Take three wines
Sasta 2007 -- real appeal in this wine, packed with fresh and sweet ( but definitely not jammy) brambly fruit, and some savoury notes, all wrapped in smooth, silky tannins; from the assured hands of the Niepoort winemakers in Portugal's Duoro Valley and a blend including Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo). 13pc alc. Enjoy with lamb and a whole lot else, such as chicken and pork €13.95-€14.50 Available from Redmond's, Ranelagh; Probus Wines, Oughterard; Wicklow Wine Co, Wicklow; Red Island Wine, Skerries; The Corkscrew, Chatham Street; Mitchell's Rathfarmham and Glasthule. Pauillac 2006 -- the label is coy, but this is from Chateau Pichon Baron, a Bordeaux second growth, bordering Chateau Latour, at a fraction of what you would pay if it was bearing the chateau name. Dense and concentrated, but so smooth; layers of dark fruit, dark chocolate, mint and tobacco, with firm tannins bound in a velvet glove. Open a few hours in advance and let it show its beauty. 13pc alc. €23.95. Available from vineyardsdirect.ie. (Minimum order one case, which may be mixed.) Chateau Haut Lagrange 2007 -- from Bordeaux's Pessac Leognan, an earthy undertow to this 55pc Cabernet Sauvignon, 45pc Merlot blend, with predominantly black fruit and touches of liquorice and herbs, all supported by ripe and supple tannins. 12.5pc alc. Perfect with lamb and other meats.
€ 13 (reduced from €25.99 in Spring French Wine Sale until April 20)
Available from Superquinn.