It’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday and if you have forgotten to buy a present don’t forget that all the wines shops are still open and any of the wines below would be most welcome.
SuperValu’s annual Spanish Wine Fair began last Thursday and there are some genuine bargains to be had. Last week I featured the Torres Floralis Muscat (€12) dessert wine as one of the highlights but below you will find a few more.
SuperValu’s biggest selling red wine region is now Spain at 30% and their wine buyer was speaking recently (over Zoom) about how consumers are trading up a little now that we are all stuck at home. The Spanish sale this year includes some new wines from less well-known regions to encourage shoppers to venture a little outside their comfort zone. Don’t worry however there are plenty of old Rioja favourites in the sale too including Faustino 1 Gran Reserva for just €20 and Marques de Riscal Reserva for €18 and Magnums for just €30.
Among the guest wines are a clutch of wines at a tenner including a fragrant Gewurztraminer from Viñas del Vero in Somontano and some value reds and whites from regional Spain (see El Paular below). Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava is also reduced to €20 from €29.50 – you will struggle to find better Cava at that price.
Also recommended below is a Rosé Sancerre from Dunnes that is new to me and a good addition to their range. Dunnes are running a promo on fizz this weekend also with 25% off all Champagne and Sparkling wines and a gift pack of Laurent Miquel’s excellent rosé for €15 including a wine glass.
O’Donovans have their fruity Bosca Allegro Frizzante at €10 and a good selection of Prosecco and Champagnes at competitive prices including Moët Rosé (much better than regular Moët in my book) and Dom Pérignon if you are feeling extravagant.
Finally below is a delicious Pét-Nat fizz, arguably the most seductive of wine styles and the most suitable for seducing should this be on your mind this weekend. The gentle bubbles and creamy textures in Pét-Nat just make you want a second or third glass – I recommend buying two bottles. If you are buying it from Beverly in L’Atitude 51 ask her about her tasting boxes which include wines and tapas from different regions – the closest we can get to one of her excellent wine tasting evenings for the next while.
Wines Under €15
El Paular Organic Chardonnay, Tierra Castille, Spain – €10.00
From one of Spain’s oldest biodynamic and organic vineyards located in Central Spain where the dry climate is perfectly suited to organic viticulture. Creamy pear and soft apple aromas with light vanilla and floral touches – more pear and textured fruits on the palate and a total bargain at this price. The El Paular Tempranillo is also recommended for its bright juicy fruits.
Martin Códax Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain – €15.00
I’ve long been a fan of Martin Códax, a high-quality co-op based in Salnés, the coolest, most northerly of the Rias Baixas subregions and this is a bit of a bargain as it normally retails at €18 and is rarely reduced. Peach and apple fruits with a hint of ozone, rounded and full with texture and complexity and a tiny spritz of fizz to add to the freshness on the finish.
Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Penedès, Spain – €15.00
Normally priced at around €18 this is a sort of baby brother to Torres’ famed Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon although this contains a small amount of Tempranillo. This is aged for 12 months in French Oak, 30% of which is new. Mature red fruit aromas with touches of blackcurrant and black pepper, soft blackberry fruits on the palate with lingering cedar and toasted flavours – perfect for rich red meat dishes.
Wines Over €15
Torres Purgatori 2017, Costers del Segre, Spain – €20
This is a treat along with the Salmos Priorat (also €20) both vying for the picks of the sale for my money. This is from a 1770 monastery vineyard with Cariñena, Garnacha and Syrah and from similar altitude to the Priorat. Barrel-aged in French Oak (40% new), with herbal, red fruit and spice aromas, elegant and layered on the palate with cocoa touches mixed with berry fruits and lingering mocha notes. Recommended.
Les Fondettes Rosé Sancerre 2018, Loire, France – €17.00
Stockist: Dunnes Stores (available in 30 stores)
The Sancerre region in the Eastern Loire used to be better known for its Pinot Noir based reds and Rosé but these days Pinot Noir makes up just 20% of production. This pours a pleasing pale salmon pink with floral and raspberry aromas that follow through on the palate – juicy and supple with texture and good complexity. A fairly serious rosé that also doesn’t skimp on pleasure.
Tour des Gendres Pét-Nat, Bergerac, France – €20.95
Stockists: L’Atitude 51, Bradleys, Green Man Wines, Le Caveau www.lecaveau.ie
For some reason, I don’t seem to have mentioned this gorgeous Pét-Nat before although I have featured the producer. This is a Pétillant-Naturel style so the fizz comes from a primary fermentation of Chenin/Sauvignon grapes in the bottle which means the lees (dead yeast cells) give the wine a slightly cloudy appearance but add to its rich creamy pear and citrus flavours. Seductive and delicious.