MOVIES & BOOZE: Modern wines to kick off your weekend

Jean Smullen reviews 2017 Urlar Sauvignon Blanc and 2010 Ochoa Reserva

As the world slowly grinds back to normal, lets look at two trending wines for 2019. 

New Zealand is one of the most popular producing countries in terms of wine sales in Ireland. We have a super Sauvignon Blanc to celebrate Sauvignon 2019 which is taking place in New Zealand this month. 

Spain ticks all the boxes when it comes to wine. We’re going to the Spanish wine region of Navarra for our red wine today. 

2017 Urlar Sauvignon Blanc  €17.95

Stockists:  O’Briens Wines 

This wonderful organic Sauvignon Blanc is on offer in O’Briens at the moment at €12.95.  This is a Single Vineyard Sauvignon from Gladstone on the North Island, which is a small region just north of Martinborough known as Wairarapa which I was lucky enough to visit in 2016 when I last visited the wine regions of New Zealand.

At Urlar, organic and bio-dynamic principles are to the fore, giving life back to the soil and managing the vineyard as a balanced sustainable farming unit.

Owner Angus Thomson is fanatical about how his organic methods improve the quality of the product and he produces some really beautiful, hand-crafted wines like this one.

Urlar is of course the Irish for floor, but in this case they are loosely translating that as “earth” or “terroir”. The quality of the wine lies in the careful handling of the grapes and the fact that everything is organically produced.  Part of the wine is fermented in stainless steel and part of it is fermented in old oak barrels which gives an added dimension of complexity. 

The wine has a lovely mineral texture, but with the lovely ripe tomato leaf notes and a lovely elegant burst of lime fruit.   Ideal with any sort of seafood.

2010 Ochoa Reserva €20.00

Stockists:   Most good independent off licences.

Navarra is a Spanish wine region located in northern Spain, south  of Bilbao and the Basque region, in the foothills of the Pyrenees.  Once a medieval Kingdom in its own right it was claimed by the regions of Aragon and Castile in 1234.  The region is probably best know for its famous bullfighting festival which takes place in the city of Pamplona every year.

Although it has a long wine making history, today the wine styles produced in Navarra tend to be very modern.  Garnacha (Grenache) is the most widely planted grape though you will find Tempranillo here too.  Wine making tends to be more innovative in Navarra and you will find  that blending Spanish grapes with French grapes is the norm here.

Javier Ochoa is the fifth generation of the family to run the business.  He oversees the entire operation in the  vineyards and bodega and today works closely with  Adriana, his daughter who has trained in Bordeaux  and Australia

Although Ochoa is a very old family estate, their style tends towards “modern Navarra” hence the wine is made from a blend of 55% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and  15% Merlot.

Most of the vines are relatively old and the wine is aged in a mix of American and French oak for 15-18 months, before being bottled and aged for a further 4-5 years in bottle before being released. 

This wine is now 9 years old but is still a lively fruit forward red wine, now showing some development.  A stylish classic!

FLAVOURS OF NEW ZEALAND - DUBLIN 2019   6:30 pm - 8:30 pm 

Monday 14th January, 2019   Venue:  Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

Tickets are now on sale price €15.00. 

Dublin Consumer masterclass 07:00 - 07:30 : (Tickets also available on the link below price €5)

The New Zealand Wine Trail

John Wilson will lead you on a road trip around New Zealand wine regions to highlight the diverse array of styles being produced today.

To purchase tickets you can use the following methods:

To purchase a ticket to the 2019 New Zealand event CLICK HERE   (Credit Card accepted)

Or contact Jean Smullen in Dublin. Email:  jean@jeansmullen.com  Telephone (086) 816 8468

For details of wine events go to the wine diary https://jeansmullen.com/