Reviews

Accolade for Cassa Silva

Casa Silva, a family owned winery from the Colchagua valley in Chile, has been voted Winery of the Year 2013 by the Association of Chilean Wine and Wines of Chile.  This culminates a year that saw Casa Silva win Gold and Silver at Vinalties 2013 and Challenge International du Vin 2013.  Casa Silva wines are distributed in Ireland by Febvre & Company Limited.

The Winery of the Year Award was presented to President of Casa Silva, Mario Silva Cifuentes and CEO Mario Pablo Silva by René Araneda, President of Wines of Chile and Luis Mayol, Chilean’s Minister for Agriculture at a Wine Gala event.

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The Riedel Show Hits Town

The Riedel Roadshow rolled into Dublin again this week, led on this occasion by the ‘Pater Familia’, Georg.

The programme was familiar- a round of interviews, a trade and media workshop and an evening sell-out tasting at €90 a pop for a largely corporate public.

Being first in the queue to meet the most publicised wine glass manufacturer on the planet, I asked him what constitutes a good wine glass.

‘Balance’ he replied, ‘and handblown, along with good quality glass and a bowl which tapers inwards to concentrate the aroma of the wine’

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So all Riedel glasses are handblown ?

‘Not at all- it is an expensive process. More than 99% of our glasses are machine blown, but to a very high standard’.

‘But the glass is of very high quality ?’

‘We use the Ravenscroft formula which dates back to the 17th. Century and which creates a glass with a strong molecular structure’.

The English glassmaker did indeed pioneer lead crystal glass which was noted for its brilliance, clarity and high refraction. So are all Reideel glasses made from lead crystal?

‘Not at all. Lead crystal is also very expensive, it accounts for about 10% of our production but 25% of our sales revenue. That gives you an idea of the price.’

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Appealing Cases from Galway

It was only a matter of time for quality wines from Slovenia to make their debut on the Irish market. Ever since the country joined the EU in 2004, its wine industry has been in the process of modernisation with the help of EU funding and a small but significant number of wine growers are now producing bottles which can match those of West European competitors in terms of quality and value.

Lower end Slovenian wines can be found in some multiples, but Cases Wine Warehouse from Galway is listing a small but interesting selection from Vina Poljsak in the Vipavska Valley.

At a portfolio tasting in Dublin this week, Cases md Peter Boland showed a Sauvignon Blanc and Rumeni Muscat from this producer, both of which were good examples of their varietals and indeed of this region which also produces quantities of Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and the indigenous Zelen, Pinela, and Vitovska Garganja grapes. Both wines were from the quality end of the Slovenian industry and with rrps of €23.95, they are likely to appeal to either the adventurous or the specialist consumer.

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