Harkin Blind '09
Mick Harkin

The great levelling power of the brown paper bag confounds one and all - again.

1. St Hallett Poacher's Blend, 2007
I thought it was Pfalz Riesling so I wasn't completely and utterly wrong. It's Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling and
it took its name from "The Night Poaching Act" of 1816 (UK). People convicted under this particular Act were transported to Australia for their "despicable crimes". It is very fruity with tones of citrus, pineapple, passion fruit and melon, but with a nice, refreshing, dry finish. I guessed its price at about €9, so somewhat dearer than I expected.
O'Briens sale
€11.24, normally €12.49

2. Zenato Lugana, Veneto, 2007
A straw yellow in colour with greenish hues, aromas of peach, citrus, banana and herbs, beautifully sustained by a crisp, minerally and supple body. The balanced acidity and a slight and pleasantly bitter finish allow for a wide choice of food pairings."
The grape is "Trebbiano di Lugana”, said to appeal to people who like fruity un-oaked Chardonnay and  Pinot Grigio (which I thought it was). Trebbiano – also known as for Ugni Blanc – is claimed to be the second-most planted grape in the world (Airen is the most planted). Lugana sits on the border between Lombardy and the Veneto on the south end of Lake Garda, where the fertile Po Valley plain rises into Northern Italy's lake country and the glacial foothills of the Alps. Lovely as always. Unfortunately, although I guessed Italy, I thought it was Pinot Grigio. How could I mistake one of my favourite whites?
.Searsons €14

3. Pouilly Fume Sainte Clelie,  Domaine Chauveau, Loire, 2006
Aromas of nettle, gun flint and a racy, sharp palate.
Unusual flavour for a dry white wine: a strong flavour of musk and smoke. Pouilly Fumé is best drunk young - 12 months after harvest - but retains its aromatic qualities for 3 - 4 years.
Pouilly is very close to Sancerre, just on the other side of the river. However, Pouilly Fumé is probably thicker, deeper and has more structure. Don't confuse it with the similar-sounding Maçon wine, Pouilly Fuissé, which is Chardonnay.
Many French lords living at the end of the 11th century left for the wars in the Holy Land and sold their assets to finance their crusades: thus the fief of Pouilly was sold to the Benedictins de la Charité for the sum of "3,100 sous and a silver mark".
.Wicklow Wine  €19.95

4. Luigi Bosca Reserve, Pinot Noir, Mendoza, Argentina, 2007
Quite light, with a pale rim. Big nose. Quite bitter; cherries, too much burn. 100% Nebbiolo Michet from the Monprivato vineyard, in the village of Castiglione Falletto.  14%. A lot of people liked this; I thought it only OK.
Searsons €14.50

5. Domaine D'Aupilhac, Montpeyroux, Coteaux du Languedoc,Les Cocalieres 2004
Completely flummoxed me: I went for Argentina, deciding it was Luigi Bosca. In fact it's Syrah 40%, Grenache 40%, Mouvedre 20%. Sylvain Fadat, the proprietor, used to grow white asparagus and is considered outspoken and wildly progressive in the region.
Wicklow Wine €22.50

6. Coyam, Bio Dynamic, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Wine of the night for me.
37% Syrah, 34% Carmenere, 14% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Mourvedre. Matured for one year in oak, 70% French, 30% American. Winemaker Alvara Espinosa. The Syrah really came out; spicy, dark. I thought Australian, though.  
O'Briens €14.99

7. Bertani Villa Novare Albion, Veneto, 2000
I thought Amarone but it's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. I also thought it somewhat medicinal and very overpriced.
O'Briens €

8. Donna Maria Amantis, Alentejo, Portugal 2005
Cab Sauv, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Touriga Nacional (10%). I thought it Coonawarra Cab Sauvignon. A very fine wine.
Wicklow Wine €

9. Chronicon Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Italy, 2005
I thought it quite like an Australian Shiraz and I liked it a lot. Good, soft tannins and pepper.
Searson €

10. Villa Rizzardi Amarone della Valpolicella, Bardolino, Italy, 2002
I didn't get Amarone at all and I thought the price about €24. It seemed very restrained and more strawberry than plum; not my idea of what an Amarone should be. It's 49% Rondinella, 25% Corvina, 10% Barbera, 9% Sangiovese and 7% Corvinone.
O'Brien's €40.45


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