MOVIES & BOOZE: Old and New world wines

Jean Smullen reviews two Sauvignon Blancs and a Pinot Noir

Today for fun on the show we are going to compare old world (European) wine with New World (anywhere outside Europe).   Taking a look at the world’s most popular white grape variety we will look at good value Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley and the most popular style of Sauvignon Blanc in the world, from the Marlborough region in New Zealand from the wonderful Saint Clair winery which I was lucky enough to visit in 2011.

For today’s red we’re looking at a light summery style of red grape, Pinot Noir, the great red grape of Burgundy but this Pinot Noir is grown in Chile by one of Chile’s top organic producers, Cono Sur.

2015 Petit Villebois Sauvignon Blanc (Loire, France)  €11.99

Stockists:  McCambridges Shop Street Galway; Cappagh Stores, Knocknacarra, Galway;

The Salthill Liqueur Store, Salthill, Galway; Ivan’s Bakery, Limerick; No 21 Off Licence Group

The Corkscrew Wine, Chatham St, Dublin 2.  Merchants Kelly’s of Newport

The home of Sauvignon Blanc is the Loire Valley.  Sauvignon Blanc has a distinctive grassy aroma which sometime smells like nettles or gooseberries.   This is a very aromatic wine showing classic concentration flavours of gooseberry and tropical fruits.  The acidity is very fine and is beautifully balanced with lovely ripe flavours.

This wine is a Vin de France, a new appellation in France, formerly known as Vin de Pays. This wine is made from Sauvignon grown on the Atlantic Coast and in the Loire Valley, which is why it is not an AOP wine.  The J de Villebois is a Sauvignon specialist and this has lovely apple aromas and gooseberry and green apple flavours on the palate.

2017 Vicars Choice Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc €17.99

Stockists:  Carry Out group and independent off licences, nationwide

Sauvignon Blanc produces THE most fashionable dry white wine in the World today.  New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most sought after wine styles and probably one of the easiest wines to sell. Saint Clair was founded in 1994 it is a family owned winery.  Owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlbrough since 1978.  The Saint Clair nams originates from the vineyard that was first settled by the Sinclair family who built one of the first homes in Belnheim. 

I met their senior winemaker Hamish Clark in 2011 when I visited the estate. Their Vicars Choice is a classic Marlborough SB.  Fruit was sourced from several vineyards within different sub-regions throughout Marlborough including the classic Rapaura area, lower Wairau and the Brancott Valley.

This wine has tons of zesty lemon aromas and tastes quite tropical with a lovely citrus grapefruit finish.  This was made to go with seafood.


2016 Cono Sur Single Vineyard Pinot Noir €19.99

Stockists:  Carry Out group and independent off licences, nationwide

 Cono Sur, the world’s first carbon-neutral wine brand, named their “Bicicleta” range in honour of the employees who cycle around their vineyards in order to keep their environmental impact to a minimum and ensure the healthiest grapes possible.  

 This wine is the next level up, the fruit for their  single Estate Pinot Noir  is grown in San Antonio Valley. Direct maritime winds significantly cool the area and allowing one of the slow ripening which is really good for Pinot Noir.  As well as the cooler climate you have red clay soils, intense sunlight and very little rain which results in impressive concentration.

Raspberry and cherry aromas on the nose with lovely lush summer fruit flavours on the palate.

This is the great red grape of Burgundy where it is generally accepted as being at it's best.  Although grown in many countries it is a difficult grape to grow.  The grape itself tends to be thin skinned and can be prone to diseases which makes is what makes it so  difficult.   The flavours which Pinot Noir gives are Raspberry, Chocolate, and Cherry fruit. On the palate you get the  impression of sweet ripe fruit with fresh acidity.  Wines made from Pinot Noir usually have a silky texture.  In warm climates like Chile,  flavours are more fruity and appealing with flavours like strawberries and summer fruit.

For details of wine events go to the wine diary