As our Spring Wine Festival is now just a little over five weeks away, we’re all getting very excited about it here in O’Briens!
With over 60 wineries visiting Dublin for a fantastic weekend of wine tasting on Friday & Saturday, May 11th & 12th, this will be our biggest Spring wine festival yet with over 250 wines to try and I firmly believe it will also be the best we have held. Australia, New Zealand, France, Chile, Germany, Spain, USA and Italy are just some of the countries who you will have the opportunity to explore through chatting with our winemakers and tasting their eclectic wine ranges. On the night of Thursday, May 10th we’ll also be holding our Wine Festival in Limerick, with over 170 wines from 40 wineries to taste.
Of course, we have plenty of our favourite wineries returning, many of them visit regularly, but we also have some very exciting first-time attendees, I have picked out a few below to pique your interest.
From Argentina, Vaglio is a new winery created by winemaker José LoVaglio Balbo. José’s Mother Susanna Balbo is one of Argentina’s leading winemakers, and José’s vision for Vaglio wines is to make single vineyard wines that focus on micro-climates and minimal winemaking.
For Vaglio Aggie Malbec (€16.95 down from €18.95), grapes are sourced from a single vineyard in Gualtallary, which sits at the Northern extreme of the Premium Uco Valley, the cool climate and poor soils here combine to yield wines of exceptional elegance.
On the palate, an intriguing mix of white pepper and floral notes add serious complexity to the plum and blackberry fruit. The tannins are there, but very well-integrated and the finish is fresh and long.
Moving now to the Puglia region of Southern Italy, where the Tenute Rubino project was started in the 80’s by Tommaso Rubino, who was a firm believer in Salento's potential. 1999 his son Luigi, together with his wife Romina Leopardi, took over the reins. Since then many innovations have been implemented both in vineyards and in the winemaking, including building a brand new, modern winery.
Just like his Father before Him, Luigi’s vision is clear and simple: a devoted attention to the promotion of native local varieties.
Tasting his Marmorelle Rosso (€17.95), is like tasting the Southern Italian sunshine in a glass, this is a gorgeous, richly textured red wine with an abundance of ripe fruit; cherry, blackcurrant, blueberry and blackberry along with hints of nutmeg and cocoa.
For the next two wineries I want to highlight, we must re-cross the Atlantic and head for the West-Coast of the United States.
The first of these is the iconic Silver Oak, which has been described by Robert Parker as one of the very best producers of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley. Unlike most wineries, Silver Oak also maintain their own Cooperage, so they can be certain that only the finest Missouri oak is used for the ageing of their wines.
Their seriously classy Napa Valley Cabernet (€120.00) has abundant blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours complemented baking spice and tobacco leaf notes on a palate with silky tannins and perfectly balanced acidity.
Moving northward along the Western seaboard, we come to Washington State, and the Columbia Valley which is home to Château Saint-Michelle. The mix of sunny days and cool evenings here create ideal conditions for intense aroma and flavour development.
Château Saint-Michelle Syrah (€18.95) is a very approachable red which boasts gentle pepper spice and perfectly ripe bramble fruit without ever becoming jammy, true to its label, style-wise this is very much a Syrah rather than a Shiraz.
An e-ticket will be emailed to you to bring on the day.
*Please note, prices are correct at time of publishing, please check our website or stores for the most up to date pricing.