Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tesco Teroldego

So after another day of bad news and crushing disappointments I ended up in Tesco. Fittingly, some might say.

Anyhoo, I wanted buy some dinner for me and the boy (Tesco Finest Pork and Chorizo meatballs - fantastic) and some cheap beer (Karpackie 5% - €5 for 4 500ml cans; cheap, strong and drinkable when cold). I came across the wine at left for the price of €9-99. I'm not sure if that's a special offer or not, sorry.

Apparently "The Teroldego grape variety, little known outside Italy, is one of its indigenous treasures, and has been grown in the Trentino region since the 14th Century." I really couldn't say, but after trying some new grape varietals in the Superquinn Autumn sale here, I decided to extend Tesco the same courtesy.

BTW, Wikipedia says this about the grape, and I found a (good) review from the Telegraph here; apparently it should be lightly chilled. Who'd a thunk it?

I intend to liveblog it tomorrow when watching a movie with m'lovely wife, Herself. Come back then and see what's in store. The excitement is palpable, oh wait, that's not excitement, that's my...

Wednesday update - so I've been quaffing this wine for an hour now and I kinda like it. It's got nice acidity and a little bit of tasty fruit. I suspect it needs food to really shine but it's decent on its own, and reasonable value at a tenner.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Lidl Troika

There has been a lot of chat, speculation and scuttlebutt recently about bailouts, bank debts etc, and how our German partners in Europe are viewing our aspiration to move our Bank debt off our books and onto the ESM's. With that in mind I decided to revisit our local branch of our favourite German discounter LIDL and see what they have on offer from France, Spain and Italy.

Lidl Chianti 2011 - €4-99
The label reminds of the famous Lidl Montepulciano which I have purchased for a variety of negligible amounts over the years and it was always decent. So I was not surprised that this Chianti was drinkable but that's literally all it was. If I wasn't poor and/or blogging it, I think it would have gone down the sink.

Lidl Vacqueyras 2010 - €9-49
As the most expensive of the three I  was expecting something good here.  In 2009 I had the 2007 and I really liked it. Reading that review I can't help but be disappointed with the 2010. While it was decent; rich and fruity, it didn't have any of the complexity of the 2007 and the finish was a bit - meh.

Cepa Lebrel Rioja Crianza 2008 - €6-99
I loved the Reserva of this and I had the Joven (drunk) one night and I think I liked that too, so I figured it was time to check out the middle sibling - the Crianza, and very pleasant it was too. It didn't have quite the depth of flavour or complexity of the Reserva but it is a very decent Rioja at this price. However as the Reserva is only 50c dearer (or it was when last I bought it), it's a no-brainer for me.

So there we are, 1.5 out of 3, it beats 6-1 I suppose.
I, for one, welcome our new Teutonic overlords...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A couple of wheezy old geezers...

I have, on occasion, bought old Spanish wines which crop up in Supermarkets (mostly Tesco and Dunnes), every so often, at alleged bargain prices (< €10). I am almost inevitably disappointed; see here, here and infacta here

So today in Dunnes I spotted two potential old offenders and thought I'd try them out horizontally, so to speak. I opened and decanted both at 6pm and we (me and Herself) tried them at approx. 8 bells.

Castillo de la Pena Campo de Borja Gran Reserva 2003 - €7
Rich and fruity with a little acidic sharpness and maybe a whiff of THC TCA. This one is a blend of Garnacha and Cab Sav. Tastes old and tired and on further tasting it's definitely a tiny bit corked and/or unpleasant, so down the sink with it.

Castillo del Rey Carinena Gran Reserva 2006 - €7
Lighter in the glass than the wine above and with its own unpleasant characteristics. Allegedly a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cab Sav. Its a bit sharp and may improve so I'm going to rebottle this and give it a day, on the off-chance, although I'm not hopeful.

Update - While this improved after 24 hours, there was still an unpleasant aftertaste to it so it also ended up down the sink...

In conclusion there's a reason these wines are priced to clear - TANSTAAFL.

However as I am careful by nature, I anticipated this possibility so I also picked up a Gerard Bertrand Tautavel 2009 - on perennial sale for €8, thank FSM, so we'll have that tonight.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Superquinn Autumn French Wine Sale 2012 - Updated

So I finally got down to Superquinn Blackrock today - I had been invited to the media tasting but couldn't go for work reasons - ahh the irony. Anyhoo, after a quick perusal, I decided to ignore the many (tasty) wines I would normally snaffle at sale prices and instead look to the new and unusual.
See below for pictures and descriptions of the rogues gallery I came away with.

