Sunday, December 7, 2014

Aldi Reds (and one white!) - The Exquisite Collection - Update**

All from "The Exquisite Collection"

Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2011 €9.99
Funny thing about this wine, is that I liked it less on the second day. Most inexpensive wines improve, IMHO, after being opened for a day. This wine did not. Initially it was tight, focused and tasty, but as it opened up, it exposed it's own lack of subtlety, especially in the fruit dept. Not bad but not a patch on the Malbec or the Ribera.

Minarete Ribera del Duero 2013 €7.99
I blogged on this wine (the 2011) about 18 months ago and I liked it then, Herself wasn't so keen, but I reckoned there was some serious skill to produce such a tasty Ribera for such little cash, especially in  Ireland, given the punitive duty on wine. The 2013 is probably better than the 2011, with none of the former's astringency. Really good, well worth a punt at this price.

Malbec Uco Valley 2013 €8.79
Opened this still slightly cool from the shop and straight from the bottle. I didn't decant it as Herself said that she only wanted a glass (as if). Anyhoo, I decided  to join her and was presently surprised, it was quite yummy, a bit of fruit, a pinch of spice and a lingering finish. It got even better as it warmed up. The flavours amplified and the finish got more complex and even longer. I did a quick Google and it seems that lots of people including professional critics really like this wine, so kudos to me. 

Crozes Hermitage 2012 €10.99
This was disappointing. As the most expensive of the bunch I had high hopes for it. While there wasn't anything wrong with it, there was nothing special on show. Drinkable, but nothing more.

Aldi have upped their game, it seems.Of the four, two are very good, one is good and one is OK, which is not bad at all give the prices in question. I wouldn't advise you to buy them though, especially the Malbec; more for me, you see. If only they'd get their finger out on the craft beer front...

** Update - New Purchases **
Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 €9.99
Drank this a few nights ago and didn't take notes but it was pretty decent. As almost always happens when we tried it first, straight out of the bottle, it was fine; but as it warmed up and oxidised a smidge in the decanter, it really improved. Good depth of flavour, some nice plummy fruit and a well long finish make this a bargain at less than a tenner - nice one.

Gavi DOCG 2014 €7.49
This is a decent white. A little fruit , some nice acidity and well balanced. I'd buy this again, especially as it's very good value at this price.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Superquinn Supervalu French wine sale 2014

Some wines from the Supervalu French wine sale 2014 link

Etienne Barret Crozes-Hermitage 2012 - €12
I keep buying this wine and for the life of me I don't know why. I loved the 2008, but really didn't care for the 2009 & 2011. Not sure why I thought the 2012 would be an improvement. Turns out, it wasn't. Last time out I described it as "pleasant but unremarkable" - plus ça change.

Saint-Laurent Corbieres 2012 - €10
Started off a bit meh, but it has been pleasantly evolving over the last couple of hours in my decanter. It's not fantastic but it has a nice balance. Worth a look for a tenner, IMHO.

Domaine de Cristia Grenache 2013 - €10

Remy Ferbras Vacqueyras 2013 - €10
Really liked this. Lots of plummy fruit with a long, tannic finish. Took a while to get there though, needs a good decanting. Very drinkable and great value as priced. Not sure what the rrp is but well worth a tenner.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lidl French Wine Sale 2014

Apologies , it's been about two weeks since I bought the above wines in Lidl on the Grange road and I'm only putting this post up now. I've been drinking and blogging the wines I bought in the Dunnes French Wine sale. They were a mixed bag to be honest. These Lidl wines look good at least. As before, I have taken input from John Wilson in the Irish Times and Martin Moran in the Sunday Times.

Chateau du Carillon Fronsac 2010 - €12.99 (punt)
Took a chance on this, I've had mixed luck with Supermarket Bordeaux. Yowsa! I'm well happy with this wine. It took a couple of hours in the decanter but by the end it had developed into a full bodied, complex beast, with some impressive plummy fruit with a wicked long finish. I'm gonna buy more of this and lay some down in my "cellar". Great value as priced.

Domaine De la Combe Rasteau 2013 - €11.99 (punt)
Not bad. Very Grenachey.

Bourgogne Aligoté 2013 - €9.99 (recommended - JW)
This is good, not quite what I expected. It has plenty of zingy acidity and not too much buttery chardonnay stuff but I like it. Would work well with food.

Domaine Messire de Very Séguret 2013 - €12.99 (recommended - JW)
Thank you John. This is really nice. It started off as a pleasant wine; "gentle" herself opined and I concurred. After a while it developed some real depth, with a pinch of spice and a wicked, long, dry finish. JW described it as "powerful" - d'accord!

Saint-Joseph AOP 2011- €11.99 (recommended - MM)

Watch this space...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dunnes French Wine Sale 2014 - Final

Bless me readers, it's been six months since my last confession post. In that time I have been drinking wine as enthusiastically as always, I just haven't been blogging about it. Anyhoo, it seems to be the time for wine sales so I popped along to Dunnes in Cornelscourt after work today to see what I could find.

I had cut out the weekend columns from John Wilson in the Irish Times and Martin Moran (no link that I could find) in the Sunday Times and I tried to buy only their recommendations, but as with the last couple of years, each Dunnes store seems to only stock a random selection of the sale wines*. Three of the wines are recommended and two are pure punts.

