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Archive for August, 2010

Article – Cheap or Expensive Wine – what do you really prefer

August 31st, 2010

Maradona and the fan letter

Where to now on our rocky road through the technical aspects of tasting wine? Do we have to endure more statistical nonsense about sweetness and acidity? All we really want to know is if the wine tastes good. And so shout the gallery from the rooftops of my imaginary fanbase. Is anybody reading? Does anybody care? Well I can tell you that someone is reading because I got a fan letter. I am not sure they were supportive of the articles or not as it was a bit of a rant, but I am framing it and putting it on the toilet wall with my signed Maradona shirt. To answer the earlier question, yes we do have to endure more wine talk. It is a wine column after all.

Margaux or Pinot Grigio?

And so on to all things grapey, if such a word exists. I appreciate the recent articles may be a little heavy in terms of the technicalities behind wine tasting, so I think I will talk about something a little less taxing. To be honest, it is exhausting writing in that detail, so we’ll all take a week off. The break will do us good and we’ll be ready to talk about something magical or mystical next week. So what to fill the pages of the paper with in its place? I’m banned from talking about France for a while yet, and I have a few things on Italy planned soon. I think use the information we have been amassing these last few weeks should be used, so I will approach a sensitive subject on wine. Do people pretend to like complex and expensive wines because they think they should, when really they would prefer the cheap €10 euro bottle instead? When I attend family gatherings there is often a silent assumption that I will bring something nice to the table. I personally prefer to use up their current stock of Red Nose Wine so they will be forced to buy some more. In any case, I have often arrived with what would be referred to as a serious wine, with layers of complexity. It takes every amount of self control not to recite poetry on the spot; such is the inspiration within this liquid gold. It usually goes in two directions. One person claims to see the light and bows down in adulation before the alter of this most wondrous creation. The other finds it too tough and sneaks away to return with a nice and easy Pinot Grigio. The question is – who is right and who is wrong and is it fair to strip it down like this.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine at Chateau Margaux

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine at Chateau Margaux

Days of Wine & Roses

I am not talking about the times when you are tired and want an “easy” wine by choice. I am talking about the wine when someone else is buying and money is not a major option. We can all close our eyes and remember the days of wine and roses. As the old song goes, “The days of wine and roses laugh and run away like a child at play. Through a meadow land toward a closing door. A door marked “nevermore” that wasn’t there before”. I think that’s a good summation of the Celtic Tiger actually. Sometimes bitterness can add to the wine, but we’ll get back to the subject at hand.

For all the people who buy cheap new world wine. Are they wrong to like it? Should they aspire to something more. For me, and this is only my opinion, they are right and wrong at the same time. If they like it how can they be wrong, so in this regard they are right. However, as human beings we all should aspire to something better, and the Celtic Tiger proved where this can lead. With regard to wine this doesn’t have to more expensive, and negative equity probably won’t kick in between the purchase and consumption of the bottle. In fact, the ‘better’ wine can often be cheaper. If you recall the sugar article, the added sugar in a lot of the cheaper wines masks the true integrity of the wines, so a bad wine can be very drinkable. We all like a bit of sugar, and the global popularity of Coca Cola and chocolate can attest to this. I know I used to have a problem with Coca Cola ( I don’t want to use the abbreviated version in case there is a whole other misunderstanding ). I would drink a bottle of it without thinking and absorb the sugar at speed. I now only rarely have it, unless I am on holidays in the country I am not allowed to speak of. They still serve it in the tall glass bottle with ice and lemon. I can almost taste it. Maybe I still have a bit of a problem.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola

