The festive round up

Marques de Monistrol Cava Rosé
Marques de Monistrol Cava Rosé

Wine ranges were noticeably good this year and though it might be a bit late for putting in orders to your wholesaler, here are some tasty treats from 2008 which you can enjoy over Christmas just for yourself



8 December 2008

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Prinz von Hessen H Riesling Kabinett 2007 (Classic Drinks €10.20). Classic German Riesling, with light floral aromas, zesty acidity yet ripe, well defined flavours of green grape and apple. Good length.

Elena Walch Alto Adige Pinot Grigio 2007 (Quinessential Wines €9.75). There’s also a decent entry pinot grigio in this classy range from Northern Italy as well as a nice example of the world’s most underrated grape, pinot bianco/blanc.

Devil’s Corner 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Ampersand €8.10). I served this wine at a party lately and the take up was twice the level of our red choice for the night. Well balanced style that clearly taps perfectly into the current fashion for characterful sauvignons that aren’t too over the top when it comes to the grass and gooseberries.

Mondavi Chardonay 2005 (Allied Drinks €18). Well defined lemon flavours with just a hint of evolution. Lovely turkey wine and works with many cheeses.


Rives Blanques Blanquette de Limoux Brut (Febvre €16.85). France’s non Champagne sparklers are still largely unexplored by Irish drinkers and this is an appealing example made from chardonnay, chenin and mauzac grapes. Fresh zesty apple and pear flavour make this a lovely aperitif.

Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui (Febvre €18). A low alcohol, sweet, Italian red sparkler that works well with ice cream, pavlova, or fruit desserts. Lovely colour with nicely defined red fruit flavours.

Marques de Monistrol Cava Rosé (United Wine/Febvre €11) Still one of the best value sparklers, this comes in white and rosé.


Condado di Oriza Ribera del Duero Reserva 2003 (Cassidy €16). An example offering good concentration for the money without being overblown. Lots of spicy dark fruit and an excellent choice for game and beef.

Antinori Pepoli Chianti Classico 2005 (Findlater Grant €10). Cherry-filled, juicy wine with just a touch of allspice. This consistent label is very good with turkey and duck.

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2005 (Liberty €15.65). Still in Chianti but moving up the price scale to one of the region’s very best makers. Its smooth, characterful cherry and plum delivers on price and, for a true seasonal treat, try Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo

Chianti Classsico Riserva 2003. It’s €28 but you’ll get one the finest Chiantis on the market this year. Drink with turkey but leave some for sipping afterwards.

Fortius Reserva Navarra 1999 (Gilbeys €9.50). There’s still good value in Spain’s Navarra region and this is a nicely aged wine, drinking now, which would be perfect for turkey or small game birds such as pheasant and partridge.

Yalumba Shiraz Viognier 2006 (Cassidy €11). Yalumba is an Australian which sets great store by its premium bottlings, some of which reach €50 trade. I’ve always tended to prefer their workhorse labels- they’re consistent, great value and often more restrained and balanced. This Shiraz Viognier is elegant, with lovely black fruit flavours, but if you fancy a special treat you can go for the Handpicked bottling at €20.



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