Showing posts with label wines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wines. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Cat. The Octopus. The Pig. Three Ace Wines from Le Caveau.


Jean-Claude Chanudet La Cuvée du Chat Vin de France 2016, 13%, €23.50 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

Baudelaire’s cat may well have had  “un dangereux parfum” but, while tempting, Chanudet’s La Cuvée du Chat has nothing of menace about it at all. Jean-Claude is highly regarded in organic and natural wine circles and this bottle shows exactly why.
One word you don’t see on the labels is Beaujolais even though this 100% Gamay comes mainly from the cru area of Morgon. Vin de table indeed! Some table wine for 23 euro.

Colour is the typical light ruby. Pleasant, even modest, aromas of cherry and raspberry. But, like the cat of the poem, it does have something of a sexy backbone. Life in the old cat yet, the fruit harvested from vines of 80 years old.

Superb soft and deep flavours, nice acidity too and a persistent finish. Eminently digestible, easy drinking, full of palatable pleasure and Very Highly Recommended. Sediment noted by the way so might be worthwhile decanting as young wines often are.

The label by Maurice Sinet (died 2016, aged 87) always brings a smile. He was better known as Siné and was a columnist for Charlie Hebdo

Beck Ink Austria 2016, 12.5%, €16.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

The label is dominated by an octopus expelling ink. Not much else though two key words appear: trocken (dry) and Bio-Wein. Not much on the outside then but quality all the way inside this Austrian bottle.

Colour is ruby with a beautiful healthy sheen. Warm and fairly intense aromas (cherry mainly). Soft and juicy flavours (cherry, raspberry) envelop the palate, attractive spice notes too. This lovely wine has an excellent balance. Loads of character and very quaffable. Very Highly Recommended.

There was some sediment so probably best to decant. No big deal either way.

Ink is a fresh, juicy, vibrant and delicious blend of 80% Zweigelt and 20% St. Laurent. Both are traditional Austrian varieties and the former is the most widely planted red-wine grape in the country - by the way, most of wine-growing is done in the eastern part. Judith Beck is based in Burgenland and has produced wines in accordance with bio-dynamic principles since 2007.

Interestingly, St Laurent was one of the “parents” (the other was Blaufrankisch) when Zweigelt was created in 1922.

Les Champs Libres Lard Des Choix, Vin de France, 2016, 12.5% abv, €21.35 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

Anything goes in the fields of freedom, especially if you have two experienced conductors, well-known vigneron Hervé Souhaut and René-Jean Dard (Dard et Ribo), at the head of the fun. Here, they offer a “chillable and eminently gluggable blend of Gamay and Syrah”, an unusual blend that works to perfection.

It is a mid to dark ruby. Aromas are intense and intriguing, dark fruits and something too from those fields where the fat pigs roam. Dark fruit flavours too, berries and cherries, spice also. Gluggable juice yes but with an exceptional grippy finish.

With a name like Lard Des Choix, there are lots of tongue in (pig’s) cheek and puns of course in the notices of this wine, a newcomer to the Le Caveau range. The producers are certainly highly regarded, best known for their Rhone wines. This lively Ardèche number is Highly Recommended. (The verdict was not unanimous: CL gave it Very Highly Recommended).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Chile's Aresti Family Wines. Plus A Lovely Albarino.

The Aresti Family, Highly Rated Chilean Winemakers
Jon (right) with Yours Truly
Though established in 1951, it was 1999 before the Aresti family began producing wine under their own label on their Bellavista estate in Chile’s Curicó Valley. Now, according to Wines of South America, they have “one thousand cultivated acres”. Their signature line is the Aresti Family Collection (also carried by SuperValu). 

Their winemaker, since 2005, is the experienced Jon Usabiaga, highly respected by fellow Chilean winemakers and a regular visitor to Ireland. I met him a couple of years back and he told me: “The main aim for me is to show the real character of every variety. If someone is choosing a Cabernet Sauvignon, it should taste like a Cabernet Sauvignon”.

Aresti Bellavista Reserva Merlot Curicó Valley (Chile) 2015, 13%,  €12.99 (offer €10.00 until 6/09/17) SuperValu.
Unusually, there is a truck on the label. It is the first truck, “La Perica”, that arrived in Bellavista, the founding vineyard of Aresti. Both the truck and the vineyard date back to 1951.

