Tomas Clancy reviews Torres Celeste, Crianza, DO Ribera Del Duero 2012 and Grahan Beck, The Rhona, Brust Sparkling Rose NV
Torres Celeste, Crianza, DO Ribera Del Duero 2012
Pricing : around €19.99 - €22
Available : from selected Independent Off Licences and Wine Shops nationwide including Redmonds of Ranelagh; Hole In The Wall, Dublin; O’Briens Wines nationwide and Sweeneys of Harts Corner, Glasnevin, Dublin.
This is a wine from one of the first breakout wine regions of Spain’s great revival in fine wine of the last decade. Ribera Del Duero is located in the north of Spain between the southern tip of Rioja and the start of the hot middle of the country Toro region. On a map it is directly north of Madrid and half way towards the Bay of Biscay Atlantic coast around Santander.
The Duero River which flows along the centre of the wine region, which is a high valley is one of Europe’s longest and most violent rivers, it starts in the Pyrenees and runs through the whole of Spain as the Duero before becoming the Douro in Portugal and running on to the Atlantic at Porto. The river has cut good wine bearing slopes and high on these Tempranillo, called Tinto Fino in Ribera is grown.
The huge height, 900 metres of 2700 feet makes for cold nights and moderates the daytime temperature too offering perfect vine maturing potential.
The resulting wine is opulent, polished and dense with rich dark spicy fruit, with daubs of white pepper type spice. It is a big, quite hefty 14% wine, that begs for a blacken slice of steak, char-grilled red peppers or a spicy flamed sausage.
Grahan Beck, The Rhona, Brust Sparkling Rose NV
Pricing : around €22.50
Available from Marks and Spencer, nationwide
Graham Beck was one of the most colourful figures in the South African wine business, not a place known for its overly shy and retiring types. He was quite obsessed with the idea of South Africa as a cooler climate, sparkling wine maker and although his estate makes many different wines, sparkling was his forte and remains the lynchpin of the Beck Winery.
The result is that this wine is made absolutely in line with the best practice and methods of the great Champagne Houses, there is no skimping and that means hand harvested grapes, whole bunch pressing of top quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes before they are separately fermented and then blended and aged in bottle on lees. Every bottle is aged and undergoes a secondary ferment on its own in its own bottle, no industrial process or vat fermentation is done, this is all, just as in Champagne.
Each bottle is then disgorged, one by one and cork sealed. The resulting off pink blush, more of an amber hue is deliciously strawberry kissed with a touch of toffee and a fine crisp finish. It begs for the sunshine and char grilled vegetables of chicken hot from the barbecue.