• Vintage Wine

    TWO bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1955 and a case of Chateau Latour 1966 were among historic Bordeaux vintages on sale with wines from Burgundy and Italy at a Bonhams San Francisco auction over the weekend.

    The two Lafite bottles were part of a mixed seven-bottle lot from the estate, which carried a top estimate of $15,000 (€11,300) and also included four of its 1982 vintage and one from 1988.

    The auction came as the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of top Bordeaux vintages has risen 4pc this year, with declines since mid-March following a gain of 8pc in the first 10 weeks of the year.

    Demand at auctions has been driven by older Burgundy vintages.

    “While Bordeaux struggles to inspire the market, other regions are thriving,” Liv-ex wrote on its market blog. “Relative values look vastly different to the market’s peak two years ago.”

    29/7/2013

  • Riedel Tasting

    Mitchell & Son are delighted to announce a unique wine event where tradition meets innovation.Vinum_group_6416_0179-14

    Georg Riedel, the 10th generation of the Riedel glass-making dynasty, will host a comparative glassware tasting on Monday 9th September 2013 in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.

    Georg will personally guide you through a unique wine tasting experience. It will be an exciting evening of fine wine and an opportunity to understand the important relationship between the shape of a glass and our perception and enjoyment of wine.

    Robert Parker Jnr, reviewing the impact of Riedel glasses in wine tasting in The Wine Advocate, wrote “The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those made by Riedel. The effect of these glasses on fine wine is profound. I cannot emphasise enough what a difference they make.”

    Individual Ticket: €90
    Pair of Tickets: €170
    Group Ticket for Table of 6 People: €480

    Early Bird Offer!!!
    Book before the end of July and receive a 10% discount off the prices listed above!

    Each participant will receive a tasting set of Riedel Vinum XL glassware worth €90 that is yours to keep!

  • Top wine firm to pour a million bottles down drain

    A million bottles of wine are to be poured down the drain by Australia’s biggest winemaker after it failed to sell enough of its product. Treasury Wine Estates, the world’s second-biggest winemaker, has said it is planning to clear a backlog of unwanted wine in the US. Treasury, which produces Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount, says it will dispose of only cheaper wines – worth about €3.50 a bottle – which have a limited shelf life.

    17/7/2013.

  • Glendalough

    Glendalough Poitín launch will take place at 37, Dawson Street, Dublin,2 on Monday, 15th July,2013.

    Details of Glendalough Poitín under NEWS/ARCHIVE/GLENDALOUGH .

  • Glendalough

    The Original Irish Spirit

    Before there was whiskey, there was poitín. Pronounced pucheen, it is the original Irish spirit, the very first “water of life”.

    cover_pic

    Poitín was first made with expertise and reverence, around the 6th century, by Irish monks, the master distillers of their time. In 1661 it was outlawed and forced into the wilderness, where it enjoyed an illicit romanticism.
    Remote glens where the winds swept through, broke up the smoke from the peat fires, and kept prying eyes, and the law, away. Over the next few hundred years it lived in whispered infamy between chancers, bowsies and divils. Amongst winks, nods and backhanders. Until now.
    We’ve harnessed tradition, craft, heritage and provenance to capture more than fourteen centuries of distilling expertise in this notorious drink. It is a carefully crafted, Irish mountain spirit, made from malted barley and aged in virgin Irish oak. The result is a smooth but complex mix of malted barley sugars and toasted, woody flavours. Mix it, cut it, sip or straight shoot it. Carefully.

    How to drink it

    Glendalough is rich with history and taste. It’s a smooth but complex poitín, matured in virgin, Irish oak with tastes of malted barley. It’s grand with a mixer, cut it with soda water and a wedge of lime. Neat is best, if you’ve got the bottle. Also a traditional rub for aches and pains. Here are a few other suggestions.

