Showing posts with label Merlot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Merlot. Show all posts

Monday, February 28, 2022

Delighted with this Pair of Very Highly Recommended Reds

Wine & Wellington!
Delighted with this Pair

of Very Highly Recommended Reds


Chateau Tire Pé Bordeaux AOC 2017, 13.5%, 

€20.65 €18.45  64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

While looking for a wine to pair with the Beef Wellington by James Whelan Butchers, this Bordeaux got the nod. Tire Pé is not a  blend; it is 100% Merlot but did an effortless match with the delicious fillet and the equally delicious duxelles.

It has a deep ruby robe and notes of red and dark berries in the aromas. The same berries lead the flavours on the palate, with a little spice also. And there’s a terrific natural acidity that played a key role in the pairing with the Beef Wellington.

When the beef had been finished, the bright and expressive wine proved itself as a very pleasant companion on its own with an excellent refreshing finish, tannins light on the lips. Very Highly Recommended

The vineyard info: this "terroir" Merlot (20 to 40 year old vines), distinctive, delicate and expressive, with fruity and spicy aromas. Has been aged for 18 to 24 months in concrete vats.

“Whatever the cuvée, our guideline is in balance, precision, expression... 

To go in this direction, we harvest our grapes at the "right" maturity, carry out "soft" vinifications (no "forced" extraction but rather in "infusion" mode) at moderate fermentation temperature (24-28°), then aging ranging from 8 months to more than 36 months in concrete vats, in barrels (400 and 500 l) or even in terracotta jars.”

Hélène and David Barrault purchased Tire Pé in 1997; they are farming organically since 2008 (certified since 2014).The hill of Tire Pé owes its name to ancient rural scenes, where working horses would pass wind under the effort of climbing the hill, on their way back to the farm.

Le Caveau tells us they have created a little garden of Eden, “where wild grass, insects, birds and small wild animals live among the vines. Very unusual sight in the Entre-deux-Mers appellation, where their 13.5-ha estate is located.”

Vincenzo Red (top) and white

Fattoria di Vaira Vincenzo Rosso 2019, 12.5%

€18.45  64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

With “At Home” offers from restaurants increasing at the time, we ordered one from Da Mirco in Bridge Street, Italian of course! Indeed, one of the most genuine Italian restaurants around these parts. But did we have an Italian win at hand?  Yes, we had, even if Vincenzo’s Rosso is not from the north where Mirco hails from.

It is a dark ruby in the glass, a lighter red at the rim. This is quite aromatic: plum, blackberries, and black currant with a rustic background . Quite a depth of flavour and no shortage of spice either on the palate, lively and fresh, with ripe tannins towards the finish. A friendly and very drinkable wine and Highly Recommended. I didn’t do it but it may be no harm to decant this.

Da Mirco's Tagliere

The grapes used in the blend are Montepulciano (50%), Merlot (25%) & Cabernet Sauvignon (25%). I’ve seen this described as a “bold blend”. A bit unusual for sure but works nicely in this Rosso. Food pairings suggested are: cured meat, cheeses, red meat. 

It certainly matched well with Da Mirco’s Tagliere with Italian cured meats, cheeses, olives and more as well, and went well also with  the main course of Homemade Cannelloni with a filling of Braised Irish Venison Ragu.

Importers Le Caveau: Fattoria di Vaira is one of the largest biodynamic farms in Italy. Here they cultivate vegetables, grains and cereals, and produce fresh cheeses, olive oil, and honey. After several years of applying biodynamic practices, their soil has been restored, reaching a degree of purity similar to wild soil.

Geek Bits
 Molise, Italy
Vintage: 2019
Grape variety: Montepulciano (50%), Merlot (25%) & Cabernet Sauvignon (25%)
Food pairing: Cured meat, cheeses, red meat
Bottle size: 75cl
ABV: 12.5%

* We recently enjoyed Vincenzo’s white, details here.  

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Check out this distinctive Basque wine. And a Bordeaux gem!

Check out this distinctive Basque wine.

And a Bordeaux gem!

Getaria memorial to Elcano

Ameztoi Getaria Txakoli (DO) 2018, 10.5%

€18.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

Very little colour in this Highly Recommended Basque wine. And nothing too bold in the nose either, though the subtle salinity and modest fruit provide a hint of things to come. Nothing backward about the lively minerally palate, its tart green apple fruit, that trademark petillance and that unmistakable vivid acidity, though the acidity in this one is markedly less severe than you’ll find in other examples. 