Colour of this Merlot is ruby. It boasts aromas of ripe red fruit, hints of vanilla too. The juicy palate has strawberry flavours and spice too, tannins are mild, and the finish is long and dry. Highly Recommended.


Aresti Bellavista Reserva Chardonnay Curicó Valley (Chile) 2016, 13%,  €12.99 (offer €10.00 until 6/09/17) SuperValu.
This is another of SuperValu’s Specially Sourced wines, an increasingly important part of their wine offering. “Delivering new and exciting wines to cater for all tastes is top of our agenda,” says Kevin O’Callaghan, Head of Wine.

Like the Merlot, the Chardonnay is produced at Bellavista (note the lorry again!), the original Aresti venture. You’ll also find Bellavista Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon in SuperValu.

The colour is straw, with tints of green. No need to get really close in this instance as intense tropical fruit aromas rise from the glass. The fresh fruit features too on the creamy palate and good acidity keeps all in balance. A long dry finish lingers. This harmonious wine is Highly Recommended.



A Lovely Albarino
Bodegas Gallegas 'Abellio' Albarino, Rias Baixas (Spain) 2016, €12.99 (€10.00 when on offer) 12.5%, SuperValu

We leave Argentina now and cross the Atlantic to Spain, to Galicia and this attractively labelled Albarino. I know Kevin O’Callaghan is very proud of this one as he helped design the label (just one of the ways in which SuperValu help their producers sell their wines).

Winemaker Xoan Casiano Rego Ribeiro (call him Joan for short) is a defender of Galician wines, of the native varieties in particular, and has done a great job here with the hand-harvested Albarino fruit. 



The wine has the typical mid-gold colour.With its excellent aromas (white fruit) and flavours, it is ideal with shellfish and fish and also recommended for lightly spiced Asian chicken dishes. It is smooth and intense on the palate, with refreshing minerality and well balanced. Very Highly Recommended.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Why we select the wines we do". SuperValu’s Buyer Tells How and Why.

Why we select the wines we do.

SuperValu’s Buyer Tells How and Why.
 “Why we select the wines we do.” That was the theme of the eye-opening Supervalu Wine tasting, a Munster Wine & Dine event, at L’Atitude on Wednesday night. 

The company's senior wine-buyer Kevin O’Callaghan was our host for the evening and he brought along 12 excellent examples from the SuperValu shelves, concentrating mainly on the bottles with the Specially Sourced stamp.  “These have been sourced, tasted and approved by our wine-buying team.”

Bubbles!
Kevin, who has been with the company for 13 years, says their aim is to make wine more accessible so “people can enjoy good wines at affordable prices”. And that was underlined throughout the evening that started with a glass of Charles Mignon Grand Cru Champagne, this one, with its intense aromas of almond and apricot. It is  “a good food match, a blend of Pinot Noir (55%) and Chardonnay and, at €45.00, well priced against sparklers of comparable quality".

Soon we were on to the very affordable, a Flamants Picpoul de Pinet (12.99, 10.00 on offer), becoming ”a very fashionable wine and great with shellfish.” 

Next up was the Abellio Albarino 2015 (12.99, 10.00 on offer). Kevin is very proud of this one, not least because he helped design the label (just one of the ways in which SuperValu help their producers sell their wines). The Albarino, with its excellent aromas and flavours, is another terrific seafood wine. And it would be my favourite of the two openers, by a long way.

We were using a points system to score the wines and I gave the Picpoul 84 points, the Albarino 92. Why  the points? Kevin said it is an essential tool for the wine-buyer who could well sample over 100 wines at a session and the points system is a major help in differentiating between so many, especially at the end of a long session. So, since we were being put in the wine-buyer’s shoes, it was used on the evening! Nothing too serious though and we had quite a few laughs all through.

