Movies & Booze Friday 3rd January, 2020
Starting the 2020 wine year off with a Chinese white wine and a red wine from the Douro wine region in Portugal.
2017 Chateau Changyu Moser XV Cabernet Sauvignon
Blanc de Noir €17.00
Stockists: Martin’s Off Licence; wineonline.ie Independent Off Licences.
Chateau Changyu Moser XV which opened in 2013 and cost 70 million dollars to build is a joint venture between the long-established Government funded winery Changyu and one of Austria’s leading winemakers Lenz Moser.
Lenz Mozer is the fifteenth generation of his family to make wine, the family winery was founded in Austria in 1892 but was sold in the 1980’s to a multinational company. As part of the deal Moser stayed on to oversee the winemaking and before he knew it 15 years had passed. Needing a change, he went on to run Robert Mondavi’s European operation for eight years, before setting up LaurenZ his own Austrian winery, with two business partners. At that time, 15 years ago he was world renowned as a white winemaker and was known as Mr. Gruner Veltliner.
In 2010 following a trip to China to sell Austrian wine, he fell in love with the place and before he knew it, was working in partnership with Chateau Changyu. He does not own any of the business but rather works with them as their winemaker. 2019 is his fifth vintage with Changyu who have 80,000 mu of vineyards in Yinchaun.
My first tasting of a Lenz Moser wine took place in Dublin 24 years earlier. In 1995 at an Austrian wine event, I met Lenz Moser the fourteenth, who invited me to sample a white Cabernet Sauvignon his son had made. Now this was a very rare wine and there was only one vintage of it. The wine came about by accident, it was a very wet vintage and at the end of it the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were covered in botrytis and the skins were totally rotten and had virtually no colour. Moser decided that rather than let the juice go to waste he would vinify it as a white wine and that year produced 100,000 bottles of white Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was released and it all sold out. It was sheer coincidence that I happened upon the wine and in conversation he was delighted that I remembered it.
Fast-forward 20 years and here in China where white wine is not really main-stream, Moser decided “I’m Austrian I need a white wine”, so he decided to de-juice directly from the crusher some of those ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and the result was a superb white wine with a lovely fresh acidity. The wine has not only become a success in China, but its export sales are pretty healthy too. Approximately 10% of the wineries production is exported to 35 countries and key markets in Europe include Germany and the UK. He produces 200,000 bottles of the white cabernet and sells 120 bottles of it a month in London’s top restaurants including Hedonism and Sexy Fish. In China too the wine has become extremely popular and has really helped to put Chateau Changyu Moser on the map.
This is the famous white Cabernet; it has lovely floral notes on the nose with hints of exotic fruits on the palate backed by a fresh acidity. It is fermented in stainless steel and has no wood at all. This is the only wine of its kind in the world and is the pouring wine in in Westbury Hotel and the Shelbourne hotel where it is selling very well by the glass.
2015 Pocas Vale de Cavalos Douro €15.99
Stockists: The Drinks Store, Stonybatter; Shield’s Londis, Malahide; Redmonds, Ranelagh; Myles Doyle, Gorey, Co Wexford. Independent Off Licences Nationwide.
The most important point of difference for Portuguese wines are the huge number of unique indigenous grape varieties it grows; grapes not found anywhere else in the wine world. Unique, is its biggest selling point, Portuguese wines are different; it is a wine country making wines with remarkable diversity and character from virtually unknown grape varieties.
The Douro Valley is one of the most impressive wine regions in the world. It was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO thanks to his unique geography. Wine has been produced here for more than 2,000 years. In the 18th century, Port wine was the first wine appellation to be created in the world. Today the Douro region produces fortified and still wines (both red and white) that are in great demand
The history of Port wine in the Douro is well documented but the pivotal point for the emergence of still wine making is much more recent. In 1986 when Portugal joined the European Union the true revolution in wine growing in the Douro region began to emerge. Producers in the Douro region became more independent and there was a huge increase in the number of small estates who began to produce red and white table wine. Poças is an example of the history of the Douro region. Founded in 1918 by Manoel Poças Junior, it is a family-owned and independent company producing Port. It is one of the few Port wine companies that was Portuguese owned and has, since its foundation, belonged to the same family, now in its fourth generation. The company owns three properties in the Douro with a total of 100 hectares of vineyards, and has its cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Still red wine from the Douro has a complex structure due to the combination of shale soil, climate and the selection of traditional red grape varieties from the Douro region used to make their red wines which are, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca.
This wine is made from a blend of all four of these key red Douro grapes. Beautifully made it has lovely, it has a lovely ripe spicy nose. On the palate look out for lots of plum fruit and a good firm tannin which adds beautiful structure to this wine. Enjoy with stew or a big block of aged slightly sweet cheese such as Gouda. This is a great winter wine to enjoy in front of a fire!
NEW ZEALAND IN A GLASS - DUBLIN 2020 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Monday 13th January, 2020 Venue: Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.
Tickets are now on sale price €20.00.
New Zealand Winegrowers will host its 23rd tasting of New Zealand wines in Ireland in January 2020. The consumer tickets are now on sale. This is one of the most popular consumer wine events and is a great way to start the wine New Year!
To purchase a ticket click on the link in the wine diary https://jeansmullen.com/