A tumbler of freshly poured
Txakoli in Hendaye

The bubbles, by the way, don’t hang around too long but you can get more of them if you pour it the Basque way, that is from over shoulder height and into a sturdy tumbler held or stood at waist height - you’ll also see them pouring cider in this way. If you try pouring into a normal wine glass from that height, you’re looking for an accident!

Located near the Basque Country fishing village of Getaria between San Sebastian and Bilbao, Ignacio Ameztoi’s vineyards are cut into incredibly steep terraced slopes overlooking the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic.

Balenciaga house in Getaria

Here the native grapes Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza are trained in high trellises; they are not weeded and no chemical sprays are used. Hondarribia is the first Spanish town you meet after leaving Hendaye (the last town in the south west of France) and crossing the Bidasoa River. Zuri means white and Beltza means red.

Getaria vineyard

Txakoli is regarded as the perfect companion to salted anchovies or tuna in oil. By the way, Ameztoi blend the red and the white to produce what I’ve read is a very interesting rosé. The USA is the leading market for the company.

Juan Sebastián Elcano, featured on the label, was from Getaria and is famous for completing the round the world voyage that Magellan began. There is a sturdy memorial to him in the middle of the village. This picturesque, and busy, place is also the birthplace of fashion designer Balenciaga and there is a museum here in his honour.

Chateau Tire Pé Bordeaux (AC) 2018, 13%,

 €16.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

This organic 100% Merlot pours a dark ruby.  Ripe black and red berried fruit in the fairly intense aromas. And the same fruit features strongly on the palate, some spice too and an excellent acidity. The wine is a lovely harmonious Bordeaux, easy and fruity, easy to drink, easy to enjoy. 

Not so harmonious on the hill of Tire Pé back in the day when the horse was the main “engine” of the farm. Apparently, the working horses would pass wind under the effort of climbing the hill, on their way back to the farm. A different kind of aromatics!

Hélène and David Barrault purchased Tire Pé in 1997 and have been farming organically since 2008 (certified since 2014).They have created a little garden of Eden, where wild grass, insects, birds and small wild animals live among the vines. They regard this Merlot as an everyday wine, “to drink in its youth”. No wood used here, ageing is 8 to 12 months in concrete.

Very Highly Recommended. This one will be going straight on to my Good Value Wine List  which is steadily growing! 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Two Highly Recommended Reds From The Dordogne And The Lot

 Two Highly Recommended Reds 
From The Dordogne And The Lot
Château du Cèdre Héritage Malbec, Cahors (AOC) 2016, 13.5%,  €16.35

Gorgeous fruity aromatics welcome you to this mid to dark ruby wine from the south of France.  It has been produced biodynamically by Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe of Château Du Cèdre  who, according to importers Le Caveau, ”form one of the most passionate, hard-working and skilled team of winegrowers we have ever come across”. 
And that accolade seems well deserved when you taste this superb wine, the concentrated fruit flavours delivered in a silky smooth vinous package that excites the taste buds as it pleasurably passes on its way to an equally delightful finalé. 
Very impressive indeed. There is nothing extreme here, all’s restrained, the tannins are close to smooth, and harmony reigns. They have a winning formula but rather than going on auto-pilot after years of doing it, they pay attention to the details of each vintage. Most of the wine is tank aged, with 20% barrel aged (2 year old barrels) for 16 to 18 months and that has been nicely judged in this case. It is 95% Malbec with 5% Merlot added. Very Highly Recommended.
Numerous passages are made in the vineyard to ensure the perfect health, quality and ripeness of the grapes, and all the work is carried by hand as, since 1992, no chemicals have been used. The search for quality is pushed so far that almost each vine receives a special attention.
It is ideal at the table and food recommendations include grilled vegetables, a creamy polenta with simmered meat, matured cheese or with a moist, rich, nut roast with baked vegetables and roast potatoes.
Tour Des Gendres Bergerac Rouge (AOP) Merlot - Malbec 2016, 14%