Next up was a “personality” wine, the Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Once  SuperValu realised this was a serious wine - Norton was quite fussy about it - they went after the rights, especially since the comedian is from Cork. It has worked out well for all sides and Norton donates his share of the profits to charity. It is an excellent wine and, at €12.00, good value as well. And good value is something that Kevin and his team always have in mind. O’Callaghan, by the way, reckons that Sancerre is better with food than Marlborough.
 And speaking of food, the L’Atitude kitchen kept us supplied with a series of top notch bites throughout the tasting, ranging from Anchovies and Pepper on toast to Ummera Smoked Duck to a Pork Meat Balls with Olives to a Black Pudding and Apple in pastry.

Chardonnay was next, the Nugan Estate Personality Dreamers 2013 from the Riverina and on offer at €10.00. A bit of a division around the tables here because of the oak, even though they don’t use new oak so the effects are muted. I liked it very much indeed.

And more oak on our mystery white, this even more muted. The lightly oaked blend (including Bourboulenc, Roussane, and Grenache blanc) had us guessing during this blind tasting. It has a fabulous textural richness and a great finish. It comes from Corbieres and well worth seeking out at €10.00 on offer.

“Is Rosé on the way out?” asked a member. “It is static, at about 4% of the market,” answered Kevin. “But we’ve brought in some drier ones, including one from Provence, with way more fruit and character”. The European ones, especially these new ones, are worth buying, he advised.
 If the whites were good (and they were very good), the reds were probably better. This time we started with the blind tasting and it turned out to be a Cotes de Roussillon, a blend of Syrah (45%), Carignan (40) and Grenache. Violets prominent in the aromas, nice acidity and “made for drinking now. A summer BBQ wine!”.

He then introduced one of his favourites, the Castellani Arbos 2013 from Tuscany, 100% Sangiovese. Very approachable, easy-drinking, a garden wine, soft and luscious and a “good representation of the area and the grape”. 

Kevin described the next one as “a blockbuster”. And the Pagos de Labarca AEX certainly lived up to it. Great aromas and fruit and a lot of character. Lots of oak after 18 months in it, too much for some, yet this Rioja was my overall favourite. Price is €22.99, on offer at 18.00.

On now to the Nugan Estate Alfredo Dry Grape Shiraz. Kevin admits to being a fan of apassimento (amarone style). This wine is made in that style, the partially dried grapes giving more flavour, more concentrated aromas. “Plenty of oak, full flavour, acidity, juiciness, long finish, good balance, high in alcohol but no heat.” Bring on the BBQ steak. €19.99, offer 15.00.

I gave that a 92 and the same number to the Aresti Family Collection, a blend of a selection of red varieties from the Chilean family. Kevin is a major fan: “This is as a good a structured a red wine as you can get. Equivalents will cost you €40.00. It is regularly featured in competition and the lowest score it has ever attained is 91 points.” This is priced at a more modest €25,00 and 20.00 on offer. Take note!

So what has Kevin, who started off as a 16 year old delivery boy in Galvins, in store for us in the near future. He is excited about a new Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre blend: “This GSM is organic and is on the way. Should be on sale in September - can't wait for it!” It is by Fleur de Anon.

“The last few years, we have been beyond the comfort zone. We hope to continue that trend and bring the consumer with us.” He certainly gained a room full of converts on Wednesday evening.

* Most of the wines had two prices, the regular and the offer. SuperValu have a series of well-flagged offer periods regularly over the year. So, if you know your favourite is likely to be among them, then you won't have long to wait to stock up.

* Next Munster Wine & Dine event is the July 7th visit to Gubbeen, a premium event. Make sure you get your reservation in on time!
Kevin (SuperValu) and Beverley (L'Atitude)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tawny. Muscat. Topaque. Top Sweet Wines from Australia.

Tawny. Muscat. Topaque.
Top Sweet Wines from Australia.

Australia’s wine industry began with sweet fortified wines and the stickies were in great form at the Australia Day Tasting last Monday in Dublin’s Royal Hibernians Academy.

I was determined to concentrate on the Focus Table, this year featuring a selection of 31 wines by Irish wine personalities who have a keen interest in Australia, including Liam Campbell, Martin Moran, Harriet Tindal, Colm McCan (Ballymaloe) and Gavin Ryan (Black Pig, Kinsale). The figure was supposed to be 24 wines but it did get extended.
Chris Pfeiffer

It included three sweet wines so I had to be patient, working my way through the white and the red before getting my hands on them. The d’Arenberg ‘Nostalgia Rare’, a McLaren Vale Tawny, more tawny port style than ruby, according to Liam Campbell’s note, was delicious. McCan’s choice, the Skillogalee ‘Liqueur’ Clare Valley Muscat NV, from Dave and Diane Palmer, poured slowly from the stubby bottle, a sweet stream, sweet but with balance.



