Wine of the Week from O’Briens: Urlar Pinot Noir 2012
Life is full of coincidences… From namesakes with an uncanny resemblance, to people that have repeatedly survived a lightning strike, from those who find a wedding ring decades after loosing it, to those who re-encounter a long-lost cat miles away from home.
Randomness, destiny or our ability to reflect on things and give them meaning? It’s impossible to tell for sure but I couldn’t help but smile when the wine of the week starred a nice coincidence of its own. Or so I though, when a friend from work pointed out that Urlár -with a fada- is the Irish word for floor.
Urlar Pinot Noir 2012 is made in the region of Gladstone, New Zealand, by Angus and Davina Thompson, a Scottish couple that moved to the country in 2015, and who works along with viticulturist and winemaker Guy McAster. They embraced organic and biodynamic farming principles to work the 31 hectare vineyard they inherited.
The wine is light garnet in colour, and slightly darker that other Pinot Noirs, evidence of ageing in which only 25% of the French oak is new to avoid overpowering it.
On the nose, cranberries and ripe cherries are the first to appear, and a tame aroma of cedar follows in the background. On the palate it’s on the lighter side of medium bodied and its tannins are smooth and very soft. It has a pleasant acidity that makes the wine refreshing and an ABV of 13%.
Flavours of red berries, cherries, fresh plums and mocca merge evoking a black forest gateau, and a delicate warm chai tea note adds to its complexity.
The flower on the label is a stylish rendition of a thistle, Scotland’s national flower, and the link to the name was not a coincidence but absolutely deliberate, as they highlight on the back label that it is a Gaelic word “that means the earth”. An affectionate nod to both their sustainability principles and country of origin.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.