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

JN Wine Blog

Soalheiro Awarded 94 Points!

The team at JN Wine have been avid fans of Quinta de Soalheiro since they first arrived on our shores in 2013, so it was no surprise when Mark Squires of awarded the new 2015 vintage of Soalheiro Alvarinho 94 points. The Soalheiro Allo 2015 did not go unnoticed with Julia Harding of having wonderful words to share.

Soalheiro Allo 2015

Bottle Price: £9.95 / €14.95 Offer Bottle Price: £8.70 / €13.08

"Lovely fresh fragrance that perfectly reflects the two varieties - peachy citrus, pear, lightly floral, as well as a herbal note. But it is not simply fruity - there is also a stony dryness - - that is picked up on the palate with a hint of almonds on the finish. Deliciously dry finish even with this moderate level of alcohol. The quality of the 2015 vintage shines through. 16.5 Points."

Julia Harding, JR Purple Pages, Feb 2016

Soalheiro Alvarinho 2015

Quinta Soalheiro Alvarinho 2012 Pk 6

Bottle Price: £12.99 / €18.99 Offer Bottle Price: £11.37 / €16.62

"The 2015 Alvarinho is unoaked and comes in at 12.5% alcohol. As fans of this classic bottling know, it is very dry, most definitely not fizzy and typically a great value. It is glorious, expressive and fresh in this vintage. In the long, proud history of this fine estate, this seems to be as good or better as any standard, unoaked Alvarinho they have produced. It is also one of the best unoaked young Alvarinhos I've had. We'll see what the future brings--it won't be an unqualified success for Soalheiro if it does not hold well for a decade or much more--but I don't think there will be any problem here in that regard. It has fine supporting acidity, a bit of what I call these days "Soalheiro green," and wonderful fruit. Did I mention how delicious the fruit was, nicely supported by those laser bursts of acidity? It seems very elegant in other respects, even a touch delicate on opening, but that's deceptive. Its graceful demeanor made it easy to drink at first, but some hours later it was actually more powerful and more concentrated, plus perfectly transparent. It had opened and blossomed. As it sat in the mouth, the fine tension on the finish gripped the palate and enlivened the wine. Simply put, it is intense, tightly-wound, brilliantly structured and very concentrated. Since this is a Vinho Verde, the price point makes it a rather stunning value, too. I had the pleasure of tasting this not too long after it was bottled, but don't let that be a concern. This should hold well. Back up the truck. Grab them before they sit and bake on retailer shelves and delivery trucks over the summer. Store them properly. This will be fine for the foreseeable future. Sourced from vines averaging 25 years in age, there were 90,000 bottles produced.

One of the greatest producers in the region, Soalheiro consistently makes high quality wines that are just like great whites--there is no fizz here. They are dry, pointed, focused and age-worthy. Since they toil in Vinho Verde, they are also typically great values. The 2015 vintage, in particular, seems exceptional. The wines will last, too. There is no reason not to load up. 

Admittedly, my drinking windows have not always been consistent (as discussed more in the article accompanying these notes). Simply put, if well stored and acquired promptly, there is no reason most of them cannot last at least a decade. They may go double that, too. Still, if you drink them up early, you won't be disappointed."

94 Points Mark Squires April 2016

Italian food and wine with Paula McIntyre

Friday 10th June

Italian food and wine with Paula McIntyre and Jane Boyce MW

In this NI year of Food and Drink, JN Wine is teaming up with local NI food ambassador and cookery expert Paula McIntyre for what promises to be a wonderful summer evening of food and wine. Paula is well known for her warm, engaging style and her down to earth approach to cooking and many of you are already fans of her cookery slot on John Toal's Radio Ulster Saturday show.

Paula will be demonstrating how to cook a number of Italian inspired dishes using the best of local produce and Jane Boyce will accompany her with a selection of seasonal wines to match.

A must for everyone who enjoys great food and great craic washed down with a delicious glass of wine!

Date: Friday 10th of June

Place: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast

Price: £25 per person 

Time: 6.45pm for 7pm start

Tickets must be purchased in advance from James Nicholson Wine Merchant. Online or call 02844 830028

100 Awesome Wines 2016

The Association of Wine Educators UK has included two of our wines in their 100 AWESOME Wines 2016.

Monfil Garnacha 2014

Monfil Garnacha 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £7.85 / €12.50 Case Bottle Price: £7.07 / €11.25)

"At under £10 a bottle, this juicy red punches well above its weight. Lots of ripe red berries and a hint of dried herbs, all draped round supple tannins. The perfect wine for summer barbecues (although it’s pretty good with wintry stews, too)" Natasha Hughes MW

AA Badenhorst Secateurs Rosé 2015

Secateurs Rose 2015 Pk6

Bottle Price: £9.99 / €14.95 Case Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.46

"A beautiful salmon colour rosé from the masterful maverick winemaker Adi Badenhorst. A blend of Cinsault and Shiraz, with a touch of both Carignan and Grenache from 50+ year old vines, which are grown specifically for making rosé. A lick of tannin lends structure, the acidity is fresh and zingy with yellow and pink citrus, also a basketful of summer red berries. A hint of mint, orange rind and star anise give complexity and the wine is tangy and textural." Angela Reddin


Celebrate Chardonnay Day!

