Mary Dowey’s Bottle of The Week: A Brilliantly Succulent Red

A mouthwatering LOIRE RED – and a tasting to cheer up February …

Les Quarterons Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, Amirault 2015

The endless craze for Sauvignon Blanc, either from the Loire valley or inspired by it, has obscured other far more exciting wines from this vast and varied region. Although its output is mainly white, some of my favourite bottles, like this one, are red.

The most important thing to say about it is that it’s brilliantly succulent, mingling notes of dark fruits, leather, pepper and damp earth in a velvet-smooth body – and, as is the case with all well-made wines, the flavours linger on and on. Les Quarterons has striking purity and rippling energy too. This may be because it is biodynamic, carrying certification from the Demeter association as well as the organic body Ecocert.

It comes from Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil on the borders of Anjou and Touraine, one of four Loire regions highly rated for their reds (along with Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur-Champigny). The main grape is Cabernet Franc which I love for its zesty, leafy character. Because of it Loire reds are often regarded as ideal for spring and summer drinking but recently I’ve noticed a growing demand for more refreshing red wines all year round.  

Clos des Quarterons, the estate responsible for this juicy beauty, has been in the hands of the Amirault family since the 1830s. The current generation is not merely quality-obsessed but utterly convinced that biodynamic methods result in better balanced wines besides helping to preserve the balance of nature.

This is just one of many impressive wines from Searsons which wine fans will very soon have an opportunity to explore. Searsons’ Annual Portfolio Tasting takes place at the Marker hotel in Dublin’s Docklands on Monday February 4, 6-8pm. With around 120 wines open for sampling from 35 producers active in 40 regions, isn’t this precisely the escape you need from a dark, dreary February evening? 

Alcohol: 12.5% 

From Searsons, Monkstown and www.searsons.com, currently reduced from €21.95 to €18.55

Tasting tickets €15 from www.searsons.com

@MaryDowey

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