Le Caveau Blog & Wine News

The Real Wine Month – April 2014


The Real Wine Month will be running throughout the whole of April to promote natural wines in Ireland and the UK.

Natural wines are made from organic or biodynamic grapes with minimal intervention in the winery. The Real Wine Month will seek to highlight and celebrate these wines in restaurants and independent retailers by making them widely available for consumers to taste, and enjoy.


Over 40 participants so far and counting!


Participating restaurants (Ireland) :

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry Co.Cork

Fallon and Byrne Restaurant, Dublin 2

Hatch & Sons, St-Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Chapter One, Dublin 1

La Cave wine bar, Dublin 2

Café Paradiso, Cork

Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co. Waterford

Zuni, Kilkenny

Anocht @ Kilkenny Design Centre, Kilkenny

Campagne, Kilkenny

The Grapevine wine and tapas bar, Kilkenny

Trinity College Cellars, Dublin 2

Etto, Dublin 2

DeVille’s Restaurant, Dalkey, Co.Dublin

The Arch Bistro, Churchtown, Dublin 14

Uki-Yo, Dublin 2

The Box Tree, Stepaside Village, Dublin 18

One Pico, Dublin 2

China Sichuan, Sandyford, Dublin 18

The Green House, Dublin 2

Marcel’s, Dublin 4

The Cliff Townhouse, Dublin 2

The Black Pig Wine Bar, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Ely Wine Bar, Ely Place, Dublin 2

Ely Bar and Brasserie Chq , IFSC, Dublin 1

Ely Gastro Bar Hq, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2

Ghan House, Carlingford, Co.Louth

Trax Brasserie, Naas, Co. Kildare

Bouchon (Above Kavannagh’s Pub), Naas, Co. Kildare

Taste Matters, Loughrea, Co. Galway

Inis Meain Restaurants and Suites, Aran Islands, Co. Galway

Locks Brasserie, Portobello, Dublin 8

Roly Saul : The Restaurant, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14

Jacques Restaurant, Cork


Participating wine shops and off licences (Ireland) :

The Corkscrew, Dublin 2

64 wines, Glasthule, Co. Dublin

Fallon and Byrne Wine Cellar, Dublin 2

World Wide Wines, Waterford

La Touche Wines, Greystones, Co.Wicklow

Mac Guinness Wine Merchants, Dundalk, Co.Louth

Clontarf Wines, Clontarf, Co.Dublin

Blackrock cellar, Blackrock, Co.Dublin

Liston’s Food Store, Dublin 2

Baggot Street Wines, Dublin 2

Nectar Wines, Sandyford, Dublin 18

Le Caveau, Kilkenny


Restaurants, wine bars, wine shops – Interested in joining in? don’t delay, email us secure@lecaveau.ie or contact 056 77 52166


Real Wine Month Events and Tastings in Ireland:


Alliance Francaise, Dublin 2 –  Wednesday 9th April 2014 – ‘Exploring Bordeaux’ with Claire O’Boyle-Gallagher

– Real Wine Month Natural wine Tasting and Seminar (trade and press) – Wednesday 16th April 2014 – 4 to 6 pm – Ely Wine Bar (upstairs), Ely Place, Dublin 2 – Moderated by Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene, with guests natural winegrowers: Elena Pantaleoni of La Stoppa (Emilia Romagna, Italy) and Craig Hawkins of Testalonga wines (South Africa) – Places are limited please call Claire, Gary or Pascal to book your seat!

