Monday 19 February 2018

Loire's wine kings

Saumur castle in the Loire River, surrounded by vineyards
Saumur castle in the Loire River, surrounded by vineyards
1. Pouilly-Fumé 2011, Pascal Jolivet
2 Pouilly-Fumé 2014
3 Pouilly-Fume 2014
4 Lamarte Rosé d'Anjou 2014
JP McMahon

Liam Campbell

Tempt the summer to linger just a little longer by stocking some cool Loire wines. Here is a selection of one of the most famous expressions of Sauvignon Blanc - Pouilly-Fumé. Grown in vineyards near the town of Pouilly on the banks of the River Loire, the soils, embedded with marine fossils were once the floor of an ancient sea.

Also featured among our favourites is the unpretentious and pretty fruity pale pink, Rosé d'Anjou. Made from the local Grolleau black grape near the town of Anjou, Rosé d'Anjou/ Anjou Rosé enjoyed a peak of popularity in the 1980s. Chill and chill.

1) Pouilly-Fumé 2011, Pascal Jolivet, 12.5pc

This has a classic and intense smoky gun-flint bouquet. Exceptional complexity and at peak of perfection with the salty and flinty oyster shell minerality infused with the lemony acidity. For a wine like this, it comes in at exceptional value. Marry with a mature and piquant Corleggy goat's cheese.

€14.99 online at

2) Pouilly-Fumé 2014, Guy Saget, 12.5pc

Typical flinty aromas from the marine-rich soil. The flavours slowly evolve on the palate - pour into a chilled decanter to highlight the elegant and salted lemon character. Reunite with oysters.

€18.99 at SuperValu nationwide

3) Pouilly-Fume 2014, Jean Pabiot, Domaine des Fines Caillottes, 12.5pc

The palate delivers green apple, lemon peel and a mineral salty finish. Serve with a baked Gortnamona round of goat's cheese to dunk with raw carrot and celery.

€21-€23.95 at Shannon Knights, Shannon; Ardkeen Stores, Waterford and No21 Off-licences Group Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, Midleton, Charleville, Blarney, Ballincollig and Coburg Street, Cork. Also, The Little Green Grocer, Kilkenny, and in Dublin at Corkscrew and Baggot Street Wines.

4) Lamarte Rosé d'Anjou 2014, Ackerman, 10.5pc

Palest pink and medium dry with crunchy crisp red berry fruity flavours softened with a little icing sugar sweetness. Excellent partner to contrast with a salty hard cheese or chilli-hot Asian seafood.

€9.99 online at

Value buy

Rós Apple & Rhubarb Cider, Limited Edition 2016, Stonewell, Co Cork 5.5pc

Delicately scented with fresh rhubarb. Medium dry and delicious with the ultra-refreshing rhubarb lifting acidity to new heights.

€3.20/330ml in Dublin: at Gibney's Malahide and Cheers at the Laurels, Perrystown. 1601, Kinsale; Pat Sheahan, Killarney; No. 21, Listowel and The Wine Centre, Kilkenny.

Tasting notes

JP McMahon

Ireland's first Sherry Festival is taking place every Friday in September, hosted by Spanish restaurant Cava Bodega, on Middle Street, in Galway. The 'Sherry Fiesta' will include special dishes with sherry pairings to sample, as well as a series of four sherry masterclasses by various experts: Cava Bodega owner and Michelin-starred chef JP McMahon (pictured); Elizabeth Fox, wine lecturer at GMIT; and Paddy Murphy, the certified sherry educator behind The Vine Inspiration blog. Tickets are €45 per masterclass, and include a copy of JP McMahon's cookbook Tapas: A Taste of Spain in Ireland. Each masterclass is limited to 25 people and reservations are essential. See

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