The 4th July marks the momentous Independence Day in the USA. In celebration of this, and in recognition of our long-standing association with the wines of California, we have asked the team in the George V Restaurant at Ashford Castle what wine they would choose to share with friends and loved ones on this day.

Robert Bowe, Restaurant Manager: Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

I came across this wine upon John Shafer’s visit to the castle. I asked him why he didn’t reach out to us ahead of his visit, as we would have liked the have prepared a personalised wine dinner. He warmly replied that all he wanted was to relax here at Ashford and introduce me to the Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon. I'm glad that he did.

This wine shows the same intense fruitiness and velvety texture year after year. It is an expression of the land, a wine of a place. Made from a single varietal, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Hillside Select gains complexity from the variety of clones and rootstocks planted in the vineyards, each of which adds its own individual characteristics to the finished wine.

Robert Bowe

Paul Fogerty, Head Sommelier: Opus One

My chosen wine would be the Opus One, and I love that two of the world’s finest wine operators came together to produce such a fantastic wine.

Opus One started as a New World-Old World partnership between Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild (Bordeaux) and Robert Mondavi, famed for his Napa winery. The venture was first suggested by the Baron during a 1970 meeting between the pair in Hawaii. The Opus One project then officially debuted in 1980.

The flagship Opus One red wine is a Cabernet-dominant Bordeaux blend, which also contains smaller quantities of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Their second and only other wine, Overture, is made with the fruit that, whilst still decadent, doesn’t quite make the Opus One grade.

Paul Fogerty

Nick Heneghan, assistant Head Sommelier: Chateau Montelena 2018 Chardonnay

This wine is surprisingly intense and rich in flavour. It exhibits a nervous edge whilst carrying flavours that are reminiscent of lemon butter, green apple, and white currant. Its notes have laser-like precision that are complimented by its superb acidity.

The Barretts who own the winery also come from Waterford, Ireland, making it a local and deeply personal wine. It came to fame in the 1970s after winning against a host of highly rated white Burgundies in the Judgement of Paris tasting. The 2008 film, Bottle Shock encapsulates this story with Joe Barrett being portrayed by the renowned Chris Pine.

Nick Heneghan

You can dine at the George V Dining Room and try our selection of fine wines between 6.30pm and 9.30pm from Monday to Sunday.