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A handful of new arrivals

I just love the wines from the Cune winery in Spain as they are always delicious and so well made.

During a recent visit to one of our stores the manager pointed out a bottle of 2019 Bela Ribera del Duero and suggested that I should try it as it had recently arrived and he felt that it was an excellent value. It was also in the price range I was seeking – $24.

I prefer to think that the writing on labels of food and wine containers is getting smaller and smaller and not that my ability to focus is getting less with age. The fact is that the initials CVNE are so small that I did not realise they were on the back of the bottle until I inspected it with a magnifying glass at home. Why, you may ask, do we call the winery Cune and write CVNE? The truth is that both are correct and due to a historic confusion between a V and a U. The winery is actually Compania Vinicola de Nortre de España but referred to as Cune.

This 95 per cent tempranillo and 5 per cent cabernet sauvignon and merlot is indeed intense cherry red with purple notes on its meniscus. Floral aromas and red fruits such as currants and raspberries are gently influenced by nine months of ageing in French oak barrels. This vintage has only recently been released and I cannot find any reviews and so all I can say is that the well-known critics have enjoyed it in the past; James Suckling gave the 2017 vintage a very fine 93/100. More will certainly be purchased for our home. (Stock #9738)

I must try a bottle of their 2018 Cune Vina Real Barrel Fermented White that sells for $23.60. The winery says that it is “an extremely aromatic wine with fruit such as pear, apple, white peach all being highlighted. This is complicated by sweet spice and balsamic notes from barrel ageing”.

One commenter writes: “If you prefer your whites with a bit more oomph and oompah this should appeal”. The Wine Advocate rates it 90/100 and comments: “Aromatic and expressive with pears, ripe apples and white currant. Barrel-ageing adds vanilla, sweet spice and nutty richness.” The grape used is the viura. (Stock # 9737)

We also have three new arrivals from the Michael David winery in Lodi, California, a place where they have farmed for 150 years. I will lead off with their 87 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 12 per cent petite sirah and 1 per cent merlot that is their 2017 Michael David Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon that has sourced its certified sustainably grown fruit from a vineyard in Lodi. It was first planted in 1906, when the earth violently shook in that beautiful city of San Francisco, and so the name.

Wine Enthusiast rated it 92/100 and selected it as their “Editor’s Choice”. The magazine wrote: “While concentrated and well structured, this full-bodied wine seems light on its feet, easing delicious, dried plum and rich blackberry flavours into a frame of melted tannins and lifted acidity. Light nuances of baking spice, vanilla and wood smoke create complexity.” The publication also selected Michael David as their American Winery of the Year for 2020. $38 (Stock #7103)

I am thinking that maybe I should have warned that if any reader prefers delicate, gentle wines that they really should not be reading this today as each of them border on, or actually are, blockbuster wines and none of the five fall into the wimpy zone. So, if you are still there, please consider flavourful cheeses and foods. I will now quote from the winery as they speak of their syrah, petite sirah and souzao blend that makes up their 2018 Michael David Freakshow.

“Like the wolfman himself, this beast of a blend is wild, unruly and like no other! Composed of syrah, petite sirah and souzao, the 2018 showing of Freakshow Red unveils aromas of ripe plum, espresso and salted caramel on the nose. Medium in body, flavours of crushed summer berries, sweet tobacco and allspice.

“Building off the wild success of Freakshow cab – the first wine in the Freakshow line-up – we searched near and far to find the next main attraction. Known for taking the road less travelled, we decided an exceptional offering that displays the undeniable brut of Lodi syrah was just the ticket. Freakshow Red is a mash-up of man meets wild … Syrah’s untamed and mysterious allure is refined and polished with the addition of petite sirah. Prepare your eyes and taste buds for a freak like no other.” $29.65 (Stock #7100)

Here is the Wine Enthusiast’s take on 2018 Michael David Petite Petit: “Comprised of 85 per cent petite sirah and 15 per cent petit verdot, Petite Petit is a large, weighty, knock your socks off type of wine! Showcasing aromas of dark fruit such as raspberry, this wine is layered with rich flavours of black cherry, cola and light oak on the palate. Dark, full-bodied and deeply satisfying! Editors’ Choice. 93/100.” $29 (Stock #7101)

The winery comments: “Like elephants whose size is imposing, Petite Petit is large! A blend of 85 per cent petite sirah and 15 per cent petit verdot. Offering a joyous explosion of colour and fun, it is a substantial, dense, full-bodied, whopper style of wine loaded with pure black fruit and vanilla flavours that coat the palate. It reveals remarkable richness that is slightly dry and seems to linger.”

I guarantee that your olfactory senses and taste buds will have a workout as you try these wines and so please just be ready to enjoy yourselves and have fun!

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

Michael David Winery (Photograph supplied)

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Published September 24, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated September 24, 2021 at 7:59 am)

A handful of new arrivals

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