And it was the Pfeiffer Wines Rutherglen Muscat NV, a Martin Moran pick, with its heady complexity and orange notes that was my favourite of the trio.

And there were more from the Rutherglen area at the Liberty Wine table, sipped as we chatted with Gerry Gunnigan and new recruit Marcus Gates. First up was the Chambers Rosewood Muscat à Petits Grains Rouge NV (€18.99) and the direct comparison was with the ‘Old Vine’ Rutherglen Muscat à Petits (34.99).

The first is unctuous and rich, yet balanced. The ‘Old Vine’ , with orange, raisin and floral aromas, and a concentration of riches on the amazing palate, and again that balance. Both delicious but, if feeling flush, go for the Old Vine which has had the benefit of going through their specific Solera System.


Back then to visit Chris and Robyn Pfeiffer at their stand and, first to try their Topaque Rutherglen Muscadelle NV (previously called Tokay). “This is 100% Moscatel. It is well ripened. There is plenty of accumulated sugar but we don't lose the fruit.” And this luscious flavour-full wine is another stickie gem.

On a previous visit to Cork, Chris revealed that the table wines “pay” for the fortified wines which are regarded as “an accountant’s nightmare, because they tie up so much capital”. Fortunately, thanks to people like Chris, the accountants don't always have their way. “Fortified wines are undervalued...they deliver great punch for your pound!”

Colm picked a good one.
And, on that occasion, at The Hayfield Manor, I had the pleasure of sampling the even rarer Pfeiffer Grand Muscat. It is twenty years old and has spent most of that time in barrel. “It is a very special occasion wine (like old Cognac). It is very complex and you don't need much.”

That left me wishing for a tasting of their Rare Muscat, four years older than the Grand. “Like to get a  sip or two of that sometime”, I said to myself that night. And it finally happened in the RHA when Robyn produced a bottle and we drank the amazing wine, clinking our glasses in honour of the departed Joe Karwig, the wine-person’s wine-person who left us too soon (in late 2015). A fitting end to my stickie excursion at the Australia Day Tasting.
Rich and rare
Robyn Pfeiffer and Johnny McDonald

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beaujolais Encore. Hail the classy crus.

Beaujolais Encore.
Hail the classy crus.

Beaujolais has a borderline continental climate, tempered by the presence of the Massif Central to the west and the Alps to the east. This provides a relatively warm growing season. See Wine-Searcher’s summary (weather and more) of the region here.


So they have ideal weather? Not bad, but it’s not plain sailing.  Every farmer keeps an eye on the sky, watching what is coming over them there hills. This May and June, it wasn't at all pleasant in Beaujolais. In the north of the area, where the crus are situated, the hail came with a vengeance and, according to Decanter, Beaujolais authorities reported some plots in the appellations of Chiroubles and Fleurie were completely destroyed. More on the hail here.


Not easy for the farmers. But they are a resilient lot. I remember, just a few years, visiting a vineyard in Vouvray (Loire) just days after such a devastating hailstorm. The farmer shrugged his shoulders and said that’s nature.


The crus, and we have two below, produce the flagship wines and there are ten of them: Chiroubles, Saint Amour, Fleurie, Régnié, Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly, Juliénas, Chénas, Morgon and Moulin-à-Vent.


Read all about the May Beaujolais Masterclass in Cork here.
See yesterday's post - three different Beaujolais featured

Domaine de la Plaigne Beaujolais Villages 2013, 12.5%, €16.25 Le Caveau

Ruby is the colour here and there are aromas of red berries (strawberries, raspberries). On the palate those berry flavours are all in silky harmony. It is juicy too, light and delicious, with typical acidity and Highly Recommended.

It is one hundred per cent Gamay, hand-harvested and - the unromantic bit! - aged in concrete vats. The winemakers recommend pairing it with Delicatessen meats, fish terrine, grilled entrecote steak, poultry, Italian dishes, “ideal for all occasions from aperitif to cheese”.