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Taste the Difference

The true essence of a wine is when it reflects the people who make it and the land where it comes from. If that is a wine style you don’t like, then that is fine. However, I do think we should all be drinking a wine in its purest form, and that doesn’t ecessarily mean organic. It means there is nothing added or taken away from the essence of the fruit, be it a very cheap wine or a hugely complex monster. There is always a temptation to say wonderful things about complex expensive wines as many people feel they should. I love it when people come into the shop and tell me they know nothing about wine and want me to recommend a wine. I try to determine if it’s for food or if they like it sweet or dry, and the vast majority of the time I will give them a cheap, cheerful but authentic wine. It is usually a cheaper wine because if they are not used to drinking it, the expensive one will be wasted. I love it even more when regular wine drinkers around the 9-11 euro mark ask me for something special. When you go above 12 euros towards the 15 euro mark you should be getting wines that really make you stop and think. No amount of added sugar can replicate this experience and I never tire of people coming back and telling me about tasting the difference. It took me a long time to appreciate the really complex wines and I am still learning and that is a really great part of the job. Ultimately you must enjoy the wine. It should not be hard work so I understand why my Pinot Grigio loving relation likes it so much. However, the same person will not be found hiding when a good bottle of Red comes around. I think it is much easier for the amateur wine taster to appreciate a fine red, compared to a fine white, but it could be argued that some of the world’s most interesting fine wines are white.

Kilkenny team sponsor a case of Wine

By the time you (hopefully) read this, the hugely popular Tipperary Food Producers Long Table dinner will have happened. I am supplying the Kilkenny owned Domaine des Anges for the dinner in The Old Convent. I asked the owner, Gay McGuiness to sponsor a case for the night, and he kindly agreed, but on condition. If Kilkenny win the All Ireland, I pay for the sponsored wine, and if Tipperary wins, he does. So, for all of you, who enjoyed this wonderful organic wine from Provence, be sure to shout for Tipperary on September 5th, or I will be broke. Please visit the website www.tipperaryfoodproducers.com to see highlights from the night.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Aug 25 2010

Article – Acidity – Does this wine look fat?

August 20th, 2010

Dreams

There are no late night cheese fuelled hallucinogenic dreams to report, but if tomorrow’s trip to Dublin to see the men in Blue and Gold take on the Déise is not to my liking, there could be a few nightmares ahead. I’ll write the first half of the article the day before the match, and the second half the day after. So, I will try to instil some cautious optimism into this portion and hope to add euphoria to the second.

dreams

Is he finally going mad?

Last week we discussed the level of sweetness in wine and the differences between a dry and off dry wine. We were of course using Jancis Robinson’s wonderful book “How to Taste Wine” as our main curriculum textbook for reference. This is of course until I finally get the call from a publisher to write my own book. I think I will call it “How to open a business in a recession and 20 other crazy things to do before you are 40”. I have just had what the texting generation call an OMG moment. For those of you not prolific in this most annoying of languages, this means “Oh My God”. I have just realised I am closer to 40 than I am to 30 and the clock is only going in one direction. Maybe I should contact the publisher instead of waiting for the call. So much for the optimism promised in paragraph 1. Enough rambles in the brambles, to the vino.

Feel the force Luke

Ask someone from a certain generation about Acid and they could conjure up visions much starker than my late night cheese fuelled ones.

But there will be no mention of the light fantastic or taking a trip anywhere near it. When I refer to acid, I mean acidity. To quote Ms. Robinson, “Sweetness ( or lack of it, i.e. dryness ) may be the most obvious of the four basic tastes to students of wine, but what physiologists call sourness is the most vital to the wine itself”. This sourness is how we measure acidity. There is a lot in lemon and vinegar and none in flour and water. While the tip of the tongue is where we measure sweetness, it is the upper edges, towards the back of the mouth that we notice and measure acidity. I have talked about balance many times before and it is essential to find the right balance between sweetness and acidity. Think of Wine Wars (instead of Star Wars) and the search for the secret in a great wine. Just as Luke brought balance to the force, winemakers try to pick their grapes at the ‘Skywalker’ moment.

As fruit ripens it gets sweeter but loses acidity. The winemaker wants the grapes to be as ripe as possible as it makes for richer flavours in the wine, but if they wait too long, then the acidity falls too far and you have a bland and boring wine. Naturally high acidity levels come from grapes with lots of ripening sunshine, or from grapes picked before they were fully ripe. It can also come from the winemaker adding acidity to the wine or fermenting grape juice (must). This can be quite common in warmer wine regions.