The Dundalk Wine Circle – Wednesday 23rd April – ‘Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wines’ with Claire O’Boyle-Gallagher

Fallon and Byrne, Dublin 2 – ‘Real Wine Tutored Tasting’ – Thursday 24th April – 7pm – wine@fallonandbyrne.com – tel: 01 4721012 – €25

Blackrock cellar, Blackrock, Co.Dublin – ‘Organic, Bodynamic and Natural Wines Tasting’ – Friday 25th April – 6pm-8pm – Contact: Graham Kearney  – Tel: 01 2783844

Baggot Street Wines, Dublin 2 – Thursday 17th April – 5 to 7 pm – Natural wine tasting with Claire O’Boyle-Gallagher – free

World Wide Wines, Waterford – ‘Real wine tasting’ – Friday 25th April 2014 – 4 to 8pm – declan@worldwidewines.ie – tel: 051 878 798 – free

Café Paradiso, Cork – Monday 28th April – 7pm – ‘Real Food and Wine Dinner’ – 5-course dinner with matching wines – info@cafeparadiso.ie – tel: 21 4277939 – €60


Related posts / blogs:

The Vine Inspiration, March 6th 2014

Matthew Nugent, The Irish Sun March 8th 2014



and also don’t miss …….. The Real Wine Fair London

RealWineFair1                             Meet the winemakers


13th – 14th April 2014

    • Sunday April 13th (Trade & Public) 10am – 6pm
    • Monday April 14th (Trade) 10am – 6pm

VENUE | Tobacco Dock, Wapping, E1W 2SF

over 150 growers will present their wines in London during these 2 days (Sunday is open to the public)


Full list of participants to the Real Wine Month (UK and Ireland) here



Nice double for Tour des Gendres…

We’ve never been shy in stating we are absolute fans of Tour des Gendres’ Bergerac wines. Since our first meeting with Luc de Conti in his estate, back in Easter 2000, we have always appreciated his pioneering and innovating approach to winemaking. Today, Luc’s wines are articulate, pure-fruited and sure-footed as ever without ever lacking personality.

Luc is a regular visitor to our shores, often in company of his best pal, Pascal Verhaeghe of neighbouring Cahors Chateau du Cedre. So it was a real pleasure to see his ‘Cuvée des Contis’ recommended by John Wilson in the Irish Times last week-end (incidentally I was myself in Luc’s company at Vinisud wine fair in Montpellier at the time and we received the good news together); then this week-end, Mary Dowey recommended his red Bergerac Classique in the Gloss Magazine.

Irish Times Tour des Gendres


Artisan wine tasting 2014 – Trade and Press


Le Caveau

Artisan Wine Tasting – Trade and Press

Fallon and Byrne, 6th February 2014

10:30 to 17:30

Our annual Portfolio tasting took place on Thursday 6th February, in Fallon and Byrne, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2. This is the event which kicks off the new year for us as it is the time where we present our new wines, new vintages and fresh-from-the-printer wholesale list to sommeliers, restaurateurs, wine buyers, wine writers and journalists.

As always, a few wine growers and winery export Managers came up to introduce their wines – Corina from Solar de Urbezo (Carinena, Spain); Laure from Clos de Caveau (Vacqueyras, Rhone Valley); Pedro from Bodegas Fuentenarro (Ribera del Duero); Carlo of Monte dall’Ora (Veneto); Felice of Cantina Frentana (Abruzzo); Pedro of Framingham Vineyards (New Zealand), Stéphane paid us a fourth consecutive visit and introduced his Bordeaux wines from Chateau Turcaud and Dario of Les Caves de Pyrene, another regular to our tastings, came up from London. Their presence give an extra dimension to our tasting and we are very grateful they took the time off their busy schedule to come over and assist us.

The turn-out was brilliant, there was a great buzz in the room all day and we would like to sincerely thank everyone who came. The wines showed up very well, there are days you feel wines are closed, and feel a bit numb, but luckily, this wasn’t the case last Thursday (probably a fruit day in the biodynamic calendar?) – Incidentally, we had 2 faulty bottles out of over 190 openned, again this is fair and it certainly proves the cork industry have cleaned up their act over recent years.

The day ended with growers (and ourselves!) being very satisfied with the turn-out and commenting on the professionalism and knowledge of the tasters, and this is a real tribute to the Irish wine scene.


Read Paddy of The Vine Inspiration’s views of Jean Foillard Morgon Cote de Py

2014Tastinga                                                                                                                2014Tastingb



Beaujolais Nouveau, il est la!

Beaujolais Nouveau 2013

Like many people, I suppose, I had long been dismissive about the wines of Beaujolais. That was until I tasted Jean Foillard’s magnificent Morgon Côte du Py a few years ago…It completely changed my perspective on the possibilities for honest, authentic and even fine wines from this region.
Foillard may be one of the avant-garde, but there are other, perhaps less vaunted, producers who are producing Gamay that, without the artifices of excessive intervention in both the vineyard and the cellar, are alive with juicy freshness and a real joie de vivre.

 Gilles and Cècile Roux and Didier Desvignes are but two of these producers and their wines have been especially blessed by several exceptionally good recent vintages. I am looking forward to tasting the 2013, which by all accounts, has been made by glorious September weather. We have ordered a small quantity of their Beaujolais Nouveau which gives us a fun excuse to pre-taste the new vintage!
As I say, quantities are quite small, so don’t delay!

Claire O’Boyle-Gallagher, Le Caveau

Gilles et Cécile Roux, Domaine de la Plaigne – Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2013

A chance to get an insight into the 2013 vintage from Gilles and Cécile Roux,
who are based in Regnié-Durette.
Cécile Roux, just this week told us that they were happy with how the vintage
went with a glorious unbroken run of sunshine in September resulting in fully
ripe grapes. The fermentation cellar, she said, has been heady with the aromas
of sweet red fruits and that unmistakeable smell of newly fermented grape juice
and smells heavenly!

Didier Desvignes, Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau ‘Nature’ 2013
Organic viticulture, wild yeasts only (and certainly no 71B!), no chaptalisation, no added sulphur

Didier Desvignes is one of a number of small, artisan growers whose dynamism and vision are driving the new quality focus of Beaujolais wines.
The best producers of this region are now producing some of the most delicious, food-friendly and under-priced wines in France- no ‘goût de banane’ here!
These light-bodied wines have crunchy raspberry and sour-cherry fruit flavours, soft tannins and fresh acidity. This kind of structure means that they can be drunk slightly cool and complement a wide variety of foods: white or red  meats, charcuterie, soft cheeses.

November Sale now on!

For this year’s sale, we have decided to keep things simple,

we are offering 15% off all wines and Sparklings on our website and Kilkenny shop!

The sale started on November 1st and will end on Saturday 16th November 2013 at 6.30pm

So now is the time to stock up on your favourite wines or pick a case of discoveries

Happy bargain hunting!

Le Caveau team

7 Wines To Celebrate Father’s Day In Ireland

Father's Day at Le Caveau

Father’s Day in Ireland is this coming Sunday, 16 June and we have selected a few delicious wines that would please the most discerning palate:

If you’re looking to pick out a wine for your husband, father, partner, grandfather – whatever the case may be – the feel free to drop in to us this week or go with our recommendations on the above wines.

We won’t be open on Father’s Day ourselves (so don’t leave it too late to shop for wine), but we’ll be here until Saturday evening and of course you can order online at any stage this week, though the earlier the better if you want to get your bottles for Sunday!

You can also call us in the shop on 056 7752166.

Happy Father’s day!



Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festival – Our top 5 ‘Funny labels’…



The Cat Laughs comedy Festival is back in Kilkenny this bank Holiday week-end, that inspired us to have a look around our shop and pull out our 5 most humorous labels:


1/ Gran Cerdo Tempranillo, Gonzalo Gonzalo Grijalba (the real fun is on the back label on this one!)

2/ Béret, Chateau la Canorgue

3/ Vouvray ‘la dilettante’, Pierre et Catherine Breton

4/ El Nino Loco, Guillaume Gros

5/ ‘In Cot we trust’, Thierry Puzelat



Book your tickets to the Cat Laughs here





Natural Wine Tasting at Ballymaloe Grain Store

Wine Tasting at Ballymaloe Grain Store

Ballymaloe Grain Store was the venue for our ‘Real wines – Celebrating the Artisan growers’ presentation last Sunday. Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau was joined by Eric Narioo  owner of Les Caves de Pyrene, a UK wine importer championing the cause of Natural wines and his wife Anna Martens, owner/winemaker of Mount Etna winery Vino di Anna.  Once again, we greatly appreciated the impeccable organisation of Ballymaloe, lead by sommelier Colm McCan and his team.