This bright ruby is a blend of Malbec and Merlot. Aromas are very inviting indeed, red and dark fruit in there. On the palate it is fresh and juicy with a lovely lively acidity, a touch of sweet spice, smooth tannins and a good long finish as well. Another well made harmonious wine from Luc de Conti and Highly Recommended.
Le Caveau tell is that M. de Conti is a wonderful character and one of the finest wine-makers of his generation, he feels passionately for his wines, his 54-ha vineyard and his Bergerac region. Viticulture is biodynamic, the soil is nourished with seaweed and silica treatments to encourage microbial activity.
Passion yes, but patience also seems to be one of Luc’s qualities: “the more we learn how to tolerate the threats of the nature, by adapting ourselves to it and not the opposite, the more the biodiversity will naturally balance things out, the more the soil will give us, meaning our wines will be more authentic.…”
Wine has been made in Bergerac for thousands of years yet its wines often play second fiddle to neighbouring Bordeaux which, during the Hundred Years War, hindered the export of its rival's wines. I’ve been in the Dordogne area a few times and have always been happy to have a Bergerac red or white in my hand and wouldn’t feel at all put out if offered a Monbazillac instead of a Sauternes (with perhaps one exception!)

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Delicious Duo From The Blaye Countryside By the Gironde Estuary

Fine Red And White Duo From Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux 

Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours “Les Cousines” Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux (AOC) 2017, 12.5%, Mary Pawle Wines

Colour of this one hundred per cent Merlot is mid to dark ruby. Raspberry along with plum and black cherry are among the aromas (hint of clove too) and also appear in the mouth. Quite smooth and rounded and a fair bit of acidity too makes this a lively and flexible companion at the table. Soft tannins and a soft finish as well. This easy drinking wine, aromatic and fruity, is Very Highly Recommended. A great match with lamb dishes.

Blaye wines, as if they aren’t deemed good enough, are often forgotten about when discussing Bordeaux. It's all too easy to consign an area to the also-rans with a generalisation. Yet, as Clive Coates said in his Wines of Bordeaux (2004), “Generalisations..can be quickly exploded by samples”. And Les Cousines is both a sample and an excellent example of the very good in this particular area.

Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours “Le Blanc Bonhomme” Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux (AOC) 2018, 13.5%, €24.90 Mary Pawle

I tend to like my Bordeaux whites better if there’s plenty of Semillon in the blend and that is the case here, fifty/fifty with Sauvignon Blanc. The classic Bordeaux white will contain at least 25 percent Sauvignon Blanc, to ensure a certain aromatic freshness. For a richer style, a higher proportion of Semillon is used. Muscadelle is the third possible grape in the blend but many Bordeaux whites do not include it.

Bright straw is the colour of this biodynamic wine. Modest aromatics with delicate floral notes. Nothing shy about the flavours though with a ripe citrus spearheading the rich progress on the palate, excellent mouthfeel too. Persistent fruity finish too, drier towards the finalé. Well made (it has been 40% barrel fermented), well balanced, delicious and Highly Recommended. 

Well done again to Guillaume Hubert and his team here. And, speaking of recommendations, the suggested food pairings are Foie gras ravioli, marinated trout, cooked cheeses.
If you’re among the many Irish that have holidayed in or near Royan, then you’ve probably come across the wines of Blaye on sale in markets and so on on that side of the Gironde estuary. Blaye has a gentle rolling pastoral landscape while neighbouring Bourg  is more hilly.

The vineyard has been biodynamic since 2000, pruning in double guyot, spontaneous winter grassing, tillage in spring. Treatments combining Bordeaux mixture in small quantities with herbal teas such as horsetail and nettle are used.

Monday, January 20, 2020

A Superb Set of Organic Wines from Bodegas y Vinedos Pinuaga

A Superb Set of Wines from Bodegas y Vinedos Pinuaga 
In 1960, the first generation of Pinuaga winemakers established the winery in the village of Corral de Almaguer, province of Toledo.  They planted special old clones of Tempranillo  called Cencibel with smaller grains, silky skin and longer ripening cycles.

Today, the second and third generation of the Pinuaga family, Valentin and Esther, maintain the old vines with much care and pride, following a minimal intervention philosophy, using natural and artisanal winemaking processes and recovering indigenous clones.The quality of the wines is driven by the characteristic of the soils, age of vines, grape variety and organic farming practices; all of these parameters are present in every wine, making them singular and unique.

