Showing posts with label Searson's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Searson's. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Flirty Nouveau’s on her way but here’s some Beaujolais that will stay around.


Flirty Nouveau’s on her way but here’s some Beaujolais that will stay.

I’ve known for a while now that the annual Nouveau affair is not meant to last very long. She’s certainly a palate pleaser, with "more of a floral bouquet" this year, and even those wine-merchants who talk her down during the year are all so eager to sing her praises while she’s on the premises. By all means enjoy the date. But, when the one-night stand is over, it will be time to take a look for a more long-lasting relationship with Beaujolais and I've got a few mature suggestions from my little black book!

Chateau du Chatelard Brouilly, Karwig €19.25
Karwig Wines have relied on Chateau du Chatelard for years now and I’ve always liked their Brouilly (19.25). There are ten Crus in Beaujolais and Brouilly is the largest. This bottle has concentrated aromas and flavours. It may throw a little sediment so no harm in decanting it. Enjoy and look forward to a longer acquaintance!
Jamie Goode gave a
Beaujolais masterclass in
Cork earlier this year.

Juliénas, Domaine de la Conseillère, €20.95, O’Brien’s
This is pretty much faultless: expressive fruity aromas, well rounded, ripe fruit, long finish.

Chateau des Jacques Moulin À Vent 2012, €28.00 Mitchell & Son
A challenging vintage from the best known cru. Vineyard owned by Louis Jadot since 1996. This is a Burgundian style, oak included, the colour is towards Pinot Noir. At a Louis Jadot tasting with Findlaters earlier in the year, I found it very approachable, fruit driven with a refreshing acidity. In Moulin à Vent, the Gamay grape thrives on the granite soil and this spends 12 months in barrel!

Domaine Jean Foillard Cote du Py, Morgon 2013, €34.20 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
This, from the second largest of the crus, is a standout wine.

Colour is a light ruby. Look closer and you’ll see a little cloudiness - no worries, this is a natural wine. Aromas hint of red cherry, berries too. The palate is out on its own, red fruits and a little spice, that typical balancing acidity again, tannins are fine and then a superb finalé.

The fact that the vines are grown on “one of the best sites of the entire Beaujolais region”, on an extinct volcano, plus the use of minimum intervention (the use of oak is minimal), makes this a rather unique expression of the Gamay. You could well settle down with this single vineyard Beaujolais gem.

Dominique Morel Fleurie (AP) Vieilles Vignes 2015, €23.99 JJ O’Driscoll’s Cork, Manning’s Emporium Ballylickey, Wine Online, World Wide Wines

In Fleurie, Gamay, always refreshing and never short of acidity, thrives on the granite soil. Fleurie is an excellent partner for a wide variety of lighter dishes.

Here the colour is mid ruby. Very aromatic with delicate cherry scents, floral notes too, an inviting melange.The silky palate is bursting with fruit flavours and tannins close to velvety, very elegant indeed with no shortage of the concentration expected here, more heft indeed than you'd expect, and with a long and satisfying finish.

This is an excellent example of the expressive Gamay, no doubt helped by the fact that the fruit was well ripened in the good 2015 vintage.

Beaujolais rocks



Villa Ponciago Les Pierres Bleues Morgon 2016, Searson's 21.95

The fruit is grown on a mix of blue schist and ancient igneous type rocks. Complex aromas, excellent fruit, some grip, acidity too and a superb finish. Very very impressive. In 2016 and 2017, the quantity of wine produced in Beaujolais was down because of hail but the quality was up.





Saint Amour, Maison Jean Loron, Domaine Des Billards, Classic Drinks.

If your love is on the serious side rather than flirty, then this Saint Amour is the Beaujolais for you and him/her. Colour is a youthful ruby with aromas of small red fruits combined with a spicy note of chocolate is unveiled quickly. In the mouth, the attack is round and supple, then a pleasant and persistent. A beauty from the most northerly Cru. The 2017 edition earned 16.50 from 20 from Jancis Robinson.


