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Something for everyone

At Burrows Lightbourn we often get asked, “What is new?”

The answer today is “rather a lot”.

There will be no theme as I discuss seven wines from four countries that range from $19.90 to $125.

The market-leading port producer of Graham’s has come up with a perfect summer sipper and it is Graham’s Blend Number 5 White Port.

Malvasia fina and moscatel grapes were harvested by hand and once natural yeasts created the correct balance of sugar and alcohol, neutral wine spirit was added to stop fermentation. Graham’s Port’s head winemaker, Charles Symington, selected two premium Portuguese white grape varieties – the fresh malvasia fina and the aromatic moscatel gallego – to produce this new blend.

It is the first white port specifically created to be mixed with other beverages. Lighter, more vibrant and fresher than any other white port on the market, the grape varieties give the blend a fruity, mouth flavour profile with a perfect balance of dryness that blends exceptionally with tonic water. Serve chilled to enhance the crisp fruit flavours. Equally delicious served as an aperitif or with light desserts. The wine is medium dry, deliberately designed to mix well with tonic whilst also being an excellent stand-alone drink. $37 (Stock #3039).

Torresella Prosecco Rosé is made from a blend of glera (the regular prosecco grape) and pinot nero, both grown sustainably. A pale pink hue is the sophisticated introduction to a fragrant floral bouquet, with hints of citrus and a distinct aroma of red berry fruits on the nose. Delicate, but at the same time with rich and stimulating scents and a freshness on the palate that includes lemon, peach, plum and raspberry.

Ideal as an aperitif. A wonderful companion to a whole range of traditional Italian antipasti, as well as vegetarian and fish dishes, especially those featuring ingredients which are pinkish in colour (prawns, salmon, turnip, tomatoes etc) that are all about lightness and freshness. $19.75 (Stock #8891).

The 2018 Cune Ribera del Duero hails from a top Spanish producer and it is produced using only their best-known grape, called tempranillo. With no lack of appreciation for the wonderful personality of French oak, I must say that I am always a fan of the warm and smooth, spicy influence of American oak and like many in Spain (and in Australia) do, this wine is aged in oak grown in the USA.

The 2018 harvest was unbeatable in terms of both the health and the quality of the grapes for producing fresh wines with good colour and long ageing potential. This wine is deep purple in colour. The nose reveals notes of black fruits and liquorice with fresh hints of aromatic herbs. On the palate, this is powerful and marked with the personality of the wines of Ribera. The finish is long and fruit driven. $24 (Stock #9738).

South Africa is well respected for their chenin blanc and 2019 Fair Valley Chenin Blanc is an unoaked wine offering charming tropical fruit notes with a hint of pear flavour. Pleasingly rounded with pineapple/melon hints on the finish makes this a cheerful, easy drink that sells for $19.90 (Stock #7197).

Back in the “pre V” days when a quarter of a million folks could attend Vinitaly and sample the wares of 4,000 producers, I remember including Fattoria le Pupile in with my favourite five. We now offer three selections from them and they range from marvellous to even more marvellous.

The 2017 Fattoria le Pupile Morellino di Scansono Reserve – it’s a good time to use our stock number of 9201 – is a similar blend of sangiovese as chianti, but it hails from the coastal region of Tuscany known as Maremma (where that large cruise ship sank a few years ago). The Morellino is the first wine that they made some 35 years ago, and it shows the wild strength of the area. Robert Parker rated it 93/100 and said: “A gorgeous, exotic wine. Juicy dark cherry, mocha, plum and exotic floral notes give the 2017 its effusive, racy personality.” $33.

Now we step up to their 2017 Fattoria le Pupile Poggio Valente IGT Toscana Rosso that consists 100 per cent sangiovese and garners an impressive 94/100 from Parker and James Suckling. Poggio Valente is a cru vineyard that the winery purchased in 1996 and you will detect cherries, plums and currants and a hint of hazelnuts. Experience the classical elegance of this grape that takes its name from the rusty, red horses that used to carriage officials in the 1700s. $48 (Stock #9202).

We leave this seaside landscape with Fattoria le Pupile Saffredi 2016 that flirts with perfection – 98/100 from Parker and Vinous and 99/100 from Suckling. The deep concentration of red fruits where the currant predominates evolves into spicy, fresh and balsamic notes. In the mouth, the rich and round body opens up with dense tannins, characterised with great harmony. Pairs well with entrées, such as red meats and game. It is also perfect with dark chocolate and as a meditation wine.

James Suckling writes: “Incredible aromas of dark berries, lavender, rosemary, liquorice and dried flowers. Spice. Full body and fantastic tannin texture with great length. Goes on for minutes. Muscular yet wonderfully formed and refined. A glorious Saffredi.”

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate comments: “The 2016 Saffredi brings full-throttled intensity in a very well-balanced wine. The blend of cabernet sauvignon (60 per cent), merlot (30 per cent) and petit verdot (10 per cent) spends 18 months in mostly new oak. This vintage is compact, firm and precise, with lovely floral aromas on the bouquet in front of blackberry and plum. Long oak toasting gives the wine tasty notes of spice and cinnamon and rounds the bouquet off nicely. The mouthfeel is soft and velvety. This is a complex, integrated and absolutely beautiful wine.” $125 (Stock #9203).

It is Monday, May 24. As I get ready to turn off my computer my wife reminds me that it was on this very date in 1976 that the wine world was stunned by “the judgment of Paris”. If you are not familiar with this episode you should Google it. In its first year, my career and the world of wine, would be for ever changed!

This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Contact Michael Robinson at mrobinson@bll.bm. Burrows Lightbourn have stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit www.wineonline.bm

At a blind wine tasting in 1976, unknown California wines were judged to be better than the finest French on offer

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Published May 27, 2021 at 7:58 am (Updated May 27, 2021 at 7:44 am)

Something for everyone

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