ely Big Tasting March 2014

So the first Big Tasting of 2014 has been and gone, and, thanks to all of our suppliers and all who attended, it was a fantastic success. As usual, we asked for your feedback, in particular on your favourite wines, beers or ciders of the evening. We got lots of feedback, most genuine, some humorous, and some downright illegible! Must be something to do with the wine…While wine is the main attraction of the Big tasting, we have expanded it to include Irish Ciders, Craft Beers, and the best of Irish Cheese. So a massive thanks to the one and only Sheridans Cheesemongers and Emma, for their contribution on the evening. Thanks too to Barry Rownan, our Beer-man for joining in on the fun, and the holy trinity of Irish Cider- Craigies, Stonewell and Longueville House (watch this space for a BIG Cider Tasting).

Obviously, we couldn’t do any of this without the help of all of our wonderful suppliers, so rather than naming you all here I’ll just buy you all a pint!

Anyway, after reviewing all the feedback and counting votes we have chosen a top three of the tasting, and as usual, it’s full of surprises. Certain wines always show well- Bollinger Special Cuvee and Taittinger Nocturne appear on almost every list, as does the Warres Otima 10yr Tawny port. But the three that came top this year were fairly unexpected. So, counting down, at number….

NYETimber3 – Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009, England. An English sparkling wine???

But of course. These wines have a massive reputation across the water, and have been slowing building a loyal following here in recent times.

Nyetimber are quite possibly the best, and this vintage is a stunner!
Ripe, rich and biscuity, with a lovely, lemon fresh acidity, this is not just a credible alternative to Champagne, this is a world class wine in its own right! The secret is out.


Xestal2. Bodegas y Viñedos Gancedo ‘Xestal’ DO Bierzo

From the little known but soon- to-be-massive region of Bierzo in North West Spain, this wine is 100% Mencia and the vineyards are between 60 and 100yrs old.
The wine is a deep purple colour, with raspberry, strawberry and a fantastic earthiness on the nose. The palate is even better- medium bodied, slightly tart red fruit and a touch of cedar and oak, but perfectly balanced.
This is a wonderfully distinctive and unique wine, and its popularity at the tasting shows that wines with character and personality can also be crowd-pleasers!

And finally, the wine that most of you voted as your favourite of the tasting. While I may have been a little surprised that it came out top, I’m also absolutely delighted!


1. Wagner Stempel Spätburgunder, Rheinhessen, Germany 2011

A GERMAN RED WINE! Yes, those Germans just keep surprising us… While everyone in the wine business can- and will- wax lyrical about those amazing German Rieslings, Spätburgunder doesn’t get quite the same attention. Hopefully that’s all about to change.
First things first- Spätburgunder is Pinot Noir. The name may not be quite as sexy, but this is Germany, and they don’t really do sexy names. But they do make damn sexy wines! German Pinot (or Spätburgunder) tends to be quite light in colour, but with wonderfully intense flavours and incredible finesse. This wine, from the fantastic Wagner-Stempel winery encapsulates all that is great about Pinot as a variety, and Germany as a wine producer- delicate but beautifully flavoured, with raspberry, cherry and redcurrant flavours. It is softly perfumed, silky textured and utterly delicious. Do yourself a favour and try this wine. Not only will you forgive the unsexy name, you may even come to love it!

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening. Each week a guest speaker will present a selection of wines from the given region and we’ll serve up a supper dish to match. All wine tastings take place at ely bar & brasserie and start at 7pm sharp.

Thursday April 17th – Wines of the Northern Rhone. ely bar & brasserie, IFSC €45

Thursday May 8th – Italy’s traditional Grape Varieties. ely bar & brasserie, IFSC €45

Thursday May 22nd – Alsace. ely bar & brasserie, IFSC €45

For more info visit http://www.elywinebar.ie/about/wine-apreciation/ely-wine-tastings


So the first ely Big Tasting of 2014 is finally upon us!

Thanks to all of our brilliant suppliers, along with many of the ely favourites, we have some wonderful new wines, craft beers and ciders for you to taste.

ely_Big_TastingDon’t miss the new Romanian Pinot, or the sparkling wine from Hungary. Try the Ballyhook flyer or Stonewell ciders alongside some of the finest of Irish cheeses, or the organic smoked beef from our family farm matched with some great craft beers. There will also be a fantastic selection of wines from France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Argentina, USA and beyond.

