Tuesday 6 December 2016

Organic wines

Liam Campbell

Published 13/09/2015 | 02:30

Liam Campbell
Liam Campbell
Prosecco
Syrah
2Chataeau Ballandreau
Semillon
Sauvignon Blanc
Sancerre
Saint Remy
Chardonnay
Vegante
Baronne

In a 40-bottle blind taste test, here are the highest scoring winners.

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GENTLE ALSATIAN

Riesling "Harrenweg" 2012, Domaine Saint-Rémy, Alsace, France 12.5pc

Proving that Riesling can be a delicious and dry wine without any grapey sweetness or slatey austerity. Satin smooth with a lemon marmalade character, just made to match an onion tart. €18.99 in Dublin at Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green, Dawson Street; McCabe's, Blackrock; Baggot Street Wines and Lord Mayor Off-licence, Swords

A FRENCH CRUSH

Chateau du Ballandreau 2014, Bordeaux, France 12pc

Whites from Bordeaux are traditionally made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The grassy scent of the Sauvignon dominates this light-bodied crisp and refreshing wine. Makes an ideal lunch companion for a green salad of asparagus spears, peas and bell peppers. €12.99 at No. 21 Off-licences. Ardkeen Stores, Waterford and Salthill Liquor Store, Galway

BUBBLY PERSONALITY

Prosecco Frizzante, Fascino, Italy 11pc

You need a corkscrew to open this frizzante, cleverly avoiding the higher tax the mushroom cork and muzzle attracts. Delicate gentle fizz with chalk dry flavours and pear fruit. A crowd-pleasing friendly aperitif. €12.95 at Molloy's Liquor Stores Dublin citywide and molloys.ie

GIRL POWER

Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Cullen, Margaret River, Western Australia 12.5pc

Awarded chief winemaker for over 25 years, Vanya Cullen has crafted an age-worthy wine with a nutty and grapefruit peel character. €28.99 at Florrie's Fine Wine, Tramore; Clontarf Wines, Dublin 3; On The Grapevine, Dalkey and Wineonline.ie

SUPER SAUVIGNON

Sauvignon Blanc "Collectables" 2014, Walnut Block Wines, Marlborough, New Zealand 13.5pc

A typically exuberant expression of Sauvignon Blanc from the other hemisphere. A citrus fest with an echo of exotic passionfruit. Serve with gently grilled squid and a squeeze of lemon juice. €16.95 at McGuinness, Dundalk; No. 21 Midleton, 1601 Kinsale, The Parting Glass, Enniskerry. In Dublin: Searson's, Monkstown and searsons.com; Baggot Street Wines and Donnybrook Fair

YOURS SINCERELY

Sancerre 2014, Domaine Vacheron, France 12.5pc

A restaurant classic and Sauvignon Blanc at its most elegant and understated. Oyster shell minerality underpins the lemon zesty palate. Made for goats cheese and shellfish. €31.00 at independent off-licences including Bradley's, Cork; Egan's, Portlaoise; Wine Centre, Kilkenny and La Touche Wines 4U, Greystones. In Dublin: The Corkscrew; Redmond's; On The Grapevine; Donnybrook Fair; Sweeney's; Londis, Malahide and SuperValu

STELLAR SIPPING

Chardonnay "Etoile" 2013, Domaine Begude, Pays d'Oc, France 13pc

Ageing in the oak barrels gives an attractive nutty character to the apple fruit flavours. Medium-bodied alcohol and well-balanced acidity. Lovely with chicken roasted on a bed of sliced lemons and onions. €19.99 at O'Brien's nationwide and wine.ie

BLACK BEAUTY

E.Q. Syrah 2010, Matetic Vineyards, San Antonio, Chile 14pc.

This powerful red is broad enough to support a range of jammy black fruit and peppery spice flavours. Unfiltered to preserve flavour and best to decant off any sediment. A great excuse to barbecue some beefy burgers. €26.99 in Dublin at Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green, Dawson Street and Baggot Street Wines

WELL GROUNDED

Château La Baronne 2011, Corbières, France 14.5pc

A warm-hearted and full-bodied earthy wine. The Grenache's white pepper spice marries well with a garlicky chorizo, white bean and tomato cassoulet. €12.95 from €14.85 in French Harvest Sale until September 30 at Wines Direct, Mullingar and winesdirect.ie

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