Monday, September 16, 2013

The Excellent Wines of Luigi Bosca Argentina

The Excellent Wines of Luigi Bosca Argentina

Gary O'Donovan (2nd left) introduces Soledad.
Soledad Martin, Export Manager with Luigi Bosca Argentina, was delighted with her steak in the chimichurri sauce, and we were delighted with the set of gorgeous wines that she presented at Friday’s Cork Supper Club Dinner in ClubBrasserie.

Established in 1901 by Leoncio Arizu, Bodega Luigi Bosca has an extensive track-record in the local winemaking industry. Currently managed by the third and fourth generations of the Arizu family, it is one of the few winemaking firms that is still owned by its founders. Its reputation, gained over the years, has made it the paradigm of Argentine 

La Linda
Gary O’Donovan introduced Soledad and the well travelled young lady told us that the winery in Mendoza was formed in 1901. There are two ranges produced. The lighter wines come to us under the Finca La Linda label while the flagship wines come under the Luigi Bosca label. Both are imported by Searson’s and they had Damien Archer on hand to mingle with the guests.

Must say I was pleasantly surprised with the two whites that started the evening. The Viognier was described as the “best value Viognier that exists” and it sure was excellent with a great aromas, flavours and finish. Very impressed with it but I think my favourite was the Torrontes, a “great Argentinian variety” according to Soledad and amazingly the grapes are grown at 1700 metres and some 15 hours distant from the winery. It is a different style and a different structure from the Viognier.
The steak with that chimichurri sauce
Torrontes  is the most distinctive of all Argentine wines, including both white and red, because Argentina is the only country to produce it. It is considered a wholly Argentine variety.

There then followed a couple of La Finca reds, including an excellent Malbec, “the powerhouse of Argentina”. Again though it was the other red, the Bonarda, which caught the attention of my taste buds. Described as a wine to drink while watching TV or a party wine, it is indeed a very agreeable companion and, like all the six wines on the night, great value as well.
Yours truly and Soledad
On next to the two wines under the senior label. First up was a terrific bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2010, a powerful rounded wine. Excellent but there was even better to come. The star of the reds was the Malbec DOC Single Vineyard 2009. Produced under stricter regulations, from vines that average 70 years of age, it has been three months in oak and is fantastic value at twenty euro.

The Wines
Torrontes, grown at 1700m in the Salta area. Some 15 hours away from the winery in Mendoza. : Light yellow-green, with floral aromas, hints of rosehip and a touch of lavender. Sweet palate, balanced acidity, notes of white peach and memories of orange peel jam.

Viognier, Exotic, clean and bright golden white wine. Well-defined aromatic notes of orchid, musk and ripe apricot. Felt with an oily texture in the mouth, and creates a general harmonious sensation. Prolonged finish and penetrating acidity.
Malbec, aged 3 months in oak. Intense purple colour with distinct aromas of cherries and spices. Balanced tannins are perceived in the mouth as a result of three-month ageing in French and American oak casks. A varietal of great typicity and volume, well-structured, velvety, elegant and up-to-date.
Bonarda, aged 3 months on oak. Bright ruby-red wine with aromas of red fruit, dry fig and a touch of wood contributed by 3-month ageing in American oak casks. Full-bodied, smooth to the palate, round and velvety, with a compact and well-structured aftertaste.
Luigi Bosca Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2010. Full svelte sweet cassis fruits in a powerful rounded wine. A superb Cabernet with rich powerful silky smooth cassis and mint fruits, with a lingering rounded finish.
Luigi Bosca Malbec DOC Single Vineyard 2009. This pioneering DOC was launched in 1991 “to protect the “preserving Mendoza’s richness”. 70 year old vineyard. 100% Malbec. Handpicked. 14 months in oak. Deep violet colour, with aromas of ripe cherries and plums. Additionally, it is spiced with notes of blackberries and mocha. Solid but elegant structure and balanced acidity. Mouth-filling, powerful yet subtle, with excellent typicity.
All six wines are available in O’DonovanOff Licences.  The first four at each at €12.99, the Cabernet is €17.99 while the DOC Malbec comes in at €19.99.