Bar manager at ely gastro bar, Barry Rowan will be plucking out some of his favourite Irish and International craft beers from ely gastro bar’s range of over 50 craft beers.

Don’t forget to make sure you get the chance to taste the Nyetimber- an English sparkling wine that rivals many a Champagne for quality.

However, the purists among you can rest easy- we’ll have some Champagne superstars there too! It’s looking like it’s going to be a beautiful day- come join us on the terrace for a glass of bubbles before, or a cleansing craft beer after!

Download ely_Big_tasting_wines_2014

Follow us on twitter @elywinebars #elybigtasting

Grapecircus @ Sheridans
Gruner Veltliner Arndorfer, Austria 2011
Edalo Blanco Contreras Ruiz 2012
Rosso Piceno Vigna di Gino San Lorenzo
Rosso di Monteraponi, Tuscany
Chianti When we Dance, Il Palagio 2012
Barbera Conterno Fantino, Piemonte 2011
Tenuta di Aglaea ‘N’anticchia’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2009

Benziger Merlot, Sonoma Valley 2010
Benziger Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley 2012
De Martino Legado Chardonnay, Chile 2011
De Martino Organic Sauvignon Blanc, Chile 2012
De Martino Legado Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Paparuda Pinot Noir, Romania 2012
Paparuda Pinot Grigio, Romania 2013
Taittinger Nocturne Champagne
Warres Otima 10yr Tawny port

Nomad Wines
Lombeline ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ Loire Valley 2012
Lucien Crochet ‘Le Chene’ Sancerre 2012
Domaine Chavy-Chouet Meursault ‘Vireuil ‘2010
Chateau de Leyguette Bordeaux 2011
Domaine Hauts Blanville ‘Peyras’ Coteaux du Languedoc 2010
Simon Bize ‘Les Perrieres’ Bourgogne 2009

La Goya’ Manzanilla, San Lucar de Barrameda
Rafael Palacios ‘Bolo’ Godello, Valdeorras, Spain 2012
Ch. La Grolet, AoC Bordeaux, France 2010
Domaine Moureau, Madiran, France 2010
Acon Roble, Ribera del Duero 2011
Bodegas Ponce ‘P.F’ Manchuela, Spain 2010
Bodegas y Vinedos Gancedo ‘Xestal’ Bierzo, Spain 2007

On the Grapevine
Verus Pinot Gris, Slovenia 2012
Waltner Gruner Veltliner, Austria 2013
Kiryianni Petra, Greece 2013
Kiryianni Ramnista, Greece 2010
Les Hauts de Montforts, Minervois, France 2011
Degani Amarone, Italy

Wicklow Wine Company
Gruner Veltliner HASEL, Birgit Eichinger, Kamptal, Austria 2012
Riesling trocken, Wagner-Stempel, Rheinhessen, Germany 2012
Vinhas do Lasso Branco , Lisboa, Portugal 2011
Spatburgunder, Wagner-Stempel, Rheinhessen, Germany 2011
Sa de Baixo, Douro, Portugal 2012
Paco dos Cunhas, Dao, Portugal 2010

Le Caveau
Domaine de Ménard “Cuvée Marine”, Cotes de Gascogne, France 2012
Bodegas Menade, Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2013
Valli Unite “Ciapé”, Cortese, Piedmont, Italy 2012
Henri Marionnet, Touraine Gamay, Loire, France 2012
Poggio Argentiera, Morellino di Scansano, Tuscany, Italy 2011
Domaine Chaume Arnaud ‘Vinsobres’, Rhone, France 2011

Liberty Wines
Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, England 2009
Vesevo Falanghina, Campagnia, Italy 2012
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2013
Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris, Yarra Valley, Australia 2012
Azamor, Alentejo, Portugal 2009
Alpha Zeta ‘R’ Ripasso, Veneto 2012
Domaine Boisset Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2012
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico, Tuscany Italy 2011
Willunga 100 Grenache, Mclaren Vale, Austraila 2010
Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy 2013
Innocent Bystander Syrah, Yarra Valley, Australia 2010

Finca Montepedrosa, Rueda, Spain 2012
Soalheiro Alvarinho, Portugal 2013
La Source de Vignelaure Rose, Provence 2012
Domaine Joncier “Le Gourmand” Lirac 2012
Cline Pinot Noir, California 2012
Carmelo Rodero ‘9 months’ Tempranillo, Pedrosa del Duero 2012

