Friday, December 21, 2012

Some bargain Spanish wines

So I'm looking for some reds for Xmas and also for our New Years eve extravaganza, so I  popped into O'Briens in Carrickmines and grabbed a couple of reds on special offer.*

Luzon Jumilla 2011 €10-99 link
The blurb from the site says:
"Made from 70% Mourvèdre and 30% Syrah grapes, this richly textured red is brimming with rich, dark berry and ripe plum fruit. A silky smooth wine that is as good on its own as it is accompanying meaty dishes. Quality wise this has the depth of fruit and myriad of flavours of many wines twice its price." 

I wasn't sure about this at first but it has been growing on me for the last hour; nice fruit, nice acidity, nice balance. It's not a massive complex wine, just solid everyday drinking. Good value as priced.

Cruz De Pieda Seleccion Especial 2010 - €9-99 (reduced from €13-99) link
The blurb from the site says:
"This is a revelation, we have tried wines before from Calatayud that overdelivers to this extent. Superb depth of sweet ripe black fruit, luscious with sweet spices and a long finish of that super-ripe fruit"

Yummy. Herself says it's nicely rounded, and I agree. This is definitely a balanced wine, like the man says, there is plenty of ripe fruit but it's not cloying and there is a lovely long finish.

I also got some nice beers. The first two below are two of my all time faves, the third is something I have wanted to try for a while but have never come across...

Goose Island IPA - €2-59
Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted €2-73
Anchor Liberty Ale - €2-79

* OBriens shop in Carrickmines needs to improve their selection of Whisk(e)ys. The Beacon shop puts it to shame.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Xmas Wine Choice & Tasting - Live!*

Well it's Xmas again and I have have been tasked with choosing the wine for a number of festive occasions over the holiday season, given that I am now gainfully self-employed.

I popped into Garrett in Baggot St Wines and asked him to choose three reds for me to taste and ultimately pick from. The parameters were as follows; approx €15, not too light, not too jammy. I vetoed a Rioja early on and the three reds above were what we finished up on. Symmetrically and ecumenically we ended up with one French, one Spanish and one Italian.

The wines are as follows (l-r)

Carpineto Dogajolo Toscana 2011 - €13-99. Per Garrett this is a budget Supertuscan, with 70% Sangiovese and 30% "Other". A Supertuscan at this price would indeed be a find.

Camille Cayran Vacqueyras 2011 - €16-99. The most expensive of the bunch so the one with the most to prove. I have had many lovely Vacqueyras since I started the blog so here's hoping.

Flores de Callejo Ribera Del Duero 2010 - €13-99. I'm in a Ribera place at the moment after some lovely ones, particularly in Pichet. (Martin Berdugo I think?)

And it's a blind tasting...for Herself anyway, Your Humble Blogger will attempt to forget, or fail to remember. I poured the three wines into my three decanters and numbered them and the wine labels, so I would know but she wouldn't. We started with a glass of Number 3.

Wine #3
Herself - finding it a bit tannic. Not impressed. [Guess - French]
YHB - I like it. It's complex but it needs more time to coalesce, probably a disadvantage in a party wine, where you would probably be serving bottles just after opening.

Wine #1
Herself - liking it a lot. She can "taste it all over her tongue". Ahem. [Guess - Spanish]
YHB - wildly different from #3, lots of cherries. Not sure it's a party wine though. Might be a bit "fancy" for some palates.

Wine #2          
Herself - Perfumed and lovely. Favourite of the night. [Guess - Italian]
YHB -  Yummy, my fave too. Full bodied and a little spicy.

Wine #3 - Ribera
Wine #1 - Supertuscan
Wine #2 - Vacqueyras

 Herself picks most expensive wine shocker!

* Sort of live, I've been writing this for the last hour as we have been tasting.