A perfect accompaniment to Christmas lunch
Christmastime and roast turkey, and now all you need is a few special wines. I will do my best to help.
From the birthplace of chardonnay, and in an area where the first settlement goes back to 2500BC, I suggest Joseph Drouhin 2015 Meursault.
This is a fine vintage for whites and classic for reds. The wine is a beautiful golden colour with a great aromatic palette of honey, linden flower, hazelnut butter and a bit of chamomile and hawthorn. Its silky roundness is followed by yellow plum and gingerbread. $54.90.
Let me share with you how I introduced the following wine a couple of weeks ago at a black-tie dinner with 75 attendees:
“I am not going to tell you anything about our Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Vineyard 2014 Chardonnay from the cool Carneros District of Napa Valley, instead I want to take you back to the late afternoon of March 13, 2006 and the recovery room of a fine hospital.
“I have just had hours of open-heart and carotid artery surgery and I find myself floating in a place where I honestly did not know whether I had survived or not, and thoughts of drifting around in it for an eternity were not comforting. Then, someone squeezed my hand and I knew who it was and that I was thankfully still here.
“I had to say something profoundly meaningful to this lovely lady: ‘Boy, I could do with a glass of Shafer chardonnay,' I croaked.”
True story and I rest my case. What a wonderful wine and highly allocated because of the demand for it. $69.85.
In my early years it was quite fashionable to enjoy Pommard. This famous village, south of Beaune, first saw pinot noir planted by the Gauls 2,000 years ago and probably takes its name from the Celtic goddess Pomma.
Joseph Drouhin 2012 Pommard is worthy of the reputation these wines have earned. The nose is of black cherry and spice evolving towards aromas of young leather. Pommard is on the ‘bigger' side for burgundy, and so will conduct itself well with all the flavours associated with a roast turkey dinner. $59.95.
Staying on the same parallel north of the equator and travelling west, we come to Oregon where Veronique Drouhin runs her family estate.
Their flagship wine is Pinot Noir Laurène named after Veronique's young daughter.
Veronique writes: “The 2013 Laurène impresses with its charm and character. It is vibrant, but also shows restraint, which allows the detail of the vintage to be expressed. The wine has a beautiful ruby rose colour that allows one to see its depth.
On the nose, the 2013 Laurène carries notes of pure, sweet cherry, pomegranate, baking spice, ripe blackberries, wild herbs and fresh sage. On the palate, the body is lovely and encompassing, creating a long, elegant, and appealing finish. I trust this wine will age for seven to ten years easily, but it is also delicious to enjoy now.”
The Drouhin family farm biodynamically in Oregon, as they do in Burgundy. $56.35.
I only recall a white Christmas twice, but as tickets have been purchased to fly to the frozen north, I expect I may celebrate my third under such conditions.
What will we have with our PhD dissertation-writing son?
I have voted for rib roast of beef and go for the world's most widely planted wine grape, and so cabernet sauvignon it has to be.
I imagine customs asking if I have packed any gifts, at which point I will reply: “Only two bottles of wine for dinner.”
One will be Beringer Private Reserve 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Of course, I like it, but here is what Robert Parker says: “96/100. The sensational 2012 boasts an opaque purple colour along with abundant aromas of charcoal, burning embers, creme de cassis, chocolate, blackberries and liquorice. The long, complex, compelling, full-bodied texture along with terrific purity and a savoury, rich mouthfeel result in a classic, quintessential Napa cabernet sauvignon to drink now and over the next 20-25 years.” $180.45.
As perfect as the 2012 may be, Parker actually rates the 2013 a tad higher, at 97/100, and comments: “When all is said and done, this is an instant classic, the wine is full-bodied with oodles of crème de cassis, pen ink, graphite and baking spices. It is multidimensional, layered, and one of the all-time great Beringer private reserves — and there have been many.”
Priced like the 2012 at $180.45, and I will pack a bottle of this as well.
I know both have just started their life's journey, but their sheer beauty will overcome any qualms I have about their youth.
This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail email@example.com or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George's (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm