Yesterday wine lovers were treated to an unprecedented opportunity to taste over 400 wines from California under one beautiful roof: The California Wine Fair at the Shelbourne Hotel gathered producers, importers, media, and the general public in a celebration of the different styles and bottles coming from the Golden State.
Choosing our top picks was certainly a challenge, but below, five bottles that stood out:
Scharmberg Blanc de Blancs 2014
€40 – Available at O’Briens Wine
A delightful oddity these side of the pond; this sparkling wine from 100% Chardonnay grapes and made with the Méthode Traditionelle offers a fresh and electrifyingly fizzy palate.
Zesty limes, green apples and nectarines take over in this elegant and fresh bubbly, which will be ideal as an aperitif or along shellfish. If you love to try different sparkling wines, this is one not to miss, specially if you have a soft spot for vintage Champagne.
Teac Mor Chardonnay 2012
€23.95 (on offer from €26.95) – Available at O’Briens Wine
California’s Russian River Valley’s privileged cool climate with oceanic influence makes it ideal for balanced wines with Burgundy’s classics, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This one is a medium bodied white of moderate acidity and a very pleasant texture.
Aromas of yellow apples, tamarind, lemon curd and acacia honey combine. It’s balanced and in a happy middle between lean and creamy.
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Pinot Noir
€37 – Available at Baggot Street Wines, Terroirs, Green Man Wines, 64 Wine
Balanced and elegant, this is a fine example of the bright and clean fruitiness fine Pinot Noir from the New World has to offer.
Juicy pomegranates, fresh cherries and a delicate earthy background combine with soft tannins and subtle spicy note.
Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
€54.95 – Available at Mitchell and Son
Appropriately named, this is a big and noble creature with plenty of wood. A classic Napa Valley Cab Sauv with mighty tannins, and a fruit dominated character made complex by the spicy and oaky notes in the background.
Expect a big body and notes of ripe blackcurrants, toasted cocoa nibs, blackberry, cedar and some leather. Long and pleasant finish.
Sonoma County Zinfandel Seghesio Family Vineyards
€36.95 – Available at The Corkscrew
This wine reminded me of Batman, dark, powerful and intense. Said that, is has a depth to it not found in more fruity bottles. Expect ripe blackberries and pomegranate syrup, along with licorice, cloves and black pepper.
A slightly colder climate contributes to a more restrained and serious Zin, balanced and with moderate tannins. One for those seeking a wine that’s big in aromas and kind on the palate.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.