvignon 2012.

I think that leaves just two to make up my mixed case. No problem. Back to Curious Mike and his wine of the year: Boschi dei Signori Nebbiola d'Alba DOC 2009 and finally, at Curious Matt’s high class table, we’ll take the Enchanted Tree Pinot Noir 2012.

Man does not live by wine alone, of course, and the Kanes had, as usual, a few local food producers on hand. Ummera Smokery and Ballymaloe Relish are by now well-known to most of you but I hadn’t come across Christie’s Celtic Kitchen before.

In 2011, they started off with flavoured Oatcakes, Cured Salmon and Relishes. Now they have expanded their range of ready prepared foods – I enjoyed some spiced up Cous Cous balls on Saturday – and are into home catering and delivery, and have won gold at the 2012 Blas na hEireann Awards in Dingle. Check them out here and on Facebook.

Back to the wines. If you didn’t get your order into Curious last Saturday, you still have plenty of time to order a case or two before Christmas. You can call out to the warehouse at the Kinsale Road Roundabout or indeed order online. See all the contact details here.
Christie had some nice bites! Nice smile too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thank you Mr Quinney

Thank you Mr Quinney

Just have to say a major merci to Gavin Quinney and all the crew at Chateau Bauduc for making great wines and to the guys and gals at Curious Wines for stocking them. Helped myself to a couple recently and each was superb.

Château Bauduc, Les Trois Hectares, Semillon 2010 (also known as Bordeaux blanc sec), 13% abv, €14.39 (reduced from 17.99) Curious Wines

Bordeaux for sure but with a couple of noticeable differences: the Stelvin closure and the fact that the main grape, Semillon, is named on the front label.

Colour is light gold and it is bright. Nose is aromatic and on the palate it is fresh and lively (almost fizzy) and dry. A lovely dry white, excellent texture and complexity, perhaps reflecting that the grapes used come from a seven acre vineyard of gnarled, 60 year old vines. By the way the actual blend is 80% Sémillon with 20% Sauvignon Blanc.

Just about 1400 cases were produced. The wine is listed at Gordon Ramsey ad Rick Stein, one of whom is a favourite of mine! This is a super wine, great value at Curious at the moment and is Very Highly Recommended!

Chateau Bauduc Close de Quinze, Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Cotes de Bordeaux), 14% abv, €13.59 (reduced from 16.99), Curious Wines

This is a very dark red, almost black, with ripe red fruit on the nose. Quite a mouthful, fruity, spicy and on then on to a terrific dry finish. “Powerful yet classic red Bordeaux.” Yes indeed and at a good price. Two thousand and ten “was a magnificent ripe vintage”. This blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cab Sauv takes full advantage and is Very Highly Recommended.

Must say one thing I really like about Chateau Bauduc, aside from the wine of course, is the clarity on the label, lots of to-the-point info, no hype.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chateau Bauduc at the Cornstore

Chateau Bauduc at the Cornstore

Thursday turned out to be quite a night at The Cornstore with Bordeaux’s Chateau Bauduc providing the wines for an excellent five course meal. Gavin Quinney (and family) took over this chateau in 1999 and led it from strength to strength. It is quite a story and may be read here.

From Gavin’s earliest vintages, the critics have been

Friday, October 12, 2012

We've got the menu! Cornstore Wine Dinner Update

And it looks fabulous!
The Cornstore chefs and Chateau Bauduc combine...
should be some night.. Thursday next (18th)
booking details here 

Lamb and corriander kebab, mint couscous and harrissa dressing
serve with Château Bauduc Bordeaux Rosé

Pan fired queen scallop, spaghetti of vegetable and piquante sauce
serve with Chateau bauduc blanc sec sauvignon blanc

Deconstructed atlantic bouillabaisse
serve with Chateau Bauduc "les trois hectares" semillon blanc

Slow roast rump of beef, gratin dauphinois, pan fried baby spinach and creamy wild mushroom sauce
serve with Château Bauduc Clos des Quinze (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Chocolat fondant with cherry heart and  cherry coulis
serve with Château Bauduc Les Trois Hectares (Merlot)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

White Weekend

White Weekend

Gareth York of Mont-Marcal
Mont Marcal, Penedes 2010, 12.5%, €8.49, Curious Wines.
This is a lively little gem. The initial feel is almost creamy and then you note the lively fresh citrus fruits, though with sufficient acidity. An excellent wine from the Catalonia area and so well priced. Recommended.

Use it as an aperitif or with fish and salads. Got that off the label! The labels are really well designed. They are not large but give all the necessary information (in a few languages) in a clear and precise way.

The grape varieties in this wine are Xarel-lo, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and the producer website is

Santa Digna, Fairtrade Chile, 2010 Gewurztraminer Reserve, 13.5%, €8.99, Bradley’s Off Licence.

Information on the Fairtrade bit, which I haven’t seen before on wine, is here The producer is the famous Miguel Torres and the web address is

Nose here is aromatic, floral. Quite a pleasant flavourful mouthful with an excellent dry finish. Full bodied with those tropical fruits prominent yet it finishes dry. Well balanced and fair trade to boot and a good one to start with if you haven’t tried Gewurz before.
Ideal for shellfish (particularly recommended for oysters) and most fish dishes. Good price. Recommended.

Tinpot Hut, 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (NZ), 13.5%, €16.99, Bradley’s Off Licence.

This superb wine has a colour of pale straw with an exotic aromatic nose. The palate says great! An immediate thumbs-up. A mouthful of fabulous flavours from the Beautiful Country, exotic to the North Atlantic palate, and blessed also with a terrific finish.

Marlborough is indisputably, I think, the top standard for New World SB and this Tinpot  is one of the best from the region. Well done to Fiona Turner (right) whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Electric a few months back. Congrats too to Liberty Wines for supplying us with such a gem. A bit pricier than the others but Highly Recommended!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Red that’s light and bright

A Red that’s light and bright
Chartron et Trebuchet, 2010 Macon AOC, 12.5% abv, €12.99 Curious Wines

Want to try something in red other than Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja or Merlot, then why not have a look at this bright featherweight from the Macon?

It is an easy drinking fruity red with a little tannic kick, light and with a decent balance. If you don’t fancy the more full-on reds, this one, a blend of Pinot Noir and the Gamay grape (used extensively in Beaujolais), is a sound bet.

The general advice for this Macon, which is probably more of a spring and summer wine, is to drink it as young as possible. This is the kind of light red that easily fits with a salad and would be gorgeous with one that includes Ummera smoked chicken.