Altitude is a key factor here, as it is in much of Spain. According to the World Atlas of Wine, “a good 90% of all Spanish vineyards lie at altitudes higher than any major French wine region” and this, especially in Castilla y Leon, helps maintain acidity enough to keep the wines relatively fresh. The altitude benefit means “growers can depend on cool nights to ‘fix’ colour and flavour in the grapes ripened during the torrid summer days”.  

The Pinuaga vineyard area is really windy. The winemakers appreciate its benefits: “The vineyards are well aerated so it's a very healthy terroir. There is a lot of changes between the day and night temperatures too, which are very good for the ripening of the fruits.”

Pinuaga is situated close to the city of Toledo in central Spain, this is a huge wine making region with more land under vine than the whole of Australia. The wines are now being imported to Ireland by Mary Pawle and, as is consistently the case with Mary, are keenly priced.

Bodegas Pinuaga are very clear in their motives for using organic methods and they explain it well here - you may have to use the translate button! You'll notice they use cork in all their bottles. Why? "The use of cork helps maintain cork oak trees, which amongst many other things retain Co2. We have just received our first certificate with the details on our contribution in tons of retention of Co2." Their use of cork stoppers in the 12 months ended 31st December 2018 yielded a certified saving of 14.17 tonnes of Co2.

Bodegas Pinuaga Tinto (Tempranillo) “Nature” Vino de la Tierra de Castilla 2016, 13.5%, €16.60, Mary Pawle.

Dark red, more or less burgundy, is the colour. Red berries feature in aromas, blackcurrant and plum also in the mix. Much the same vibrant fruit features on the palate, some spice too, well-integrated tannins. Smooth and easy-drinking but with quite a noticeable backbone to it, right through to the lingering finish. One of the best Tempranillos I’ve come across and so Very Highly Recommended.

The fruit is hand-harvested by night, aged in stainless steel for almost a year and then “a slight oak ageing in used barriques for 3 months”. The producers are very happy with this organic wine: “It is a very versatile wine that you can pair or simply drink on its own." It is indeed, very quaffable and suggested pairings are:  Rice, pasta and all sorts of tapas. Casseroles also suggested.

Bodegas Pinuaga Bianco, Vino de la Tierra Castilla 2018, 12.5%, €13.20 Mary Pawle

This is produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes that are hand harvested mid August, fermented in small steel tanks and kept on lees for a minimum of 2 months. 

Light gold, hint of green. Apples, gooseberries, leaf notes, in the aromas. More towards citrus on the palate, something of a tingle as well. Good nettle-y acidity though. And a long dry finish, fruit and a little spice there to the end. It’s easy drinking and the producers suggest this crisp and lively wine as a suitable companion for salads, pastas or tapas or, because it is so refreshing, excellent too to drink on its own. Very Highly Recommended.

Sauvignon Blanc is known as a cool climate grape (the Loire and Marlborough for example) and the Toledo terroir that Pinuaga farms has a couple of things going for it in that regard. First the altitude is close to 800 meters above sea-level and, second, the area is quite windy. 

In addition, there is quite a difference between the day and night temperatures, very good for the ripening of the fruits. Decanter indicates that a large diurnal range can help grapes to ripen in a more balanced way. “Warmer daytime temperatures help to foster sugar development, but cool nights can help to preserve aromas, freshness and acidity.” 

Read more from Decanter here

Bodegas Pinuaga Tinto, Vino de la Tierra Castilla 2018, 13%, €13.20, 

This lively young wine is a blend of Garnacha & Tempranillo (Cencibel) grapes, from a single vineyard of 5Ha of Grenache and  3 Ha of old Tempranillo bush vines. Hand harvested in early September. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks.

Mid to dark ruby, bright. Fresh and fruity on the nose, nothing too intense. Young and expressive, crisp and lively plus a decent finish as well. Your lips will tell you the tannins are still a factor. Nice touch of smoothness though in the mouthfeel. Very approachable and should have no problem pairing with the suggested salads, tapas, pintos and bbq (serve at 12 degrees). Good idea to have a few of these in the cellar or in your usual cool dark spot! Highly Recommended.

