Food, wine, travel, music
At a recent tasting given by the informative and interesting Fionnuala Harkin of WINES DIRECT there were some delicious highlights. Wine can be bought on line at winesdirect.ie, but if you email Fionnuala at FHarkin@winesdirect.ie and mention this blog, she will give you a discount. Prices below are without discount. Scoring is out of 100 and takes value into account.
José Pariente Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2011 €14.95
Made from the Verdejo grape typical of the Rueda region of Spain, this was the house wine in El Bulli before it closed and Ferran Adria moved on to set up his cookery school. Full-bodied with lots of fruit, it will take quite robust food, even a turkey dinner, a rich paella, roast chicken, a lamb stew. Good value.
Chateau M de Malle, Graves, Bordeaux, 2010 €21.75
The vineyard of Château de Malle straddles two prestigious AOCs Graves and Sauternes. Built at the beginning of the 17th century, Chateau de Malle is one of the oldest estates in Sauternes. Count Pierre de Bournazel developed property in the 1950s and since his death in 1985, his wife Nancy and sons Paul-Henry, Antoine and Charles run the vineyard.
An interesting blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle, it’s an elegant wine with a fullness we don’t expect of the Graves region. There’s a bare hint of oak and the balance of fruit and dryness is perfect. This wine is good enough to keep for 10 years. It will mellow, but it’s a delicious mouthfull now and worth the money. Lovely for prawn dishes, fish with sauces. Try with white turkey meat, light lamb dishes. Good as an aperitif.
Elias Mora Semicrianza, Toro, Spain, 2010 €15.25
Victoria Benevides makes this rich, ripe and easy drinking wine. Tinto de Toro is the grape used, typical of the Toro region along the Duero river. It’s call Tempranillo in most regions in Spain. Here it’s full bodied, but not overdone with a little bite which makes it excellent with a fine piece of juicy steak. If you buy a case, the few bottles you may have left over after Christmas will keep for a couple of years.
Domaine de l’Hortus Grand Cuvée, Pic St.Loup, 2010 €23.75
A gorgeous blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, this is a good all rounder and ideal for the mixed plates of food we eat at Christmas. A beautifully balanced wine with plenty of lush fruit without any jamminess. Good with lamb, beef, light game. A night by the fire with this to hand could be bliss.
Stefano Accordini Ripasso Valpollicella, Italy 2009 €20.50
Ripe fruit is the key to a good ripasso and Stefano Accordini must be out many days watching for the right moment to pick his grapes. They are then partially dried to add to their richness, resulting in a soft, rounded, easy and well balanced glassfull with plenty of ripe fruit. Well worth the money. Good on its own as well as with any dark meat .