ely wines for Summer #010 – Final part!

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Here goes a recap on some of the wines we’ve featured over the last couple of weeks. I’ve attached the list of wines below- hopefully you had an opportunity to try at least some of them. If you haven’t, don’t worry- there is plenty of time left in this summer, and many of these wines are ely favourites, so they might be around into autumn.

What will I be drinking for the rest of the summer- well, in moderate quantities (obviously) and in no particular order…

German Riesling must be the ultimate summer wine, low in alcohol, crisp, fresh and with perfect fruit/acid balance. My #1 choice.

Italian whites – Italy is producing some wonderful white wines from native varieties which have far more character than you may have come to expect from Italian whites. Look out for-Pinot Bianco, Gavi, Lugana, Soave, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Falanghina, Fiano, Greco and Grillo.  And when you’ve done them, try Favorita, Erbaluce, Fruliano, Grechetto, Pecorino, Inzolia, Catarratto and Zibibbio. When you done with all of them, give me a shout and I’ll list some more!

Look east! We are finally starting to see more and more wines from Eastern Europe on our shelves, and some are mighty impressive. For whites in particular look to Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia and Greece.

Lighter reds . Sounds obvious for summer, but where to look? Well start with the stunning Pinots from Germany and Northern Italy- there is one of each listed below.  Beaujolais may be struggling to regain the reputation it once had, but that is usually when they start making their best wines- a simple Beaujolais villages , served cool, in the garden with lunch or a light dinner makes for a perfect summer evening.

Sherry, Sherry,Sherry. Did I mention Sherry? It may still have its detractors, but its (fanatical) followers are getting louder and louder. Fino or Manzanilla, well chilled, with some straight-forward nibbles – olives, cured meats etc.  – is a match made in winey heaven.

ely wines for summer 2014:

Paparuda Pinot Noir, Timisoara, Romania 2012

Raphael Palacios ‘Bolo’ Godello, Valdeorras, Spain 2013

Wagner Stempel Riesling, Rheinhessen, Germany 2013

Franz Haas Pinot Nero, Alto-Adige, Italy 2010

Nyetimber English 2009 Classic Cuvee

Domaine Decelle-Villa Cote de Brouilly, Burgundy, France 2012

Cullen Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ‘Mangan Vineyard’, Margaret River, Western Australia 2011

G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba, Langhe, Piemonte 2012

Domaine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc 2013

Taittinger Champagne NV, France

Broglia la Meirana Gavi di Gavi, Italy 2013

Les Deux Cols ‘Cuvee Alize’ Cotes du Rhone, France 2012

Lucien Crochet ‘Le Chene’ Sancerre 2012

Domaine de Millet rosé Cotes de Gascogne 2013

Wagner Stempel Spätburgunder, Rheinhessen, Germany 2012

Hernando y Souridais ‘Antidoto’ Ribera del Duero, Spain 2011

Meursault ‘Les Vireuils’ Domaine Chavy-Chouet 2010

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening and learn more about wines.

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. See more at http://www.elywinebar.ie/about/wine-apreciation/ely-wine-tastings

 

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ely wines for Summer #009

In celebrating Bastille Day (week) we have chosen a couple of French classics for this week! We appreciate that these are at the higher end of the price spectrum, but they are an absolute treat!

Meursault ‘Les Vireuils’ Domaine Chavy-Chouet 2010

chavy-chouet
Romaric Chavy is the 7th generation of his family to run this winery. Their vineyards are evenly divided between Meursault and Puligny Montrachet with holdings in many of the finest vineyards in both. Romaric has a clear vision of the style of wines he wants to produce, with the emphasis on freshness rather than creaminess, and minerality over oak. As a result, the wines see only 25-30% new oak, and minimum battonage. The 2010 ‘Les Vireuils’ is a perfect example of his vision- the nose is subtle yet complex, with aromas of white flower and citrus. The influence of the oak only becomes apparent on the palate, not as a flavour but as texture, rounding out the lemon-fresh streak. As the wine opens, the inherent richness of Meursault becomes more apparent, but never overcomes the precision and finesse of this superb wine. Just try to drink it slowly.

With food… Go all out and have a bottle of this with the amazing seafood platter in ely Winebar. Lobster- check… Dingle Bay brown crab.. check.. Carlingford oysters, prawn cocktail, tempura squid and much more.

 

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009

Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Chateauneuf-du-Pape might not strike you as a summer wine, and in most cases you’d probably be right. In fact, it’s a wine that many of us associate with winter, or even Christmas. But that doesn’t have to be the case. While some Chateauneuf is big and burly- all power and strength – there are some which are much more refined. Janasse is one of the latter. Put simply, it reminds us of why Chateauneuf-du-Pape is held in such high esteem. A blend of 80% Grenache with 10% each of Syrah and Mourvédre, its defining characteristics are elegance, purity and concentration. There are more famous names and more expensive wines produced in this region, but none match Janasse for quality, consistency and value.

