Showing posts with label Mary Pawle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Pawle. Show all posts

Friday, March 1, 2024

A balanced, complex and elegant Douro red: Antonio Lopes Ribeiro Douro



Antonio Lopes Ribeiro Douro (DOC) 2020, 13.5% ABV,

RRP €25.00; stockists: Sonas, Newcastle West. Mary Pawle




 

A balanced, complex and elegant Douro red


The spectacular Douro region in Portugal (a World Heritage Site),  is well-known for its port and the area’s red still wines are produced from much the same grapes. This excellent Antonio Lopes Ribeiro includes Touriga-Franca (60%), Touriga-Nacional (10%), Tinta-Roriz (10%), Tinta-Barroca (10%) and Sousão (10%).


The name Antonio Lopes Ribeiro may be familiar to some readers as he co-owns Casa De Mouraz, a small natural wine estate based in the Dao region of Portugal, and “Antonio Lopes Ribeiro” is reserved for their wines from the Duoro and Vinho Verde. Some of their excellent Mouraz wines are also imported by Mary Pawle and are unmistakeable on the shelf as the labels feature the estate’s well-loved pets: Bolinha (Maltese dog), Chibu (goat) and Nina (cat).

Via Pixabay (by Andrew McLeod


Back to our Douro which is quite a dark ruby. Aromas are a heady mix of dark fruits (blackberry and cherry) along with some herbal notes. With more fruit and herbs on the palate, it is balanced, complex and elegant. Perfect all the way to the finish.


Very Highly Recommended. 


Check out  our Top Wines 2024 list (with stockists and short reviews) here 

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The grapes are grown on three vineyards in the Upper Duoro where the soil is mostly schist with some clay outcrops. On these slopes you see plenty of rock roses, thyme and rosemary flowers amongst the stones.


This unoaked beauty is well worth looking out for. The vineyard’s suggested pairings are kid or lamb as well as stewed veal (or cooked in the oven). Also goes well with white meat and game dishes or vegetarian dishes such as mushrooms. Over to you!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

DRINK OF THE WEEK. Vermut de Robles in a class of its own!

DRINK OF THE WEEK

A vermouth in a class of its own

Bodegas Robles VRMT Vermut de Robles NV 15%


RRP: €32.00  (1 litre). Manning’s , Ballylickey// Toon’s Bridge Dairy// Good Food Store, Dublin//Wunderkaffee Farran and Connemara Hamper, Clifden. Mary Pawle Wines 


Bodegas Robles and Michelin-starred chef Paco Morales have certainly crafted a vermouth that is as complex and enticing as it is delicious. Combining the aromas and flavours of times past and present. And it is imported to Ireland by Mary Pawles wines. The base is Robles’ 8-year-old Oloroso, and then later a light touch of the PX is added.. 

Amazing aromas with strong hints of the Oloroso sherry base and a “top-up” of Pedro Ximenez, an appealing blend of freshness and maturity. The ten aromatic plants foraged in the locality have their say. An amazing liquid with a superb balance of sweetness and bitterness with the acidity playing a key role as the symphony of flavour plays on and on to the heavenly finalé.


Negroni. Image by eKokki from Pixabay


The aromatic plants add a sense of terroir, and also a burst of freshness and herbal complexity while other Paco additions such as clove and cinnamon echo the ancient cuisine of the Moorish Al-Andalus period (8th -15th century), all adding to the sense that this is indeed a special one. Step into the time capsule and take off!



The producers say it is “A good pairing for nuts, fruits such as orange or lemon, a cheese and raspberry cake., Any seafood and all kinds of fish: tuna, cod, salmon, anchovies., It's perfect with sweet flavors, especially those with more sweet and dark flavour., Olives, cheeses, ham, sausages, smoked meats, mussels, clams.”


It is certainly versatile. Enjoy on its own or with fresh orange juice and ice as an apéritif (try the same with Campari). It can also be used as a base for cocktails, such as the Negroni or the Manhattan. 

Manhattan.
Image by 
Gerhard Bögner via Pixabay


Cocktails are one of the first things you think about when you have a vermouth on hand. But I have found that some don't do justice to the Robles creation. I felt I had to change the forever formula for the Negroni. And, after a few experiments, determined that VRMT (40ml), Campari (30ml) and Gin (20ml) worked best for me! 


The Manhattan, this based on the Rye and Malt (raised in Bourbon barrels) at Method and Madness, Irish Distillers' micro in Midleton, worked well with the regular recipe (though I did throw in a cap full of Campari as there were no bitters in the house!)




Get a bottle of the VRMT for yourself and enjoy the experimenting!




Friday, February 2, 2024

This organic and vegan-friendly Sangiovese is ideal for the table. And a refreshing red from Ventoux.

