MOVIES & BOOZE: Wine for the Weekend

Thomas Clancy reviews a white wine of "rich bargain price"

Herdade do Esporao, Esporao White Reserve 2013,

Pricing: Around  €20

Available : from selected Independent Off Licences and Wine Shops nationwide including Karwigs Wines, Kilnagleary, Carrigaline, Co. Cork and online nationwide at

This is a gorgeous honey and toasted brioche toned white wine, evoking €80 and €100 Icon wines from Burgundy- like the very pricey Meursault wines - but happily because this wine is from a lesser known area of Portugal, only now beginning to be taken seriously as a source of fine wines, it is able to offer us such rich complexity at a very fair, if not rock bottom price. Australian winemaker at Esporao, David Baverstock blends indigenous varieties like Arinto, Roupeiro, Anatoa Vaz and even a dash of Semillon and really it is a wine that has no right to evoke Burgundy, but yet, it does. The wine has been love bombed with technical and financial investment including 6 months on fine lees in new French and American oak barrels. The result a complex and delicious white wine.

Azienda Agricola Monte dall`Ora,  Sausto , DOC Valpolicella Classico Ripasso 2008

Pricing : Around €34.95

Available : from selected Independent Off Licences and Wine Shops nationwide Le Caveau, Markey Yard Kilkenny and online nationwide at

Husband and wife team Alesandra and Carlo Venturini are now among the leading Biodynamci growers in the Valpolicella area, the most westerly edge of the hinterland of Venice to the north west of the city of romantic, Romeo and Juliet boasting Verona. The real romance for wine lovers however is in the hills overlooking Lake Garda in partiulcra the hills of Valpolicella where the Corvina grape makes Valpolicella, its older sibling Ripasso, the serious-minded uncle, Amarone and the wayward sweet and poetic red, Recioto.

This wine embraces all four of the wines of Lake Garda in that it is a Ripasso version of  a straight Valpolicella, that is to say, the grapes are crushed, fermented and then left to sit for a short while before being repassed over the still juicy skins of the grapes that have just made this year’s Amarone. This reignites another fermentation and the Valpolicella draws richness from the Amarone skins. The result is a rich wine of plum, leather, a touch of bittersweet cherry. This version is fully biodynamic with an all natural, green and sustainable production that has completely abandoned all artificial or chemical elements and adopted a holistic biodiversity and sympathetic natural wine making philosophy.  It means the wine is a bit more expensive but reflects the love and attention and is the kind of pure, lean and exciting wine that has now become the most fashionable and sought after in the wine world