John Wilson's Wines of the Year
From the thousands of wines tasted and tested for this column, here are the 12 that made the biggest impression in 2013
Domaine de Pellehaut 2012, Harmonie de Gascogne, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, 12%, €11.49. Fresh, succulent, light green fruits with a rounded finish. Stockists: Mitchell & Son, CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin 1 and Glasthule, Co Dublin, mitchellandson.com; Anderson’s Cafe & Food Hall, Glasnevin, Dublin 9; Thyme Out, Dalkey, Co Dublin; The Old Stand, Mullingar, Co Westmeath; Cashel Wine Cellar, Co Tipperary
Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2012, 13%, £8.53/€12.69. The latest vintage of an old favourite; delicious pure textured pear and peach fruits with a nice kick on the finish. Stockist: James Nicholson, Crossgar, Co Down, jnwine.com
L du Château Lavergne Dulong 2012, Bordeaux Sauvignon, 12.5%, €14.95. A perfect balance of crisp and soft, with delicious rich peach fruits. Great value. Stockist: Terroirs, Donnybrook Dublin 4, terroirs.ie
Eira dos Mouros 2011, Ribeiro, Spain, 13%, €17.25. A beautifully scented nose, with luscious exotic fruits kept in check by a bracing acidity, finishing bone dry. Stockist: Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown, Co Dublin
Ribolla Gialla 2012 I Clivi, Friuli Colli Orientali, 11.5%, €20.95. Clean, pristine and precious – a delightful sophisticated subtle dry white. Stockists: Clontarf Wines; 64wine, Glasthule; Michael’s, Deerpark; Ennis’s South Circular Road.
El Castro de Valtuille Mencia Joven 2011 Bierzo, 14%, €13.50. Lovely smooth, savoury, dark fruits and liquorice. A wonderful complex wine at an amazingly cheap price. Stockists: The Black Pig, Donnybrook; Baggot Street Wines; Red Island, Skerries; Lilac Wines: Blackrock Cellar
Côtes du Rhône Les Grandes Vignes 2012 Les Vignerons d’Estézargues, 13.5%, €14.95. Delicious piquant, fruit-filled wine with tangy cherries and a lovely freshness throughout. Stockists: Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Donnybrook Fair; The Drink Store, Manor Street, Dublin; thewinestore.ie
Fürst Spätburgunder Tradition 2011, Franken, 13%, €27.99. The 2010 vintage was sublime; the 2011 is a worthy successor. Fragrant and soft with delicate, pure, sweet Pinot fruit. Stockists: On the Grapevine, Dalkey; Cabot & Co, Westport; One Pery Square, Limerick; 64wine, Glasthule
Bodega Colomé Malbec 2010, Salta, Argentina, 14.5%, €24.99. Arguably the highest vineyard in the world produces a wonderful ripe yet muscular Malbec with a delightful solid, dry finish. Stockists: Mitchell & Son; Donnybrook Fair; Clontarf Wines
Proprieta Sperino Lessona 2008, 13.5%, €59.99. Expensive but superior to most Barolo; exquisite gentle sweet sour Nebbiolo fruits and a long smooth finish. Stockists: 64wine, Glasthule; Corkscrew, Chatham Street, Dublin; Blackrock Cellars; World Wine Wines, Waterford; Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.
Christophe Extra Brut Pinot Meunier Champagne, 12%, €49.50. A wonderful bone dry Champagne with delicate ripe red and yellow fruits, lingering beautifully. Stockist: Terroirs, Donnybrook, terroirs.ie
Equipo Navajos Fino Macharnudo Alto Bota 35, 15%, €30.99. Possibly the best €30 you could spend on a bottle of wine. Quite deeply coloured and not as yeasty as some finos, but deliciously crisp, dry and complex. Stockists: Wines on the Green, Dawson Street, Dublin; The Black Pig, Donnybrook; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Baggot Street Wines; McCabes, Blackrock