News, Expert Opinions and general chit chat from the world of wine

JN Wine Blog

Dominio de Tares - Godello La Sonrisa


Ever since Dominio de Tares joined the JN Wine portfolio in 2013, they have been firm favourites with customers and staff alike. Situated in Bierzo - one of the most talked about wine regions of Spain - they are one of the area's most widely respected producers. Using only traditional grape varieties, in tandem with modern winemaking practices, the winery creates top quality, eminently drinkable wines.

Today we are celebrating a new addition to the selection available at JN Wine! Dominio de Tares' Godello La Sonrisa 2015.

La Sonrisa, or 'The Smile', is a wine whose primary purpose is to be enjoyed with friends and food - spreading happiness and putting smiles on faces. La Sonrisa 2015 shines brightly with all the the characteristic aromas of the Godello variety. Jubilant, youthful aromas of citrus, green apple and stone fruit. The palate is refreshing with brisk acidity, moderate alcohol, soft texture and a long refreshing finish.

Godello La Sonrisa 2015

Bottle Price: £11.99 / €16.95 Case Bottle Price: £10.79 / €15.26



Join Us For The Launch Of Our New JN Sparkling Label!

It’s celebration time at JN Wine! We have triumphed at the prestigious International Wine Challenge Awards, winning the ‘Regional Merchant of the Year’ title for Northern Ireland at the glittering ceremony in London. The victory marks a record 24 wins for this Crossgar-based retailer at the IWC event, which is widely acknowledged as the Oscars of the global wine industry, recognising excellence, expertise and passion for wine.

Naming JN Wines 'Regional Merchant of the year', IWC judges commented on the company’s endeavours, mentioning “..stunning list complemented by some very good events. An impressive shop environment with a strong online presence. They are not standing still but moving with the times, including reinventing their members club.”

To celebrate the landmark win, we are reintroducing the hugely popular JN Sparkling, with an incredible, specially commissioned piece of art by local artist Kathryn Callaghan, the “Firework Flower” on the label.

The sparkling is made exclusively for James Nicholson by Bouvet-Ladubay, the second oldest producer of sparkling wine in Saumur. A high proportion of Chenin Blanc lends this sparkler a lovely richness and lots of ripe apple and white floral flavours with a hint of honey. You have the chance to sample it for yourself at a tasting event in the Crossgar store on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd July.

From Wednesday the 20th of July to Tuesday the 26th buy 5 bottles of JN Sparkling and recieve a 6th bottle free!

JN Sparkling                          JN Sparkling Rose


JN Sparkling Tasting

Where: JN Wine, Crossgar

When: Friday 22nd of July & Saturday 23rd of July

Joining us for the launch of our new sparkling label, will be Kathryn Callaghan, the artist behind our firework flower. Kathryn will be at the store to meet tasters between 12 and 1pm on Saturday 23rd, and will be displaying some pieces from her brand new dancers collection. The artwork will be in store on Friday and Saturday.

Discover the wines of the Ribera del Duero

If you fancy venturing into the Ribera Duero region of Spain we have two world-class producers to get you started. Like Rioja, Tempranillo is the grape of choice but the wines are generally bigger in character and flavour! 

Pesquera Crianza 2012

Pesquera Crianza 2012

Bottle Price: £19.50 / €25.99 Offer Price £16.60 / €22.95

Throughout his lifetime winemaker Alejandro Fernández (affectionately known in the wine world as The King of Tempranillo) has brought this region to the forefront of wine excellence. 

Alejandro Fernandez has become one of the superstars of Spain. His wine is made from the Tempranillo grape and is aged 2-21/2 years in casks, which produces remarkable depth and richness, and a texture not unlike top notch Pomerol. The rich fruit combined with the sweet oaky smells has resulted in some opulent and voluptuous wines that are real head turners.Robert Parker, The Wine Buyer’s Guide

Carmelo Rodero 9 Months 2014

Carmelo Rodero 9 Months 2014

Bottle Price: £14.95 / €21.00 Offer Price: £13.00 / €17.85 

Carmelo and his daughter Beatriz take care of the winemaking in this estate. Their collection of wines have intense concentration and finesse, this bottle is no exception. It has warmth and is rich and rounded. Extremely satisfying.

