1 x QUINTA DOS AVIDAGOS ALÉM TANHA TINTO DOURO, 2017
The Douro stands out as as a unique region and trying to keep track of the range of native grapes at hand here can bewilder even the best of us. This brings a treasure trove for wine lovers everywhere as blends of originality and quality are popping up all the time. This complex wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional & Franca, Tinta Amarela & Barroca, Sousao, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) & Rufete.
Deep ruby in appearance with rich and inviting mature black fruit aromas. Full-bodied with core fruit flavours of mulberry, ripe dark cherries, damson plums and blackberries. Oak ageing adds warm, spicy notes of clove and nutmeg. Smooth tannins and an afterglow of dark chocolate on the finish rounds this off delightfully. Decant 1.5 hours beforehand.
1 x ROBERTO SAROTTO ELENA LA LUNA BARBERA DALBA, 2020
Few grapes go better with Italian food than Barbera and few winemakers know it better than Roberto Sarotto. With 90 hectares of vines in the Piemonte region, Roberto is a significant producer with a lengthy portfolio. Apart from Barbera, his stable includes Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco and Gavi. This Barbera is named after his 2nd daughter Elena, so you know it’s a labour of love.Combine this with the fact that Alba is one of the twin spiritual homes of the grape; Asti being the other. Do I need to say any more?
Full-bodied and rich but still retaining Barbera’s signature smooth–drinking appeal with velvety, rounded tannins. Powerful enveloping aromatics of dark cherries and strawberries. On the palate you get flavours of ripe blackberry, red plums and vanilla. All finished off with spicy notes of liquorice and anise.
1 x PEÑAFIEL MIROS DE RIBERA ROBLE TINTO, 2020
Roble is a style that is growing in popularity in the premium red wine region of Ribera Del Duero. Like its Rioja counterpart, age is primary defining characteristic of the wine here. As such, Roble can be described as the baby of the bunch as it relates to ageing, with the shortest amount of time in oak barrels. Usually up to a max of 6 months in comparison to a minimum of 12 months for Crianza. This light touch of oak gives a little vanilla and spice kick to season and enhance the wine. It also adds another dimension to a region that’s already a favourite amongst Irish drinkers.
Deep red cherry in colour, bound in a violet rim. The nose is abundant with dark fruit and wild berries. On the palate you have a core of ripe dark plums, cherries and blackberries. The oak influence is soft and well integrated with toasted coffee, vanilla and toffee notes. Full-bodied and powerful with a umami flavoured finish (Decant for 1 hour).
1 x PEÑAFIEL ALBA DE MIROS RUEDA VERDEJO, 2021
One of the mysteries of the wine world is why we don’t see more Verdejo. Of habitual good quality, it is equally good as a food wine or on its own. Production is mainly centred around the region of Rueda where it is native. This is a region characterised by extreme weather ranges and high altitude vineyards. Although a relatively young winery (formed in 2003), the vineyards at Bodegas Peñafiel are located at 900m, close to being some of the highest in Europe. This gives them a leg-up in crafting terroir-driven wines of great distinction and quality.
Radiant in straw-yellow with fresh fruit aromatics of lemon, grapefruit and pomelo. On a tropical palate you get flavours of mango and pineapple. With the lees ageing adding a velvety texture as well as some light hazelnut and brioche notes. Shows great dimension on a well-rounded and lengthy finish.
1 x QUINTA DOS ROQUES COLHEITA BRANCO, 2021
Another unique blend from a standout producer in the Dão. This white is a perennial overachiever in terms of quality to price.One thing that many leading Portuguese winemakers have in common is their faith in the potential of the country’s many native grape varieties. The family-run winery of Quinta dos Roques are no exception. They are considered masters at creating distinctive and harmonized blends like this one. The Dão is a region on the rise, in large part thanks to this family-run winery.
Clear and fresh with a white floral, lemon and lime bouquet. An appetising freshness with further pear and grapefruit notes on the palate with a hint of ginger. Fruit focused but with great structure, acidity and a mouth-wateringly mineral finish.
1 x CHÂTEAU DE COULAINE CHINON BLANC SINOPLE, 2020 Organic
Château de Coulaine had been producing wines continuously since the 14th century and was one of the top Chinon producers in the 19th century before phylloxera reduced the holdings to just over one hectare. Luckily for us they have since recovered and are once more recognised as a leading producer in the Loire. The first Chateaux in the region to be certified organic, combined with old vines and a “natural as possible” philosophy gives their wines a unique concentration and identity. Chenin is a multi-faceted grape and is here given another dimension.
Burgundian in approach and texture with aromatics of white flowers and exotic fruits. Primary fruit flavours of apple, quince and pear mix with notes of apricots, hazelnuts and brioche. Complex and rich with a chalky, mineral finish.
"Red apple and toasted hazelnuts with a distinct mineral streak running through it. Chenin Blanc being fabulous. Organic, pretty much since 14th century."
Tom Doorley, Irish Mail on Sunday, 29th May 2022