Good tasting wines to try before the summer is out

The Dog Days are over to quote Florence and the Machine (who will be at Electric Picnic this year, as will I - of which more next week).

Not a great summer for barbecues but I have persisted with help from an inexpensive canopy to keep out rain and a wood burning open brazier to keep us warm (both on sale in Home Base).

I remain firmly optimistic that it will be sunny in the last weeks of August so I have included in my selections a couple of better quality Rosé wines plus easy drinking Sauvignons and reds that will taste good outside.

There are no outrageous prices below either given how expensive this time of year can be thanks to back-to-school expenses and post-holiday credit card blues.

Two of the wines are from Bubble Brothers who operate the little jewel of a wine shop in the English Market. 

I have been rather neglectful of this merchant over the last while and I hope to rectify this in the coming months. 

If you are buying more than one bottle (and hoping for bulk discounts) you might find it easier to visit their warehouse in the Marina Commercial Park on Centre Road in Cork.

Bubble Brothers began as Champagne specialists but now have a large range of wine from most major wine regions. 

They still stock Champagne from smaller houses as well as the great Louis Roederer plus other bubbles such as Cava, Prosecco and Crément de Bourgogne. 

They even used to stock a good sparkling red Lambrusco but sadly it no longer seems listed – I was probably one of the few that ever bought it.

I recommend their Italian selection (particularly Tuscany) and their French range is also strong including some good Wine-Geese Bordeaux and the wonderful Rhone wines of the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. 

From Australia there is the excellent Yering Station from the Yarra Valley and Xanadu from Margaret River.

I was also pleased to see their fine dessert wine range including Beaucastel Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Mas Amiel Maury and some Chateau Rieussac Sauternes from 2008 and 2009, one of those wines you need to try before you die.

BEST VALUE UNDER €15

Kelly’s Patch Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Australia — €11.15

Good tasting wines to try before the summer is out

Stockists: Matsons, Malt House Trim, Gibneys, www.karwigwines.ie 

Kellys Patch is a range of bargain Australian wines stocked by Karwig. Australia is not well known for Sauvignon but it can grow well in cooler places like Adelaide Hills.

This is softer and riper than you would get from New Zealand but still has some nice varietal character with gooseberry and apple acidity.

Kelly’s Patch Shiraz 2013, Australia — €11.15

Good tasting wines to try before the summer is out

Stockists: Matsons, Malt House Trim, Gibneys, www.karwigwines.ie 

Kellys Patch is named for Ned Kelly of course and their Shiraz is a little lighter in style, as you would expect given the price point.

Good berry aromas, black fruits and fresh and juicy on the palate, with touches of spice. There is also a Merlot and Chardonnay in the range.

Biurko Rioja Joven, Spain — €12.95

Good tasting wines to try before the summer is out

Stockist: Cases Wine Warehouse Galway, www.cases.ie 

Great value organic Rioja from Cases, currently on sale at the price above. Cases have a good range of organic wine at good prices.

A blend of Tempranillo and Graciano with lots of spicy up-front red and black fruits, probably best with spicy food or for barbecues.

BEST VALUE OVER €15

Domaine Aujard Reuilly, Loire, France — €18.99

Good tasting wines to try before the summer is out

Stockists: Bubble Brothers www.bubblebrothers.com , JJ O’Driscolls, Stuffed Olive Bandon, Cashel Wine, Urru Bantry.

Reuilly is a small appellation in the Loire beside Quincy to the south-west of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé.

The Sauvignon Blanc here is often softer but still has that classic French gooseberry taste. Aromas of green apple skin and washed stones, supple on the palate and packed with lime.

Clos Triguedina Malbec Rosé 2014, Cahors, France — €15.99

Good tasting wines to try before the summer is out

Stockists: Bubble Brother www.bubblebrothers.com , JJ O’Driscolls, Stuffed Olive Bandon, Cashel Wine.

Cahors is the original home of Malbec but rosé is rare here. This family have been making wine since 1830 and grapes for the rosé are picked at dawn when the moon is still visible (vin de lune) for extra freshness.

Raspberry and strawberry aromas — perfect for late summer sun.

Black Cottage Rosé, Marlborough, New Zealand — €16.99

Good tasting wines to try before the summer is out

Stockists: D6 Wines, Redmonds, Blackrock Cellar, La Touche Greystones, Woodberrys Galway.

This is a blend of pinot noir and pinot gris (which is naturally dark-skinned, not green).

Red fruit aromas, soft and ripe in character but noticeably dry on the palate with lingering red currant and raspberry touches. Another good find from New Zealand specialist Joyce Austin.


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