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Wine expert David Whelehan will be showing us some wines that he is a big fan of and are featuring in Superquinns' Mediterranean Wine and Food Sale.
Castellani Frascati Superiore 2010 €6.00 (reduced form €8.19)
Our Frascati is selected from vineyards located in the heart of the hills of Albano (south of Rome). The grapes that compose the blend of this classic DOC (Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia del Lazio and Trebbiano tosc.) come from vines cultivated on special volcanic soil.
It has a floral and orange blossoms aroma and a distinctive tropical fruit character and will shine alongside a good "carbonara" or "cacio e pepe" pasta.
Emotivo Pinot Grigio 2011 €6.00 (reduced from €8.99)
This wine has delicate floral aromas with a hint of citrus. PALATE: Light, crisp and refreshing with a citrus fruit note.
Ageing potential: This wine should be enjoyed when fresh and youthful. Alcohol 12%.Winemaker:Alessandro Botter
Candido Salice Salentino 2006 €9 (reduced from €12.49)
David has been a big fan of this wine for over a decade and have often recommended it at the €12.49 price point. At €9 it gets the big thumbs up. Made from a blend of Negroamara (95%) and Malvasia, this is a rich flavoursome wine with savoury, leathery aormas and flavours balanced by some ripe plumy notes. Perfect for barbecue fare.
Château Musar 2005 €20 (reduced from €27.44)
David has been massive fan of this wine for the last 20 years, it has international cult status and almost has that kind of 'best kept secret' vibe about it. Follows are the notes from their website. This wine is rarely promoted so it is definitely worth grabbing a few bottles.
In youth, Chateau Musar Reds are dense and richly-textured, with intense 'baked fruit' characters: plums, damsons, cranberries, cherries, figs and dates. Bordeaux grape Cabernet Sauvignon lends black fruit flavours; Rhône grapes Cinsault and Carignan contribute fragrance (violets; pepper) and supple spiciness.
Either set of qualities might dominate a particular vintage, but the style is always emphatically Lebanese: enticingly aromatic, with persistent fruit flavours. Over decades the wines acquire tawny hues and mellow notes. We still offer wines from the 1950s: mesmerising artefacts of vintage.
Grapes and vines: Seven years in the making, Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Ammiq, Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years): 35hl per hectare. Winemaking The varietal components in Chateau Musar Red undergo lengthy fermentations in cement-lined vats at temperatures below 30°C. Racked from their yeast 'lees' 6 months after the harvest they are transferred into French barrels (oak from the forest of Nevers, one-third new each vintage) for one year.
Blending: The varietal components are brought together two years after the harvest; the resulting blend is then placed back in cement-lined tanks before being bottled 12 months later. Each wine is blended to reflect the strengths of the vintage: in hotter years, Cabernet Sauvignon might dominate (the thick-skinned grapes fare better in the heat); cooler conditions can favour the Cinsault grape. After 4 years' bottle maturation in the deep stone cellars of Chateau Musar, the finished wines are released a full seven years after the harvest.
Decanting and serving: Bottled unfined and unfiltered, Chateau Musar Reds are suitable for vegans (fining agents often contain animal proteins); they're also richly-textured and likely to 'throw a crust'. This is a common feature of most fine wines and is especially true of Musar Red vintages over a decade old. Ideally, bottles should be stood up the night before opening to settle any sediment. After careful decanting (and discarding of sediment, usually in the last centimetre of the bottle) the wine should be allowed to breathe for several hours and served at 18°C with roasts, grills (especially lamb), casseroles, game, and mature cheeses.
Storage: To keep the wines showing at their best, bottles must be cellared in darkness, lying on their sides and not subjected to unnecessary movement or fluctuations in temperature.