Between the travel and the whatnot I realised I probably wasn't going to make it into Baggot St Wines anytime soon, so I sent Herself in. Her instructions were as follows, ask "the man" for three reds priced between €12 and €15 and I would blog on them.
La Vendimia Rioja 2010 - €12-99, was first up. I should have told Herself not to buy Rioja; we drink a lot of this Consejo De la Alta (currently the 2005 vintage), and we love it. A young, moderately priced Rioja wouldn't stand up well to this, and so it proved. While there was nothing wrong with the wine, it didn't do it for either of us. It was bit light with not enough fruit, oak or "oomph"...
La Chappelle de Bébian Coteaux Du Languedoc - Pezenas 2007 - €16-99 was next up. Slightly outside the price range but highly recommended by our man in the shop. We cracked it open on a quiet Saturday night with June and ended up having it with Thai food as I had just dropped our only bottle of chilled white on the tiled floor. Anyhoo - this was fabulous; subtle and fruity with some surprising tannins creeping in towards the end of the bottle.
Baglio Del Sole Nero D'Avola 2009 - €11-49 was the last wine on the same evening and while our taste-buds were probably not at their best we both really enjoyed it. Light and a touch fruity but nicely balanced; probably a wine we should have drunk earlier in the evening but it still worked.
On the whole a pretty good showing, especially as if I had been choosing the three reds I wouldn't have picked the Rioja that I wasn't keen on.
Coincidentally, as I write this I am sipping a Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from Chile, also from Baggot St wines. I am on the record as rarely liking this country/grape combination (except for a fantastic and expensive Domus Aurea), so I was presently surprised by this. It has the requisite blackcurrant and tannin wings but there is enough in the middle to make it work as a whole.