Check out my recycling bags for wines of good value
As I write this on Monday, January 24, my thoughts are far away.
The James Webb telescope is scheduled to arrive at its L2 Lagrange point, a million miles from Earth, in about six hours’ time and I am waiting to be overwhelmed with knowledge of our universe.
But for now let us get back down to Earth with wines that are of very good value. I believe that it would be appropriate to discuss the wines that have recently been placed in our recycling bags at home, or are here waiting to be enjoyed.
Before writing I did check to see that we had very good stocks – and more on order – of our 2019 DeLoach Heritage California Pinot Noir as I have recently bought a whole case of it and do not want us to run out. You could do so as well, and your price would drop from $21.95 a bottle to only $19.17.
The Boisset family, that owns this winery, has hundreds of years of experience in the birthplace of this grape in Burgundy. They practise sustainable agriculture and minimally intrusive winemaking in the new world and the result is mouthwatering cherry, cranberry and spice. Although very reasonably priced, please give it the honour of serving in a proper, balloon-shaped pinot noir glass – we use light and delicate crystal. (Stock #6040).
We like to always have a selection of inexpensive whites on hand and among them is 2020 Torresella Veneto Pinot Grigio that is dry with bright citrus and apple flavours that are framed by a crisp acidity that leads to a clean, smooth finish. On the nose there is an aroma of white-fleshed stone fruits, green apples and white flowers that persists on both the nose and palate. Its popularity is driven by its flexible taste profile, including medium body and fresh un-oaked fruit flavours. Our price is $18 but if you buy a six-pack case it goes down to $16.20 (Stock #8888).
Another by the case wine is Barefoot California Pinot Grigio and, regardless of its cheap – oops inexpensive – price, I will always go to bat for it. The website cheapwineratings.com has this to say about it: “The nose is soft but has a little spiciness and a very slight mineral characteristic. Violets, lime and very soft flint make the bouquet. The palate is full of citrus flavours and it has sufficient acidity to make it refreshing. Lemon, lime and apple on the palate.”
The Canadian LCBO writes: “Extremely versatile, food-friendly and enjoyable. Pale lemon colour with floral notes and aromas of pineapple, fresh bread, white melon and peach. On the palate, this is dry, fresh and medium-bodied with flavours of pineapple, melon and peach. The finish is long with refreshing fruity tones.” What we really appreciate about it is that is has clean, refreshing, and bright fruit – $15.40 or by the twelve-pack case only $13.86 (Stock #6824).
My wife and I have fond memories of standing on the porch of the Veramonte winery in Chile and looking out at their pristine 1,000-acre organically-farmed vineyard that stretched off in the distance in the Casablanca Valley. Their 2020 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc is 100 per cent made from organic grapes and it is a vibrant, crisp, fresh wine on the nose with citrus aromas of lime and tangerine blended with subtle floral notes. Smooth and fresh, this has a great mouthfeel and a long finish. Ideal with white fish and salads.
Critic Wilfred Wong gave it 89/100 as he wrote: “The 2020 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc offers excellent purity of this grape variety. Tasting notes: This wine is bright with aromas and flavours of dried herbs, rustic spices, and a hint of candied notes. Try it with grilled halibut with cracked black peppercorns.” $18.50 (Stock #6195).
We usually keep some 2018 Chateau Bonnet Entre Deux Mers Sauvignon Blanc on hand as we appreciate its very pale straw-yellow and all the intensity of being grown on clay-limestone terroir. The nose offers citrus, exotic pineapple and yellow peach aromas and the palate is round and generous indicative of perfectly ripe grapes. Fine with chicken, fish, seafood platters and a wide range of cheeses. Typical of Bordeaux, this is a blend of 75 per cent sauvignon blanc, 23 per cent semillon and 2 per cent muscadelle that together make for a quite complex offering. $21.75 (Stock #7502).
By mistake I bought home a bottle of the 2016 Chateau Bonnet Rouge that is a 50 per cent merlot and 50 per cent cabernet sauvignon blend. So, we opened it to have with a pasta dish and found it unquestionably quite charming with plum, blackberry, black currant and a touch of oak and tobacco. A good buy and ready to drink for $23 (Stock #7501).
Even though I am basically retired it is not easy to break the habit of “weekend wines” and indeed we do not seem to, or want to, discard this practice. On hand are three bottles of 2018 Louis Martini Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon that sells for $29.45. This 2018 Sonoma County cabernet sauvignon is an approachable, fruit-driven wine that offers a welcomingly round mouthfeel with ripe notes of red fruit and cherry. Delicate hints of dark chocolate and oak spice on the finish add layers of elegance and freshness, offering a rich yet balanced expression of the varietal.
James Suckling give it a very respectable 91/100 and commented: “Dark plums, black cherries, grilled herbs and smoke on the nose. It’s full-bodied with firm, sleek tannins. Supple and juicy with fresh acidity. Savoury, flavourful finish. Drink or hold.” (Stock #8681).
Let me finish with one wonderful aspect of our sense of taste and smell that no other sense will allow. Vision and hearing must be clear and undistorted, or we will be unsatisfied. But when it comes to taste and smell I can write about a multi thousand-dollar bottle of wine last week and still, with complete honesty, tell you how much I enjoy a very inexpensive one today. Same with food, I can buy the most wonderful fresh rockfish at our neighbourhood store, but also enjoy a canned tuna fish (why do we say fish?) sandwich the next day. What a range of satisfaction taste and smell allow us.
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