Howdy folks. It's been an awfully long time since I blogged at ya - 6 months to be precise. For me, the time has flown; I've been up to my furry bits in a complex IT project, which went live successfully last weekend. I still have a week to go, both tidying up and pissing up, but I should be home for good next week - woo hoo!
John Wilson's column in the Irish Times on Saturday mentioned that Dunnes are having a "Mediterranean Festival" so I stopped by their Beacon store on my travels today and picked up six reds from Spain and Italy. The French offerings didn't look particularly appetising to YHB so I passed on them.
I looked up the "Festival" on the Dunnes site for a bit more info, but the page isn't a "mind of information" as they'd say on DNS. Judge for yourself. I'd expect a minimum of a PDF or at least a more readable page. Superquinn's many and multifarious wine sales would seem to be the benchmark here.
Note: The display shelves in the shop show the notional "full" price but neither the receipt in my sweaty little fist, nor the Dunnes website can help me out in retrospect here.
Anyhoo - the six wines are:
Crossos Priorat 2008 (€12-99) - Any Priorat I've had to date I've really liked so...
Verdict - This is fantastic, big and bold - I need to buy more asap.
Arroyo Ribera Del Duero Crianza 2008 (€10-99 - John Wilson specifically recommended this so...
Verdict - Similar to the Barbaresco this was quite light in colour, but was quite fruity in a strawberry, New World Pinot Noir-ish way, strangely. Not unpleasant, but not something I would probably buy again.
Masseria Del Fauno Salice Salentino 2010 (€5-99) - I do like wines from here, they are tangy and acidic and good pizza/pasta wines IMHO, and at this price it's worth a punt.
Verdict - Only got around to this last night and it is a steal at this price, some nice acidity and a very well balanced wine for thsi money.
Il Burchino Toscana 2007 (€12-99) - This looked classy, beyond that, I don't know what to tell you. Tomás Clancy had this as his "One to Buy" last Sunday in the Turbine, although (see comments), this in not an uncontested opinion.
Verdict - We probably didn't give this wine the best opportunity by drinking after a hot Thai penang curry but even so it was pretty good. A solid chunky Tuscan, and decent value at this price.
Riva Leone Barbaresco 2008 (€9-99) - A Barbaresco for a tenner? Again, I pretty much had to. Also, Dunnes have a Barolo from the same producer for about 15 notes. Let's see how this ones goes first.
Verdict - Herself demanded another red be opened after the lovely Priorat and chose the Barbaresco. Disappointing. Quite a light colour in the glass and similarly lacking in flavour on the plate. Not offensive but a bit "meh" and not what was expected...
Campomagio Toscano 2006 (€11-99) - I hadn't intended buying two "Toscanas" [IGT] so here's hoping.
Verdict - Again a perfectly pleasant Tuscan, nothing to write home about but perfectly fine. For the extra Euro I'd buy the Burchino.
In conclusion, kudos to Dunnes for the wines, but their promotion and presentation could do with some work.
And yes - it's good to be back.