    Saint Kevin of Glendalough

    Early in the 6th century, the fairbegotten Kevin founded Glendalough. The son of Irish royalty, he left it all behind and broke out to make it on his own terms. The details of his life have passed into myth and many legends, the most famous of which is shown on our bottle

    A gander at the goose

    When Kevin discovered Glendalough, he spent seven happy years living his outdoor life, relying on his woodsmanship and his relationship with nature. Soon though, so many people had come to share the outdoor life with him, he had to build a settlement of some sort. The paradise valley of two lakes was owned by a pagan king called O’Toole. A harsh sort, who was none too happy with this wild man and his followers hanging around his glen. He had soft spot though. An old grey goose he’d grown fond of over the years, that was on its last legs and couldn’t even manage to fly. He called for Kevin, by now famous for his way with the animals, to take a gander at the poor old goose. The price Kevin asked for curing the goose would be whatever land it could fly over. Remembering his goose had one webbed foot in the grave, O’Toole agreed. When Kevin touched the bird, it grew young and flew over the whole valley of Glendalough and so the famous holy city was founded.

    Red in tooth and claw

    King Colman of Fælan had lost all his sons, but his youngest, to early death. It was said evil spirits had a grip on his house. So, to protect the last of his line, the king sent the baby to St. Kevin. However, it was the early days of Glendalough and the herd wasn’t what it would be. The lack of cows meant there was no milk for the youngster. Kevin, seeing a doe on the monastery grounds, commanded it to nurse the babe prince along with her fawn. Which of course, she did. But true to what happens in wild places like Glendalough, a bitch wolf killed the doe before the child was weaned. As a penitence for the slaughter of the doe, the wolf was commanded to provide milk for the baby and the fawn until both were weaned. Which of course, she did.

    The light of the dark black night

    The fair begotten Kevin was a keen and skilled outdoorsman. He would spend months and years on end out surviving off the wilderness. He was in tune with the wild and had an understanding with the animals of the glen. One day while out praying, arms outstretched, admiring the beautiful valley, a blackbird landed on his hand. She was so comfortable in his palm that she nested, laying three small, bluish-green eggs. There was nothing for it but for Kevin to stand stoic and unmoving for a fortnight, until the chicks hatched. He endured for another few weeks while they became fledglings and could make it on their own. This all happened by the lower lake, where an otter he knew brought him fish to keep his strength up. Nobody knows where Kevin was buried, after he died at the ripe old age of 120. But to this day, the blackbirds of Glendalough gather every evening in the same spot to sing out the sunset.

    Glendalough, or the Glen of two Lakes, is one of the most beautiful valleys in Ireland.

    They say Europe was brought out of the dark ages by Irish monks bringing learning from places like Glendalough.

    The two ribbon lakes, created by the gouging of a glacier, gave the valley its name. When the valley was formed in the last ice age, great deposits of earth and stone were strewn across the valley in the area where the Round Tower now exists.

    The mountain streams eventually formed a large lake. The Pollanass river spread alluvial deposits across the centre of the lake and created a divide to form the Upper and Lower Lakes. The Glenealo river flows in from the West into the Upper lake which is the larger and deepest of the two lakes. (there’s talk of a monster in the Upper Lake – banished from the lower one by Kevin)

    Before the arrival of St. Kevin this valley (glen) would have been desolate and remote. It must have been ideal for Kevin his outdoor living ‘away from it all’, until his fame brought followers and with them the beginnings of Kevin’s legacy. Kevin died in 617 A.D. at the age of 120 years. His name and life’s work is forever entwine with the ruins and the Glendalough Valley.

    GLENDALOUGH POITÍN
    THE LAUNCH PARTY
    We’ll be kicking off around seven
    at 37, Dawson St, on Monday 15th July
    See you there,
    Barry, Brian, Gary, Kevin & Donal.
    the Glendalough team
  • Lapostolle

    Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Carmenère 2011 wonDouble Gold Medal and was chosen the best organic wine from Chile, the highest award in this important Chilean organic wine competition.

    Bocanariz wine bar in Santiago was the scene for a morning of blind tastings in which 10 Chilean experts (winemakers, sommeliers and journalists) judged 45 wines from a total of 12 wineries.

    All Lapostolle wines submitted obtained an accolade:Cuvée Alexandre Merlot 2011 won a gold medal and the Cuvée Alexandre Chardonnay 2011 and Syrah Las Kuras 2010 both won silver medals.

    Lapostolle began farming organically from 2006. Since 2011 all their vineyards are certified organic by the German body of Certification CERES©. In addition, the winery also practices Biodynamic agriculture, certified by Demeter©; has ISO 14001 environmental certification, and is certified Carbon Neutral Delivery by The Carbon Neutral Company© for reducing to net zero de CO2 emissions from their wine exports.

