Wines to transport you abroad
Last week I wrote about organic and biodynamic wines and mentioned a few “natural” wines with approval.
I admit that when natural wines arrived here (2014 is the first I can remember) I was skeptical. Not of the production methods exactly but of the religious zeal with which they were promoted, as if the philosophy behind the wine was more important than the taste. Philosophy should never be as important as taste with wine.
Sourced from the cool north-facing slopes of mountain vineyards on the island of Samos, near Turkey, this wine features delicious floral aromas of Muscat with a touch of orange blossom oil, honeyed mandarin and peaches yellow on the palate, but with some spiciness and acidity on the palate. to end. Serve chilled with summer fruit or a fruit salad – apricots, peaches or strawberries will do – or perhaps a summer trifle.
Mavrodaphne of Patras was first created in the 19th century, based loosely on Port (but also including a Solera aging system like Sherry. I admit I have a sweet tooth but I found this lovely, lighter than Port with ripe black cherries that put me in the spirit of real Bavarian black forest cakes Fruity and indulgent with bright sweet cherries balanced by freshness Serve chilled with chocolates (e.g. Grá ) or with summer fruits.
It arrived in Lidl stores last week alongside a Central Otago Pinot Noir – a quality region rarely found in supermarkets. Very pale salmon pink with aromas of raspberry and peach, fruity and fresh with a slight acidity — serve chilled. The Outlook Bay Pinot Noir (€11.99) on the other hand is bursting with aromas of red fruits and spicy black fruits on the palate – serve chilled for best results.
From Attika in central Greece, it’s 70% agiorgitiko (St. George’s grape) with a touch of cabernet sauvignon to add weight and richness to the blackberry floral character of agiorgitiko (the most widely planted grape variety in Greece). Aromas and flavors of bramble and black cherry with pleasant sweet black fruit on the palate balanced by freshness and some cherry skin textures.
It’s one of the classic wines myself and David Whelehan will be featured at Grub Circus this weekend – chosen to focus on flavor and layers. A blend of 70% Sauvignon and 30% Sémillon with aromas of citrus, apple, guava and other tropical flavors, textured and complex with crisp freshness and pleasing weight and length and a seductive finish which offers freshness and length.
So if the crowds of Grub Circus at ‘All Together Now’ don’t vote for this, I give up! It is simply magnificent and comes from a Monopole (single, family vineyard) planted with old vines (before 1957). Aromas of ripe cherry, blackberry and spice, layered and sumptuous with ripe red fruit mingling with subtle underbrush notes and a long finish that evolves and develops for a full minute (I counted!) .
Donegal-based Sliabh Liag is busy recreating the taste of 19th century Donegal whiskeys, when barley was typically malted over peat. The previous version – Dark Silkie – was full of sweet apple fruit and pipe tobacco aromas, which kicks it up a notch.
The Midnight Silkie is part of the basic Silkie collection and is a blend of single malts finished in aged barrels of virgin oak and imperial stout. This has a bold peaty and smoky nose with base notes of muscovado sugar while the palate has flavors of sweet apricots, raisins and spices and a peppery, zesty finish. Try it in a Manhattan.