Trail blazing wines from Rhone showcased at ely

Stéphane Ogier Domaine Ogier, Northern Rhône

Our first Regional Hero is the young Stéphane Ogier of Domaine Ogier in the Northern Rhône. Aged 33, Stéphane is already a hero for the Rhône Valley. He showed great promise from an early age, receiving 100 points from Robert Parker for his Côte-Rôtie ‘Belle Helene’ 1999 when he was only 22 but it is in recent years that his talent has begun to mature into a confident, consistent brilliance.

Having studied in Beaune it is clear where his main influence lies. His great Côte-Rôtie ‘Lancement’ is (half) jokingly referred to as his “Musigny”. Stéphane feels much greater affinity with Pinot Noir and Burgundy than he does with the Grenache based wines of the Southern Rhône. His believes Syrah in the Northern Rhône is at it’s best when expressing cool, elegant fruit flavours of cassis, black cherries and violets with fresh acidity, fine tannins and lower alcohol levels. Much of his success however is not due to his brilliance in Côte-Rôtie but to his exploration and development of the undervalued areas of Vin de Pays in the Northern Rhône. And it is because of his La Rosine and L’Ame Soeur that we at ely think Stéphane is very definitely a Regional Hero.

Here he has looked beyond the obvious with new vineyard locations, breaks the rules with top quality syrah from the “wrong side of the tracks” and honours the brilliance of syrah by maintaining sheer quality. Here we have selected a shortlist ……

1. Viognier ‘La Rosine’, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2008 €36 per bottle and €9 per glass

Barrel fermented Viognier from the La Rosine vineyard situated between Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu. This is beautiful. Medium-bodied with dramatic aromas of pineapple, apricot and citrus fruit a wonderfully refreshing acidity and is great on its own.

2. Condrieu 2007 €49 per bottle and €12.25 per glass

Stéphane has had many years experience growing Viognier but this is his first vintage of Condrieu, the world’s only Viognier specific appellation. Also barrel fermented but exhibiting aromas of honey, stewed apricots and red apples. There is a tremendous underlying minerality from the granite soils.

3. Syrah ‘La Rosine’, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2008 €39 per bottle  and €9.75 per glass

This wine is Stéphane’s ‘Cheval de Bataille’ (war horse) –this is the epitome of what he is trying to achieve – 100% Syrah it is tremendously elegant, displaying flavours of cassis, raspberries and black pepper. It has a silkiness and texture than is reminiscent of a Burgundy Pinot Noir.

4. Syrah ‘L’Ame Soeur’, Seyssuel, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2007 €49 per bottle and €12.25 glass

L’Ame Soeur (kindred spirit) is the fruit of Stéphane’s most exciting, recent project. Romans first developed the vineyards of Seyssuel two thousand years ago. The mica-schist soil here is the same as that of the northern sector of Côte-Rôtie. This barrel aged wine has many of the characteristics of a Côte-Rôtie – dark, pure, silky fruit flavours with an intense mineral core.

5. Côte-Rôtie 2006 €79 per bottle and €19.75 per glass

Stéphane’s Côte-Rôtie comes from a blend of Syrah grapes grown on different parcels of vineyard on both the Côte Blonde (granite soil) and the Côte Brune (mica-schist). It is a hugely complex wine with aromas of black olives, black cherries, black currants and spice overlaid with a certain smokiness. It is wonderfully fine and possibly the most elegant of all Côte-Rôtie’s being produced today.

New Zealand’s best winemakers at ely

Winemakers Kevin Judd and Matt Thomson will host a New Zealand wine evening at ely bar and brasserie, IFSC.

ely is both delighted and privileged to present Kevin Judd and his critically acclaimed Greywacke range at a special New Zealand wine evening. Judd, chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay for 25 years, was instrumental in platforming New Zealand winemaking into the global market.

Greywacke is Judd’s exciting new solo venture and displays all the hallmarks of his famed style: superb intensity, concentration and balance, supported by ripe fruit and fine minerality.