The Food
Well, if the wines from Argentina were in great form, so too were the crew at Club Brasserie. And we benefitted from some rally top notch dishes. The highlight was perhaps the Steak with the garlic and parsley sauce that always accompanies grilled steak in Argentina. Known as Chimichurri, you don’t see it very often in Irish restaurants but it was a terrific sauce and would be quite a change to the usual sauces here. Also thought the opening salad was superb.
Starter: Pancetta, Crozier Blue cheese, toasted walnuts and roasted pear salad (with a honey and mustard dressing.
Soup: Wild Mushroom Soup.
Mains: Chargrilled West Cork Steak with a chimichurri sauce with roasted tomatoes, Portobello Mushrooms and rustic potatoes.
Or
Pan-fried Cod with Chorizo, white bean puree and caramelised fennel and chorizo.
Dessert: Mixed Sweet plate (Chocolate roulade, iced meringue gateau, cooks and cream cheesecake).
Cheese: Horgan’s Mature Cheddar with a spiced red pepper and tomato relish.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Champagne Dinner at Greene’s

Champagne Dinner at Greene’s
Bruno Paillard comes to town
A dinner with a difference at Greene’s of McCurtain Street this week. Not alone was champagne served with each course but it was also used as an ingredient in each.

This marriage of the wine-making skills at Bruno Paillard and the cooking skills of Green’s French chef Frederic Desormeaux meant we enjoyed a super evening.

Scallop
François Colas of Bruno Paillard, who kept us informed on the wines, was loud in his praise of Fred afterwards: “He was able to read the wines, especially with the dessert.”

Fred was much too modest to take all the praise for himself and introduced us to his sous chef Veronica and also to Nicky, the man responsible for the excellent dessert.

Turbo
The evening got off to a terrific  start with a warm greeting from Sylvia and Collette of Greene’s and a glass of bubbly poured by Searson’s Damien Archer-Good (the man who covers Waterford, Cork and Kerry for the company). Not just any bubbly, mind you. This was the Brut Premier Cuvée, full bodied, well flavoured and balanced, all elegance in the glass and on the palate.

The starter was Pan-Fried King’s Scallops on Julienne of Leeks and Carrots, “Blanc de Blancs” Beurre Nantais. Under “directions” from Francois, we had a sip of the second wine, before we took a bite and the Blanc de Blancs Réserve Privée did seem a little on the austere side.

But all that changed when we had a bite of the scallop and another sip. Now it had a different personality and we could endorse the opinion of a certain Robert Parker: “A fresh, bright sparkler, it will be found particularly successful if paired with food.”


Choucroute de la Mer
Two fish courses followed and gave us the opportunity to sample the first two wines again and, more importantly, to appreciate the different qualities of each. The Blanc de Blanc is 100% Chardonnay while the Brut is 22% Pinot Meunier, 33% Chardonnay and 22% Pinot Noir.

The first fish course was Grilled Turbot served with baby carrots, baby fennel, baby courgette, baby leeks gratinated with “Rosé Premiere Cuvée” Hollandaise. Superb.

The second, which provided a stiffer challenge for the champagne, was Choucroute de la Mer: Monkfish, Natural Smoked Haddock, Mussels, Langoustine, Sauerkraut cabbage, Baby Turned potatoes, finished with Cream “Blanc de Blancs”. Some strong flavours there, especially from the haddock and the lovely sauerkraut, but the champagne was well up to it.

Dessert
Fred and Veronica
 And then for that desert: Winter Berries and “Rose Premiere Cuvee” Jelly, topped with raspberries Sorbet, Tuile. An absolute gorgeous desert and it went so well with the Rosé Premiere Cuvée, “a very hard wine to get consistent” according to Francois.

It is produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay “in secret proportions” and a rather difficult technical process gives its “unique fruity flavour and gorgeous copper-gold hue”. It has inviting red fruit aromas; even if blindfolded, you’ll know you have a rosé in your hand! And the palate is fruity and fresh. It is dry of course and hence the need to avoid serving it with sweet desserts. Fred and Nicky read that info correctly to come up with the perfect match!

Bruno Gaillard, who sold his car (a big one) to start making champagne in 1989, is a “baby” in the history of the famous wine but a baby who has made a major impact. Read more of the fascinating story here