A Juicy Red With Irish Roots For St. Patrick’s Weekend

MARY DOWEY finds a delicious, poised red from the RHÔNE VALLEY

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Les Deux Cols Cuvée d’Alizé, Côtes du Rhône 2015

Nobody in Ireland knows more about the Rhône Valley than wine importer Simon Tyrrell. For more than two decades he has travelled over every vine-clad square metre of this vast, exciting region, sniffing out the best bottles from the most talented producers. So when, a couple of years ago, Simon decided to begin making wine there himself, Rhône enthusiasts were pretty confident that the results would be impressive. We were right. Try this poised red and you’ll see why.

Although the star grape is Grenache and the understudy Syrah following the usual southern Rhône formula, the less familiar grape Cinsault accounts for 10% of the total blend. This means that the rich flavours which are so typical of the Côtes du Rhône are draped around a deliciously juicy core. Not only is Cuvée d’Alizé immediately inviting with notes of red and black cherries and wild Mediterranean herbs, but it holds its appeal – helped by a silky texture and Cinsault’s vibrant freshness.

Food matching? Don’t worry about it. Medium-bodied rather than a heavyweight (despite what you might guess from its alcohol level), this wine will slip down nicely with almost any food that you feel requires a red. Roast or casseroled meats, cheese dishes, flavoursome vegetarian fare… all will taste the better for it. I could even imagine myself knocking back a glass with a brunch-time plate of bacon and egg – perfect insulation against predictably chilly Paddy’s weekend weather.

Les Deux Cols is a winemaking venture south-west of Avignon run by Simon Tyrrell in collaboration with Charles Derain, familiar to many Dubliners as a popular former sommelier at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. So there – you have two Irish connections for the price of one.

Alcohol: 14 %

From Searsons, Monkstown & www.searsons.com; 64 Wine, Glasthule; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Artisan Wine Shop at One Pery Square, Limerick; Bradleys, Cork, around €16.95.

MARY DOWEY @MaryDowey

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