Showing posts with label Wine Mason. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wine Mason. Show all posts

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Distinctive Wines From Jura and Vinho Verde

Distinctive Wines From Jura and Vinho Verde

Rijckaert Chardonnay Arbois (AOC) 2018, 13.5%

Colour is a light to mid straw. Nose is fairly intense with floral and fruity elements. And the refreshing fruit with minerality and a superb acidity is the highlight of the fresh palate. Terrific wine with a lip-smacking deep-reaching finalé. The notes that came with the box declared it “in line with great Burgundy whites”. Oh yeah? Oh yes! Very Highly Recommended.
Wine Mason, who collaborate with Bradley’s, tell us that Domaine Rijckaert has small holdings in both Jura and Macon. Under owner and winemaker Florent Rouve, the Domaine produces tangy, lemony, stony and mineral Savignin ouillé which ages well. The Chardonnays from both Jura (Arbois is in the Jura) and Macon are very fine, spending a long time on lees without stirring and are fermented and aged in older oak barrels.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that there such a strong similarity between the Jura and Burgundy as the viticultural soils of both come from the same geological stage, more than 150 million years old: the Jurassic (think Jurassic Park!).

The website has a few food pairing hints: Jura trout with butter and flaked almonds; Thick fillet of wild tandoori-inspired salmon; plus oysters, octopus, snails, Peking Duck.

Cazas Novas Avesso Single Variety Vinho Verde (DOC) 2018, 13%

Very pale straw colour in this single variety Vinho Verde. Pleasant aromas, peach, citrus and floral. Barely a sign of the spritz that you may be expecting with a Vinho Verde but the fruit is lively (citrus and apple), the acidity is also engaging. 

All in all, a fresh and friendly wine and should be a good pairing with a plate of sardines if you’re on holidays in Portugal and very acceptable as an aperitif in any country. Could also pair well with a Lobster Roll from Sage or The Lobster Man (Midleton Farmers Market). Serve at 8-10 degrees. Highly Recommended.

The Avesso, by the way, is a wonderful semi-fragrant variety which has real weight and flavour but we don’t see it solo, as here, very often. It is grown in Northern Portugal and is sometimes touted “as the rising star of Vinho Verde”. Other white grapes that can turn up in the local blend include Arinto, Loureiro and Trajadura.

Bradley’s Mixed Box #2 (is a collaboration with Wine Masons) and consists of Niepoort Ritual DAO along with two other reds, a Horizon de Bichot Pinot Noir and a Walter Massa Barbera. The three whites are the Rijckaert Arbois Chardonnay, this Cazas Novas Vinho Verde, and a Venture Riesling. Total cost is €125.00. Sorry, I don’t have confirmed individual prices but you should get the Vinho Verde for around 15 euro, the Arbois for about 25.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Walter Massa: Rebel Without a Label! And a 3-handed Riesling venture.

Walter Massa: Rebel Without a Label! And a 3-handed Riesling venture. 

Two very interesting wines indeed from a collaboration between Bradley's Off Licence (Cork) and Wine Masons. I got box #2 but there are a few others, probably just as interesting.

Walter Massa Terra Implicito 2018, 13%, 

Rebel Without a Label!
There’s no putting a label, other than “Independent”, on the Piedmont winemaker Walter Massa. And, aside from Italy, you won’t see any statement of origin or whether it’s organic or biodynamic on the label of this bottle. 

The Modern History of Italian Wine (Filiputti) lauds Massa as one of the influential Italian winemakers, especially in the 1980s. “To those who ask him why he does not make DOC wines, he answers that he prefers to make wines which require three ingredients: grapes, time and common sense.”

He is noted for his Barbera, called just by its place of origin Monleale, and also for recuperating Timorasso, a white grape that was on the way out in the 1980s.

Colour of this Rosso (100% Barbera) is mid to dark ruby. Inviting bouquet of small red fruit, including wild strawberry. All the fruits again and a touch of spice on a fresh and lively palate with a beautiful fresh acidity. Easy drinking and the concentrated flavours linger. 

Grapes, time and common sense have certainly been brought together here in a pleasant and harmonious amalgam. A Highly Recommended (and Very Highly Recommended with the Cannelloni from the Cork restaurant Da Mirco). That Monleale must be really something special - must keep an eye out for it!

Breuer-Mehrlein-Lundén“Riesling Venture” Rheingau 2018, 12.0%.

Light straw colour, bright and clear. Citrus fruit, minerality and my unfavourite diesel in the aromas. It’s a merry dance of fruit and acidity on the palate, both in step, and the harmony continues all the way through to a super finish. Enjoy wherever, whenever, they say on the label. Right here, right now, I say. Highly Recommended.

Three names are listed on the bottle: Breuer, Mehrlein, Lundén. The first two are the names of the two collaborating wineries while the third is the name of the winemaker at Breuer.

They say: a Riesling Cuvée, standing for lightness, a fine sweet-acidity-match presenting the Rheingau in best shape. The modern label shows the river Rhine, who characterizes our region. Together we want to tease people and present an entrance in the world of Rheingau-Wines.The Cuvée is being bottled by Weingut Bernhard Mehrlein.

