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A couple of new rosés and a few chardonnays

Joseph Drouhin cellars in Burgundy, France (Photograph supplied)

I have been asked to tell you about a couple of new rosé wines and a few chardonnays, but first let me share this with you.

As last weekend ended, I felt the need to celebrate with something rare and special. Instead of stories featuring M15 and AK47 rifles, we watched hundreds of thousands of happy smiling faces; instead of cluster bombs and tanks we were just blown away by the light and music show at Buckingham Palace. How did they do that?

We opened a magnum of 1995 Simi Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a special limited release and probably the only one in Bermuda. Burrows Lightbourn always has a selection of red and white from this historic Californian winery. We had nurtured this magnum for over twenty years and it turned out to be lovely, as was this memorable weekend. Thank you, the United Kingdom.

Just arrived from Tavel in the heart of the Rhone Valley rosé production area is our 2020 Chateau La Nerthe Les Cassagnes Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé. This pale pink wine has a lot of tangerine, floral nuances and fresh zesty character to offer. The mouth is round and seamless on the palate. The finish has a very good vivacity and leads to a fruity, juicy and energetic wine. It is a versatile companion to many styles of cuisine. Enjoy with cheeses and fruit or pair with salmon dishes, poultry in light- to medium-weight sauces, and fresh salads. The grape blend is 40 per cent grenache, 30 per cent cinsault, 30 per cent mourvèdre. Tasting Panel rated it 92/100 and commented: “Among the darlings of southern France’s rosés. Lively aromas of strawberry lead to a generous fruit salad of flavours: watermelon, peach, and papaya. Steely undertones of wet river rock keep the palate lean and a bit dusty.” $25(Stock #8409).

Our 19 Crimes has been a tremendous success for us over the past few years and a brand new release has just arrived. It is 19 Crimes Martha’s Chardonnay from coastal vineyards in California. As you may know, this range of wines originated in Australia, and it features the nineteen crimes for which you could be banished to down under. Quite recently Snoop Dog partnered with them to release Cali Red and Cali Rosé. Now celebrated television and business personality Martha Stewart joins the group. Both are examples of folks that have broken the law, paid for it, and managed to recover and build a business empire. Fitting for the 19 Crimes theme!

Martha’s chardonnay will suit the many fans of this range, as it is very flavourful and displays a touch of sweetness. The colour is light gold and the way that it clings to the glass gives us a hint of its body. It exhibits honeysuckle, Mandarin orange and ripe melon. A very refreshing summer quaff. $24.70 (Stock #6222).

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the ten rosé listings that we have from Sasha Lachine, including the world’s most asked for Whispering Angel. Please do not forget that we have plenty of his latest release, 2020 The Pale Rosé, that sells for $23.70. The site Wine Express comments, “Sacha Lichine, creator of Whispering Angel has done it again with this stellar, new rose wine. Sourcing grapes from the Var region of Provence and working with winemaker Bertrand Leon, this blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah and rolle (vermentino) is bright and refreshing. Named after its transparent pink colour, The Pale by Sacha Lichine embodies all the characteristics of an authentic rose from Provence. It is expressive both inside and out and bears great aromatic freshness on the nose followed by more subtle, fruity notes on the palate. Best of all it's exceptionally affordable.” (Stock #8113).

Spain offers such good values with their wines and 2020 Otazu Navara Chardonnay is a good example, in fact the Wine Enthusiast magazine puts it with their “Best Buys” selection and writes, “This medium straw-coloured wine has aromas of apple and green pear. It is smooth in the mouth, offering flavours of pineapple, apple, pear and white cherry, with a slightly spicy finish. 89/100.” $22.50 (Stock #9411).

If you are looking for a rare and extra special treat, here are two: 2018 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay is sourced from an area that is often called “the New World’s Burgundy appellation”. The Wine Enthusiast rates it 95 points and describes it as “an incredible showcase for the appellation” [that] combines grapes from the producer’s estate Westside Farms with Dutton, Woolsey Road, and Rochioli Allen, among others. Together it is broadly floral, earthy, and richly integrated, with depth and complexity, the acidity vibrantly fresh. $53.50 (Stock #6390).

Burgundy is the birthplace of chardonnay, and the village of Meursault is renowned for its rich and complex versions. The Drouhin family produce such beautifully made red and white Burgundy and here is what Burgundy critic John Gilman thinks of their 2018 Joseph Drouhin Meursault: “It is always interesting at this November tasting to compare the three villages offerings from Maison Drouhin from the big three villages in the Côte de Beaune, as one gets to taste them side by side. This year, my slight favourite is this excellent Meursault AC, which delivers a very pure and classy bouquet of apple, pear, hazelnut, chalky soil tones, white flowers, citrus zest and a deft foundation of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, long and quite classic in personality, with a good core, lovely acids and grip, impeccable balance and a long, focused and nascently complex finish. First class Meursault villages!” (12/2019). $70 (Stock #8126).

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 June 10, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated June 10, 2022 at 7:49 am)

A couple of new rosés and a few chardonnays

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