Rugby & Rioja
Paul O'Connell takes to the field withMunster for one last time, totake on Glasgow warriors this Saturday evening in the showcase final of Rugby’s Pro12.
Ordinarily I might have taken a momentous occasion such asthis as an opportunity to write about some Scotch Malt Whisky or even about some of the wonderful craft beers now being produced by our Celtic cousins.
However after blogging about both beer/food matching and gin last week, I thought I better steer things back towards wine.
Surely not a Scottish wine, I hear you say, well don’t worry, I won’t be writing about a wine made in Scotland, instead I plan to tell you all about one of our most exciting new listings from Rioja, which is made by a Scottish winemaker.
Scottish-born Pamela Geddes is consultant winemaker for La Cuna de la Poesía, Pamela has worked for 15 years as a microbiologist/winemaker for some of the world's best-known wineries, from Southcorp and Penfolds in Australia to Chile's Viña Millaman where she also spent several vintages. After visiting Barcelona and falling in love with the city, Pamela decided to settle there, and has been making a wonderful range of wines across a number Spanish DO’s ever since.
La Cuna de la Poesía (€17.99 down to €12.99, plus 10% back on your loyalty card this bank holiday weekend!) is a classic Rioja Reserva with lifted notes of black fruits, figs and vanilla on the nose which lead in to a palate that is packed with rich, ripe fruit flavours along with hints of spice and a smooth and long-lasting finish.
The blend is made up of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano & 5% Mazuelo. As Spain’s most lauded grape, I’m sure that Tempranillo needs very little introduction, the others though you may not be too familiar with, so all you really need to know is that they are both high-acid varieties, this helps produce a more complex, elegant and long-lived style of wine.
The winery and vineyards lie on the path of the world-famous Camino de Santiago, nestled in the heart of Spain’s Rioja Alta wine region, and all of the fruit is sourced from well-established trellised vineyards planted at an altitude of 650m.
These premium high-altitude vineyards in la Rioja Alta, have a distinctly cool micro-climate, greatly influenced by the Atlantic, which also helps Pamela, produce an extremely elegant Rioja.
Lastly given that this Rioja is a Reserva, the wine was aged in 225L American oak barrels for a period of 18 months. This was followed by a period of 36 months ageing in the bottle. This extensive ageing, not only softens the wine but also adds many layers of flavour complexity.
Try this wine with roast leg of Lamb and you are in for a real treat!
Of course you don’t just have to take my word for it, if you want to taste this wonderful wine, why not head down to your local O’Briens store, where it will be open and available to taste right though this weekend.
If you can’t do that be sure to look out for it at the Rioja pavilion at Taste of Dublin.