Bodegas Pinuaga Tinto “La Senda” Vino de la Tierra de Castilla  2017, 13.5%, €14.80 

Mid to dark ruby. A Burgundy nose is suggested but a warm and fairly intense one. There’s the rich dark fruit of the Merlot, the red fruit flavours of the Tempranillo, a touch of spice and acidity too and the whole reaches a delightful harmony from the sip to well after the swallow.  This unoaked blend has an impressive depth of flavour, a wine with back-bone, yet is an easy-drinking style, a casual wine on its own or with casual food such as Tapas, pizzas and pastas.  The suggested serving temperature is 16 degrees and the pairing suggestion that grabbed my attention was grilled rosemary scented lamb chops. Very Highly Recommended.

It is organic and the blend,aged over lees during 5 – 6 months in small stainless steel tanks”, is 80% Merlot and 20% Tempranillo. No surprise that Merlot makes an appearance here as Bordeaux had a long history and influence in the north of Spain. Pinuaga is a Basque surname that means 'place in the pines’. La Senda means a path. Looks like a pair of sandals on the label!

Bodegas Pinuaga Tinto “Colección” Vino de la Tierra de Castilla  2016, 14.5%, €21.00 Mary Pawle

"This is a very special wine for us as it is the first wine we made at Pinuaga and hence why we call it Colección; Many of our customers recognize the label as the original Pinuaga wine. Grape Variety: 100% Tempranillo (Indigenous clone of Cencibel)."

Mid ruby’s the colour of this deep and intense organic wine. Aromas, red fruits to the fore, are a little on the shy side. It comes into its own on the palate, full of rich red fruit flavours, a touch of spice, smooth and rounded, tannins well integrated. Rich concentrated and elegant, it is certainly rather special and is Very Highly Recommended.

It is 100% Tempranillo from a single plot, aged for approximately 9 months in oak and that contributes to its overall character. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Couple of Grand Wines from Bordeaux. Pomerol and Lussac-Saint-Emilion.

A Couple of Grand Wines from Bordeaux.
Pomerol and Lussac-Saint-Emilion
plus news from Supervalu and Tindal
I got some excellent views over the Saint-Emilion vineyards from the top of the
 Bell Tower of the Monolithic Church 

This beautiful Château Franc-Maillet Pomerol red wine is a blend of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Franc (20%) and 2015 is regarded as a very good year in the area. Try with game stew, a rib of beef, mushroom dishes or middle-aged cheese.

It is a deep ruby, a little lighter at the rim, legs slow to clear.  Aromas are opulent, and complex, cherries and blueberries, vanilla too. Smooth and with a great depth of fruit, some spice too and the tannins have quite a grip, a strong character overall, fresh and forthright all the way through to the sumptuous and lingering finish. Would be nice to try this again in four or five years time!

This family-owned estate are noted for consistently producing a classic expression of the Pomerol terroir and this is no exception. Very Highly Recommended.

The Pomerol vineyard, with Saint-Emilion to the east, is barely ten minutes away from Lussac but those nine kilometres mean that the price is more than doubled! Why? The World Atlas of Wine: “What grows here is the gentlest, richest, and most instantly appealing of red Bordeaux.” Much of this has to do with the terroir and the producers and the Pomerol wines are always expensive. 

Don’t despair though. Lalande-de-Pomerol is just to the north and produces excellent wines. Just read there that the Wine Buff (with shops in Ireland and one in Saint-Emilion in Rue de Marché) sells La Faurie Maison Neuve at just over 30 euro. Note to myself: should be worth a try!

* Watch out also for offers. I got my Pomerol for €42.00 in O'Briens Wine Fine Wine Sale in December.

Château des Landes Lussac “Vieilles Vignes” Lussac-Saint-Emilion (AOC) 2014, 13%, €19.35

This “Vieilles Vignes” is a blend of old vines Merlot (80%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%),  and Cabernet Franc planted on limestone and clay soils in Lussac. Lussac (where Merlot is the dominant variety by far) is the most northerly of the St Emilion satellites. 
The other three satellites of St Emilion are Montagne, Puisseguin and St Georges. 

“At their best, the wines from these areas are every bit as good as a Saint-Emilion grand cru,”  wrote Clive Coates in 2004.The four satellites are allowed append the coveted Saint-Emilion to the village name.

Colour of the 2014 is a deep dark ruby. Dark (plummy) aromas, quite intense, drift of spice. Rich and harmonious on the palate, mid to full bodied, flavours of lighter (red) fruit, vanilla, fresh acidity, rounded tannin, and a lingering finish. It may well be from one of the satellites (not always highly regarded), but this is well-made, well-balanced, and well worth seeking out. Very Highly Recommended.