Didier Devignes Clos Les Charmes, Moulin A Vent 2010, 13%, €23.95 Le Caveau


Moulin-à-Vent, with its full bodied and complex wines, is the highest rated of all the Beaujolais Crus. Liam Campbell, at the recent masterclass in Cork, called it “the most regal of all the crus”. A windmill, that was classified as a historical monument in 1930, is the well-known symbol of the Cru.
So a great cru and quite a winemaker in Didier Desvignes: “Everything I do both in vine growing and winemaking aims at allowing nature and terroir to express themselves to the full. I choose traditional methods, including tilling between the vines, to guarantee the flavours of the wine.” Still, “convinced that time in the barrel gives additional and new aromatic complexity”, he does use oak, for 10 months in this particular wine.

The wines are grown in “a remarkable vineyard” where the soil consists mainly of pink granite which has a natural affinity, it seems, with Gamay and this is 100 percent Gamay. The grapes from each plot are vinified separately to obtain the best possible balance between the structure and finesse given by the terroirs.

Colour is a rather deep ruby and the aromas are quite complex, a rich combination of cherries and berries, hints of spice. All combine harmoniously on the palate, amazing flavours and a matching acidity requesting food! Tannins are at play too and then follows a long lasting finish.

Enjoy it with small game, stews and mature cheeses, they say. I found it went very well indeed with a Irish Piedmontese steak that I bought in a very popular stall at the recent Cork Summer Show. Very Highly Recommended, both the steak and the wine!

Domaine Jean Foillard Cote du Py, Morgon 2013, 12.5%, €34.20 Le Caveau

This, from the second largest of the crus, was perhaps the standout wine of the Beaujolais masterclass held last month in L’Atitude. Introducing it, Liam Campbell told us we were in for a treat, “an outstanding wine”. And this single vineyard wine is certainly a Gamay gem.

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. Very Highly Recommended

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.

See yesterday's post - three different Beaujolais featured



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Two Portuguese Reds. One Rhone Ranger

Two Portuguese Reds.
One Rhone Ranger.


If it’s a red weekend (and the weather forecast indicates that it is), Karwig Wines have got you covered with this trio: two serious contenders from Portugal (and there are more on the way) and a consistently good performer from the banks (both of them!) of the Rhone. Check them out in the store or online.
Quinta do Penedo Dao 2009 (DOC), 13%, €17.25, Karwig Wines

It seems that many wine-drinkers now realise that Portuguese wines are by no means short of personality and class. Quite often, in the reds, that class is supplied by the native grape Touriga Nacional. It makes up 70 per cent of this blend while another indigenous grape, Alfrocheiro, accounts for the balance.

They sure seem to work well together in this dark red with its beautiful intense and warm aromas of juicy dark fruit. That intensity is also evident on the palate, some spice too; it is complex and elegant, with soft tannins and an impressive finish. This friendly juicy wine is Very Highly Recommended.

Herdade do Esporao Monte Velho (Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal) 2013, 13.5%, €14.35, Karwig Wines.

Touriga Nacional pops up again in this blend along with Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Syrah and a pretty good blend it is too. Colour is a light ruby with aromas of ripe red fruit. On the palate, it is fresh, fruity, light and elegant, with a fairly serious structure, well balanced and boasting a decent finish as well. Highly Recommended. The estate was founded in 1267, so they should know what they are doing.
Domaine André Brunel Est-Ouest 2011, Cotes du Rhone (AOC), 13.5%, €13.95 Karwig Wines


More often than not, Cotes du Rhone, whether from a tanker at a crossroads in Provence or at a top class northern city restaurant, delivers. This one sure does and is highly recommended.


The family estate is located on both sides of the Rhone. In the east, there is the stony soil of the Vaucluse and, in the west, the sandy slopes of Gard. Garnache (75%) is the lead grape in the blend, supported by Cinsault (15) and Syrah (10).

The red colour is medium, tending to light, and it has aromas of fruit (blackcurrant prominent). It is fruity upfront, spicy too, well balanced for sure, and the fruit element is maintained through the pretty long finish as well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taste of the Week: Star of the Dão. Flor de Viseu.

