MOVIES & BOOZE: Fancy a drink this weekend?

Wine expert Tomas Clancy joins Sean Moncrieff

On this week's edition of Movies & Booze Tomas Clancy examines two French wines...

Domaine Pesquie, Terrasses, Vin de France, Ventoux, 2015

Pricing : around €18.95

Available : Widely available, including Sweeneys Wine Merchants of Glasnevin; Searsons, Monkstown Crescent, Blackrock, Co. Dublin and online at searsons.com; Bradley’s Cork; Ardkeen Grocers, Waterford; Jus Du Vin, Portmarnock; 64 Wines, Glasthule and selected independent Off Licences and wines shops nationwide

This wine is a very gorgeous mouth-watering white wine from the southern part of France’s Rhone Valley, on the foothills of Mount Ventoux, one of Europe’s tallest and strangest mountains. Just to its south the world famous Provence region begins and everywhere you look here is otherworldly and exotic. Burnt Umber, orange like soils, rows of purple and violet Lavender bushes and a heady warm air that seems perfumed with heather and liquorice.
The grape being a very sensitive fruit and full of light clear juice with a thin skin, picks up all this floral, heathery, lavender perfume in the air and in the soils and preserves it for us in cooler climates. The Chaudiere family have been making wine for centuries on terraces overlooked by the moonlike landscape of Mount Ventoux and have named this wine after the terraces running up the undulating hillside here.

This wine is made from a blend of three varieties, Viognier, Roussanne and Clairette these grape varieties are native to the Rhine Valley and are hugely aromatic, with lime and a deep citric note peering out over the floral perfumed nose. On the palate you immediately get the tangy, zesty flash of a just cut, chilled grapefruit, then a flicker of lime, a touch of apricot and almond, that some people like to call a lychee note. Then a lip-smacking, finish looms.

The sense of place is startlingly it evokes the southern Rhone is a dramatic way and if it raises your interest in the Rhone, this is the week to explore that interest as all this bank holiday weekend and next week is Rhone Wine Week in Ireland. Dozens of restaurants and wine shops are hosting Rhone Wine Events, you can see a full list on www.RhoneWineWeekIreland.com and it highlights in a giant tasting on Thursday Nov 3rd www.elywinebar.ie/wine-tasting/ with wines from Chateauneuf Du Pape in the south to Cote Rotie in the north of the Rhone all on taste tickets are €20. If you cannot get to any of the events, this is the beauty of wine, the wines are the expression of the place and you can taste and explore them, one sip at a time.

Domaine de La Janasse, Terre de Bussiere, Principality D’Orange, Vin de Vaucluse 2013

Pricing : €18.95

Available : Searsons, Monkstown Crescent, Blackrock, Co. Dublin and online at searsons.com; Bradley’s Cork; Ardkeen Grocers, Waterford; Jus Du Vin, Portmarnock; 64 Wines, Glasthule and selected independent Off Licences and wines shops nationwide and at selected independent Off Licences and wines shops nationwide

When William of Orange invaded and was victorious in Ireland in the seventeenth century, he almost certainly never envisaged that one day a Republic in Ireland would daily salute him and his ancestors with an allocation of a third of the national flag of that democracy to his family’s principality in the south of France in what is today the Rhone Valley. The Dutch Royal family holding of the name Orange, comes from this principality which in France lives on today really only in the town of Orange and its surrounding wine region. It does not get a great deal of attention as the vines of Orange are surrounded by neighbours like Gigondas and of course Chateauneuf Du Pape.
Many wine makers like the Sabon family who own Domaine de La Janasse own a tenderloin few acres of vineyards in Chateauneuf Du Pape itself, then they have lands which stretch out from Chateauneuf Du Pape in fact in nearby Courthezon, which are outside the legal area of Chateauneuf and they must classify them as Cotes Du Rhone and then there are more Avant Garde wines, such as here where more traditional local varieties like Grenache and Syrah are blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as here. This is a Merlot dominated wine at 55%, with around 10% of Cabernet and Grenache and a good 25% of Syrah. The result is a successful blend of smooth, agile merlot with soft dark plum and blackberry type fruit notes cut through with spice and heft from the Syrah and Grenache. A wine that evokes the heat, heritage and diversity of the Rhone at a fraction of the price of a Chateauneuf Dui Pape and in a more modern, food friendly and early drinking style too.