Sweetness, I was only joking

To demonstrate how important this balance is, think of a sweet wine, such as a desert wine. Sauternes is the most obvious one that springs to mind. It can be regarded as great when there is enough acidity to counterbalance the sweetness. However, if there is lots of acidity and very little residual sugar, then yuck – a really tart or green wine. The opposite of this is when you get too little acidity and a flat wine. This balance and acidity levels are very often the reason that people think they are drinking a very dry wine, but it could just be an off dry or sweet wine with too much acidity, which can be hard work.

Take care of our Eoin

To measure acidity, Jancis breaks it down into 4 levels :
Green or Tart, Crisp, Flabby or Flat and then Cloying or Too Sweet. I could identify typical wines that can often fall into these categories but I am not sure it would be fair as it would be a generalization. So, when you are drinking your next glass of white wine, as well as trying to identify how much residual sugar is in it ( i.e. is it dry?), try to determine the acidity level. Is it too low, too high, or as Goldilocks found out with the porridge in the 3 Bears House, is it just right. If it is, there is a good chance it is also in balance. The last 2 paragraphs were written the day after the big match, and while happy with the result, we’ll hold off on any euphoria until September 5th. The lads did what they had to do, and let’s hope they can improve again. If anyone comes across Eoin Kelly between now and then, be sure to help him with the shopping and don’t let him do anything strenuous. We need him fighting fit. His 53rd minute goal was simply sublime. I remember going to Marlfield Hurling matches growing up and Theo English shouting for more ground hurling. I think Theo must have been very impressed with the stick work he saw yesterday.

Last call for the Tipperary Food Producers Long Table dinner is coming up on August 25th in Chez Hans, The Old Convent, Inch House and Brocka on the Water. Tickets are all but sold out but we will be twittering on the night. Follow @tippfoood, @rednosewine and @pat_whelan for live updates and photos. I’ll be representing the Network in Clogheen myself and look forward to a wonderful night with Christine and Dermot.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Aug 19 2010

Article – No sugar please, I’m sweet enough

August 13th, 2010

Dont mention the Trip

I will not mention travel, foreign food or even nice views from hot climate terraces in this piece. I think I have flogged my recent wine trip to within an inch of its life, if transient ramblings through vineyards exist as an entity, and actually have a life. Have I swallowed a dictionary or am I abusing a thesaurus again? Alas I have not. I ate a Pizza late last night and spent the night having mad, crazy dreams and my conclusion is that one of those dreams must have involved a duel with words. Suffice to say, I don’t remember my dreams and this is a very longwinded way of telling you that I will not talk about my trip to France.

pizza

Confusing Times in One’s Head

So what else can I talk about? Lots of things I hope you agree. For instance, rather than mention a wine, or a region or price or quality, I will attempt to answer a question that I get asked about regularly. How does one taste wine properly? One must first desist from referring to ones self in the 3rd person, for that gives the impression that one is full of one’s own importance, and this is one of the many regular battles we in the wine world are trying to change. So, we and oneself shall become myself, yourself and whoever else is tuning in. “Dear Doctor, come quickly. I am having the dreams in the daytime now”. Begone foul cheese dream monster and leave me in peace.

inside_head

Tasting Wine

I have covered the topic of tasting wine before and at the risk of repeating myself ( as opposed to oneself ), I will attack it from a different angle. Even though the jelly bean test is a great way to reveal the importance of smell in tasting, I will refer to someone whom I have a lot of time for when in comes to wine, the first lady of the critics, Jancis Robinson MW. The MW means she is a Master of Wine, of which there are only 280 in the world today. Apart from all that, she is great at getting to the heart of a wine, and is very level headed about the hype and most important, she has a great palate. She has a book called, “How to Taste Wine”, and for someone who wants to go past the “I know what I like” stage of wine appreciation, this is a good place to start. It covers the basic questions and moves with consummate ease up through the more complex parts of tasting.

