Tomas Clancy reviews Suertes Del Marqués, Trenzado DO Valle De La Orotava, Tenerife 2015 and Ricossa, Barbera Appassimento Piemonte Italy 2015
Suertes Del Marqués, Trenzado DO Valle De La Orotava, Tenerife 2015
Pricing :around €24.95
Available : Green Man Wines, Terenure, Dublin; 64 Wines, Glasthule; Blackrock Cellars and independent Off Licences, Supermarkets and wines shops nationwide
This is a wine from Europe’s highest vineyards. Not on the slopes of the Swiss Alps or in the foothills of the Alps in Savoie in France or even in Spain’s Rioja, but it is a wine from Spain.
These are wines grown on the blackened Volcanic slopes of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Fully Spanish and also therefore, fully European, an integral part of the EU sitting some 1400km south of the Spanish mainland and just 300km off the coast of Africa. The wine is made from Listan Blanco grape and is made in a style that is not totally in step with the modern festish for sweetness and primary fruit.
This is an ancient wine, made from high altitude vineyards in a very hot region. It is a wine beloved of Ireland and England in the 14th and 15th centuries, wines of the Caranries were spoken about in the works of Shakespeare and well known and loved. They are very muscular for white wines, they have toasty nutty touches but also a reductive note, mildly oxidated and dark tones emerge. It is a white wine of real strength and character, but minerality and freshness rebound. It is a wine that begs for hearty food, summer paella, a white wine for chorizo. A wine of authenticity and rarity it has become impossibly hip and thankfully bespoke importers have seen fit to bring it back to Irish wine lovers
Ricossa, Barbera Appassimento Piemonte Italy 2015
Pricing : This is going to be sold I units of six in the SuperValu Italian Sale starting 11th May while stocks last, it will be therefore €8.33 a bottle, €50 for the 6 Bottle Case, the normal retail of which is €95.94
Available : SuperValu stores nationwide and online at SuperValu.ie
Sometimes you hear about an upcoming sale, a day before it happens and by the time you get there the clear star bargain is gone. This is a super over delivering wine, that is a wine that would easily command twice or maybe more of its asking price. At €8.33 in the sale, that is not a huge claim, but even for its €16 regular price you would be hard pressed not to think of a higher price again. This is a strange and innovative wine and this partly explains its pricing.
What we have here is Barbera, the grape of Piedmont, Italy’s mountainous North western border lands with France and home of hugely admired and wildly expensive Barolo. The Barbera grape often produces a lighter bodied, intriguing red wine with plenty of acidity, super for pasta and oily meats but often a little tart on its own.
This wine however has been made in the appassiemento style, the process made famous in the production of Amarone. It involves a great deal of extra work for the winemaker and hence the increased prices often associated with it. In essence it involves drying the grapes and igniting a fermentation with now much higher percentages of fructose, as the water component of the grape is dried and lost. Antica Costa the winery here have adjusted the Amarone method, shortening the drying to around a month from three, leaving the grapes less concentrated and slightly fruitier and instead of long ageing in wood, in the Amarone style they age for just under a year in large stainless steel vats.
The result is a juicy, fresh fruit, but concentrated wine with touches of raisinated notes, deep flickers of sweetness and soft tannins and a quite luscious finish. This is a wine for the summer, easy drinking approachable now and at the cumulative price reduction well worth seeking out.