Joining Kevin will be Matt Thomson. Thomson’s first vintage was in 1994 and he is most certainly one of Judd’s greatest protégés. While operating his own wine consulting business in Marlborough, he also co-owns the awarding Tinpot Hut. He is one of the most highly accredited winemakers in New Zealand, and won White Wine Maker of the Year in 2008 for his contribution to New Zealand winemaking. He is renowned for producing wines with finesse and elegance, reminiscent of his French counterparts.

Kevin and Matt will showcase their wines in a 3 course meal of dishes specially created for the evening by ely’s executive chef, Ryan Stringer.

Throughout the evening guests will be treated to Greywacke’s flagship Sauvignon Blanc, his Sweet Gewurztraminer and a sneak preview to his new Pinot Noir. We will also highlight emerging styles from the New Zealand market and taste Matt’s Tinpot Hut Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Gris amongst others.

Date: 17th January

Time: 7pm

Venue: ely bar and brasserie, IFSC

Ticket Price: €69.00

Please contact ely at 676 8986 or email wineclub@elywinebar.com for further details and to purchase tickets.

Check out the links below to read more on Kevin

Harperwells Review

Greywacke Website

ely website

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrivé 2011

Have Beaujolais Nouveau at ely this November 17th!

According to French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is released at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November. This decades-old tradition is celebrated worldwide. Georges Duboeuf is credited for marketing it to the rest of the world and making it a global tradition. His nickname is “The King of Beaujolais” for the fame he has brought to the region. Duboeuf took the tradition of the “new” wine that started in the Beaujolais region as a way to toast the harvest and turned it into a global celebration.

Beaujolais Nouveau is “new” Beaujolais. The Gamay grape is hand-harvested, fermented, bottled, and available in a matter of weeks: What is harvested in September 2010 is on sale by the third Thursday in November of the same year. It is tradition to have a bottle of Nouveau upon release and it offers a preview of the quality of the vintage and style that the winemaker will produce in their Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, and Cru Beaujolais, which are released the following spring or summer.

Beaujolais is located in the southern part of France’s Burgundy region and the wines are typically light, fruity, easy to drink, and affordable. Beaujolais is different from most of Burgundy due to its focus on the Gamay grape for its red wines, instead of Pinot Noir, which is the red grape used in the rest of Burgundy. As for many of the regions in France, years of knowledge and experience have proven which grape is best for any area, and for the granite-laden hills of Beaujolais, that grape is Gamay.  

Traditionally, the wine has fruity raspberry and strawberry flavors and a hint of cranberry tartness that makes it food friendly and allows it to be served slightly chilled.

All three elys will be serving Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau for €7 a glass or €28 for the bottle from 17th November.

Enjoy this year’s Nouveau!

Check out elywinebar.com for more details.

 

Events at ely 2011

ely are delighted to announce a sneak preview of the events pencilled in for next year!

We will continue with the very successful wine evenings on Thursday nights at ely wine bar, Ely Place. All our evenings will feature a guest speaker; be it a winemaker, an importer or an wine specialist! Ticket price is €30 and includes a supper dish to match the wines.

Thursday 20th January: Bordeaux (€35 per person)

Thursday 27th January: Rieslings from around the worldThursday 3rd February: Rhone (€35 per person)

Thursday 10th February: Languedoc-Roussillon  Thursday 24th February: Italy

Kevin Judd, founding member of Cloudy Bay, has left after 25 years to set up his own label – Greywacke. He is one of the founding fathers of New Zealand wine and an inspiration to many winemakers, and winedrinkers(!), around the world. He is only in Ireland on the 17th January next year and ely jumped at the chance to showcase the new Greywacke range. We will match each of his wines with a specially prepared dish from ely’s organically sourced produce. Guests will also be treated to a sneak preview of his world class Pinot Noir. Tickets will cost €69 per head. To read more on Kevin, just click here.

ely’s 6 week wine appreciation course will run every Tuesday from the 18th January – 22nd February 2011. Each evening you will taste 6 wines, recieve detailed course notes and have a specially prepared dinner.