jancis_robinson

Sugar or Spice

The first thing she discusses is what formed the basis of the last article I wrote on tasting, which amounts to, “its all in the nose”. Hold your nose as you eat a pineapple and then release it as you chew. The huge rush of flavour comes from your nose and your sense of smell. Draw air in as you eat your food to enhance the flavours. I don’t have enough space to go into all the various aspects involved, but I think they are all important, so I will start with Sweetness in wine. Depending on how it is received, I will cover acidity, tannin, body, balance and the rest of the equation in later articles. Sweetness in wine is one of the most misunderstood descriptions of a wine. The tip of the tongue is the place where we assess how sweet something is, be it ice cream or wine. The science goes back to the basic principle that “grape juice becomes wine when yeasts act on the sugar in ripe grapes to convert some, or nearly all, of it into alcohol”. The sweetness is determines by the amount of sugar left in the juice, the residual sugar. This sugar varies between 1 and 200 grams per litre, and a ‘dry’ wine is a wine containing between 2 and 10g. You will see a lot of cheaper wines ( think Chilean and Austrian ) containing a lot of sugar, as the enhanced sweetness can often mask the rougher edges that might exist. The wine world wouldn’t be what it is if there was not a direct contradiction to this. In this instance, it is the wonderful sweet German wines and the desert wines of Sauternes and places like it. These are super sweet, and a million miles away from the commercial wines with added sugar. People talk about excessive sulphites giving them a hangover, but added sugar isn’t the best thing for your head either. Have you ever had a Coca Cola Sugar hangover? To sum up, most wines are dry and when you are asking for a sweet wine, as yourself if you want a sugary desert wine, or do you mean off dry.

Name the Wines

For reference, bone dry wines include Muscadet, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc ( Sancerre ; Pouilly Fume ). Dry wines account for most of the wines out there, and they include most Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, white Burgundy, white Rhone & Provence wines, Pinot Grigio, and many more. To experience medium dry, you should look to my favourite white variety, Riesling, Viognier, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris and the German wines labelled Kabinett, Spätlese or Halbtrocken. You then move up to Medium Sweet with late harvest wines from Asti and Moscato or Tokay from Hungary. There are varying levels of Sweet and then very sweet above this with Sauternes being the standout wine. All of the above are white, and while Red Wines do vary in sweetness, 85% of them are Dry, but if you want a slightly sweeter one, try Pinot Noir, Chateauneuf du Pape or a juicy Australian Shiraz.

Don’t forget that the Tipperary Food Producers Long Table dinner is coming up on August 25th in Chez Hans, The Old Convent, Inch House and Brocka on the Water. I’ll be representing the Network in Clogheen myself and look forward to a wonderful night with Christine and Dermot.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Aug 12 2010

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Aug 12 2010

Article – Carcassonne to Bordeaux, the journey ends

August 6th, 2010

BBQ in the Rain

The Irish are a tough bunch. I am just in from a very nice BBQ on the neighbourhood green. It is the 3rd attempt ( in 3 years ) at it, but we would not let the rain dictate us this time. We stood out on the green in defiance until the drizzle stopped and the sun ( almost ) came out. It was a coming together of neighbours and the local butcher, baker and wine merchant supplied the goods. I spent last Saturday at another barbeque with Pat Whelan at his Oakville emporium of all things nice and tasty. I was giving out free samples of artisan wine to match Pat’s artisan food. One lady came out laden down with meat and before I could offer her a taste, she pronounced that she was a pioneer. I looked at her bag of meat and said, “It could be worse, you could be a vegetarian”. She laughed, but still didn’t break her pledge. However, I have no doubt that she was stocking up for a wonderful party with friends and family, and it is interesting to see the change in people’s attitude to eating and drinking at home. What was great at our local event tonight was that everyone pitched in and brought a plate and did their bit. I grew up in Cherrymount in the 70s and 80s and we would regularly be in our neighbours houses. They were dark days but people knew no better is what they tell us. I think that the current recession ( or maybe it’s a cultural shift ) is making people re-evaluate their social venues. I still like a night out, but it’s nice to meet the neighbours as well.

