Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Le Caveau Wine Tasting

Popped into Fallon & Byrne for the Le Caveau Portfolio tasting..

A great line-up of wines covering lots of regions and grape varieties.

Tasted a line-up of whites from Meyer Fonné, a really good Alsace producer.
It constantly amazes me that Alsace Whites do not sell better..they are fabulous white wines with great character and flavour..I guess it must be the German looking bottles and labels...Pinot Blanc / Riesling / Gewurztraminer & Pinot Gris that knocks spots off any Pinot Grigio you’d care to mention..the wines of Meyer Fonné are truly excellent..
Tired of Sauv. Blanc / Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay I urge you to try some Alsace whites..great with spicy food especially Thai.

Meyer Fonné Gentil d’Alsace 2007 (nice funky mix of grapes..)
Meyer Fonné Pinot Blanc 2007
Meyer Fonné Riesling 2007
Meyer Fonné Gewurztraminer 2006
Meyer Fonné Pinot Gris 2007
Meyer Fonné Riesling Grand Cru Wineck Schlossberg 2006 (sensational wine..)

Tasted four “affordable” Red Burgundies and one New Zealand Pinot..The New Zealand wine, Framingham Pinot Noir 2007, won hands down..The Burgundies were admittedly all fairly young but they were too much of the “iron fist” and not enough of the “velvet glove” Anyway good Red Burgundy at any kind of affordable price is very scarce in Ireland..

Tasted some Bordeaux and Bergerac reds..A basic Bordeaux from 2005 beat the bejaysus out of a few 2004’s… even wines moving up a level or two..a good vintage in Bordeaux really makes all the difference. Bergerac is definitely good hunting ground for Bordeaux-style wines..I guess the producers there just have to try that little bit harder and can’t just sit back and rely on selling the wine on its “supposed” good name..Tour des Gendres is a really good producer to try from this region..

I’ve been on a bit of an Italian white discovery trail recently after a lovely bottle of Falanghina..so I took the chance to run through a line-up of Italian Whites..San Marziano Pinot Grigio 2007 (light and watery, the usual story with PG..Why Oh Why does it sell so well..) Colle Stefano Verdicchio di Matelica 2007 (great stuff..) and Tamellini Soave Superiore 2006 (even greater stuff!! one of my wines of the tasting..reminded me of the Pieropan Soave.

There are plenty of tasty white options beyond Pinot Grigio that’s for sure..Lugana, Vernaccia, Greco di Tufo etc..

Next, a couple of cracking Italian reds..Frentano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2007 and Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2006..now these are really lovely wines, spicy and fruity with just the right balance of weight/alcohol and acidity..

Tried some Madiran (Alain Brumont Torus 2006) and Ribera del Duero (Atalayas de Golban 2005)..My God you have to be in the humour for these heavyweights..loads of tannin / loads of oak / loads of alcohol..when I first got into wine these bruisers used to really impress me with their full-on flavour and weight..now I’m not so sure..
Both definitely way too young for my palate..I’d love to try these wines with a bit of bottle-age when the wines settle down..

Almost forgot to enthuse about a lovely little Languedoc white I tried near the start of my tasting, Montredon Picpoul de Pinet 2007..Rick Stein raves about this wine whenever he gets the chance..its great on its own and perfect with oysters! Summer in a glass..roll on a bit of decent weather!

Overall a very interesting tasting..Well done et Merci Le Caveau!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bogle Petite Sirah 2006

Tried one of our new arrivals last night.. Bogle Petite Sirah 2006 (RRP 17.95 ) all the way from Clarksburg California...don't get me started on my obsession with Sideways..It comes in a fairly funky bottle..quite an unusual shape..it almost looks more like a bottle of beer..

Anyway this was a really delicious wine, great deep dark colour, powerful intense blackberry fruit with some spicy notes and lovely toastiness from the oak...As soon as I poured this wine I knew I was on to a winner..funny that..certain wines just seem to have a look or feel about them when you pour..you just know its gonna be good..its like a certain magical viscosity or something..

Now I know thats hardly scientific but its happened me too often to ignore..if you feel or see that magic in the wine you are in for a treat! Reminds me of a book I read years ago where it spoke about wine being a "living thing" just waiting and waiting in the bottle for that magical moment where the cork pops.. and the wine breathes and interacts with the air and the world again..I really like that idea..savour those moments..the circumstances are unlikely to ever be exactly the same again..

I havent come across this grape variety much..pretty much exclusive to California I believe..
this one didn't last long..went down very easy..great stuff indeed!