Posts Tagged ‘wine’


Tindall Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2007

Pinot Noir is always expensive, especially in Burgundy and the prices are creeping up for pinot from the New World also; so it is nice to pick up a bargain now and then. The company I work for imports this wine so you might expect me to have a natural bias. I have tasted it numerous times and never really thought about the quality and compared it to pinot noir from Burgundy.

I really like Burgundy but have never been blinded to the discrepancies in quality for the prices that you pay. This wine sells mainly in the on-trade mainly but is available in some independent off licences and sells there for about €20.

The 2007 vintage in Marlborough was heralded for the intensity of flavour for the Pinot Noir. Jancis Robinson declared that  ‘ the Marlborough vintage of 2007 may go down in history as the one that produced some of the most intense flavours ever and could be accompanied by lower alcohol levels’.

This wine is great, the flavours are ripe but have some restraint. The tannins are discreet and there is a great length on the palate with soft red fruits. I am not sure that it is possible to get a bottle of Burgundy for the same price and quality in Ireland but I will make it my mission to find out.


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A special thanks to Lar Veale from the Sunday Tribune for giving us a

mention back in May. Below the scanned article is the schedule for

Autumn 2010.





















WSET Intermediate Certificate in Wines and Spirits:   

Starts: Mon 13 Sep 10  

9 Sessions, 7pm – 9pm


Wine Appreciation Course:  

Starts: Tue 14 Sep 10 

6 Sessions, 7pm – 9pm


WSET Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits:  

Starts: Tue 09 Nov 10 

12 Sessions, 7pm to 9.30pm


To book courses log on to  www.dublinwineacademy.com


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Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru

My love affair with Jadot continues. I find their red wines to be consistently good albeit at premier cru level and beyond.  2003 was not the best vintage in Burgundy. It was scorchingly hot and the winemakers had the dilemma of picking early to contain the falling acidity or to wait and risk the massive alcohol levels. In general I would see this as a vintage to avoid though would be worth taking a punt on a bargain from a really good producer.

This wine was good but I think the level of new oak made the wine quite silky and detracted from some of the more obvious failings.  The wine had a harder edge than I would have expected from Beaune. There was a certain astringency probably due to the tannins and pips being green if the grapes were not physiologically ripe.

Description of Beaune wines from www.burgundy-wines.fr/

Beaune Climats © Burgundy Website

This appellation includes 42 Premiers Crus « climats ».

The appellations BEAUNE and BEAUNE PREMIER CRU may be followed by the

name of the « climat » of origin.

 Small differences appear, depending on the exact location. Wines from the northern end of the commune are more often intense and powerful, and those from the southern end are smoother and fuller. 

Red : This wine has a striking and vivid colour – a luminous scarlet, introducing aromas of black fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry) and red (cherry, gooseberry), as well as humus and underbrush. When older, it is redolent of truffle, leather, and spices. In youth, it charms the palate with the taste of crunchy fresh grape. Firm, upright and full of juice, it evolves with time, revealing a solid and absolutely convincing structure. 

White : This wine boasts a silky gold colour, flecked with green. It has a bouquet of almond, dried fruits, bracken, and white flowers. It may be enjoyed either young « on the fruit » or later for its mouth-filling mellowness.

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Emillia Romagna Stands

Attended Vinitlay this year as a guest of the Italian Trade Commission and the Emilia Romagna regional trade board. I met numerous producers showing a range of wine styles from across the whole of the region.

Before everyone turns away sarcastically muttering ‘mmmm delicious lambrusco’ there are many wines of excellent quality being made also.

Albana di Romagna

There are some interesting wines made from Sangiovese, like sangiovese di romagna DOC and blends from international grapes under DOCs such as Colli Bolognesi and Colli Piacentini. I was looking forward to tasting some Albana di Romagna which was the first white wine to be awarded DOCG in 1987. This is capable of making some excellent white wines in the right hands. It can be fresh with pear fruit, good structure and length. I tasted some tannic, yes tannic! & oaked versions also which were surprising and tough to love. Has a Pinot Grigio from Zerioli which was a copper colour and quite nice. The representative told me the colour came from the flesh rather than the skins. Not sure if that is true but will do a bit of research and ammend this post.

