The Saint Patrick’s day celebrations that take place all over the world each year are a reminder to us all that the Irish have always looked beyond these shores.
Although historically this was mainly for reasons of political or economic necessity, these enterprising emigrants often sought out or created exciting opportunities for themselves in their adopted countries of residence.
In the case of France many of the best of these opportunities lay in the wine trade, evidence of the of the success of these Irish “wine geese” of centuries ago is still plain to see in the names of some of today’s leading Chateaux such as Lynch-Bages, Kirwan, Leoville-Barton and of course at the Cognac house of Hennessy.
But the story doesn’t end here, because while these pioneers blazed a trail, there is new generation of young Irish making a name for themselves in the wine-world of the south of France today, such as Isla Gordon.
After spending a number of years training under Jeremy Hyland, possibly the best regarded viticulturist in NZ, at Kim Crawford wines and later at Astrolabe wines, Isla and her Australian winemaker Husband Paul decided it was time to set out on their own and chose the Languedoc as the place best suited to the style of wine they both wanted to produce.
Today, working with some unique terroirs and old vineyards treated organically and by hand, the Gordons produce some stunningly good old world wines but with a modern Oz twang such as the delicious wine below.
Domaine Sarabande Faugeres (€21.49) is a typical Southern French Blend with aromas dominated by black cherries and plums, with the Carignan adding a forest floor character. The Carignan and Syrah underwent malolactic fermention. This adds complexity to the palate, which is packed with fruit, but has a soft lingering finish.