Domaine Filliatreau, 2014, Samur, Champigny

You can taste the soft warm summer evening sun in this delightfully smooth yet earthy Red wine from Samur – which we visited last year. Delicious, lovely fruit, worth seeking out and it blows the myth of boring light Reds from Samur.

Brian and I enjoyed this over dinner after a hard day visiting Powerscourt Waterfall, followed by lunch in Avoca, a drop in to wish the parents a Happy New Year, then to the O’Byrnes to wish Sarah a Happy Birthday, capped with a swift Pint of Guinness in The Tinsel Knacker. The girls had Irish Wolfhound Pale Ale. Phew.

Benziger Family Glen Ellen Winery Tour & Tasting, Sonoma Valley

A very pleasant tour through their “Demeter certified Biodynamic” vineyard and extensive new eco-Cellars. We also witnessed the start of the crush and their new super duper optical grape sorting camera-laser machine.

There is an interesting desplay at the entrance to the vineyard with explains their BioDynamic philosopny which takes an originally organic ethos to a new level through all aspects of the business (

The wines we tasted were:

new 2012 Signaterra “West Rows” Chardonnay

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We tasted this sheltering from the sun under a tree in the vineyard – more like a Sauvignon Blanc than a traditional Oaked Chardonnay, this was a crisp drop with a hint of Melon nose. $32.

2012 Signaterra “La Reyna”Pinot Noir

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Light, cherry fruit with a hint of spice. €49

2011 Oonapais Sonoma Mountain Red

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Names after one of their plots this had tints of Leather and Coffee. $49

2013 Frank Johnson Sauvignon Blanc

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A typical ‘agrume’ Sauvignon Blanc: Lemon, Lime and Apple orchard. $26

2011 Winemaker’s Bend

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A blend of 6 varietals from the various plots, more leather and coffee with a plum nose. Lesley’s favourite. $42

2011 Signaterra “Three Blocks” Cabernet Sauvignon

The star for me: black fruits with a dry finish and great mouthfeel. $49.





Charmes de Kirwan, Margaux, 2007

Charmes de Kirwan 160214

Tony & Anne brought this eponymous wine to our Early Valentines dinner with the two AK47’s and their respective Husband & Spouse.

We sampled it two weeks later. This is the second wine of Chateau Kirwan (Some Irish influence through a marriage) itself a third estate of Margaux.

Elegant, well balanced claret,

Charmes de Kirwan 160214 b

Man O’War Merlot Cabernet Franc Malbec 2008

Man O’War Merlot Cabernet Franc Malbec 2008 Waiheke Island New Zealand

20130827-220310.jpgWaiheke Island is an island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand which looks more like a Polynesian Hideaway than a working vineyard. This wine is the Man O’War vineyard’s bordeaux blend: 42% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 19% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Very nice it is too. Dark blackcurrant colour, sweet tang from the Merlot, followed by rich fruit, dry rich mouth, tar macadam after taste.

O’Briens exclusive / Irish Distributor. Slightly pricey.


Reserve Saint-Clair Puisseguin Saint-Emilion 2010

Saint Clair (Small)Saint Clair R (Small)

Reserve Saint-Clair Puisseguin Saint-Emilion 2010

Puisseguin (puis-gan) allegedly means “hill with the powerful wine” in folklore and is one of the strictest appellations in Bordeaux.

This estate is under the wing of the Yvon Mau company, itself part of the Freixenet Group

Mainly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc.

Slightly sm-oaky nose, fresh fruit, and solid dry structure.

A regular Tesco offer, buy it only when it’s on offer.

Chateau Lamoliere 2009 Fronsac Famille Patrick Leon

Lamolier (Small)

From the House of the Three Crosses, dating from 1712.

In the charge of Patrick Leon and his family since 1995.

85% Merlot, Cabernet Franc 15%.

Purple color. Very rich and intense nose of ripe fruit and raspberry.

Beautiful, full bodied with a long rewarding dry finish.

Lovely mouth feel.

A delight.

A dinner gift from Mr Collet.