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Bermuda Day is coming … time to celebrate summer

A floral lift and elegance: Sarah Marquis owner of Mollydooker Winery in Australia (Photograph supplied)

With our Bermuda Day holiday fast approaching, I will tell you about three whites and three reds.

The whites may be new to you, and the reds – think barbecue – will be Australian, as we all know what the country just achieved here this week and how exciting that was.

It is difficult for a small vineyard owner to have any impact on the wine market. So many wines are produced by co-ops and Martín Códax is one of these. Founded in Spain in 1986 it comprises of 2,400 tiny vineyard parcels managed by 550 families in Rías Baixas, which is a DO or denominación de origen – or specified area. It is here that the albarino grape produces white wines.

Our 2020 Martín Códax Rías Baixas Albarino is pale lemon in colour. The nose is full of ripe fruity notes married with elegant aromas of fresh herbs, green apples, citrus fruit and grapefruit. The palate is refreshing and zesty with great flavour intensity which persists on the long finish. If you try this, I think there is a good chance that it will become a summer favourite. $22.35 (Stock #9400).

The 2020 Gerard Bertrand Picpoul de Pinet – Languedoc offers us the opportunity to enjoy a white wine made from picpoul grapes often used in the production of cognac and armagnac brandy. Here is what their winemaker has to tell us: “In order to minimise the risk of oxidation, the grapes are harvested at the time of day when the temperatures are coolest (night and early morning) and taken to the cellar as quickly as possible. The bunches are immediately pressed in a pneumatic press. The must is then put into fermentation, which takes place at low temperatures (16° and 18°) to preserve the aromas as much as possible.

“The wine is matured in stainless steel tanks on fine lees before being bottled in the spring. It is a pale yellow colour with hints of green. On the nose, it is a gourmet wine with citrus and hawthorn aromas. It is deliciously fresh on the palate with beautiful lemony notes and an invigorating finish. This wine pairs wonderfully with shellfish, crustaceans or fish.” $24.90 (Stock #7256).

Our 2020 Domaine Boutet Saulmer Vouvray – Loire is, as the law requires, made from the chenin blanc grape. Although vouvray is often produced in a slightly sweet style (moelleux), this one is “sec” or dry. Christophe Boutet and his wife have practised sustainable agriculture on their 26 acres of vineyards and are moving towards organic viticulture. A portion of their wines are biodynamic. They have excellent vineyards in the small Vouvray appellation. This is a dry example which is all about the acidity and freshness. A deep and refined nose with fine chalky notes intermixed with juicy and well-concentrated aromas of lemon and wild flower and quince fruit. It’s full of energy, laserlike acidity, and a very long finish. $26.90 (Stock #7922).

Of course, the whites were from Spain and France, two of the countries sailing here, but now all the reds will be from the overall winner Australia. It is the time to fire up the barbecue and what could be better than shiraz with its full body and concentrated jammy aromas and flavours of blueberry and blackberry, along with big, ripe tannins. Smoked meat notes like beef jerky and bacon along with black pepper spice, are also part of its make-up.

Grapes for 2019 Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz come from prime vineyard blocks including the Mollydooker home vineyard in McLaren Vale with some additional fruit from Langhorn Creek and Currency Creek, all in South Australia. The slightly cooler climate grapes from Langhorne and Currency Creek, add a floral lift and elegance. All of the grapes are sustainably grown. Parcels were vinified separately, barrel-fermented and aged in 100 per cent American oak. $38.50 (Stock #6096).

Penfolds, I am sure most would agree, is Australia’s premium producer and their 2016 Max’s Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon is described this way by the Wine Spectator magazine: "Thick, with sink-your-teeth-into-them tannins and powerful, ripe blackberry, huckleberry and blueberry flavours that show aromatic accents of allspice, Earl Grey tea, vanilla bean, milk chocolate and dried violet on the finish. Drink now through 2036. 92/100."

Penfolds Max's Shiraz Cabernet is a tribute to former chief winemaker Max Schubert 1948 to 1975, a legend in Penfolds history. Max's constant pursuit of excellence paved the way for those who followed in his footsteps and also allowed the status and heritage of Penfolds Winery to grow. This blend of 77 per cent shiraz and 23 per cent cabernet sauvignon is certainly at an age to enjoy thoroughly. $38.80 (Stock #7203).

Not only can Australians sail spectacularly, but their top wines can stand proudly beside our world’s greatest. Take for instance 2017 Penfolds Bin #798 RWT Shiraz that rated ninth best on the Wine Spectator’s 2019 Top 100 wines. Rated at 96/100 they wrote: “Offers a lush, juicy mix of blackberry, blueberry and black cherry flavours that appears seamless, integrating with notes of amaretto, clove, and lavender. Plush, juicy, and very generous on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2034.”

Wilfred Wong of Wine.com gave it 97 points and commented: “The 2017 Penfolds Bin RWT is hypnotising and seductive, and it is one of the best red wines I have tasted in 2020. This wine dazzles with ripe fruit that stays lovingly on the palate. Enjoy it with a well-seasoned porchetta and see its synergy with a meal. (Tasted: August 29, 2020, San Francisco, California). $180 (Stock #7208).

If you were just happy to see your country’s flag tearing across the Great Sound here, we have plenty of New Zealand and USA wines in stock, even a little from Canada. Who will we toast to next in the “windy city” of Chicago? I wonder if they will fly easily on that fresh water?

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

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Published May 20, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated May 20, 2022 at 7:54 am)

Bermuda Day is coming … time to celebrate summer

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