May 21st is National Chardonnay Day & we want to help you celebrate with 15% off some of our most popular Chardonnays.

Long gone are the days when 'Chardonnay' was looked upon as a bad word. The varietal is going from strength to strength; and with good cause!

Chardonnay is an extemely diverse white wine grape that can produce everything from richly flavoured tropical wines such as Rustenberg Chardonnay to the brighter, fresher citrus flavours like those displayed in Bellevue Chardonnay.

To celebrate National Chardonnay Day we are offering 15% off a selection of Chardonnays selected by the JN Taste Team. Read on to discover which Chardonnays they choose, and why!

Domaine Saint-Denis Macon-Lugny 2013

Domaine Saint-Denis Macon-Lugny 2013

Bottle Price: £14.95 / €21.50 Offer Price: £12.70 / €16.45

"This is a beautifully delicate chardonnay produced by Hubert Laferrere in the town of Lugny in the Cote Macconais region of Burgundy. Hubert hands picks the vines to ensure only the best fruit which show the region’s best characteristics get pressed. The flavours of citrus, pear and peach, makes this a fresh rounded wine with a slight minerality. It is wine that’s perfect to enjoy on its own, but also pairs well with white fish, shellfish and salad dishes." Stephen

Casablanca Nimbus Chardonnay 2013

Casablanca Nimbus Chardonnay 2013 Pk6

Bottle Price: £10.99 / €15.99 Offer Price: £9.34 / €12.23 

"Please do not overlook Chile when you are looking for a good quality chardonnay. This single estate Nimbus Chardonnay 2013 from Viña Casablanca comes from a climate that is perfect for producing a quality glass of wine. Bursting with stone fruits with an underlying nuttiness, it is rounded and complete. A great value chardonnay that I take home time and time again." Kristin

Cline County Estate Chardonnay 2013

Cline County Estate Chardonnay 2013

Bottle Price: £12.95 / €19.99 Offer Price: £11.00 / €15.29 

"Widely regarded as one of California’s best value wineries, Cline Cellars produce a wonderful range of wines, though the estate chardonnay has always been a personal favourite.  Produced from fruit grown in the cool climate of the Sonoma coast and exuding notes of melon, pineapple and citrus all wrapped in a wonderful, smooth, oaky vanilla finish.  This wine works majestically as an aperitif or alongside dishes of garlic baked salmon or roast butter chicken.  Cline produce their wines according to the ‘green strong’ method of farming; this goes beyond organic and sustainable practise and the difference can be tasted, also suitable for vegetarians!" Seán

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2014

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £12.95 / €18.99 Offer Price: £11.00 / €14.53 

"Ripe tropical fruit, rich and toasty, but kept fresh with that all important lick of acidity. Perfect with rich, creamy poultry dishes." Maria - Elena

Bellevue Chardonnay 2014

Bellevue Chardonnay 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £8.99 / €13.99 Offer Price: £7.64 / €11.89

"Patrick Vauvy's Domaine Bellevue Sauvignon Blanc has long had a prominent position on the shelves of JN Wine, but his Chardonnay is a more recent addition. Impressing on both the flavour and price stakes this wine is something I find myself reaching for time and time again. Vibrant fresh pineapple, pear and citrus fruit with bucket loads of character; complex enough to pair with summer dishes, yet fresh enough to qauff in the sunshine." Laura

Don't miss your chance to sample the varying range of flavours Chardonnay has to offer!

A selection of Chardonnays shall be open for tasting in the shop on Saturday the 21st of May from 12pm - 5pm. 


Bordeaux 2015 – First Releases

As the first price releases of the 2015 Vintage start to emerge from the turrets of Bordeaux, we have made our initial purchases on your behalf!

Chateau Puygueraud, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs

Puygueraud 2015

12 bottle case £112 / €139

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. 

Jane Boyce MW. 17 points. Drink 2018-25.

Chateau La Prade, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs

La Prade 2015

12 bottle case £110 / €137

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.

Jane Boyce MW. 16 points. Drink 2020-25

Chateau Berliquet, Grand Cru St Emilion

Berliquet 2015

12 bottle case £253 / €314

75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc. Bright, crunchy black fruit and chocolate notes. Mouthfilling with excellent concentration yet good precision. Spicy, fine acidity and tannins. Long chalky finish.

Jane Boyce MW. 16.5 points. Drink 2022 - 35