Jean-Marie Rimbert, Domaine Rimbert, Berlou, France
My first understanding of what Bubble Brothers were all about came through the overwhelming experience of a bottle of M. Rimbert's Mas au Schiste fairly soon after I joined the business. It's not an overstatement to call this a cult wine, and I have no hesitation from vintage to vintage in recommending it to anyone who enjoys red wine. It's one of those wines where the cost is identifiably worth it. Rather like Bubble Brothers, Domaine Rimbert has had to make a brand out of itself, with no famous heritage to trade on and only the quality of the goods to judge by.
M. Rimbert is an entirely hands-on winemaker, and his sense of humour makes dealing with the Domaine and selling his wines a pleasure. It will be an honour to meet him. It's not every day my communications with France contain much scope for language outside the strictly commercial, so the punning names and humorous labels of the Rimbert wines are a blast of fresh air, and suggest an approach to life that fits very well with the sociable character of the wines.
I'm hoping M. Rimbert will manage to bring some samples with him - my latest order will be arriving in Cork just a few hours too late - so that we might get the chance to taste the Carignator, the very mighty Carignan that comes out at nearly fortified strength and simply demands something like roast boar as an accompaniment.
Pablo de las Heras, Bodegas Pingón, Ribera del Duero, Spain
We have enjoyed considerable success with our wines from the Ribera del Duero in northern central Spain. They offer a style generally plumper and richer than Riojas, but at better prices and with a similar grading from young reds to crianzas to reservas. Pablo de las Heras has been an enthusiastic and friendly correspondent: I am especially grateful to him for telling me to stop apologizing for always being too busy! Pablo will be presenting three of the 'Carramimbre' range from Bodegas Pingón: the young wine and crianza that we stock already, and also the premium reserva grade, which is new to us, and which should be just marvellous. A perfect special bottle Christmas present.
Brett Fleming, representing Yering Station and Mount Langi Ghiran
In a previous post, I mentioned the visit of Brett to the Wine Depot earlier in the year. Since then, we have worked with him to add to our range some new Australian wines from the portfolio he represents. On Tuesday, you will be able to try an inexpensive but fabulous Pinot Noir and Shiraz-Viognier from Yering Station in the Yarra Valley, and perhaps their corresponding Chardonnay - so new, we've had to ask Brett to bring samples in his luggage!
We'll also be very proud to show off a trio of uncompromising (-ly moreish) Shiraz wines from Mount Langi Ghiran, which are not to be sneezed at, despite astonishingly focused black pepper character that proves terroir isn't just for Europe.
A representative of Chanoine Frères will also be joining us,
to show off not only the Tsarine champagne that was enjoyed by Michael and Niamh Flatley's guests last weekend, but also the Chanoine-labelled brut and brut rosé, which are very delicious and more affordable. It'll be a treat to welcome a champagne supplier and get up to date with all the latest in the world of bubbly.
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