UPDATE - we had a few punters back our temporary D4 pad after the Leinster game and we managed to polish off  4 of the 6 bottles in question. Updates are below...

Domaine De La Condamine l'Eveque Mourvedre Cotes de Thongue 2011 - €7.00
Never had a single varietal Mourvedre before - should be interesting.
Update - this was really, really tasty. Rich, warm and full bodied and everyone loved it. A bargain as priced.

Corsican Nature Pinot Noir 2010 - €8,00
Don't know what to expect here - pure punt.
Update - I have to assume this was faulty cos it didn't taste like a Pinot and it wasn't nice at all. I manged to get the last drunken guests to drink it though* so what do I know...

Domaine De La Condamine l'Eveque Petit Verdot Cotes de Thongue 2011 - €7.00
I think I had a pure Petit Verdot once before, possible from California, probably bought in the Co-Op in Edinburgh and I think it was pretty good.
Update - I had it on good authority that this wasn't as nice as the Mourvedre and thus it proved. Not bad and no one complained but it didn't have the warmth and/or harmony of its cousin.

Complazens Marselan Pays D'Oc 2011 - €10.00
Another new grape. "a little known grape variety that is a crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache from the South of France. "
Update - Couldn't decant this as it was drunk on opening after the Supernova was found to be faulty. Initially I wasn't sure about this but as the night wore off I started to quite like this. Some unusual flavours but all dovetailing in seamless harmony. Not sure I'd pay full price but worth a look for a tenner. 

Domaine Des Grandes Esperances Supernova 2009 - €13.00
Despite my incipient penuriousness, I plumped for this relatively expensive item.  I read a review, which I can't now find, which bigged this up.  Also, love the label.
Corked - Alas. Was looking forward to this most of all of the six, so disappointed. 

Domaine Des Grandes Esperances Gamay Malbec Caberbet Franc 2010 - €8.00
Now there's a combo, from the Loire.
Update - This very green and stalky and divided opinion. Everyone thought  it was unusual; some people were happy to drink it, others not. I dithered initially but ultimately I decided it wasn't for me.

* It was quite late I and didn't want to sacrifice/open a nice bottle at that stage of the evening, so I moved onto Goose Island IPA (fantastic). If I'd had any complaints about the Pinot I would have complied and opened something but it didn't come to that 8-)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Back to Lidl for me (and some interesting Spanish wines)

After the unfortunate events of last Friday* I was in need of some cheering up so Herself bought me a couple of bottles of red from Baggot Street wines, which they have been promoting.

They are three reds branded "Matsu" (Japanese for "Wait") which a quick Googling revealed as coming from Rodinia Wines. I got the youngest "El Picaro" (2011) and the middle wine "El Recio" (2010).

All the wines come from the Toro region and all are made from Tinta de Toro which some more Googling appears to be another name for Tempranillo, the staple grape of Rioja and Ribera.

I even found a video for the three wines here.

The difference expressions come from different vines and are matured differently. The Recio is is described thusly:

"El Recio translates as 'the tough guy', and is a more serious, mature wine, made from the product of some of Toro's oldest vines, which are cultivated using advanced biodynamic techniques. 14 months in new French oak provide opulence and polish"

After decanting the Recio (€25-99) for a couple of hours we dived in, into a big fruity vat of wine. My initial thoughts went as follows: this was a good Rioja crossed with a good Aussie Shiraz with a not unpleasant alcoholic wash (14.5% abv). If that sounds odd, it was wasn't. It was quite delicious, but this is definitely a modern, fruit-forward kind of wine, not for those who prefer more austere old-world wines.

The Picaro (€16-99) is as follows:

"Picaro means 'rogue' or 'rascal', and this rapscallion of a wine is a youthful interpretation of the Toro region's style. The grapes come from mature vines of over 50 years of age, but the wine spends only three months in oak, preserving their natural fruit profile"

Well, this was completely different to its elder relative. If tasted blind I would have said this was a good Southern French Syrah, maybe an expensive one from Laurent Miquel. Loved it, even though it tasted like no Tempranillo I ever tasted. Silky smooth, slightly tannic and very classy.

*The thread holding the sword snapped...