Please click here for more details on all events or email Michelle at wineclub@elywinebar.com.

New Years Eve at ely wine bar

USA wine night: Cheeseburgers and Pinot Noir!

The final in our Autumn wine tasting evenings was held last night.

We tasted the Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling from Washington which was delicious. Absolutely brimming with fruit character and ever so slightly off dry with fresh acidity, it was perfect with the lemon sole we served up. So many people run a mile at the mention of Riesling, but this example is sure to convert any doubters! We then tasted the best of USA reds served up with our famous organic burgers: Erath Pinot Noir from Oregon, Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot from Washington State and the cult classic and much coveted Stag’s Leap ‘Artimus’ Cabernet from Napa Valley. Each wine brought something special to the table, the Pinot had gentle aromas of cherry fruit and spice whilst the Merlot, which we all agreed was outstanding value for money, has a velvety smooth texture, excellent weight and was brimming with plummy fruit characters, chocolate and caramel aromas. It really was pleasure in a glass! To celebrate the end of our tasting evenings for 2010 we opened a few bottles of the ‘Artimus’ Cabernet from Stag’s Leap. A ripple of excitement spread across the room when everyone saw Stag’s Leap on the tasting sheet and it did not disappoint. Dark and intense, with layers of cassis fruits, wood, smoke, cedar and spice. Dare I say it was better than the Pauillac we tasted last week (but only marginally!!)!

Lot’s of happy wine tasters left ely wine bar last night eagerly awaiting news of the agenda for Spring. Watch this space, we will be finalising details in the coming weeks and will have some of the best winemakers in the world – no exaggerating – at ely.

We must pay a special thanks to Dale Gatcum who works for Stag’s Leap and Chateau Ste Michelle. He spent the evening giving us history on the wines and sharing some of the secrets behind their success: Thanks Dale!

See elywinebar.com for more details.

Bordeaux tasting night – a lesson in wine and cheese matching

ely’s penultimate tasting, held last night, was Bordeaux.

Bordeaux is always an exciting tasting to attend: it raises the big question about one of the most revered wines in the world, what is all the fuss about?

With this in mind we selected 4 wines to illustrate the main styles from the region. The winning line up included; Bordeaux Blanc Chateau Thieuley 2007 made primarily from Semillon with some Sauvignon Blanc, Pauillac Chateau Gaudin 2005, Pomerol Les Colombiers de Feytit Clinet 2006 and to finish up the deliciously sweet Cadillac 2006 from Chateau Haut Rian. All the wines are from family run wineries and were hand selected by Paddy Keogh of Wines Direct. 

Having selected the wines we then faced a big problem: what cheeses will best compliment these wines. Sheridan’s suggested 4 fantastic cheeses from France and Ireland.

To match the white Bordeaux we chose a goat’s cheese Sainte-Maure de Touraine from Loire. This has a deliciously creamy texture with fresh acidity that lifts the zingy aromatics in the wine. Most people had never tried a Bordeaux Blanc and were instantly converted! We paired the Cabernet Sauvignon based Pauillac with a young Comte. The delicate nuttiness and earthy nuances were an instant hit and was easily the evening’s winning combination. For the sweet wine we went with the very classic pairing of blue cheese and sweet wine. Crozier Blue is made in Tipperary by the people who also make Cashel Blue. Needless to say it was a hit: the acidity and saltiness of the cheese worked wonderfully with the natural sweetness of the perfectly balanced Cadillac. Unfortunately I have to admit that we made a mistake with match number 3, Pomerol with Reblochon. It just didn’t work. Our Pomerol, which had mellowed with some bottle age, got into a fist fight with the robust Reblochon. The outcome was that everybody drank the wine, and the Reblochon remained on the plate uneaten.

The tasting was such a massive hit that we have decided to kick off 2011 with another one on 21st January.

USA night next Thursday, 11th November, is our last tasting this side of Christmas and we will be showing the best of California and Washington. Tickets are still available, €30 per head, please call ely wine bar on 676 8986 for more details and too reserve your space.

See elywinebar.com for more details.

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