Looks to me as if they enjoyed making it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy drinking it. I did, even with that the note of diesel in the aromas!

The Label:
3 names, 3 characters, 3 styles.
floral, fruity, fresh.
100% pure Rhiengau Riesling.
enjoy wherever, whenever.

Bradley's Mixed Box #2 (is a collaboration with Wine Masons) consists of the Niepoort Rotulo DAO along with two other reds, a Horizon de Bichot Pinot Noir and this Walter Massa Barbera. The three whites are Rijckaert Arbois Chardonnay (Jura), a Casas Nonas Vinho Verde, and the Venture Riesling. Total cost is €125. Sorry, I don’t have individual prices.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Bradley’s Box of Vinous Treats. Niepoort Rotulo DAO (DOC).

Bradley’s Box of Vinous Treats
Niepoort Rotulo DAO (DOC) 2016, 13% abv.  

This light (Beaujolais light) and delicious Portuguese red is a blend of mainly Touriga Nacional, Jaen, Alfrocheiro; the local grapes give this wine, and quite a few more, a terrific and satisfying character.

The Niepoort has a beautiful mid to dark ruby colour. Intense aromas too mostly of black fruit but with slight floral hints, even a touch of menthol. Fresh fruit and spice combine elegantly on the palate and with excellent acidity also in the picture, it is harmonious through to the long refreshing finish. Second glass appeal for sure. Maybe second bottle. Very Highly Recommended.

Speaking of recommendations, Niepoort (perhaps better known for their many port wines) suggest serving at a temperature of 16°C to 18ºC and pairing with grilled red meat, and cheese. Also good with tapas, according to the notes that came with the box from Bradley’s. And I’d throw in charcuterie also (not all at the same time though!).

In a collaboration with Wine Mason, there is a series of selections on offer at Bradley's. My Mixed Box #2 consists of the Niepoort along with two other reds, a Horizon de Bichot Pinot Noir and a Walter Massa Barbera and three whites:  Rijckaert Arbois Chardonnay (Jura), a Casas Novas Vinho Verde, and a Venture Riesling. Total cost is €115.00. Sorry, I don’t have individual prices.

North Main Street

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Winemason do Spit in Cork. My focus on Riesling and Portugal

The Winemason do Spit in Cork. 
My focus on Riesling and Portugal

Soizic (Les Gourmandise) with Ben
Last week, one hundred bottles of “wine without make-up” were up for tasting in the River Lee Hotel thanks to the combined efforts of four Dublin wine companies. Spit, as the combination is called, consists of Winemason, Nomad Wine, Vinostito, and Grapecircus and virtually all the wines were organic. And there wasn't a dud among them. In this post, we’ll look at Ben Mason and his Winemason contribution.

Winemason is owned by Barbara Boyle (MW) and Ben and they provide restaurants and independent retailers with original and distinctive wines from Germany, Portugal (a favourite), Austria Spain, France, Italy and South Africa. “We are constantly evolving with the ever-changing wine world and we work to reflect this in the wines we sell.”

Graham was helping Ben in the River Lee and I asked him if there was a wine on the stand that deserved to be better known, one that was maybe under-appreciated at present, and he soon filled me a taster of the Julien Schaal Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay 2016. The winery is in Elgin Ridge, South Africa, the winemaker is “from Alsace” and the wine itself is very pleasantly distinctive. Crisp on the palate with citrusy flavours and minerality, tart on the finish, very engaging indeed.

I had picked a trio of Rieslings and started with one from the Nahe region, the ES Trocken 2016 by Emrich Schonleber. Quite intense on the palate, with a light spiciness and outstanding minerality. My favourite kind of Riesling.
Chardonnay to note
from South Africa

The next Riesling came from the Mosel and was the Zeppelin (Mulheim) 2016 by Max Ferdinand Richter. Apparently this wine was served on the flying Zeppelins. This too is elegant, no shortage of minerality, well balanced, and it is the tropical nature of the fruit flavours that catches your attention.

And, if we were in the skies for the Zeppelin, we now moved up a notch to the Kingdom of Heaven with the JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2016, the Himmelreich being the heaven. Here the aromas are a subtle but tempting floral, it is soft and fruity right through to a sustained finalé. Quite a hat trick of Rieslings there!

Ben had a superb selection of reds also but again I focused on a hat trick, all from Portugal, an area where Winemason is strong though Ben has noted that prices are rising there. First up was the Mouchao Dom Rafael Tinto 2015 from Alentejo, a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira. Ripe dark fruits and tannins, a bit of spice too, combine in a rich and complex wine. 

Next we called to the Lisbon area and tasted the Fossil Tinto 2015 by Vale da Capucha, an organic producer; this a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Syrah. Rich dark fruits, hints of spice, fresh and elegant, and with a long dry finish. Excellent.

Then I enjoyed very much the Niepoort Vertente 2015 from the Douro, enjoyed it as Graham sang its praises: the rich blend (Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and others), its long dry finish. “And it’s low in alcohol as well,” he said. It’s a gem, elegant and smooth. One to stock up on before those prices rise or even when they do!