Château des Landes is family owned with three generations of experience, located right in the heart of the appellation, 50 km northeast of Bordeaux. “Only a small quantity is produced, vinified and then aged for 16 months in French oak barrels. The resulting precious wine is consistently rated highly at all competitions. Serve at 18°C as a meditation wine, or pair with roast game, vegetable dishes with creamy sauces or aged cheese and nuts.”  

A very small of amount of sediment noted. So you may wish to decant. While removing sediment is the usual reason for decanting (old wines in particular), you’d do well to decant young wines, even those under screw cap. Indeed, the current edition of the World Atlas of Wine declares “.. experience shows that it is usually young wines that benefit most”.  

When decanting young ones, give them plenty of air (by using a container that maximises aeration). That will really wake them up and you’ll have a better experience. Even a few minutes of aeration makes a huge difference in the aroma and flavour of a wine. When your decanter, fancy or plain, is not in use, be sure to cover the opening with a cover (eg muslin) to keep the dust out. And don’t ever use soap to wash it out.

For the current Supervalu offers (including a tempting Gigondas wine of the month) and a Barolo opportunity from Tindal, please click here.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Sterling Trio From Europe. Red Wines to Enjoy.

Chateau Mayne-Vieil Fronsac (AOC) 2015, 14%, 
€19.35 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

Fronsac doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of Bordeaux but this is a Grand Vin de Bordeaux.

Colour is a dark ruby. Rich aromas, mainly ripe plums, touch of spice, vanilla. Palate is supple and deep, packed with rich flavours, spice and oak again, a juicy acidity and smooth tannins bring it all to a long finish. Quite a bit of character to this one, drinking well now and Very Highly Recommended. Pair it with red meat, game, and cheeses.

Tried the chateau’s website but backed off when I got a warning about bad bugs. From what I can gather, the blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, though some years it may be all Merlot.

Fronsac red wines are based on Merlot, produced in an area in the east of the Bordeaux wine region. It is located close to the northern bank of the Dordogne river, just a few miles to the west of Libourne – the town that gives its name to the Libournais region. Saint-Émilion and Pomerol lie to the east of the town. And Fronsac (this bottle included) offers an affordable alternative to its better known neighbours.

Antica Enotria Puglia (IGT) 2017, 12.5%,  
Suddenly, you realize that you can't keep exploiting, poisoning and pushing because whatever you do to the land, you do to yourself. The same fate. And you then you begin to respect. Respect for yourself and your land, for time and for life.
These are the words of winemaker Raffaele di Tuccio, echoing the experience of Spanish winemaker Miguel Torres: The more we care about the earth, the better our wine. Raffaele’s family winery Antica Enotria is in Puglia and is part of the Italian Organic Wine Route.
This red (rosso) blend is mainly Nero di Troia with the better known Sangiovese and Montepulciano. Colour is a mid ruby. Reasonably intense aromas show red fruit and floral notes. Very refreshing for a red from this hot region, no shortage of acidity, good fruit (dark berries) too and a little spice, almost smooth tannins. Lively and light with a soft texture, yet with a strong character, this Highly Recommended wine also finishes well.

Alfredo Maestro Viña Almate Vino de la Terra de Castilla y Leon 2018, 14.5%
€15.45 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

Importers Le Caveau trumpet this as: ““A stellar addition to our portfolio.” 

It is 100% Tempranillo from 2018 and, in Spain, young wines such as this are generally called joven.  It has spent four months in neutral French oak, is unfined, unfiltered, and with very low S02. A great one to pair with grilled and roasted meats. No big amount of sediment here but decanting often helps a young wine express itself better.

This Very Highly Recommended dark red wine has rather intense aromas of dark plums and cherries. On the generous palate it has an engaging liveliness not to mention strong fresh flavours and a touch of spice enhances the engaging experience right through to the lengthy finish where you’ll notice the tannins drying your lips.  Another well-made wine from the man "known as the 'magician of the Duero’, a prominent exponent of the natural wine movement in Spain.

The Tempranillo grapes for this wine are grown in Peñafiel in Ribera del Duero but, according to Spanish Wine Lover, it has always been sold as VT Castilla y León. This is Alfredo’s flagship wine and Spanish Wine Lover rates it “as outstanding within its type and style”.