MOVIES & BOOZE: Wine for your weekend

Jean Smullen reviews 2017 Redwood Hills Sauvignon Blanc and 2015 Animus DOC Douro

Today on Movies & Booze we are going to take a look at a very popular wine styles,  New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and  less well known style, a still red wine from the Douro in Northern Portugal, which I tasted in London at an Aldi press tasting last September.

Following on from that the wines from that tasting that really hit the mainstream news media was the Jeraboam of Prosecco €69.99 which will be in Aldi stores from November 14th, while stocks last. There are two sizes of Jeroboams: the sparkling wine Jeroboam holds 4 bottles, so if you are having a party and want to introduce the “wow” factor you could look at buying one.   The Wine Advent Calendar was another Aldi Christmas product which was heavily featured on social media.  This will also be available  in Aldi stores from November 14th and is made up of 24 mini wine bottles from various regions in France.  A quirky gift for any wine enthusiast in the run up to Christmas.

Having tasted their range of 73 still and fortified wines, all available between now and Christmas, two wines particularly stood out for me and  today we’re featuring them on Movies & Booze.

2017 Redwood Hills Sauvignon Blanc €11.99

Stockists:  Aldi, Nationwide

I am a huge fan of New Zealand Savvy,  I work with the Kiwis, was there in 2016 and just LOVE their wines,  especially as a personal preference.   They only make 35,000 bottles of this wine,  so its availability is going to be relatively limited, I recommend you snap it up if you can.   It is a Single Vineyard wine from Awatere,  is a sub region of Marlborough.   Awatere is situated to the South of the main Marlborough vineyard area on the south side of the Wither Hills.  Awatere is on the seaward side of the Marlborough region and therefore has more maritime influence.  This means it is slightly cooler, thanks to the cooling sea breezes that brings down the ambient temperature in the vineyards.

At this time of year we start to see the new vintages from New Zealand appear on our shelves.  The grapes for this wine were harvested  in mid to late April 2017.    Thanks to adverse weather conditions the harvest is smaller than usual, but overall they feel that the 2017  vintage has enormous potential.  Based on this wine, that certainly seems to be the case.

This wine delivers all the fruit flavours you would expect from a well-made premium New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  There are  tomato leaf aromas on the nose with hints of asparagus.  When tasted it had  a lovely mineral structure backed by a not too overpowering freshness and acidity.  This is classy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, hand crafted and good quality. 

The price is pretty incredible, at €11.99 this offers amazing value based on what is in the glass.  I have a feeling it will be snapped up pretty quickly, so get out and buy it as soon as you can.    It is only available while stocks last.

Make sure you book your ticket for the 21st Annual New Zealand Consumer  Wine Tasting on Thursday 18th January, 2018 at 18:30.  For 2018 we have a new Dublin venue– Aviva  Stadium, home of international rugby in Ireland. The New Zealand wine fair is a superb evening out.  The chance to meet and talk to the producers and find out more about the great wines from New Zealand is not to be missed!!   A great idea for a stocking filler for the wine enthusiast in your life!   Tickets are now on sale priced €15.00

To purchase a ticket CLICK HERE

For more information about wine events go to the wine diary: https://jeansmullen.com/

2015 Animus DOC Douro €7.49

Stockists:  Aldi, Nationwide

The Douro Valley is one of the most impressive wine regions in the world.  It was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO thanks to his unique geography.  Wine has been produced here for more than 2,000 years.  In the 18th century, Port wine was the first wine appellation to be created in the world.  Today the Douro region produces fortified and still wines (both red and white) that are in great demand.

This wine is part of Aldi’s core wine range.  Made from a blend of indigenous Portuguese grapes including  40% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Roriz and 30% Touriga Nacional.  A Bronze medal winner at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards, the wine is made by Vicente Faria who founded the company in 2001.  Today, Vicente Faria Vinhos is the 7th biggest exporter and of wines from several regions in Portugal. 

Vincente Faria studied Agricultural Engineering in Portugal, he moved to France and enrolled in University of Bordeaux to learn more about enology and wine making. He worked in Bordeaux with world famous winemakers in different French  Chateau before returning to work in Portugal. 

This wine offers unbelievable value, of the 73 wines I tasted this was the stand out wine for me.  Beautifully made it has lovely, it has a lovely ripe spicy nose.  On the palate look out for lots of plum fruit and a good firm tannin which adds beautiful structure to this wine.   Enjoy with winter stew or a big block of  aged slightly sweet cheese.   This is a winter wine to enjoy in front of a fire!