An Irish BBQ

 

An Irish BBQ

Leaving the Rat Race

The last leg of my French odyssey took place from Carcassonne to Bordeaux with a stop in the Dordogne valley along the way. I visited Sean and Caroline Feely of Chateau Haut Garrigue. Some of you will know them from one of our first tastings with Caroline in 2008. Others will know them from their cover story on the Irish Times or maybe it was the big TV feature on Nationwide last November. They get a lot of press and for a variety of reasons. Tomas Clancy of the Sunday Business Post calls their wines “a dazzling winery which is a model of organic and biodynamic excellence”. Their Bordeaux style blends have often been compared to a top end Bordeaux that sell for much more. If you ever want to try a 30 euro Bordeaux for half the price, try their red wines. Taste them blind and you will find it hard to pick it out. Regardless of all of this, their story is fascinating and they basically left the “rat race” of Dublin to start a new life in the country with their two young children. They somehow made it work and in a relatively short space of time, they have made superb wines that reflect both the land they come from and the people who make them. The really made me feel welcome and I wish I sold more of their wonderful wines than I do.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine and Sean Feely of Chateau Haut Garrigue

 

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine and Sean Feely of Chateau Haut Garrigue

An evening with Brando & Pacino

I booked into a cheap hotel in the suburbs of Libourne, near St Emilion for my final night in France. I was expecting the worst, but was pleasantly surprised. My room was modern with a flat screen TV and the hotel was immaculate. I watched the Godfather in French in complete comfort. Both Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are still cool in French. There was a little restaurant downstairs and I had a fantastic meal for 12 euros. The jug of wine cost 4 euros. One thing I have learned on this trip through the cheap hotels of France is that the house wine is worth trying. In Ireland, the general rule is the house wine is not for drinking, unless supplied by Red Nose Wine of course. You are usually better to try the 2nd or 3rd wine on the list. However in France, if you visit places that the locals frequent, then they cannot afford to have bad house wine as the people will not come back. If you go to a tourist spot, you are fair game and you will often do well to get a bottle worth the price. Some of the best wines I drank ( as opposed to tasted for work ) on my trip were carafes of house wines. It’s great to find a cheap wine that you can enjoy.

A morning in St Emilion

Saint Emilion Terrace view

Saint Emilion Terrace view

After my good meal, Italian mafia movie in French and power shower the next morning, I headed to the beautiful village of St. Emilion for lunch. I don’t know if the paper has room to print the photo I will send them, but there was a great view from the terrace of the bistro. If you are planning a wine holiday, and don’t want to go too far, St. Emilion is not a bad spot. There are flights to Bordeaux from Waterford and Cork and the village itself is stunningly picture postcard. I would advise strongly against buying any wine in the village itself. Very overpriced, and it is much more fun to go to the local winemakers. I can suggest some good ones to visit if you are planning such a trip. After my picturesque lunch, I headed to the Medoc region of Bordeaux and found myself outside some of the most beautiful and impressive chateau in the world. The villages of Pauillac, Margaux, St Julien and St Estephe are the money villages of French wine. This is where you will find Mouton Rothschild, Lafite, Latour, Chateau Margaux, Leoville Las Cases, and Lynch Bages. You need an appointment made months in advance to visit some of these places. I was visiting a family vineyard in the middle of all this that I import from and their pricing reflects the reality of market, unlike Lafite who’s opening en Primeur price of 1,150 euros a bottle is aimed at the Chinese market. So, amongst this wealthy land, my trip came to an end and I was happy to be back in Clonmel to meet my customers last week. I met some great people and tasted some great wines on this trip but the big thing that I am taking away is that my instinct of moving away from Bordeaux towards more southern based wines was right. The wines of the south really outshone those of Bordeaux in terms of style, price and originality. I will stock both, but the biggest choice and most exciting wine will come from the south.  I look forward to you tasting them soon.

Decisions Decisions

Decisions Decisions

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist Aug 06 2010

Article – A Room with a View

August 3rd, 2010

The tour continues ( and not a bicycle in sight )

I promise I will not mention France for a number of weeks when this series of articles conclude. It is very difficult to be in the middle of this wine tour and not write about who I meet and the land they work. This is the reason I got into this line of work and what I hope distinguishes me from the commodity wine sellers. I travel to source the wines and sit around the kitchen table with the winemakers. They usually have to wipe their hand in their pants before shaking mine and I appreciate their connection with the land. It’s all about reducing the links in the chain from the land to the ultimate consumer, you. The next time you are picking your wine in the supermarket, ask the assistant about the winemaker’s thoughts on the vintage for the wine you are buying. Irish Americans often talk of searching for a sense of place. I think wine is also searching to express the place it comes from. I am surrounded by completely different wines, people and terroirs where I write this article. This is why I like French wine so much and why up until 15 years ago it was the first choice of much of Europe and the US.

