We're blessed to have so many small independent expert wine shops in Ireland. As you enter, you'll be greeted by name and most likely be asked how you got on with your previous purchase. And a couple of times a year, they'll have offers on wine which are unbeatable. The following are available, in limited quantities, from independent wine shops, including: Kelly's Wine Vault (Clontarf, Dublin), La Touche Wines (Greystones, Co Wicklow), Cellars Big Wine Warehouse (Naas Road, Dublin), Deveneys (Dundrum, Dublin), Celtic Whiskey (Dublin). Prices quoted are Kelly's prices.
Jonathan Malthus is a British winemaker who was at the forefront of the garagiste movement in France, which was all about small-scale, modern styles of wine. He then set up a new venture in Australia, the Colonial Estate. The Émigré is a blend of syrah, grenache, mouvedre and small quantities of other grapes. The result? Opulent, rich, yet smooth and silky. Stock up – this will continue to reward for the next 10 years
The main focus of Barossa is usually shiraz and to a lesser extent grenache and mouvedre. That's changing a bit, with some parts of the Barossa better suited to cabernet sauvignon. Malthus uses similar techniques to those employed in his French estate and the result, with a little bit of age, is a wine which has softened or mellowed into a smooth nectar
Oriel is a strange concept – a global brand with iconic wines from every important or trendy region. The cynic in me says hype. My palate disagrees. Etereo is Italian for ethereal, a word often used to describe barolo. This is the real deal – highly refined, delicate, out of this world, heavenly, rich and spiced; but perfectly balanced.
A Brunello di Montalcino in all but name. Careful pruning and minimal intervention tied to the phases of the moon underpin the thinking of winemaker Giuseppe Maria Sesti, previously a philosopher and student of ancient astronomy. Plums and cherries; elegant, balanced and ultra-smooth. Sangiovese is the grape, but this could easily be mistaken for the best of Burgundy
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