Food, wine, travel, music
Jon Ander Usabiaga is an unassuming winemaker. Modest, clear thinking and not in the business of selling hard, he explains his output well. He is responsible for an annual average output of 800,000 cases of wine of nine litres per case from Aresti in Chile and aims to get the best expression of each grape variety from each area where the grapes for his wines grow. “I don’t want the wines to be covered in oak”, he says. “ I don’t want then to smell or taste of cigars either. Our Cabernet Sauvignon has less cigar box, more white pepper, dried paprika and good tannins. That’s typical of a good Chilean wine”.
The wines tasted at Hayfield Manor in Cork recently gave hope to bargain hunters as these wines stocked only by SuperValu are being discounted until 24 September. It’s time to thank ahead for Christmas! Most surprising for me was the elegance of the nine wines we tasted. These are not the cheapest of the brand’s range, so well worth a step up.
The Estate Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2013 is made from grapes in the romantic Casablanca valley, a relatively cold area which keeps the fruit from being overblown. Tropical fruits and good acidity were twinned with an extra richness from being kept on the lees for a while. You can get this on the nose. This is a sensation which can often be mistaken for oak, but it’s more subtle and rich than that. A lovely, fresh wine with medium fruit. For immediate consumption, the wine is reduced from €13 to €10. Good value.
Estate Selection Chardonnay 2012 has quite tropical fruit flavo urs and a little texture from time on the lees. The little oak ageing of a portion of the wine is subtle, so the result is well rounded and complex. Delicious. Good value at €10.99 at the moment.
Trisquel Gewúrtztraminer 2012 is the standard type of match for Asian food with a hint of orange peel, complex and soft. While this is usually bought by the more adventurous wine drinker, now is a good time to try it while it’s €10.
Trisquel Sauvignon Blanc 2013 The Pacific coastal region of the Leyda valley is chilly, allowing for slow ripening which bring a wide range of scents and flavours from asparagus to lychee. Buckets of fruit, this is lush and of wonderful quality. Buy now while it’s €10.
Estate Selection Merlot 2013. This easy drinking wine has a little more life than many Merlots with lots of soft, plummy fruit with strawberry and raspberry flavours. €10.99 standard price.
Estate Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. Jon was aiming for soft tannins and ripe fruit in these wine and he has given us a little eucalyptus too. Refined flavours make it a good match for young lamb, and pasta dishes won’t be overpowered either. Very good value at standard price of €13.
Trisquel Assemblage 2011. Assemblage seems like French word for a Chilean wine meaning ‘blend’. This is my favourite of the reds with the Syrah providing the almost sweetness of tannins, the Cabernet Sauvignon good structure to get your teeth into and Petit Verdot gives it a slightly rusticity and colour. A very good wine.
Trisquel Syrah 2012. Lovely, rounded, ripe tannins there is some grip here and lots of black fruit flavours. A little smoky, some vanilla, some cedar, lots going on. Delicious!