ERA Sangiovese Marche (IGT) 2020, 13% ABV

RRP: €14.60 Stockists include: Quay Co-Op Cork/ Olive Branch, Clonakilty/ Little Green Grocer, Kilkenny/ Mortons of Galway/ Sonas, Newcastlewest.

(Below: Refreshing red from Ventoux).



This organic and vegan-friendly wine is ideal for the table.


You’ll more than likely associate the grape Sangiovese with Italy’s Tuscany where they use it to produce the well-known, well-loved Chianti wine. Immediately to Tuscany’s east is another Italian region called Marche, pronounced Mar-Kay, which has the shores of the Adriatic Sea as its eastern border, and that the region is where this Sangiovese originates.


The aromas of our ERA wine are intense, ripe dark red fruit, floral and herbal notes too, and liquorice also. Flavours are just as bright and intense, full of those red and darker fruits, plus more than just a hint of spice. Tannins are more or less silky and there’s enough acidity to ensure harmony through to the lingering finish. 

An organic and vegan-friendly wine, it is ideal for the table. Try it with Broiled Marinated Pork Chop, Savoy cabbage, Fondant Potato and Mustard Sauce. Winery tips are stewed meat and aged cheeses while other suggestions include Fried chicken livers, Pappardelle pasta with a rabbit and porcini mushroom ragù,  spaghetti bolognese, lamb shank and steak Milanese, and Slow-roasted pork with white bean mash. 


Highly Recommended. Very well priced too, by the way. 


++++++++++++



Charm and character in this Ventoux red by M. Jacques


Jacques Frelin Contreforts Du Delta Ventoux (AP) 2021, 14% ABV, Mary Pawle Wines

This organic red wine, another from Mary Pawle, is a blend of Grenache and Syrah, and comes rom the edges of the southern Rhône. 

The vineyard (soil consists of “Gravel and pebbles”) is under the gaze of Mount Ventoux, the mountain famous for its Mistral Wind and its long-lasting association with the Tour de France. I did climb it once myself - by car! The pebbles referred to above by the way are rather large flat stones.

The colour is a light garnet, a little lighter than you might expect by comparison to your regular Côtes du Rhone. The aromas have raspberry and strawberry notes, a bit on the jammy side, with a hint of spice.

It is immediately refreshing in the mouth, soft, supple and fruity, a really juicy blend and indeed one that may be served cool (not chilled though!). Very enjoyable and an easy-drinking style.

As the label promises, this expressive organic wine exudes charm and character. Well rounded and aromatic. Try with grilled lamb with thyme, or goats cheese with fresh figs. Serve at 18 degrees.

Highly Recommended.




Friday, January 26, 2024

A lovely Ferraton Côtes Du Rhone Villages “in the image of Provence”

A lovely Ferraton Côtes Du Rhone Villages

 “in the image of Provence”. 

A Rhone village


Ferraton Côtes Du Rhone Villages Bio (AP) 2021, 14% ABV

RRP: €18.99. Stockists: The Olive Branch in Clonakilty / Mary Pawle

Our Ferraton Côtes Du Rhone Villages comes “from a selection of the best terroirs of the southern Rhône valley. Mediterranean climate. Clay-limestone hillsides and terraces.”

The colour of this youngster is a deep ruby. The dark fruity aromas are laced with spicy notes. That spice is a factor also on the palate where the fruit invites you on - light and smooth, with soft tannins - it certainly has that second-glass appeal. Well-balanced and with a persistent finish, it is indeed a high-quality organic wine.

Very Highly Recommended.

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It is the perfect accompaniment to red meats, mature cheeses and Mediterranean dishes. Really well-priced so no excuse not to get yourself a bottle and enjoy authentic Côtes du Rhône wine! It is elegant and not as robust as some and will also be ideal with duck breast, veal, lamb stews and hard or semi-hard cheeses. Versatile, isn't it?


As you know, most red wines from the Rhone are blends and the major players in this beauty are Grenache and Syrah. The label goes on the poetic side: “It is in the image of Provence: a mosaic of villages and landscapes which offer a unique, rich and inimitable whole.”

You’ll find the Ferraton headquarters in Hermitage in the Northern Rhone but the Côtes du Rhone appellation is spread across four departments in the Southern Rhone: Ardeche, Drôme, Gard and Vaucluse. Indeed, the vines for this one were raised not too far from the famous Pont du Gard and, like the lively people of that memorable area, the wines are not lacking in character.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Another super Azul y Garanza Suelovivo, a Tinto from the "living soil"

Another super Azul y Garanza Suelovivo, a Tinto from the "living soil"

Azul y Garanza Suelovivo Tinto Wine of Spain 2022, 13% ABV



(Like its white "cousin", this Suelovivo is also available at Sonas of Newcastlewest)

Another wine, this time a red one (Tinto), from the living soil (suelo vivo) cared for by Azul y Garanza. The vineyards are located in the Bardenas Reales Natural Park in Navarra. A huge commitment to biodiversity leads to wines of pronounced purity and this blend, of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Garnacha Blanca, is another excellent example.