Wines Direct
Domaine Feline Jourdaine Picpoul de Pinet 2012
Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ 2013
Craiglee Chardonnay, Sunbury, Victoria 2009
Bret Brothers St. Veran, Burgundy 2011
Haut Rian Cuvee Prestige
Paper Road Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ 2012
Mas Julian, Les Terasses du Larzac 2010
L’Hortus Grande Cuvee, Coteaux du Languedoc 2010
Feytit-Clinet “Les Colombieres”, Pomerol 2011
Chateau Haut Segottes St. Emilion Grand Cru 2006
Chateau Lalande, St. Julien, Bordeaux 2008

Cellar Door Wines
Mohua Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ 2012
Mohua Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ 2009
Perigrine Pinot Noir, Marlborough NZ 2009
Findlater Wines
Bollinger ‘Special Cuvee’ Champagne NV
Pionero Mundi Albarino, Spain 2012
St Clair Gruner Veltliner, NZ 2012
Cono Sur ’20 Barrells’ Pinot Noir, Chile 2011
Penfolds Koonunga Hill ’76’ Shiraz Cabernet, South 2012
Beringer Zinfandel, California 2011

Mitchells Wine Merchants
Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Frizzante
Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Dry 2012
Alta Vista Premium Malbec 2012 150cl
Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2010
Sipp Mack Riesling Tradition 2011
Sipp Mack Pinot Blanc 2012
Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado
Lustau Solera Reserva Brandy de Jerez

Irish Craft Cider

Irish & International Craft Beers

One of the best wines we’ve tasted in years!

Donnafugata ‘Ben Ryé’ Passito di Pantelleria 2011

This stunning dessert wine come from Pantelleria, a tiny island off Sicily, but is actually closer to Africa than Italy. Arabic influences aboundwith Donnafugata, from the name of the wine- Ben Ryé is derived from the Arabic ‘son of the wind’ – to the beautiful Arabian nights inspired labels.

Donna Fugata

The wine itself is suitably exotic!
The grape is Zibibbo, an ancient Sicilian grape variety which is probably more commonly known as Muscat of Alexandria. The vines are more than 100 years old, and this is expressed in the concentration of flavour. A beautiful amber colour, incredibly enticing nose of apricot, orange peel, sweet orange and spice.

On the palate it is rich and sweet but perfectly balanced, with the crisp acidity providing a perfect freshness to all of those wonderfully evocative flavours. It is quite simply the most wonderful dessert wine we’ve tasted in years. Scrap that- it’s one of the best wines we’ve tasted in years. It is available in ely winebar, Ely Place by the glass for just €9.

Treat yourself!

Pop in to ely wine bar for a bite to eat and a couple of drinks.
Book now at elywinebar.com

Wines of the Languedoc by Ian Brosnan

Another wonderful wine tasting in ely bar & brasserie which showed the range and quality of the wines currently being produced in this part of France.

Previously thought of as a ‘poor man’s Rhone’, the Languedoc has become the most exciting wine region in France whilst remaining the best value- everyone wins!

ely_wine_bar_Languedoc_wine_tasting_04First up was Domaine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet 2012– unquestionably one of the producers of this grape. Crisp, lemon -fresh and a lovely dry, minerally finish- this is the perfect wine for our rapidly approaching summer. Think shellfish…..

We followed this with a beautiful Rosé from Domaine de L’Hortus– one of our favourites!-Bergerie de L’Hortus. A blend of mostly Grenache and Syrah, this is a fresh, dry rosé, with aromas of strawberry and hints of pepper. Fantastic!

Two ely stalwarts next, Chateau La Baronne Corbieres 2009 and Luc Lapeyre ‘ L’Amourier’ Minnervois 2010. Both have graced all three wine lists at various times and both represent fantastic value for money.
Domaine de L’Hortus again, but this time the Grand Cuvee 2010 – a stunning blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Rich, spicy but incredibly smooth- this is one of the classic wines of the Languedoc.


Last up was the sensational Mas Julien, Terrasses du Larzac. Winemaker Olivier Julien has produced what is quite possibly the finest wine in the entire region- a blend of Syrah, Carignan and Mourvedre, it is intensely flavoured with all the classic Languedoc flavours- blackberry, spice and dried herbs- but so wonderfully elegant that it’s hard to believe what you are drinking! A world class wine that you should try at least once.
These wines are not available in wine shops or supermarkets, but can all be bought directly from the fantastic Wines Direct website www.winesdirect.ie
Happy shopping.

For upcoming wine tastings visit http://www.elywinebar.ie

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