June is a busy month for celebrating wine
Wine lovers have a very eventful month ahead of them.
Celebrations begin on June 18 with World Chenin Blanc Day, prosecco is so popular that it rates a whole week, starting June 20; rosé cannot be left out on June 25. Fortunately, Burrows Lightbourn can be of help for each occasion.
The birthplace of chenin blanc is the Loire Valley in France. It is where it has been grown for at least 1,300 years and they make it in dry or lusciously sweet, or even sparkling wines. Rather than discuss the French versions documented as early as 845, or the popular South African ones, we will take a trip to sunny California.
We lead off with our 2019 Dry Creek Chenin Blanc. This beautiful wine is wonderfully consistent vintage after vintage. At first swirl, aromatics of passion fruit, lime and candied lemon spring forward from the glass with notes of orange blossom, jasmine and melon. On the palate, the wine is refreshing with flavours of lemon curd, mango and passion fruit with hints of hibiscus. The mouthfeel is lively but rich, with a voluptuous texture.
The 100 per cent stainless steel fermentation guarantees the fresh fruit character that fans of this wine have come to appreciate over the years. This classic, Loire Valley-style wine is excellent when paired with fresh oysters, seafood, or just about anything!
Here is what Wilfred Wong of wine.com has to say: “The 2019 Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc takes a page out of France's Loire Valley as it plays on a level field with the best of vouvrays. Tasting notes: This wine is fresh, bright, and attractive with aromas of honeydew, dried earth, and tart apples. 91/100.” $23.50 (Stock #6505).
In the heart of Napa Valley, virtually across the Silverado Trail from Shafer and Stags Leap Winery, we can find 2020 Pine Ridge Winery Chenin Blanc/Viognier. This winery opened for business in 1978 and it was one of the first that I visited with my new bride as we started our married journey together in that year as well. Blending chenin blanc with viognier was just an experiment, until they tasted it and realised that they had created a masterpiece. Together, they deliver a unique tapestry of flavour and aromas that are inspiring and easy to enjoy.
I will let their winemaker describe it to you: “The chenin blanc grapes were harvested at low sugar levels to emphasise bright fruit characteristics in the finished wine. In contrast, the viognier from Lodi was picked at higher sugar levels to capture the floral and spicy nature as well as viscosity.
“After the grapes were crushed, the press wine was blended with the free run juice to increase palate weight. Each variety was inoculated with its own special yeast strain selected to maintain the fruity characters and then underwent a cool fermentation. To retain and highlight the fruit freshness of CB+V, the wine was fermented and aged in 100 per cent stainless steel.” $24.75 (Stock #6037).
And now on to the week of prosecco!
The 2018 Canella Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Millesimato DOCG is produced from 100 per cent glera grapes and it is brilliant straw yellow. The nose has fruity aromas of peach, apple, pear and citrus fruit. The palate gracefully balances zingy acidity and a subtle hint of sweetness, richness, and silky-smooth texture. It is the classic version of the Canella Prosecco selections, perfect as an aperitif.
The family and the terroir express themselves in each bottle. Valdobbiadene is only thirty miles from Venice, the vine-growing has extremely ancient origins and it is the top appellation for this bubbly. The Canella family specialises in prosecco and this is the only vintage one that we stock. $24.75 (Stock #9028).
Santa Margherita Prosecco, that also hails from Valdobbiadene, is dry with fine, lively bubbles, delicate pear and apple fruit aromas and a crisp finish. Whether served at the beginning of a beautiful evening for two or sipped throughout a lively meal with friends, this celebrated bubbly has versatility at the table that can be shared time and time again.
Decanter magazine rates it a fine 92/100 and comments: “Attractive sweetness on the palate, which at the same time displays drive and focus. Mineral-charged with bright lemon notes and a firm crispness.”
Says Wine.com: “[It] is an outstanding value in the world of sparkling wines. Fresh, elegant, and refined. Enjoy its lovely ripe fruit aromas and flavours with an alfresco meal with a choice of veggie-oriented salads and light meats. 91/100.” $24.15 (Stock #8895).
I recently wrote about a dozen rosés but, of course, we have more. I did not have space to include one of our most asked for that came into our Burrows Lightbourn family when we became associated with Discovery Wines a few years ago. I refer to the 2020 Val de Caire Provence Rosé that is from a small family vineyard located in the south of France, near Aix en Provence, in the Coteaux d'Aix wine-producing region. Guillaume Reynier, its young and talented owner, has produced red, white and rosé wines since 2003 on lands he grew up on. Wine making is more than a passion for him, it is a lifestyle.
His vineyard, Domaine Val de Caire, is a dream come true for him and he dedicates himself to a traditional, ethical and environment-friendly wine production that only uses organic methods.
Le Guide Hachette des Vins is probably the best source for wine information in France and their 2020 publications says: “After having worked as an employee in several estates, Guillaume Reynier rented this vineyard in his native village, created his cellar in 2003 and converted to organic farming. His rosé is a very pretty pale pink with silvery reflections that opens unreservedly on citrus fruits (grapefruit, clementine). Citrus fruits also liven up the mouth, full, round and precise, with a nice acidity in support.” $21 (Stock #7099).
Hopefully, you can now be set for this early summer month.
This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Contact Michael Robinson at email@example.com. Burrows Lightbourn have stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit www.wineonline.bm