Thursday, March 19, 2009

Domaine Aimé Minervois La Liviniere 2002

Domaine Aimé Minervois La Liviniere 2002 RRP 15.95

This is a great little wine from the south of France, made by Remi Bonnet at his family domaine in the Minervois region.Speaking of families.. thats Remi and his family in the picture..

Remi and Flo (his wife) are true "vignerons" in the best traditions of the word.

Their wines are truly hand-made, with passion and know-how passed on from generation to generation.. Remi named his wine after his Grandfather Aimé..thus Domaine Aimé..
Remi has quite a few different grape varieties available, which he blends according to the vintage conditions and the style of wine he's making..Syrah, Grenache, Merlot and Old Vine Carignan are the main ones..

We love selling wines made by people like Remi and Flo..they're friends of ours at this stage and we always look forward to meeting up with them for dinner and some wine, when we visit the Languedoc..They're small quality-focused producers and they produce "true" wines, a million miles away from the big brands you'll find in the supermarché!
I highly recommend that you give this wine a try..its in a tall bottle with an orange label!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mas Laval / St. Patricks Day

Thought I'd give myself a wine treat for Paddys Day so
I cracked open a bottle of the Mas Laval 2005..

All I can say is Wow..what a wine..its absolutely gorgeous stuff..
(Its not cheap at 25.95 but I strongly feel that its worth every cent)
The wine is a Syrah / Grenache, Mourvedre blend
(a blend I'm really fond of by the way..)
Sometimes they add a small component of Cabernet Franc
aswell depending on the vintage conditions..
The wine is aged for 18 months in one year old burgundy
barrels from Domaine de la Romanee Conti, no less!!
The Mas Laval vineyards are near the village of Aniane,
a famous terroir in the Languedoc, where some really famous
and more expensive wines (Mas de Daumas Gassac / Grange des Peres)
are made.
I visited the winery and vineyards on my last trip to the Languedoc
and tasted wines directly from the vats and barrels with Joel Laval,
one of three brothers involved in running the winery.
A fascinating visit and having tasted the wines now over several vintages a wine I can heartily recommend..

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sideways Wine Tasting

I finally managed to have a “Sideways” inspired tasting in our shop in Sandyford..
We haven’t stocked too many Californian wines in our shop so far as, in general, we found them falling into two camps : cheap, bland, big brands (Blossom Hill / Sutter Home etc.. ) or really good but expensive (Ridge / Saintsbury etc..)
Anyway recently we came across a new importer with a great little range of Californian wines, from interesting wineries, that won’t break the bank!

Our guest for the tasting was Jonathan Spielberg (California Wine Imports)

We tasted eight wines.

Silverado Sauvignon Blanc 2007 17.95
Bogle Viognier 2007 17.95

Estrada Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 12.95
Estrada Creek Syrah 2005 12.95

Bogle Pinot Noir 2006 19.95
Bogle Petite Sirah 2006 17.95
Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 17.95

Merryvale Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 25.95

I thought the Estrada Creek Syrah was a real winner on the night and, at 12.95, I reckon it’s very decent value too..the Bogle Pinot Noir showed very well, a cracking bottle of red..Its been a while since I had any Napa Cabernet and the Merryvale didn’t’s a beauty..

In terms of what sold well on the night..the Bogle Petite Sirah and Viognier were the bestsellers..

There was a “Merlot Ban” for this tasting which was quite funny in the end, as we had our very own Sideways moment..
Near the front door of the shop, I had Sideways playing on the laptop and closeby I set up a “Shrine to Pinot Noir” in tribute to Miles the “wine nut” character in the film..
Later in the evening I overheard Jonathan offer a customer a taste of one of his range, running through all the various and many options he had on the end of a lengthy description of the various whites and reds that were open.. the customer just said “Do you have any Merlot?” Oh well..

Many thanks to California Wine Imports and Mr.Spielberg for a truly cinematic tasting!