My palate feels itchy – it must be La Clape ( boom boom )

Even though I am technically in one region as I write this (Languedoc), the wines are changing so dramatically over the course of a mile. I was a vineyard yesterday near Narbonne, in a region known as La Clape. An unfortunate name, but very good wine. The vineyard stretched from the gorse hills that sit above the main house, down to the Mediterranean Sea and the style of wine changed dramatically, even with the same grapes. The hills saw very concentrated intense wines that required oak aging and needed food. The vines by the sea were exposed to the wind more and were much softer and fruit driven. 500 yards in distance but a million miles in style.

View through the vines to the Mediterranean Sea

 

 

 

View through the vines to the Mediterranean Sea

A Tipperary – Kilkenny Clash before September

This week I want to tell you about 2 vineyards in particular. One is a wine I already bring in and is owned by an Irish man (from Kilkenny – unfortunate when discussing hurling) and is called Domaine des Anges. In fact you can enjoy it in Befanis restaurant in Clonmel as well as Red Nose Wine. It lies in the shadow of Mount Ventoux, which means the mountain of wind. The vineyard is less than 30 minutes away from another wine village called Chateauneuf du Pape. You may or may not have heard of it, but its wines are well regarded but can be pricey. Domaine des Anges is not pricey at all. Mr. McGuiness offered me a room for the night and while I would have slept anywhere, I got a gorgeous room in his very classic old style Mas. The view was amazing and the shutters halted the morning sun but the breeze was allowed to sneak through into the room. After the heat wave of the Riviera, I was delighted to ignore air conditioning and sleep a peaceful nights rest. Of course this could not be achieved without a long discussion over various bottles of wine with the patron. I would like to tell you I retired to the bed before midnight but I would be lying. There were important matters to discuss, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they were. For the sake of closure, I think it involved Mr. McGuiness promising me the use of his gorgeous house to write my book. For those of you who have similar merry aspirations, there is a fantastic house for rent on the estate, complete with swimming pool and the nearby wine cellar is a plus. We can discuss the rent over a bottle of Domaine des Anges, Red, White or Rose. I should mention that his family were staying there with him and all made me feel very welcome indeed.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Domaine des Anges in the background

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Domaine des Anges in the background

The following day I did indeed visit Chateauneuf du Pape, but the day after that I went in search of the next big superstar wine. The morning was spent with a genuine superstar wine, Mas de Daumas Gassac. Those of you who met Samuel Guibert in April will be glad to know his public invite to visit the famous estate still stands.

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac in France

Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine with Samuel Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac in France

After my meeting with Samuel I went to meet two winemakers that are being talked about in the same breath as some of the big money Bordeaux wines were 50 years ago. Every major critic the world over is going crazy over a little wine called La Péira. Most of you will not have heard of it as it is mainly talked about within the trade. Suffice to say it is very sought after. I met the winemaker Jérémie Depierre and followed him down a very remote road to an unmarked building in the middle of nowhere. The wine has become so famous so quickly they have not even finished the building and are showing no sign of welcome anywhere. I have been ‘down this road’ before in Bordeaux and it was not worth the hype so I was not getting too excited. Then I tasted the wines. It was one of those wow moments. The entry level wine was spectacular and the middle wine even more so. The main wine itself was actually too complex and until it gets some age in the bottle is virtually undrinkable. In saying that, by the time it gets the necessary age, this wine will have multiplied in price by a huge amount. It is only made in tiny amounts and if I do end up bringing it in, it will be in minuscule amounts and it will be a case of get it while it’s cheap.

Jérémie Depierre of La Péira

Jérémie Depierre of La Péira

As I finish this article on a Saturday night by the sea, the room next to me is playing Otis Reading, “Sittin’ on a Dock of the Bay”. From my Bay, in the south of France, I bid you adieu and if anyone wants more information on any of the wines I mentioned, please call in, and I’ll wax lyrical to the point of boredom. Next is Carcassonne, then Bergerac and then Bordeaux.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter – www.twitter.com/rednosewine

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

Red Nose Wine Article - Nationalist July 29 2010

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