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Exploring accessible wines for the holiday

I am thinking refreshing white as it will be hot, also hearty red to match food from the barbecue, and how can we not drink the new generation of rosé?

I have never figured out why most of us have a mindset that small is better when it comes to wine production, or conversely why “big” is possibly not as good. After all, I do not think that we have any qualms about buying a Toyota car or Sansui TV.

So today, instead of suggesting the less-known wines, let me not apologise for taking you down the welltrodden path, which has proven itself by gaining so many loyal followers.

I feel safe in saying that Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc from New Zealand sells rather a lot more than any other sauvignon blanc on the island, and I include Sancerre as well as any of the New World ones.

We currently have the 2015 that sells for $18.95.

Wine Enthusiast magazine rates it 90/100 and calls it a “best buy”.

They write: “This medium-bodied wine has a pleasant, silky texture, understated graphite and citrus aromas and flavours, and a long, mouthwatering finish.”

The only way that a wine can consistently be a brand leader is for it to be consistent year after year, and this one always is, with excellent balance and varietal intensity.

Certainly by far, our most asked for white wine out of Chile is Veramonte sauvignon blanc from the Casablanca Valley. It is made entirely in stainless steel, never uses oak, and a carefully controlled fermentation maintains vibrant fruit flavours and aromas.

The grapes are harvested at night in order to maintain fresh and bright acidity and along with citrus aromas of lime and tangerine, there are subtle floral notes. All of the wines from Veramonte are organically farmed and the owners preserve over 10,000 acres of their vast lands as a green belt. The 2015 costs $14.30.

Red blends are so “in” at the moment and I would think that our 19 Crimes from Australia is vying for top spot. One reviewer calls it criminally good and another talks of “rich red and dark fruit, plum, spice, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, tobacco, molasses, butterscotch, pepper and violets”.

They must have a very active palate! To arrive at all this, plus crushed, ripe blackberry and even creme brûlée, the winemaker uses shiraz, pinot noir, grenache and cabernet sauvignon from Southeastern Australia. The price is $17.75.

In the May edition of Decanter magazine one story heading reads: Sasha Lichine, Whispering Angel and 10 years of the wine that redefined rosé. I know that I keep saying it, but I am absolutely stunned by the popularity of this wine. Here is what Decanter wrote about the 2015 that we are presently selling: “From the very beginning ex Mouton Rothschild winemaker Patrick Léon crafted a lighter style of rosé, and this very much errs on the side of being fresh, clean, mineral, with a white peach expression.

“The style has been very closely maintained over the past ten years, even as the grape sourcing has grown exponentially.

“This is unoaked, vinified in stainless-steel tanks, kept chilled at every stage of the process. From a blend of grenache, rolle, cinsault and syrah, all hand-harvested. Easy to see why it works so well. 91/100”.

Chateau D'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2015 sells for $24.75.

This column is a paid for advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Michael Robinson is Director of Wine at Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. He can be contacted at mrobinson@bll.bm or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn have stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George's (York Street, 297-0409). A selection of their wines, beers and spirits is available online at www.wineonline.bm

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Published July 22, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated July 21, 2016 at 11:25 pm)

Exploring accessible wines for the holiday

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