Carmelo Rodero Crianza 2013

Carmelo Rodero Crianza 2013 Pk6

Bottle Price: £19.95 / €29.00 Offer Price: £17.45 / €24.65

This is a serious glass of red. The Tempranillo is blended with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon here, resulting in a meaty, full bodied wine. 

A selection of these wines will be open for tasting in JN Wine on Saturday the 9th of June from 12 -5pm. 

A fine, future cellar of wine

Bordeaux 2015: a fine, future cellar of wine for under £800

Take your first steps into the world of fine wine without breaking the bank! I have selected 4 cases from across the length and breadth of Bordeaux which will offer great drinking from when they arrive here in 2018 right through to 2035.

For £110 (with VAT and duty payable when they arrive) you can buy 12 bts of the excellent Chateau La Prade 2015 or why not buy the complete selection for £797 (VAT and duty payable on arrival).

La Prade 2015, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs  

La Prade 2015

Case Price £110 / €137

JB16 /JS 92-93 points / WS 89 – 92 points

Another consistently good effort from the Thienpont stable. 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Vanilla, strawberry and roast coffee on the nose. Full bodied with ripe succulent fruit. Fresh, with marked acidity and firm tannins carrying the wine to a long finish. Drink 2020-25

Right Bank (Merlot dominant)

Chateau Puygueraud, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs

Puygueraud 2015

£112 / 139€

JB17 / James Suckling 94 points / WS 90 – 92 points / Decanter 90 points

Nicolas Thienpont’s Chateau Puygueraud consistently offers some of the best quality/prix in Bordeaux and this vintage is no exception. 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. Black fruit and violets on the nose. Creamy, spicy palate. Could almost drink this now! Ripe and attractive, yet not overextracted. Drink 2018-25.

Left Bank (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant)

Echo de Lynch Bages, 2nd wine of Chateau Lynch Bages

£280 / 350€

TA91, JT 16.5, JS 90 / 91

60% Cabernet Sauvignon / 40% Merlot

“Lynch Bages’ second wine, which accounted for 35% of total production, saw no new oak in 2015. It’s quite a forward wine, with red and black fruits, nice texture and supple tannins. A claret that will provide plenty of pleasure in its youth. Drink: 2019-24” 

Chateau Phelan Segur, St Estephe

£295 / 370€

NM91/93, JS 93/94

53% Cabernet Sauvignon / 47% Merlot

Fresh raspberry and spice on the nose. Quite understated yet with good St Estephe typicity. Medium bodied, well balanced with a light, bright finish. Drink 2020 – 35.

For more information on starting a cellar plan contact Jane Boyce MW at




Broaden Your Wine Horizons

The North-West of Spain is home to a new wave of red and white wines.

Dominio de Tares Baltos 2013, Bierzo

Bottle Price: £11.50 / €17.35 Offer Bottle Price: £9.77 / €14.75 

Baltos is made from the Mencía grape. The vines here are very old which gives the wine a wonderful depth. Smooth juicy red fruits are bursting out of the glass. Your friends and family will love you forever for giving them a glass of this!

Dominio de Tares Godello 2014, Bierzo

Dominio De Tares Godello 2013 Pk6

Bottle Price: £17.95 / €23.99 Offer Bottle Price: £15.70 / €18.36 

Godello is an ancient Spanish grape variety. This is a wine to try if you want to broaden your wine drinking horizons and expose your taste buds to new sensations. This is a textural white wine that exudes elegance - and the Galician climate gives it a refreshing edge! On a par with a well made Burgundy.

Both of these wines will be open for tasting in JN Wine on Saturday the 2nd of July.