Pascal (right) at the Ballymaloe Grain Store Natural Wine tasting night

We presented 8 wines, each of them bursting with individuality, charm and life. Answering a question during the presentation Eric Narioo predicted that in 20 years, most wines would be produced naturally, given the overwhelming enthusiasm with which an entire new generation of winegrowers around the World are embracing these methods. The demand is certainly growing, with the ‘natural wine bar scene’ in major cities such as New York, London or Paris still in full swing and with more and more restaurants allowing greater space to Artisan wines on their lists.

In effect, Natural wines may never replace conventional wines, but they certainly offer a brilliant alternative to wine drinkers in search of emotion and authenticity,  and as in the words of Patricia Nelson recently posted on Slow Food website

‘In the end, there is definitely room to accommodate both markets. Natural wines counter what seems to be increasing homogeneity, and it is heartening to see producers and retailers embracing craft practices while creating products that do not present an ever-pervasive sameness.’

Natural Wine Tasting at Ballymaloe Grain Store

Wines We Presented At Ballymaloe Grain Store

Real Wine – Celebrating the Artisan Grower

What is this?
A wine talk and wine tasting, presented by Eric Narioo (Les Caves de Pyrene, UK) and Pascal Rossignol (Le Caveau)
This is a great opportunity to listen to Eric Narioo, owner of Les Caves de Pyrene, one of the most cutting-edge wine importer in the UK. Eric is also behind 4 very successful wine bars / restaurants in London: Terroirs, Brawn, Green Man and French Horn and Soif. Eric also owns a small vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily with his wife, Australian winemaker Anna Martens, where they produce gorgeous Natural wines, including the Nerello Mascalese based Vino di Anna.

Is it just a talk?
No, we will be tasting 8 Artisan wines, these wines have great personality and we will get a chance to hear about the people and the story behind each of them.

Where is it?
In the beautiful Grain Store at Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork

and when?
On Sunday 26th May 2013, 6 to 8pm

How much and how can I book?
The charge is €15 per person
Bookings are handled by Colm McCan, Sommelier at Ballymaloe House
Tel: 086 0859034 colm@ballymaloe.ie

Ballymaloe website here

We hope to see you there!




Focus on natural wines

Natural wines, low intervention wines, artisan wines, real wines, call them what you will, truth is, we love them and can’t get enough of them. From the winegrowers point of view, producing natural wines is as much a professional occupation as it is a way of life. What we like so much about them is that they truly reflect their plot of land, the grapes and their vintage. These wines feel alive, and they probably are since they come from vineyards free of any chemicals, with roots deeply implanted in life-bursting soils. In the winery, only the healthiest fruits made it to the vats, no excessive manipulations took place, natural, local yeasts were responsible for the fermentation, with an ‘as long as it takes’ approach, and no modern additives were used if only in some case, a dash of sulphur (so2) at bottling stage.

Good natural wines will showcase fruit purity, energy and balance. Typically, they will have lower alcohol level, be flavour-ripe yet have a balancing natural acidity and/or tannins which make ideal food partners.

Here is a list (far from exhaustive) of the natural wines you can find in our wine shop and website:

Cascina Degli Ulivi, Bellotti Rosso – Dolcetto – Barbera
Cascina Degli Ulivi, Bellotti Bianco Cortese
Pierre and Catherine BRETON Bourgueil Trinch!
Frantz Saumon, Montlouis Minérale +
Pithon-Paillé, Anjou Blanc Mozaik Chenin Blanc
Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny rouge
Clos des Grillons, Cotes du Rhone Blanc
Gran Cerdo Tempranillo
Alfredo Maestro Tejero, Vina Amalte – Castilla y Leon
Adega Cachin, Peza do Rei, Ribera Sacra
Coste Piane Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ‘Naturale’
Villalobos- The Wild Vineyards – Carignan Reserve
Louis-Antoine Luyt, Cinsault ‘Quellu’
Bobar Syrah, Yarra Valley