With food…. Just keep it simple. Have some organic Burren beef from our family farm. A 28 day dry-aged fillet with mushroom wellington and horseradish mash in ely Bar & Brasserie should do the trick!

Check out the 8 previous parts of ely wines for Summer 2014:

ely wines for Summer #001

ely wines for Summer #002

ely wines for Summer #003

ely wines for Summer #004

ely wines for Summer #005

ely wines for Summer #006

ely wines for Summer #007

ely wines for Summer #008

Join us for an ely wine tasting evening and learn more about wines.
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. See more at http://www.elywinebar.ie/about/wine-apreciation/ely-wine-tastings

Syrah & Shiraz

Syrah & Shiraz.
I always find this to be one of the most interesting tastings of the year, not just because it is one of my favourite grapes, but because everyone who attends seems to have an expectation confounded, or a prejudice overturned. Those committed to the Northern Rhone find a connection with the elegance and restraint of great New Zealand Syrah- this has got to be the future of NZ reds??- or the constantly impressive cool-climate Aussies – Clonakilla.

Likewise, those more accustomed to the New World styles find themselves seduced by the wonderful smoky, savoury character of St. Joseph or Crozes Hermitage. And then there are the outsiders, wines which fit neither profile, but express an entirely new side to this fantastic grape- Tuscan Syrah being the perfect example.

Yan Chave

Choosing highlights from a tasting like this is always difficult, simply because I could easily argue a case for all of the wines we tasted. So instead, I’ll choose the two that got the best feedback from our esteemed and eager tasters!
Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage 2011 – long a favourite in ely, not just because Yann himself is such a character, but because his wines have such a wonderful purity of flavour.
Sourced from three different terroirs, the 2011 is a stunner – intense dark berry fruit, that lip-smacking acidity that you only get from great Northern Rhône Syrah, and lovely smoky, savoury flavours starting to come through on the finish.
John_DuvalJohn Duval Entity 2010- at the far end of the Syrah/Shiraz spectrum, but just a beautifully put together! The nose is incredible- we must have 20 different aromas from blackberry and cherry to anise, chocolate, coffee and licourice. The palate is rich but not heavy, velvety smooth with everything in seamless harmony. The flavours last an age… this wine left the room in absolute silence. Well, before the “wow”’ started!
So, after all those amazing wines we now turn our attention from the Northern Rhone to the South, and in particular, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Watch this space !!!!

Click here  more info and to register to an ely wine tastings evenings

Chateauneuf-du-pape tasting

Our last Chateauneuf-du-pape tasting in ely bar & brasserie in  February was one to remember. Hosted by Simon Tyrell of Tyrell’s Wines, it was by turn informative, entertaining and downright delicious. Simon is the leading Rhone Valley expert in the country and has intimate knowledge of the area, its wines and winemakers. One guest even commented that he seemed to know each and every rock in each vineyard.

After an in-depth history lesson that took in everything from 14th century popes to flying saucers –they are banned in Chateauneuf-du-Pape by the way- we got down to a few facts.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the most important appellation in the Southern Rhone valley, and larger in size than the entire Northern Rhone, covering almost 3186ha. There are 13 permitted grape varieties, including 5 white, making approximately 12 ½ million bottles each year.
And then the tasting…. We started with a Clos des Papes white 2000. Clos des Papes is one of the leading properties in the region and quite possibly the best producer of white in all of Chateauneuf. Their whites are always a treat to taste but all the more so after a few years bottle age.

The 2000 – an equal blend of Grenache blanc, Roussane, clairette, picpoul and bouleblanc- showed aromas of ripe pear and tropical fruit, followed by a full, honeyed palate with hints of fennel. Remarkably fresh for a wine of its age, this is due the winemakers decision to inhibit the malolactic fermentation, preserving the fresher malic acids and giving the wine the ability to age.
The first of the reds was Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone villages ‘Terre d’Argile’ 2009.
Janasse is a property owned and run by Aime Sabon, consisting of 50ha spread between Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Rhone, and Cotes du Rhone villages. The ‘Terre d’Argile’ 2009 is one third each Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre and fermented in concrete tanks- concrete holds a constant temperature more effectively in these hot climates. The wine was an explosion of dark fruit-plums, blackberries and damsons- and provincial herbs, with very fine tannins and a lovely freshness on the finish.

