O’Briens Wine Beer & Spirits
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A Return to the Classics.

A Return to the Classics.

Along with most wine bloggers, I am probably guilty of directing most my attention to the new wines on the scene, all the better if they come from an upcoming or even a surprising region or if they are produced using a largely unheard-of grape varietal or winemaking technique. Not that there is anything wrong with this per se, but it would be a shame not to give a mention to the some of the established classics every now and then.

After all, these are the wines that for most of us (myself included), first got us thinking seriously about wine, and if truth be told, these are also the wines I most often select from when choosing a wine to enjoy at home.

My first choice, Chablis, is in my opinion, the definitive dry white wine, and few producers in Chablis have such an extensive range of brilliant wines as Jean-Marc Brocard. From basic, right up to Grand Cru they excel. These are wines for the real Chablis lover, balancing wonderfully pure fruit and steely minerality. Their Chablis AC (€24.95 down to €18.95) is a benchmark for the region, showing the conference pear, chalky minerality and steely firm, citrusy acidity it's renowned for.

Jean-Marc Brocard and his Son, winemaker Julien enjoying the fruits of their labours, amidst their vines.

Next up is a wine from one of the Loire valley’s very best producers, Langlois-Chateau, which is owned and run by Champagne House Bollinger, whose quality charter is applied rigorously to all the wines of this great estate. Their Château de Fontaine-Audon Sancerre (€21.95 down to €18.95), has a terrific purity of fruit, with elderflower and piercing lemon peel freshness against a background of chalky minerality.

The grape growing and winemaking at Château Fontaine-Audon is overseen by winemaker François Régis de Fougeroux.

On to the reds now, and no collection of classics would be complete without including a Bordeaux. The example I have chosen, Château La Raz Caman (€19.95 down to €16.95), is sourced from a single vineyard which is planted on 'clayey limestone, stony' hills on the right bank of the Gironde, just across the river from Pauillac.  It is an ambitious and charming wine made with 30% new oak barrels from four varieties that has plenty of black fruits, vanilla, spice, and supple tannins.

Just-picked, these wonderfully-ripe, plump Merlot grapes are destined to form part of the blend for Château la Raz Caman

For my next choice, we must cross the Pyrenees into Spain. Based in Cenicero Rioja, Monte Real farm 300 hectares of Tempranillo vineyards with the objective of making modern fruit driven Rioja. They can trace their heritage back over 100 years and this coupled with a modern winery allows them to straddle tradition and innovation. Monte Real’s Reserva (€20.95 down to €12.95), consistently delivers a little more weight and depth than its peers, and although light in colour, it has plenty of fruit on the nose including blackberry and cherry supported by nut and toasty oak notes with the full palate also showing the classic vanilla character Rioja is renowned for.

Monte Real's Rioja Reserva, spends many years ageing in their thoroughly modern cellars.

On to Italy now, and to San Felice, where the search for quality has always been of paramount importance and this has encouraged new initiatives for the replanting of its vineyards, technological innovation in the wine cellar and experimentation. Yet through all of this, their wines remain true expressions of the Tuscan landscape from which they come. San Felice’s Il Grigio (€22.95 down to €18.95), has great concentration without being too big or flashy. Boasting real Sangiovese, black cherry character, this is as authentic as Chianti Classico gets.

Sangiovese vineyards surround San Felice's breath-takingly-beautiful Tuscan estate.

Best of all, we are offering 20% back onto your loyalty card for any six wines purchased from this Friday the 17th right up until 10.00pm on Sunday, November 26th, so there can be no better time to pop into your local store and reacquaint yourself with these classics or indeed any of the more than 200 exciting wines we have on promotion.

*Please note,  prices are correct at time of publishing, these offers will end on January 2nd, 2018, please check our website or stores for the most up to date pricing.

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