Raise a glass with your left hand to toast mollydookers
It was only when a communication from Australia came in that I realised that I would unfortunately miss a particularly important day to write about this month and to contemplate what our Queen, Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and even Julius Caesar had (have) in common with 12 per cent of the world’s population.
I refer to August 13 and it was Sarah Marquis of Mollydooker (Australian for left-hander) who asked us to raise a glass and celebrate International Left-Handers Day. I say better late than never.
Since I have been so remiss, I will also suggest that we retroactively toast the following International Wine days; Albarino on August 1 and White Wine Day on August 4. There is still time for International Pinot Noir Day on Sunday and Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of the month.
Casa Rojo 2017 La Marimorena Albarino is from the Rias Baixas area in northwest Spain and this will cover the first day of this month nicely. The grapes were hand-picked during the second week of September and Casa Rojo processes them with the utmost respect for the natural qualities of the variety, expressing the true essence of the terroir.
La Marimorena is characterised by a pale-yellow colour with greenish hues. The nose opens with aromas of citrus fruits, enhanced with pleasant notes of apple, pear, pineapple, banana and herbs. The palate is fresh and fruity, with a round and balanced body. Perfect for accompanying dishes of fish, it is ideal in combination with pasta dishes, shellfish and seafood. For the Spanish feel, I even suggest marinated olives. $26.05.
August 4 leaves quite a choice as International White Wine Day and so I will travel about 5,753 miles for one of my favourites — Dry Creek Vineyards 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. Initially, Midwesterner David Stare considered moving to the Loire Valley to make Sauvignon Blanc, but in the early 1970s, he headed farther west to Sonoma and opened the first winery in Dry Creek Valley since prohibition. Today, his daughter, Kim, watches over it all and they still make a wine that I have enjoyed so much since the early 1980s.
The winemaker said this: “This delicious wine incorporates small amounts of Sauvignon Musqué and Sauvignon Gris, which adds a layer of depth and a fleshy, full-bodied mouthfeel.
“At first swirl, it presents tropical aromas of pineapple, passionfruit, melon and orange liqueur. On the palate, flavours of lemon curd, guava, tangerines and mineral notes come through with a slightly creamy, but lively finish. Stainless steel fermentation was supplemented with small amounts of chestnut, acacia and French oak barrels adding additional character and nuance to this delicious wine. Seamless from start to finish, this is an elegant and refined Sauvignon.” WineReviewOnline rates it 93/100. $24.20.
Head south about 5,930 miles and we end up in Casablanca Valley in Chile where we can celebrate the August 18 International Pinot Noir Day with Ritual 2016 Pinot Noir. This organic estate is situated in the extreme eastern end of the valley, set against the dramatic sweeping beauty of the coastal range and heavily influenced by the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean and Humboldt Current — ideal growing conditions for cool-climate wines like Pinot Noir.
The vineyards are surrounded by 6,000 acres of native forest, creating a balanced, biodiverse landscape for healthy vines to thrive alongside natural wildlife corridors and native vegetation. A beautiful place in a country that is a contender for the most beautiful that my wife and I have ever visited.
Ritual Pinot Noir opens with fresh and generous fruity aromas of cherries and raspberries. Refreshing and juicy with a medium body. The palate is round, smooth and balanced with a silky, velvety finish. It is not easy to find a Pinot Noir that rates 93/100 and costs $26.45 but that is what James Suckling rates this one.
He added: “This is a high-toned and focused red with strawberry, lemon and cherry aromas and flavours. Medium to full body, vivid fruit and a long and flavourful finish. Drink now or hold.” This wine is so consistent with 2012, 2014 and 2015 rating 93/100 and the 2013 94/100.
And to kill two birds with one stone, let’s make the 7,358 mile hop to McLaren Vale in South Australia and visit those left- handed folks at Mollydooker. Here we can cover Left-Hander’s Day and Cabernet Sauvignon day with Mollydooker Maitre D 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. The name refers to Sparky Marquis (Sarah’s ex) who put himself through winemaking college as a left-handed waiter.
Before I tell you about this wine, you should understand the “Mollydooker Shake” so you can fully appreciate the ultra-yummyness. Virtually all wines use small amounts of sulphites to stabilise their product but Mollydooker uses nitrogen and this compresses the flavours.
This dissipates in older wine, but if you are trying a young red (up to two years old), pour a little in a glass, replace the screw cap and shake the bottle.
Sarah said: “Pre-shaken wines are intense, concentrated and still magnificent, however, after the shake the wine becomes more approachable, the aromatics are lifted and the fruit smoother on the palate.”
She added that the partially poured glass will open up, and not to worry. She calls it “the pourer’s perks”.
So the 2017 Maitre D is vibrant and generous with abundant juicy red fruit that rolls playfully across the palate. Blackberries, milk chocolate and soft herbaceous notes make this wine deliciously aromatic. Subtle tannins and fragrant oak reside quietly in the background as flavours of raspberry, plum and mocha give this wine incredible depth and finesse. $39.70.
I have done my best for busy August but am fully aware that I could not fit in International Rosé Day for the 14th. Sorry about that.
• This column is a paid for advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Written by Michael Robinson of Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn have stores in Hamilton (Front Street East. 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George (York Street, 297-0409)
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