Wine reviews of The Empress Riesling and Independent

Two brave David’s to talk about this week — David Whelehan of Whelehan’s Wines which opened in December in the old Silver Tassie pub in Loughlinstown on the N11; and Dave Gallgher of Green Man Wines in Terenure which opened last month.

You may know David WHelan from his time as TV3 Ireland AM’s resident wine correspondent. Dave Gallgher is known to most of us from his time as manager of Fallon & Byrne Wine Bar in Dublin.

Green Man Wines is as much a wine bar as wine shop with an attractive space at the rear where food is served from Wednesday to Saturday — mainly meat and cheese platters.

Dave has very attractive flat corkage rates and serves red white and orange wines by the glass and has packed them in every weekend since he opened.

Wines are sourced from Le Caveau (Dave’s wife Claire works with Pascal and Colm), Vinostito, Liberty, Grace Campbell Wines, Findlaters and Berry Brothers.

David Whelehan has some of the same suppliers as Dave Gallgher but more than 70% of his wines are exclusive, wines he tasted and fell in love with over several years visiting Prowein. The shop also stocks a range of craft beers and spirits and has a bustling café.

One fine producer Whelehan imports, is Teusner Wines from the Barossa.

Kym Teusner and Mike Page created their own label 14 years ago and began winning awards immediately. They don’t own any vineyards but have ongoing contracts with a number of excellent growers in the Barossa and Eden Valley (technically part of the Barossa).

Most growers they deal with have old low-production vines and were easily persuaded to supply Teusner and Page given they were offered a premium of up to six times their usual rate, an indication of the quality of their fruit.

Teusner’s top wine The Albert is from vineyards up to 130 years old is concentrated, restrained, complex and savoury (€39.94) — the Riebke Shiraz (€26.95) is pure “instant gratification” Barossa Shiraz — ripe and fruit packed. The Empress Riesling and Independent are reviewed below.

BEST VALUE UNDER €15

Chapel Hill Parsons Nose Shiraz 2013, McLaren Vale, Australia — €14.95

Wine reviews of The Empress Riesling and Independent

Stockist: Exclusive to Whelehan Wines Loughlinstown Dublin 18

Based in McLaren Vale around 35km from Adelaide and often good value compared to Barossa. This is a deep black-purple colour with rich blackcurrant and tar aromas and a sweet complex fruit-driven palate. I’ve tasted Shiraz twice the price but not as good as this.

Quinta Milu, Ribera del Duero, Spain — €14.95 - €15.95

Wine reviews of The Empress Riesling and Independent

Stockist: Green Man Wines Terenure, Whelehan’s Wines D18, World Wide Wines Waterford, Baggot St. Wines

Imported by Vinostito, a company that I should mention more often as their wines are almost universally excellent. Lovely pure fruit flavours with a bright spicy character and a lingering blackberry and peppery finish.

San Esteban La Perra Gorda, Castilla Y León, Spain — €14.95

Wine reviews of The Empress Riesling and Independent

Stockists: Green Man Wines Terenure, Whelehan’s Wines D18, World Wide Wines, Max’s Kinsale, Baggot St. Wines.

From an organic vineyard in Bierzo (although selling as a Vino de la Tierra) using a blend of the local Mencia along with some Cabernet and Merlot. Dense purple colour, aromas of red fruit and violets, fruity rather dense style; best with some rich Spanish food — eg, chorizo from Real Olive Co.

BEST VALUE OVER €15

Monte da Pecequina 2013, Alentejo, Portugal — €21.49

Wine reviews of The Empress Riesling and Independent

Stockists: Whelehans Wines D18, Green Man Wines, O’Donovans, Deveneys

This is the new vintage of Peceguina from Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, a wine I’ve recommended before. A blend of Aragonez (Tempranillo) and other local varieties plus some Syrah — ripe red and darker fruit aromas, packed with juicy fruits, plums, cherries, blackberries; rich and satisfying.

Teusner The Empress Riesling, Eden Valley, South Australia — €24.99

Wine reviews of The Empress Riesling and Independent

Stockist: Whelehan Wines Dublin 18

“If Shiraz is the King of the Barossa, Riesling is its Empress,” says Kym Teusner – this has lovely bright fresh pear and apple aromas with a hint of chalk, minerality but also some fleshiness and floral notes on the palate with a rich lime-infused finish. Probably the best Eden Valley Riesling I’ve tasted.

Teusner The Independent Shiraz-Mataro 2013 — €22.95

Wine reviews of The Empress Riesling and Independent

Stockist: Whelehans Wines D18

Teusner like to mix in a little Mataro (Mourvèdre) with their Shiraz as they feel it gives a little spice and character — “Shiraz is always improved by Mataro!” says Teusner. Aromas of black fruit but also clove, nutmeg and even cardamom to produce a rich dark liquorice-tinged fruit with a lingering finish.


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