Two Superb Wines from Burgundy and Mendoza for your list. Well worth a try!
Chateau De Santenay ROC Blanc Mercurey (AC) 2017, 13%
RRP €31.99 wineonline.ie Terroirs
Chateau De Santenay is situated in the central strip of the Côte Chalonnaise which itself is in the middle of the Burgundy vineyard (north to south and leaving aside the isolated Chablis). Here, on that central strip, according to the World Atlas of Wine, “Mercurey is much the best-known appellation…”.
Our 2017 Santenay comes in a bright and clear light-gold colour. Aromas are concentrated, pear and citrus notes, and just a mild hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel is superb, the texture impressing (thanks to its time in oak). For sure it is ample in the mouth, those superb fruity aromas (more of the pear now) continuing and citrus flavours, plus hazelnut hints. Thanks to its stimulating acidity, it has a beautiful balanced path to the finalé.
The Chateau de Santenay is one of the most important Burgundy estates with its 90 hectares spread across 14 appellations planted in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. “We are totally committed to the protection of the environment and the biodiversity of our vineyards.”
The Chateau itself confirms that the grape variety is 100% Chardonnay from a small vineyard in the village of Saone-et-Loire. White wine represents only 10% of the vineyard in Mercurey but it is a very significant proportion. Mercurey blanc has a zesty mineral edginess (from the limestone in the soil). The soils are rich in clay, but the limestone (typical of the Côte Chalonnaise) is “very present” as well as some areas of marl. These characteristics give the white wines of Mercurey a strong structure.
“Our good farming practices allow us to be certified ‘High Environmental Value’ and ‘Terra Vitis’. The soil is managed by tillage, permanent grass cover and that ,with herbicides removed from the process, provide a biologically active soil life. The thinning and green harvesting help to control the yield and maintain good health of the plant by aerating clusters. Winemaking is traditional with moderate pneumatic pressing. Static settlings for 12 hours then fermented in oak barrels. Aged sur lies during 12 to 18 months.”
Pair with pasta, rich fish (salmons tuna) shellfish, mild and soft cheese, charcuterie.
Flichman Dedicado Malbec (Tupungato Mendoza Argentina) 2016, 13.5%
RRP € 29.99 Avoca Handweavers Shops, Molloys Liquor Store (Clonsilla), The 1601, Michael's Mount Merrion, Ely Wine Store Maynooth, wineonline.ie
This Malbec from Argentina’s Mendoza (the UCO Valley sub-region) has a deep ruby colour. Ripe red fruits feature in the intense aromas along with hints of spice (from its 12 months in oak). On the complex palate, there is dark fruit and a very fresh structure with concentrated ripe tannins. The finish is long with more fruit and spices. Very Highly Recommended.
You can taste why this is one of Finca Flichman’s signature wines. The finca was founded in 1873 by a Polish immigrant and bought by Sogrape in 1998. It is also very well known for its Caballero de la Cepo, an iconic bottling and one of the earliest super-premium wines.
Importers Liberty: Produced in the Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Made by one of Argentina's rising stars German Barra, fruit for this Malbec is sourced from the Tupungato district of the Uco Valley. Aged for 12 months in French oak, it is full bodied and rich. 100%Malbec.
High altitude Tupungato is the northernmost sub-region of the Uco Valley in Mendoza, at 1300 metres above sea level. The grapes benefit from large diurnal temperature variations which result in a longer growing season. Pedro Parra, the renowned Chilean soil mapping expert, consults on these vineyards.
Flichman tell us that fermentation was carried out over 20-25 days in stainless steel tanks. After malolactic fermentation took place, the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. It is a wine with typical aromas of the variety subtly fused in wood. It presents an excellent level of nuances on the palate.