Would have loved to have stayed longer and tried more of the Winemason wines, including those from Austria and South Africa, but time to move on up the line! Here’s to the next Spit.

Read about Nomad Wines at Spit here
Read about Vinostito at Spit here 
About  Grapecircus here

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wagner and Strauss. An impressive duet in red and white.

Wagner and Strauss. 
An impressive duet in red and white.
Wagner Stempel Riesling Rheinhessen (DQ) 2015, 12%, €19.95 Bradley’s Cork.
Nine generations of the Wagner family have been involved in wine-making here since 1845. Daniel Wagner has been the wine-maker since the early 90s and under him they have converted to organic production methods. 

According to the Finest Wines of Germany, he has proved that “forgotten or previously unconsidered terroirs can be of exceptional quality when they are interpreted properly”.  

Harvest is late (October/November) and the wines are kept on their lees until the end of May.This one, labelled trocken, is imported by the Wine Mason.

Colour is light straw, tints of green, micro-bubbles cling to the glass. Quite a bunch of aromas, fruit, herbs, even a hint of smoke. A fresh and fruity vibrancy emerges as soon as it meets the palate - notes of melon, spice and yellow apple - all balanced by a keen acidity; the long flavourful finish is lip smackingly dry. Very Highly Recommended.

A superb uncomplicated wine to be enjoyed with or without food. I enjoyed it with Hederman’s smoked mackerel, freshly boiled beetroot from the garden, and salad leaves with some roasted pepper.

Johann Strauss Zweigelt Reserve Austria (QaO) 2011, 13.5%, €20.50 Karwig Wines

Zweigelt is the grape and Kremstal is the area in Austria where this fragrant and elegant wine comes from. The blue/black Zweigelt is the most widespread red wine grape in Austria. A cross between St Laurent and Blaufränkisch, it was developed in 1922 and is said to deliver full bodied wines with tones of morello cherries. The morello is black and a sour kind of cherry.

Our Zweigelt has a mid-ruby robe and a fragrant nose of dark red fruits, hints too of pepper. Rather elegant introduction with soft tannins. Restrained waves of those cherry flavours follow, a touch of spice too and then a lingering finish. A pleasure to drink this one and Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Three Delightful Whites. Chapeau Chaps!

Three Delightful Whites
Chapeaux Chaps!

We have been traveling all over to assemble this top notch trio of white wines for you. Maybe just a trio but they amount to quite an orchestra, maybe even capable of a symphony. The traveling has not been done by me personally but by the folks from Wine Mason, Mary Pawle and Le Caveau. They have bought well. So, let us doff the hats and say Chapeaux to the chaps and chapesses!

Turner Pageot Le Blanc 2015, Languedoc (AOP), 14%, €19.95 Bradley’s, North Main Street, Cork.

Colour is a shiny pale gold. The nose, slightly honeyed, is of ripe apricot and exotic fruit. Ripe fruit abounds on the medium-dry palate. This is fruity, rich and round and quite a powerful wine with a long and mineral  finish. Very Highly Recommended.

It is an organic blend of Roussane (80%) and Marsanne (20). Turner Pageot, imported by the Wine Mason, produce a range of “gastronomic wines” and say the striking colourful collage on the label suggests exciting food and wine matches.

And the food and wine pairings they suggest are Fish and crustaceans in sauce; Saint Jacques with black truffle; Pike dumplings Nantua sauce; Noble poultry; White sausage. Old-fashioned veal blanquette. Mushrooms with cream. 

Noble poultry, how are ye! Well, come to think of it, there was some right royal Irish chicken in the Thai Green Curry from Cinnamon Cottage. I tried the wine with that delicious dish and they got on very well together!

Diwald Goldberg Grüner Veltliner, Wagram (Austria) 2013, 12.5%, €20.75 Mary Pawle Wines

The low-yielding vineyard overlooks the Danube and this organic trocken (dry) white wine has spent 8 months on lees. Importer Mary Pawle recommends matching it with scallops. It is often recommended with Asian also. Indeed, Grüner Veltliner is a very good food wine, very versatile, so much so that sommeliers regularly mention it, especially if a small group is hesitating over which wine to order.

This Diwald bottle boasts an attractive light gold colour. You’ll first meet its light fruit (apples, citrus) and white pepper on the nose. A tingly feel introduces it to the palate, that clean fruit fresh is there too, balanced by a lively and lovely acidity. Very Highly Recommended.

Framingham Classic Riesling, Marlborough 2009, 12%, €22.65 Le Caveau
Colour is an inviting rich yellow. Floral and citrus elements in the aromas and a hint of diesel too followed by a mouthful of delicious complex flavours. It is just off-dry with a little sweetness in the mix - think Mosel rather than Rhine.

Texture has been reinforced by some six months spent on lees. Balance comes from the juicy acidity and the finish is long and drying. Overall quite a rich Riesling and a Highly Recommended one.

The diesel is almost always an unwanted distraction for me in New Zealand (and Australian) Rieslings but here it is just about noticeable and hardly at all with food, especially with that delicious Skeaghanore Smoked Duck Breast.