A Star of the Dão. Flor de Viseu.


Flor de Viseu, Selection Branco 2012, Dão (Portugal), 12.5%, €12.99/13.99 Wine Alliance Stockists.


Must admit I know very little about Encruzado, Cerceal Branco and Malvasia Fina, three Portuguese grapes. What I do know now is when you skillfully blend the three, as has been done here, you’ll have a lovely crispy zesty white wine in your hands, a Very Highly Recommended one. This is so good, I have no hesitation whatsoever in adding it to my (rather skimpy) 2014 recommendations.


Colour may well be a bit on the pale side but the aromas are inviting. And, once you have it on the palate, you'll know you have a good thing. Fruitiness and freshness combine, reaching all parts and then you have a gorgeous lingering finish.


They recommend serving it at 8 degrees centigrade. Advice worth taking. Certainly, don’t serve it at anything under it or you'll risk losing some of those beautiful flavours.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Classy Pinot Noir double from Hawkes Bay

Pinot Noir on the double from Hawkes Bay

Bilancia, Pinot Noir 2006, Hawkes Bay (NZ), 13.5%, €22.45, Karwig Wines 

This medium red coloured wine is nice and bright considering it is 2006. On the nose, it is classic red fruits, cherry and raspberry. In the mouth, it is juicy and beautifully fruity and very well balanced (the balance,  a prime aim of the makers Leheny and Gibson). The flavours have been enhanced by 15 months in new and old French oak and it finishes long and well. Very highly recommended.

More about Bilancia, which translates as balance, here 


Tahuna, Pinot Noir 2010, Hawkes Bay (NZ), 13.5%, €15.40, Karwig Wines 

This is quite a light red, again with the classic nose. On the palate, the feel is light and the wine is fruity for sure with a smooth dry finish. It is made for "early enjoyment". A comparative juvenile that lacks the adult heft and sophistication of the Bilancia. Nonetheless a lovely wine and a very pleasant companion, they suggest, “for hearty pastas, duck and lamb”. Highly recommended.


More about Tahuna here 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Iberia Flying High


Iberia Flying High


The winemakers of Portugal and Spain certainly seem to be coming up with the goods nowadays. From Portugal, I’ve tasted some really good wines from the DAO recently along with a popular port while Spain has more than pleased with a Tempranillo from La Rioja Alta region and, not for the first time, with the Arana Rioja Reserva from the winery in Haro that bears the same name as the region.

Lagrimas de Maria, La Rioja Alta Crianza 2010, 14.5%, €13.99, stockists
This is one hundred per cent Tempranillo and made in the heart of La Rioja Alta. It spent 12 months in oak and the winemaker is Maria Martinez Maria whose hand writing appears on the labels.

Colour is a dark cherry red with aromas of forest fruits. This is Tempranillo at quite a high level, fruit for sure and hints of the oak but really well balanced and an excellent dry finish. No need for the tears, Maria. Highly Recommended.




Flor de Viseu Selection (red), DAO 2009, 13%, €12.99, stockists.
Colour is ruby red and the aromas, of moderate intensity, are those of red fruit. Red fruit also on the palate and slight spice, freshness and sufficient acidity present, and it finishes dry.

Grapes used are Tourigo National and Alfrocheiro. Should go well with red meat and cheese.

The flower on the label symbolises the thistle flower found locally. But nothing spiky about this rather smooth red wine. Highly recommended.



Viña Arana Rioja Reserva, 2004 La Rioja Alta
This wine, by the winery that bears the same name as the region, is a favourite of mine. But I am not alone. The Los Angeles Times Food section recently made it their Wine of the Week and you may read their take on it here. 

Ferreira Late Bottled Vintage Port 2007
Bought this bottle in the Basque Country last summer and it took me until now to get around to it. Don’t think I’ve seen it on sale in Ireland but Ferreira is a huge port exporter. Indeed, according to Hugh Johnson’s 2012 pocket wine book, they are the leading Portuguese owned Port shipper and “the best selling brand in Portugal”.

This is quite a gem, with beautiful flavours, great balance and a tremendous finish. Picked it up out of curiosity and it didn’t kill me. Read more about Ferreira, which is over 250 years old, here.