Four exciting new wines from around the world to expand your palate

Very different wines that showcase the best of Spain, New Zealand, Italy and France

Four very different wines, all new or newish to the market, that I found interesting

Four very different wines, all new or newish to the market, that I found interesting

 

I receive a lot of samples and taste a lot of wine. Not all of them fit neatly into a topic I am covering at any particular time, so this week I focus on four very different wines, all new or newish to the market, that I found interesting.

El Secreto de la Garnacha is a unique wine produced in small quantities exclusively for the Irish market. A mere 1,600-1,880 bottles are made by Marc Isart, one of the leading winemakers in the region, in conjunction with Irish wine importer Vinostito. Last year was the first vintage.

As well as making wine for Bodegas Bernabeleva and Pegasso, two of the top estates in the DO Madrid region, Isart has his own project, Bodegas Cinco Liguas. He and Rafael Salazar of Vinostito pick grapes, which are then fermented and matured in clay amphora, once traditional in the region. The idea is to make a lighter, fruit-filled wine that is ready to drink young. In this it certainly succeeds. 

Simon Waghorn founded his family-owned winery in New Zealand in 1996. He is always a pleasure to meet at O’Briens tastings. While many of the region’s producers are happy to simply sell standard Sauvignon Blanc, he is one of life’s innovators, constantly coming up with new styles of wine to offer his customers. Current releases include Albariño, various takes on Pinot Gris and Riesling, as well as countless iterations of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  

To some, Aglianico is one of Italy’s greatest red grape varieties, up there with Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. With its tannic structure and longevity, it is often known as the Nebbiolo of the south. Aglianico is grown exclusively in the south of Italy, and mainly in the regions of Campania and Basilicata, the most famous being Taurasi. The wine I feature today is from Molise, a small little-known underpopulated region south of the Abruzzo on the eastern coast of Italy. Di Majo Norante is the leading producer. 

Pouilly-Fuissé is a name familiar to wine-drinkers of a certain generation. I know my father served it at his wedding. After a period in the doldrums, it has regained its position as the greatest wine of the Mâconnais region in the south of Burgundy. Vineyards on the limestone rich hillside slopes produce medium to full-bodied wines with a lovely luscious texture, made exclusively from Chardonnay.

In addition to the wines featured here, a few very exciting, unusual wines that I have enjoyed recently include Château Rolet Trousseau (€26.50, independents), which is the finest example of this grape I have tried so far. The Frangy 2019, Roussette de Savoie, Domaine Lupy (€22-€23, independents) is a delicious, delicate wine, and Thorle Saulheim Spätburgunder Kalkstein 2018 (€35, The Corkscrew) is yet another great German Pinot Noir.

El Secreto de La Garnacha 2020, D.O. Madrid, Bodegas Cinco Liguas
13%, €17.50
A light and refreshing wine with mouth-watering ripe strawberry fruits and a herby, grippy edge. This is quite unputdownable; drink it solo or with all sorts of nibbles, especially cold meats and grilled vegetables. 
rom Redmonds, D6, redmonds.ie; Drinkstore, D7, drinkstore.ie; 64wine, Glasthule, 64wine.ie; Baggot Street Wines, D4, baggotstreetwines.com; Clontarf Wines, D3, clontarfwines.ie; Lilliput Stores, D7, lilliputstores.com; The Fumbally, D8, thefumbally.ie; Pinto Wines, D9, pintowines.ie; The Wicklow Wine Co, Wicklow, wicklowwineco.ie.

Astrolabe Southern Valleys Chenin Blanc 2020, New Zealand
13%, €21.95
Fragrant and floral, this is a delightful off-dry wine with fleshy ripe nectarine and apricot fruits offset nicely by lime zest and a refreshing spritz. The prefect aperitif, or to drink with lighter fish dishes. 
From: O’Briens, obrienswine.ie   

Contado Riserva 2015, Molise Di Majo Norante
14.5%, €24.50
A big powerful wine with smooth dark fruits, leather and spice, with nicely integrated tannins on the finish. Save this for a rib-eye or a warming herby winter casserole. 
From Redmonds, D6, redmonds.ie; drinkstore, D7, drinkstore.ie; D-Six Wines, D6, peggykellys.ie; Dwan’s Off-licence, D16; Martin’s Off Licence, D3, martinsofflicence.ie

Pouilly-Fuissé 2019, Séduction, Les Vins Luzy-Macarez
13%, €26.99, down from €28.99
Restrained pristine peach and apple fruits, with mineral nuances and a toothsome, dry finish. This deserves your finest fish – grilled turbot or black sole accompanied by a buttery sauce. 
From Molloy’s Liquor Stores, molloys.ie

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