Lorgeril 1620 Pinot Noir 2013 €10.00 (punt)
This was...OK. A bit thin and not enough oomph for a Burgundy fan but if you were new to Pinots and/or like your reds with a light and delicate(ish) touch, you might like this...

Les Vignerons Carignan Syrah 2013 €8.00 (recommended - JW)
Hmmm - a bit cheap and cheerful. Drinkable, but only just. If you cultivate expensive tastes, and I aspire to, this probably isn't for you. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Laurent Miquel Albarino 2013 €11.50 (recommended - MM)
Just finishing this off and its really good. Crisp and zingy with a super finish.

Cuvee St Vincent Cotes Du Rhone 2013 €8.00 (punt)
I'm not hopeful about this. For starters there is no punt in the bottom of the bottle, always a bad sign, and on the back it says "Dry, Fruity red wine". It's a bit thin and anemic in the glass; Nope - this one's going down the sink. It's all cheap sharp fruit with a lingering, slightly unpleasant and cloying finish.

Chateau Bois Petrus Bordeaux 2012 €11.00 (recommended - MM)
I had my doubts about this wine, in my (limited) experience it's impossible, in this country anyway, to get good Bordeaux at this price. But this was pretty damn good for eleven notes. Not top, classed growth quality, but full and solid and quite bold. I'm gonna buy more of this and maybe put a couple in the "cellar". May not improve much in a couple of years, but worth a try.

BONUS! (not Pictured)
Both gents had recommended the  Baron de Baussac Carignan but I couldn't find this so I plumped for an Alain Grignon Carignan Pays d'Herault 2012 - €8-50. After the rotten St Vincent, I'm gonna try this now. Just better than "cheap and cheerful" this. It's got some big fruity stuff going on - not all of it successful or integrated, but not bad.

* After buying the wines above in the Off-Licence section of Cornelscourt yesterday, I had to go to the main bit tonight for some groceries. I discovered a new wine section (to the very right of the store if you are looking at the checkouts from within the shop), which appeared to be dedicated to said sale and to contain all the wines...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Random reds on the Ballyogan Road

Well it's been quite a while since I did a wine post (I've done a few beer posts) and given that I started my blogging career in wine it ill behooves me to ignore it now. I checked my "cellar" last night and all I had on the top shelf (day-to-day drinking shelf) and all that was there was bottle of Montrachet and various bottles of cheap/old non-vintage Champagne..

So I popped into Molloys on the way home from work and grabbed a couple of Reds on special offer. I was looking for a Chateau Boucarut but there was none to be had. So I got the bottles at left. They are:

Jerome Quiot Cairanne 2010 €11.99
I had this once before, a couple of years ago and I didn't like it, but I only found this out after I got home so, here's hoping it has got better since.
Update - we drank this but we didn't love it. It was a bit sharp or something. The flavours didn't really hang together, so it wasn't a particularly pleasant experience. I hope I remember this before I buy it a third time..

Sancho Garces Rioja Crianza 2010 €11.49
I'm always on the lookout for a nice Rioja so here's hoping... 
Update - Liked this. There was plenty of fruit, plenty of oak and a nice finish. Good value as priced.

By the way, Molloy's have a couple of very good Irish beer offers at the moment, if that's your bag.

Friday, February 7, 2014

BIG Changes to this blog!

After careful consideration I've decided to separate my beer and wine blogging activities. All beer posts can now be found at

I've also changed the template for this blog - just to distinguish it from the beer blog...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Some January specials from O'Briens - Update 3

Every so often I go into O'Briens (normally he Beacon store) and I just pick up four or five of the reds on special. Previous example are here, here, here , here and infacta here. This Saturday being no different, I curtailed my exploration of my latest purchase,  a Faith Venus Hi Gloss, and with the boy in tow, I sallied forth to Sandyford, to negotaite the purchase of some vinous comestibles. This is what I came home with (l-r)..

Ars Nova Navarra 2007 €12.99 reduced from €17-49 link
Note: This wine is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Tempranillo and 20% Merlot.
On first sip I wasn't overly enthused about this wine. It tasted fruity and new worldy with that Cab Sav blackcurrant undercurrent I don't really care for. However, by the end of evening this wine was really working for me, granted it was approx 6 hours since I decanted/Vin Aired it, so some improvement was to be expected. It was still pretty fruity but the various grapes and flavours were all nicely integrated and it developed some pretty decent depth and complexity, if you have the patience to wait for it you'll probably like it, especially at the discount price.

Il Padrino Nero D'Avola 2013 €8.99 reduced from €10-99 link
Well it's cheap and cheerful as expected, but it's not bad. It needs food though and because of the acidity I'd suggest, predictably, it'd work work well with any tomato based dish.

Santa Tresa Nivuro 2009 €11.99 reduced from €18-49 link
This was fantastic, a lovely blend of the acidic Nero Davola and the smooth Cab Sav. A huge steal at this price. I went back to O'Briens in Carrickmines toight after dawdling for days but they told me it was all gone. I asked them was it coming back but they said they didn't know.

Cave de Saint-Desirat Syrah 2012 €9.99 reduced from €14-49 link
Yeah, didn't really care for this. It was very French. Some fruit and lots of acidity but it's not coming together for me, sorry.