We stayed in Descenzano which is about 30 minutes away from Verona. I never visited Verona before and I have to say it is really beautiful. We entered throught the porte Nouva which was a sort of turnpike during the middle ages. The historic centre is beautiful with amazing architecture, some moorish influence, an amphitheatre and Juliet’s balcony for the romantics. Great wine bar called Enoteca Segreta. It is on Vicolo Samaritana and you can drink your bottle of wine on the street, in glasses – bag optional. The wine list is huge and not restricted to Italian wines. We had a 2004 Masi Amarone for €50, and 2 bottles of Gavi for €30 each. The Gavi tasted like nectar after drinking so much lambrusco.

Another town worth visiting is Sirmione. We went for dinner there one night and watched the Sun setting over lake Garda. Not a great fan of Italian food so won’t give any recommendation but there is another lovely little wine bar where you can sit outside on high stools resting your glass on a barrel.

Outside Sirmione

Lake Garda

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I am just finished an Intermediate Wine Course for Dublin Wine Academy and in the fifth class we tasted some Riesling. This is often the first time that many people taste Riesling and certainly an excellent German Riesling. I chose the Dr Thanisch Berncasteler Doctor, Riesling Kabinett, 2004 which comes from the famous vineyard site of Doctor in BernKastel in the Mosel Valley, Germany. 

Doctor ©irishhealth.com


This vineyard apparently was given the name Doctor after the wines were recommended as a cure for Prince Boedemund II who consumed large amounts of this wine and was cured of whatever ailment he had. He then declared that  ‘The very best Doctor grows on this Mosel mountain’ Wise words indeed and I am sure we have all had similar epiphanies. 

crusty ©Flickr


I did hear a crusty once say that he ‘worshipped at the altar of Buckfast’ but that might be something different altogether. 


Back to the vineyard now. The town of Bernkastel is located  between Trier and Koblenz and has nine single vineyard sites namely: Lay, Riesenberg, Bratehoefchen, Matheisbildchen, Schlossberg, Kurfuerstlay, Johannisbruenchen, Rosengaertchen, Sephaus and Doctor, which is the most famous of them all. 

Today the Doctor vineyard measures a little over one hectare, and is subdivided in 3 parts namely Thanisch-Erben, Thanisch Müller-Burggraef and Wegeler of Deinhard fame.
This Riesling has 8% alcohol and is a classified as a Kabinett under the Qualitätswein mit Pradikät. This was a light wine with crisp, nicely sour acidity, some slight aromas of kerosene and green apple flavours with a touch of sweetness. Great length and a truly inspiring wine. You won’t get much change out of €30 but a great experience to have.

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Nearly finished our first Intermediate Certificate course and have scheduled the Advanced Certificate for the 12th March.
Monday 15 March 2010
until Monday 21 June 2010

Duration & Times: 12 Monday Evenings 7pm to 9.30pm
No of sessions: 12 | 

The Advanced certificate is suitable for anyone wishing to gain in-depth knowledge of wines and spirits and builds upon the knowledge gained at Intermediate level. You will acquire a thorough understanding of the factors influencing the style, quality and price of wines from key wine producing regions of the world. You will also develop analytical tasting skills as tasting will be part of the examinations. If you are an employer wishing to train your staff this course will equip them with knowledge and understanding of a wide range of products. This course is suitable for someone in a supervisory level position in wine sales and service.

check www.dublinwineacademy.com for more details

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Diacetyl is a compound formed during malolactic fermentation. This ‘fermentation’  (bacterial action actually) reduces the acidity of wine and gives nutty and caramel flavours to the wine. A lot of wines undergo malo but sometimes the level of diacetyl is too high and it can actually spoil the wine imparting intense buttery flavours. I am coming across this more frequently in Chablis these days. The buttery flavour actually masks the primary fruit flavours of the wine. When faced with high natural acidity  some producers fear that the consumer will not enjoy these wines therefore they reduce the acidity with malo and sometimes to the detriment of the wine. Chablis is meant to have high acidity as this is part of its style and profile. Unfortunately this is just another case of wine being dumbed down for the consumer and ruined for the amateur.

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