Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lidl French Wine Sale 2013 - Updated

Yesterday  I had to buy a variety of mundane items and as I was on my way home from my mechanic (the beast lives!), so I popped into Lidl to get said items and may be some wine from the Lidl French wine sale that I had heard about. Kevin Ecock wrote a post about it here. I was invited to the press tasting but alas, I work full time, so was unable to attend.

I picked up the wines at left (along with some of their Cepa Lebrel Rioja Crianza - a steal at €6.50). BTW R Bampfield is Lidl's own MW and he rates all their wines out of 100 (sort of).  The Brochure is here.

Leo La Gaffeliere Bordeaux 2011 - €8.99  R Bampfield 88 - Very Good
I had intended to buy the Cotes de Blaye Chateau Grand Mazerolles 2010 €9.99, as recommended by Kevin but when I arrived home I had the Bordeaux above. I don't know how. I never buy generic Bordeaux. Anyhoo, I'll try to approach it with an open mind.
**Update -  This ain't great. It tastes like cheap Bordeaux, eh... because it is cheap Bordeaux, it's all tannins with a smidgin of blackcurrant. If you like cheap cab sav, this Bud's for you. 

Les Sarralieres Crozes-Hermitage 2012 - €11.99 R Bampfield 86 - Very Good
There's nothing like a nice Crozes-Hermitage and this is probably nothing like a nice Crozes-Hermitage, but here's hoping.
**Update -  I drank this but I didn't really enjoy it. It was a nearly wine. There were suggestions of nice fruit and tannins but they were trumped by a slightly unpleasant ripe fruity aftertaste. So far no joy from Lidl.

La Croix des Celestins Fleurie 2012 - €9.99  R Bampfield - No Rating
I'm not normally a big Beaujolais fan, the expensive stuff I like but the rest often find a bit thin. I deliberately picked this because it's outside my comfort zone. Low expectations here.
**Update -  It's not bad. It's light and fruity, natch, but with some decent acidity. We had it with a tomato and pasta dish and it worked well.

Oh and I grabbed a Chablis too, as evangelised by Kevin "Such a versatile wine style. Simple examples such as this always please me as the relatively lean fruit, acidic structure and tingly finish are just a perfect food accompaniment.". Sounds good...

I'll be drinking them over the next few days so watch this space...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Liveblog - Orellan Bierzo Roble 2009

Tonight I shall be liveblogging a red that I picked up in OBrien's in Carrickmines on special not one hour ago. I went there looking for some beers but the selection in this shop is much inferior to the wide range available at their Beacon Store, for some reason.

I should also mention our weekend wine experience. As we have recently celebrated 10 years (legally) together, we decided (and we had a voucher) to go to the Cliff House in Ardmore for some Michelin starred food, and for a quiet weekend away.

Long story short, the food was amazing and not bad value when you factor everything in. Three courses of Michelin starred food for €68, which included an amuse-bouche (four separate things) and a tasty sorbet before the main course; sounds like a lot of dough but when the grub is that good I don't think it's bad value. I suspect you'd pay a lot more than that in Paddy Giblets or one of the other starred places in Dublin.

We opted for the optional wine tasting accompaniment (specially chosen) for our three courses which was another €27 per head. My smoked salmon starter (done about 8 ways) came with a Tahbilk Marsanne, a white not for the faint hearted ( I ordered it once before, for a group and just about nobody liked it) but it suited the salmon well. My veal main came with a glass of Chateau Ksara from Lebanon, which I initially decided was much too tannic but actually worked really well with the meat, although it's a wine that resolutely needs food to accompany it. With my various apple deserts (spiced apple cake = best dessert ever), I was given a decently large glass of an Austrian sweet wine called Kracher, which was delicious.

Anyway - on to tonight's live blog and pictured above -
Orellan Mencia Bierzo Roble 2009 €9.99 (reduced from €15-99)

7pm. I like it. Apparently it's made from the Mencia grape with which I am not familiar, but at this early stage it's elegant and well balanced with a hint of plummy fruit. I think this will improve as the night wears off.

9pm. I still like it. Smooth. The O'Brien's website reckons it's not dissimilar to a Pomerol and I'd go along with that, its not as big, but it echoes the right bank.

11pm.Surprisingly, this didn't improve markedly during the night, started well and finished well. Not sure I'd pay 16 quid for it but as priced it's great value and would probably be a good wine to entertain with.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Short reviews of three wines from Baggot St Wines

Portillo Malbec €11.19
Fantastic, big, chewy and a little bit fruity. Great value as priced.

Gran Cerdo €13.99
A little thin, we reckoned, got a bit better after being open for a while but not ones the Willies cared for very much. And check out their website - a testament to shocking web design.

Matsu El Picaro €13.99 reduced from €16.99
Oh yes, this is how to do modern (relatively) inexpensive Spanish red. Wonderfully complex with a great finish.