Summer wines are pouring in – and Aldi’s € 7.99 Pinot is a steal
It has been 15 months since I attended a wine tasting. Usually at this time of year my notebooks fill up with scribbled entries on new wines I’ve tasted in the past three months. During closings, some wineries have been more proactive with reporters than others, so I regularly receive supplies of bottles, mini-bottles, and sachets of wine.
Most of the multiples appear to have been less active than usual, offering a more limited range of summer wines, with the exception of SuperValu and O’Briens who have over 40 new wines to come over the next few weeks.
It was of course difficult to stock up on wines, without a wine fair and travel and transport being disrupted. Many independent importers have overcome these hurdles, so there is certainly no shortage of new and exciting wines to taste.
This week, a few new white wines on the market. Alsace Pinot Blanc seems to have a little time. Last fall, SuperValu gave away the excellent Gustave Lorentz for a limited time; O’Briens has now introduced the very attractive Kuentz Bas (€ 18.95 / € 16.95) and Aldi has added the wine shown here to its range. Pinot Blanc can be quite neutral at times, but the best examples have nice, pure, fresh and subtle fruit that makes them ideal for summer consumption.
Greece appears to be gaining ground with Irish consumers. The Corkscrew in Dublin 2 recently sent a few new things, including the excellent Zambaratas Xynisteri (€ 28.95) from Cyprus. It would definitely win the Most Esoteric Name award, although it was one of six very good Greek wines that I have tasted from various importers. If you want esotericism, I also tried a very good Chardonnay from Henry of Pelham based in the Niagara Peninsula in Canada.
The pioneer wine bar Ely now has a point of sale in Maynooth, delivering nationwide. It has a very impressive range of new Spanish wines, including one of my favorites from a few years ago, Picarana Albillo Real (€ 24) from Bodega Marañones in Madrid.
Among the novelties of O’Briens, we will find a range from Australian winemaker Penfolds (Grange at € 650 a bottle?), A rosé from Gaia in Greece and four zero alcohol wines from Arjolle in Languedoc.
Aligoté has always played the supporting role of Chardonnay in Burgundy, with the exception of one or two producers, such as Domaine de Villaine. Sylvain Pataille, one of the rising stars of Burgundy, is behind the delicious wine presented here. Also watch out for its wonderful red wines with their distinctive purple labels.
Pierre Jaurent Alsace Pinot Blanc 2019
12.5%, € 7.99
Attractive fresh green fruit and crisp acidity that quenches your thirst without draining your finances. To drink before dinner, or with a fries of plaice or sea bass. Stockist: Aldi, aldi.ie
Guerrieri Rizzardi Lugana, Veneto Italy, 2020
12%, € 14.95 reduced by € 18.95, until July 18
New to O’Briens, I suspect it will be a runaway success; Luscious, highly textured red apple fruit with a lively citrus note. Perfect on its own or with sautéed shrimp. Resellers: O’Briens, Obrienswine.ie
Colli Tortonesi Bianco 2019 Oltretorrente
13%, € 23.95
A perfect balance between richness and freshness, with delicious and succulent late summer fruit and crisp mineral acidity. Try it with a crab salad or a plate of oysters.
Resellers: Baggot Street Wines, D4, baggotstreetwines.com; That’s it, Ennistymon, thisisitennisytmon.com; Loose Canon, D2, loosecanon.ie; Sweeneys D3, sweeneysd3.ie; Lilliput stores, D7, lilliputstores.com; Fish Shop, D7, fish-shop.ie; Fine Wine & Food Co, Athlone.
Sylvain Pataille Bourgogne Aligoté 2019
12%, € 27.50
A wonderful atypical Aligoté, richly textured with ripe exotic fruits and a crunchy mineral backbone. It was very good with my clam linguini.
Resellers: Pinto wines, D9, pintowines.ie; Baggot Street Wines, D4, baggotstreetwines.com; That’s it, Ennistymon, thisisitennisytmon.com; Loose Canon, D2, loosecanon.ie; Supreme Love, D7, lovesupreme.ie; Thenudewineco.ie; Martin’s Off License, D3, martinsofflicence.ie; Vine juice, Portmarnock, jusdevine.ie.