Jean Smullen reviews so celeb vinos for your weekend on today's Movies and Booze
Today we are going to feature the latest “celebrity” wine but one with an unusual back story. Its also awards season in the Irish wine industry, the Gold Star Awards, Ireland’s star award winning wines have just been announced.
2015 Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc €14.99
Stockist: SuperValu & Centra
New Zealand winery Invivo released the first vintage of Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc in 2014 by flying fresh picked Sauvignon Blanc grapes from Marlborough to London, to be squashed by Graham’s feet…
Cork native, Graham Norton’s BBC show, has a substantial following here in Ireland. One of the key features is that the guests and Graham drink wine during the show. The wine they drink is Invivo’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which has featured on the show since 2011. Grahame has gone hands-on and added his “Norton Hempisphere” magic to the wine by personally blending the 2015 limited edition version of the wine.
This is the 2015 vintage and the first opportunity to taste the new vintage from the Southern Hemisphere. This wine has already garndered a number of awards including a Silver Medal at the International Wine & Spirit competition in London as well as a Double Gold Medal at the 2015 China Wine & Spirits Awards – Asia’s largest wine show.
The team at Invivo including wine maker Rob Cameron and Graham, who is now a shareholder, are delighted that the wine is to be sold in Ireland. From November, the wine will be available on an exclusive basis in SuperValu and Centra. It will be in their stores from November 6th at a launch price of €12.00
So what does Graham think of the wine.. “it’s lovely! Tropical fruit.. a bit of zing..cheers to that”
All of Graham Norton’s proceeds from GN wine sales will be donated to Dogs Trust Charity in Ireland and the UK.
2014 Lab €9.99
Stockists: Independent off licences, nationwide
The dog theme and more awards are also a feature of our next wine. Simply call Lab, it has a picture of a Labrador on the front label. This Portuguese wine was a winner of the 2015/16 Gold Star Award for best old world wine under a tenner.
The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) annually makes a Gold Star Wine Awards to 15 wines. Now in its fifteenth year, the award winners will be available to consumers all over Ireland. Over 600 wines were submitted to the Gold Star Award adjudication panel of NOffLA judges and independent wine writers. Points were awarded on the basis of appearance, smell, taste and value for money. The final 15 Gold Star wines were selected as the best wines across a number of price categories and countries of origin.
The winning wines will be sold in 315 NOffLA member outlets nationwide. The wines will be recognisable by distinctive Award symbols on each bottle. In the pre-Christmas period NOffLA members will promote the Gold Star Awards 2015-2016 Collection as ideal Christmas gifts, in a variety of special gift packs.
This Portuguese star comes from the eastern part of Portugal north of Lisbon. It is produced by Casa Santos Lima in the Lisboa region (formerly known as Estremadura). This is a regional wine because it is made from a mix of local and international grapes (Castelao 35%,Tinta Roriz 25%, Syrah 25% and Touriga Nacional 15%). It is packed with fruit, and has far more complexity than a wine at this price has any right to!
The Noffla judges said of this wine “Berry fruit flavours with chocolate and spice character – a great value lively red wine”