    More information: www.lapostolle.com

  • Peter Lehmann

    Peter Lehmann

    Peter Lehmann, who has died aged 82, was a leading Australian winemaker who instigated many of the changes which have revolutionised Australian wines over the past half century.

    Peter Lehmann wine

    After the war almost nobody drank Australian wines – even in Australia. French wines dominated, and in the 1970s Monty Python famously lampooned the typical Antipodean bottle of red as “Chateau Chunder”.

    A big, chain-smoking man with a gravelly voice and a salty turn of phrase, Lehmann might have been a Chateau Chunder-grower from central casting. As a winemaker, however, he was cut from a very different cloth.

    During the 1970s Lehmann worked for the Saltram winery in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, an enterprise mainly engaged in producing red wine in bulk for the British market. In the mid- ’70s the business was bought by the agri-giant Dalgety. As Saltram’s chief winemaker Lehmann was responsible for buying fruit from independent growers, but in 1977 there was a grape glut and Lehmann was instructed by the new owners to break the oral contracts he had agreed and not to buy any grapes for the 1978 vintage.

    Lehmann had grown up among the Barossa Valley growers – mostly the descendants of Prussian Lutherans who had settled in South Australia in the 19th century – and shared their deep sense of community. Rather than leave them with unsold grapes on their hands and facing possible bankruptcy, he set up a winery outside the Saltram organisation. “They allowed me to form an outside company and process the grapes at Saltram for $50 a tonne,” he recalled. “I don’t think they thought we had any hope of success.”

    He called it Masterson Barossa Vignerons, after Sky Masterson, the Damon Runyon character from the “Guys and Dolls” collection of stories. Masterson was a gambler; the queen of clubs – the “Gambler’s card” – became the company logo. Family and friends rallied round and Lehmann managed to buy $2 million worth of grapes. The plan was to make bulk wine from the fruit and sell it to the industry, but the glut soon forced Lehmann to bottle his own wine for sale.

    With investor backing, he built his own winery at Tanunda in time for the 1980 harvest, and in 1982, the company changed its name to Peter Lehmann Wines.

    Careful selection of fruit – particularly Shiraz and Riesling grapes – and close attention to winemaking paid off and soon Lehmann began turning out a range of wines that were consistently good at all levels. He was one of the first to promote Australian wines overseas (though the bare-breasted blonde adorning the label of a Sémillon sold in Australia had to be covered up for the North American market), and his wines won numerous international trophies. Lehmann himself was named International Winemaker of the Year in 2003 and 2006.

    Known in Australia as the “Baron of the Barossa”, Lehmann was held in high esteem by local grape growers as the man who almost single-handedly saved their industry and way of life. Some 140 growers pledged their fruit to his winery and his weighbridge became a place where the area’s farmers would assemble every harvest time to swap stories over bottles of wine and platters of pickles, cheese and slices of mettwurst.

    Lehmann’s contribution to the industry was acknowledged in 2009 with an International Wine Challenge Lifetime Achievement Award and he became the first Australian wine industry figure to be appointed to the Order of Australia.

    The son of a Lutheran pastor, Peter Lehmann was born at Angaston, in the Barossa Valley, on August 18 1930. After his father’s death in 1944 he left school to help his mother and became an apprentice at the local Yalumba winery, a family concern, in 1947. 12 years later, by which time he had become a winemaker in his own right, he moved down the road to another family winery, Saltram.

    At the time, nearly all Barossa wines were fortified, but Saltram was one of the few Australian companies which made table wine. He became the company’s chief winemaker and, to increase production, forged strong personal bonds with local growers. As a result, when he took the hugely risky step of going it alone, many Saltram employees and growers went with him.

    Peter Lehmann Wines went public in the 1990s, but Lehmann continued to preside at the weighbridge, weighing and assessing the grapes every day of every vintage. The year after his official retirement in 2002, the winery was sold to the Swiss-based Hess Group for $US103 million. But Lehmann continued to live there until his death.

    Peter Lehmann is survived by his wife, Margaret, and by three sons and a daughter.

    Peter Lehmann, born August 18 1930 died June 28 2013