Jean Smullen reviews Rós Rosé and McWilliams Cabernet/Merlot
2018 Rós Rosé €16.95
Stockists: O’Briens Wines Beers Spirits Ashbourne; Athlone; Ballybrack; Beacon; Blanchardstown; Bray (Quinsboro & Vevay Road); Carlow; Carrickmines; Citiwest; Contarf; Cork; Dalkey; Donnybrook; Douglas; Drogheda; Dun Laoghaire; Galway; Glasnevin; Greystones; Limerick; Lucan; Malahide; Naas; Navan Road; Navan Town; Newbridge; Newpark; Nutgrove; Rathgar; Rathmines; Sandymount; Stillorgan and Templeogue and Waterford (Ardkeen).
Scottish Master of Wine Lynne Coyle, who was the buyer at Oddbins in the UK moved to Ireland over over a decade ago to take up the wine buying job at O’Briens Wines. Today, as Director of Wine she does all the buying for O’Brien’s 35 shops. As well as coping with the demanding job of the O’Brien’s portfolio, Lynne recently collaborated to make a super Limited Edition Rosé wine, exclusively for the Irish market, with Spanish winemaker, Alicia Eyaralar from Bodegas Tandem in Navarra.
The fruit is grown in the Yerri Valley in Navarra, Yerri Valley is located in the north of the Navarra Denomination of Origen on its north-western boundary, just a step away from the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean. The Spanish province of Navarra is a mountainous region between the Pyrenees (to the North) and the River Ebro (in Rioja). The capital is Pamplona. There are two major wine regions in the Province, DO Navarra and DOCa Rioja (the districts adjacent to the Rioja Baja region). Navarra is a warm region and makes wine styles that are similar to those found in Rioja but at a much more competitive price.
So what exactly is Rós? It is a Rosé wine made from 100% Grenache, a grape native to this region. The name (as Gaelige both in Scotland and Ireland means rose). Keeping it in the family, the funky eye catching label was designed by Lynne’s son, a student at NCAD.
Wines made from Grenache (a Spanish grape) is now the backbone of winemaking all over Mediterranean Europe. This grape can produce red wines that are either soft and fruity or powerful and meaty, depending on where it is grown.
This Rosé Grenache is a real find. Tons of summer fruit, strawberry and raspberry flavours, this is summer in a glass. It has a lovely pale pink colour and its credentials include the fact that the Garnacha vines are old, which means lots of concentrated fruit, they are hand picked, the fermentation is natural using wild yeasts, this is an artisanal, vegan wine, and ticks all the boxes for what is fast becoming one of the most sought after wine styles this summer, Rosé from Spain. This wine is brand new to the Irish market.
2017 McWilliams Cabernet/Merlot €14.95
Stockists: Mc Hughs Kilbarrack and Malahide Roads; Jus de Vine Portmarnock; Gibneys Malahide; Coach House Ballinteer; Redmonds Ranelagh; Dalys Boyle Co Roscommon; Cotter Galway; Mylers Creek O/L Ennis Co Clare; Foleys Sligo; Herlihy’s Cork; Brodericks Shanagarry Co Cork; Roches Whitechurch Co Cork and Leading Independents.
This is not a new wine as such, but a returnee and a very welcome one at that. McWilliams have been available on the Irish market for many years, but sadly during the downturn they lost their Irish distributor. However, I’m very pleased that another major Irish importer, has taken on the wine and will be distributing it this summer. You will find the McWilliam range in most independent off licences including those listed here, during this summer.
John James Mc Williams know as JJ was a true Pioneer and established Mc Williams first winery in 1913. The JJ Range showcases his vision and tenacity which is still carried on today by the fifth and sixth generation of the family. The range of JJ McWilliam now available in Ireland includes a Chardonnay, Shiraz and the gorgeous Cabernet/Merlot we are featuring today.
This is a good quality very drinkable red from South Australia. It is made from a typical Bordeaux blend, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It has lots of ripe fruit and is a perfect wine to match with Barbequed meat this summer.
The McWilliam’s are one of Australia’s First Families of Wine and their premium wine range has always had a very strong following. Some of these will be available here, I’m especially looking forward to seeing their Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillón from the Hunter Valley back on our shelves. McWilliam’s premium wines include such stars as the Maurice O’Shea Shiraz from the Hunter Valley, the Mount Pleasant Philip Shiraz and the Mount Pleasant Jack Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawara. Welcome back McWilliam’s!
Wine Diary Events:
The Big Alsace Tasting will take place again at Ely Bar & Grill on Wednesday 22nd May.
This will be a walk-around tasting with many important producers represented. It's a fantastic chance to try lots of interesting, food-friendly and great value wines from an under-appreciated wine region. Expect some Fantastic Fizz, Racy Riesling and Gorgeous Gewurz! Tickets are €20,
For more information go to the wine diary on https://jeansmullen.com/