Tomas Clancy joins Sean Moncrieff...
Wine expert Tomas Clancy looks at two wines this week...
Bodegas Martin Berdugo, Barrica, DO Ribera del Duero 2013
Pricing: around €19.50
Available : Mitchell and Son, CHQ, IFSC and Glasthule Road, Sandycove, nationwide on mitchgellandson.com; Martins Off Licence, Fairview; Sheridans Cheesemakers, Dublin, Meath, Waterford and Galway and independent Off Licences, Supermarkets and wines shops nationwide
The Ribera del Duero region is located some two hours hard driving north of Madrid high up on the north central plain of Spain at around 2400 feet above sea level. It is one of the highest wine regions in Europe and enjoys one of the most extreme climates for wine growing in the world with days in the summer that leap from 38 degrees Celsius in the day to 2 to -2 at night, During the spring the can have snow until Easter. Yet some of Spain’s most prestigious wines are made up high in the Ribera. The secret is the complex soil and the huge day to night temperature variation. At night the grapes shut down and store the days growth, fooled in to thinking the sun is gone, This happens all summer making the grapes some of the ripest and richest in Spain,
However the storms can be very violent indeed and on September 5th 2013 during a brutal thunder storm, lightening struck the cellar and winery building of this Bodegas.
The winery burned to the ground and 210,00 litres of wine were lost but as owner and winemaker Antonio Díez Martín points out, no people or vines were lost and so he started again. The 2013 vintage the one on sale in Mitchells was made in the cellars of friends and neighbours who all joined in to help.
Today the winery has already been rebuilt, but with a strong steel roof, and the only wood Antonio like to work with is in his barrel cellar.
The wine here is luscious and smooth with hints of aniseed, dark fruits, a whisper of spice and a nice vanilla touch, from the well-used oak barrels mid palate that lifts rather than masks the fruit. A very fine wine fresh, medium bodied charmer of a wine.
Chateau Falfas, Demoiselles de Falfas, AC Cotes de Bourg 2015
Available: Terroirs, Donnybrook, Dublin and nationwide on terroirs.ie and select independent wines shops nationwide.
The Bourg area of Bordeaux has been overshadowed by the vast wine producing area of the lefthand bank of the river Gironde famously also called the Medoc for around 200 years now. The Medoc is where the vast majority of the well known chateaux like Chateau Latour and where appellations like Margaux and St. Estephe are located.
However if we push back into history to the 1600s we find the greatest wineries are on the right bank, the eastern bank of the Gironde, this is where St.Emilion and Pomerol are located today and which are surrounded by appellations with names like Fronsac, Blaye and this one, Bourg, which is a riverside appellation around the town of Bourg.
This is where great value and some very avant garde and cutting edge wines are being made as the growers are liberated from the expectations of the Medoc wine lovers. This chateau has its origins in the 1300s and was part of a band of castles and nobles who were from England and indeed Ireland and who were loyal to the Norman crown in London. It became a famed wine source in the 1600s and in 1988 it was bought by US Lawyer John Cochran and his wife Veronique, who together transformed it onto the one of the first fully organic and biodynamic wineries in Bordeaux, the one many others are modelled upon. Veronique’s father Francois Bouchet, was the leading pioneers of biodynamic in wine in France and crucially created the Demeter biodynamic standard that is now practiced world wide.
Since John’s death in 2010 Veronique has continued to advance the winery’s reputation and produces this biodynamic wine from younger Merlot vines at around 75%, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc a blend offering a plush, fresh and vibrant wine.