 Next up was Clos des Pape 2008, one of our favourite producers and clearly one that Simon also feels quite passionate about. Composing of roughly 60% Grenache, there was lovely cherry, raspberry and cinnamon on the nose, with the spice really coming through on the palate- black and white pepper from the Grenache, liquorice and leather from the Mouvedre. Drinking well but still very much a baby, this has years and years of life to look forward to.
 Domaine Usseglio ‘Cuvee de mon Aïeul’ 2004 A small producer with just 16ha in Chateauneuf, which in turn is divided between more than 30 separate lots. The wine is 70% Grenache, the balance split between Syrah and Mouvedre. The hot vintage was reflected on the nose, with baked plum and fig, and yet there was a surprising freshness on the palate- seemingly undimmed by the years in bottle. The aging did however soften the tannins, resulting in a finely grained finish.
Domaine du Pegau 1999 Magnum To finish on a high…. Firstly, about the
vineyards.

ely bar & brasserie, IFSCA total of 18 ha spread out over 11 separate parcels, the wines are generally about 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah 5% Mouvedre. And the wine… An amazing nose, which we put to the room and got back barnyard, farmyard and horse hair !!
The fruit and spice had combined with age to give a wonderfully earthy aroma, and on the palate was incredibly soft and satin-like, with a medium to full body, and a flavour that went on for an age….

It was a worthy finish to an excellent tasting, and our thanks again to Simon, who provided some of the older vintages direct from his own cellar.
Visit our website for more information about wine tasting and events. http://www.elywinebar.ie
Or contact wineclub@elywinebar.com

Rhone V Barossa: a wine tasting in Dublin

Last night  at ely we made some fantastic comparisons of Shiraz, Grenache and Viognier. The original idea was to compare only Shiraz, known as Syrah in France, from the 2 most iconic producing regions. However John McDonnell of Wine Australia came up with an inspired idea – let’s look at the iconic wines of Rhone, not just Shiraz, but Grenache – the master of Southern Rhone and Viognier – the lush white grape grown across the whole Rhone.

We chose contemporary Frenchies to compete against  traditional Aussies in a battle of the Rhone Rangers!

Viognier
Yalumba Y Series Vs Ogier Condrieu

Viognier is a lush white grape with a delicious oily texture , lots of alcohol and brimming with peaches, apricots and elderflower aromas. Viognier is a tricky grape to get right, it needs perfect ripening conditions, very talented viticulturalists and gentle winemaking. It is very difficult to pick a favourite between these two, largely because they fit into two completely different price brackets. The Y Series Yalumba is fresh, retaining all the delicious aromatics that can easily be lost for a Viognier at the entry price point. I, as well as most of the winetasters, were blown away by how much flavour and depth this wine had. The Condrieu on the other hand was stunning. Costing about €25 more in the shop than the Yalumba it wasn’t really a fair comparison. The Condrieu was golden in colour with savoury spices layered over the lush ripe fruit and oaky tones. Two delicious, too delicious…

 

Grenache
Domaine la Bouissiere, Gigondas Vs Henschke ‘Johann’s Garden’

Grenache – a real floosy of a grape! Grenache is a fairly easy grape to grow. It flourishes almost anywhere and produces wines that can be any thing from light,  juicy and alcoholic to dense, peppery and (yes) alcoholic. It’s just one of those grapes!! The key thing is to make a wine of elegance and restraint. Generally it is blended with Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault. This comparison was probably the most interesting of the evening. Henschke’s Johann’s Garden Grenache was from the 2004 vintage whilst the Gigondas was a much younger wine from the 2008 vintage. It was a tough one to call and again the Aussie’s totally blew my expectations: Henschke’s wine had all the characteristics of the a French wine with delicate fruit flavours, earthy spice and lots of herb characters whilst the Gigondas was much more robust and pronounced with lots intense flavours of cherries and liquorice. If we were to taste these blind we would be hard pressed to tell which part of the world they were from!

 

Syrah/Shiraz
Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage Vs John Duval ‘Entity’

Crozes Hermitage, like all appellations in Northern Rhone, is Syrah. Cote Rotie is the one exception having a good dash of Viognier in it to add perfume, but the likes of Hermitage, St Joseph and Cornas are pure Syrah. The Syrah produced in Northern Rhone is unlike those produced anywhere else in the world. They are dense and yet perfectly fragrant with herbs, spice and damsony fruit. Northern Rhone wines are for grown ups and Yann Chave’s Crozes Hermitage is just that. From the exceptional 2009 vintage it has a velvety mouthfeel, ripe tannins and fresh acidity. We served up assorted meat platters during the tasting which really complimented the fruit and structure of the Crozes. We teamed this up with John Duval’s ‘Entity’ Shiraz. John Duval was chief winemaker at Penfold’s for a number of years and 6 years ago he went out on his own. The results are stunning and the wine is so good that you just want to sit down and really savour the coffee and caramel spices layered with cherries, raspberries and plums.

Rhone Vs Barossa
It’s very hard to pick one region over the other but there was one standout wine for everyone – John Duval’s ‘Entity’ stole the show! It was ‘practically perfect in every way’!

 

ely is currently showcasing the best in Aussie wines with our ‘seasonal heroes’ promo. Why not enjoy a glass Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris or Pewsey Vale Riesling on the terrace of ely bar & brasserie in the IFSC. Yummy!

For more information on tastings and events please click here.

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