Two Good, Two Bad and Two Unusual

This week we begin a new series of quick tastes.

Two Good

  • I met up with winemaker Francesco Cucurrulo from Sicily recently. His family estate , Masseria del Fuedo, is organically farmed and always has been. It’s not all about IMAG0655vines either!

The Masseria del Fuedo wines are distributed by Classic Drinks out of Cork. Francesco makes brilliant wines.  I am now completely in love with the Masseria del Fuedo Nero d’Avola – sun-kissed, herbal, superb depth and tremendous savoury length.

Not all Nero d’Avola are great wines – this is. (and here I am a great fan of Sicilian Grillo ….)

Here’s a wine that exudes confidence, grace and energy. It is ageing beautifully. Lucky for us that this vintage is still in the market!

Interesting selection of Navarra gear arrived to the house last month : Thanks Navarra!


Two Bad

  • It happens now and then that either the wine maker, the distributor or the retailer gets it wrong. It might be the wine is too pricey or poorly made. It might be that the wine is just plain wrong for our market or it might just be that there is really something wrong with the wine. Lucky for us there are very few of the latter floating around these days  … ….

Our independents, retailers and distributors, need all the help they can get. It is simply unfair for a generic organisation, with a big budget to spend, to run a trade event on the same day as a pre-advertised portfolio tasting by one of our independents. We are too logosmall a market. ‘These things happen’ is a poor response as to why Wines of Australia has muscled its way onto the same date as the Mackenway Distributors portfolio tasting.  There is an excellent  Wine Diary run by Jean Smullen in place to help avoid this sort of confusion from occurring.

Mackenway Distributors have a brilliant portfolio and win the best of awards for the wines that they represent. Have a look at it here.


  • It saddens me that I was very disappointed with a wine recently. It came across as a ton of simple primary flavours with no more  substance than found in a cheap pot of jam. The sad part of this is that I like the brand and have a load of respect for its producer. That said, the current vintage of the (Undurraga’s) McKenna Cabernet Sauvignon is very poor indeed. Nothing wrong. Just very poor. This happens when a brand fights for price points. At €8.99 it is particularly good value for a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. As a ‘red wine’ from Chile this is fine. As a Cabernet?…..

In the past I have liked the McKenna red. I have every confidence that I will like it again in the future as Undurragga makes many of the best wines in Chile ….. hopefully the near future!

Two Very Unusual

I dropped in to the very excellent Green Man Wines (Wine shop and Wine bar) near Harolds Cross in Terenure D6 recently. A treasure trove for natuIMAG0664ral and organic wines – actually it’s a treasure trove for wine!

The ‘Unusual’ was a pair of natural wines from the Czech Republic by wine maker Milan Nestarec. His web site is a great read. If, like me!, you know nothing at all about the wine industry of the Czech Republic have  a dip into Milan’s US importer’s web page. It tells you everything you need to know and a lot about his Knives and Forks range currently at the Green Man Wines.

IMAG0665   IMAG0667