The colour is a light ruby, of the Gamay kind. Aromas are fresh and inviting, think strawberry and floral. The palate is full of uncomplicated fruit, light and lively, and very natural. If the weather is warm, you may even chill it (a little). Certified organic and easy to drink, it is well worth a try. Pairings recommended include tapas, casseroles, grilled meat and grilled veg. But first for me would be as an aperitif and then try one of the others, if you have any Suelovivo left!

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Check my growing list of top wines for 2023

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Check out my Good Value Wine List here

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Another Highly Recommended gem from Azul v Garanza. Importer Mary Pawle knows this winery well and visited there this month. The harvest was in full swing still and there's quite a gathering for that.

 The winery, in Carcastillo, had been built in the 1940s but was closed down in the eighties. Azul y Garanza (Maria, Dani, and Fernando, a dynamic trio) bought it in 1999 and slowly converted the abandoned cooperative building into a fully operational winery.

“It has long, narrow cement tanks with small dimensions, ideal for gentle and delicate fermentations, like infusions, which translate into friendlier and more elegant wines. And having a great many small tanks instead of a few large ones allowed them to separate the grapes by variety and origin in that way preserves the highest quality must.”

That cricket on the label? In the vineyard, you can’t see the cricket, but you hear it.

You can’t see the soul of a living soil (Suelo Vivo), but you can feel it.


We enjoyed the white version a few weeks back. To save you clicking around, I've copied it below:

original post 09.10.2023

Beautiful organic wine from the living soil of the Azul y Garanza vineyards.

Colourful cricket!


Azul y Garanza Suelo Vivo blanco (Wine of Spain) 2022, 13% ABV.

RRP: c. €20.00. Stockists: Sonas NewcastlewestMary Pawle Wines


In the vineyard, you can’t see the cricket, but you hear it.

You can’t see the soul of a living soil (Suelo Vivo), but you can feel it.


That’s the line on the label of this delicious organic wine from Azul y Garanza. Colour is a light straw, quite hazy in the bottle and glass. Aromas are delicate, of the citrus kind, with hints of fennel in the background. Quite a complex palate, with peach, apricot, yellow plum and citrus in the mix, a very refreshing melange indeed.


Highly Recommended



A new wine, certified organic, but already getting praise: “fun summertime wine”, “perfect everyday wine”, “the fruit shines”, “a refreshing beast”, “soft yet generous”, and the beer accolade of “crushable”. You can't see the soul but you sure can taste the body!


It is a blend with 90% Garancha Blanca and 10% Moscatel. The vast majority of Garnacha Blanca (or Grenache Blanc) is grown in Spain (Herencia Altes a top choice) and France (look for Ferraton and Chapoutier). It can produce full-bodied wines that go well with bigger fish such as tuna.


The Azul y Garanza vineyards are located in the Bardenas Reales Natural Park in Navarra. A huge commitment to biodiversity in the vineyards leads to wines of pronounced purity. This particular example is a pure wine from a living soil (Suelo Vivo) that is in harmony with nature.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Beautiful organic wine from the living soil of the Azul y Garanza vineyards.

Beautiful organic wine from the living soil of the Azul y Garanza vineyards.

Colourful cricket!


Azul y Garanza Suelo Vivo blanco (Wine of Spain) 2022, 13% ABV.

RRP: c. €20.00. Stockists: Sonas Newcastlewest; Mary Pawle Wines


In the vineyard, you can’t see the cricket, but you hear it.

You can’t see the soul of a living soil (Suelo Vivo), but you can feel it.


That’s the line on the label of this delicious organic wine from Azul y Garanza. Colour is a light straw, quite hazy in the bottle and glass. Aromas are delicate, of the citrus kind, with hints of fennel in the background. Quite a complex palate, with peach, apricot, yellow plum and citrus in the mix, a very refreshing melange indeed.


Highly Recommended


*************

Check my growing list of top wines for 2023

*************

Check out my Good Value Wine List here

***************


A new wine, certified organic, but already getting praise: “fun summertime wine”, “perfect everyday wine”, “the fruit shines”, “a refreshing beast”, “soft yet generous”, and the beer accolade of “crushable”. You can't see the soul but you sure can taste the body!


It is a blend with 90% Garancha Blanca and 10% Moscatel. The vast majority of Garnacha Blanca (or Grenache Blanc) is grown in Spain (Herencia Altes a top choice) and France (look for Ferraton and Chapoutier). It can produce full-bodied wines that go well with bigger fish such as tuna.


The Azul y Garanza vineyards are located in the Bardenas Reales Natural Park in Navarra. A huge commitment to biodiversity in the vineyards leads to wines of pronounced purity. This particular example is a pure wine from a living soil (Suelo Vivo) that is in harmony with nature.