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Labour Day weekend barbecue wines

The historic Beringer winery in Napa Valley, California (Photograph supplied)

As we consider a couple of Rosé wines to have with pork dishes, I will let Guillaume Reynier tell his story.

“In 2003, I was offered the opportunity to take over a vineyard on my native land at Rognes in the Aix hinterland. This was the birth of Domaine Val de Caire and the start of a magnificent adventure, my dream come true. A discreetly accessible estate lost in the hills of Provence, where the vine is king and constantly at the heart of my attentions.

The vineyard currently covers 17 hectares, which have been farmed organically since 2011. Véronique, a tennis player from Savoie who grew up in Provence, joined me in 2009. Her presence by my side and her help has given new impetus to the domaine. With her smile, she will welcome you and show you the results of our work with our different cuvées”.

The 2022 Val de Caire Rosé is a delicious, mineral driven organic wine that displays red grapefruit, sour cherry, strawberry and spice. Certified organic from the Coteaux D’Aix-en-Provence, it reflects this sunny fresh climate. $22 (Stock #7099).

Last week I wrote about the local connection with the Alpasión winery in Uco Valley in Argentina, but I did not mention that it was a fine place to stay as well. Just an hour and a half away from the city of Mendoza, Alpasión Lodge has seven luxurious double rooms. They have private terraces, cable TV and Wi-Fi internet. Each room has a unique style based on one of the elements: metal, wood, earth, air, water, fire. Three of the guest rooms can be configured as twins if required.

The 2022 Alpasión Rosé is quite a new arrival for us, and it has a soft and fresh entry, some volume in the mouth, very good acidity and low alcohol that all make it very drinkable. Savoury in style, this 100 per cent syrah rosé is ideal for true gastronomic experiences. Aromatics of persimmon, clementine, as well as prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe burst from the glass. It has the perfect marriage of salinity and fruit that can be consumed year-round. $23.90 (Stock #8943).

If your plan is to have a chicken-based barbecue, then a New World chardonnay should be a good partner.

From Australia, 2019 Koonunga Hill Chardonnay reflects Penfolds’ multi-region, multi-vineyard blending philosophy, which enables the winemaking team to source the best parcels of fruit to produce consistently high-quality wines from each vintage. This one is medium bodied with a crisp and lively palate. The influence of oak provides an added dimension of complexity to this modern expression of chardonnay. Koonunga Hill wines are known for their generosity of flavour, balance and lasting quality. Attractive honeydew melon, white peach and lemon/lime citrus aromas complement a fresh and lively chardonnay palate. The influence of oak provides an added dimension of complexity to this impressive, balanced wine. $21.80 (Stock #7207).

In 1876, brothers Jacob and Frederick Beringer established Beringer Vineyards with a dream of making wines that would rival the finest in Europe. Today, Jacob’s great great-grandson, chief winemaker Mark Beringer, guides what is now California’s longest continually operating winery and one of Napa’s finest producers. For many years I have placed their chardonnay on my most wanted list.

We have 2019 Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay that their winemaker describes as: “delightfully luscious, bright and crisp, with aromas and flavours of vibrant lemon citrus and tropical notes of pineapple, white pear, juicy Golden Delicious apple and a hint of lemon meringue, sea salt caramel and butterscotch. Mouth-watering with fresh acidity, leading to a long savoury dry finish with white pepper spice and clove from the oak influence. The brightness of the chardonnay fruit shines through, showcasing a classic example of Napa Valley chardonnay”. James Suckling scores it 92/100 and comments,
“lemon curd, baked apple, nutmeg and crushed hazelnut on the nose. Some vanilla, too. Its full-bodied with a smooth, creamy texture. Layered and delicious”. $39.90 (Stock #6273).

If you are considering serving beef burgers, you may not think that you can get a fine match-up from France for a mere $22.50, but you can! 2021 M. Chapoutier Côtes-du-Rhône ‘Bellaruche’ is what I have in mind as it is an intense wine with blackcurrant and raspberry notes complemented by notes of white pepper. It is powerful and fruity on the palate with lovely roasted notes, and silky, delicate tannins. The Somm Journal awards it 92/100 and writes, “intense aromas of cassis, raspberry, white pepper, and violets exude from this blend of grenache and syrah. Flavours of plum and dark chocolate peek through the herbaceous palate, riding a wave of silky tannins”. $22.50 (Stock #9420). Remember that this, and all M. Chapoutier wines, are ideal gifts for anyone who is visually impaired, as they all feature Braille on their labels.

Barbecue beef sirloin steaks will ask you to open up a bottle of 2019 J. Lohr Estates ‘Seven Oaks’ Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles in California. It is dense and dark at the core, with a brilliant garnet hue around the rim. Ripe fruit aromas of black cherry and currant are accented by notes of toasted pastry, hazelnut, and vanilla from their barrel ageing programme. Big, juicy red-fruit flavours infuse the palate while softly textured tannins lead to a long finish. This blend is 82 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 9 per cent petite sirah, 4 per cent petit verdot, 3 per cent, merlot, 1 per cent, cabernet franc and 1 per cent syrah.

It is an Editor’s Choice with Wine Enthusiast magazine that has this to say. “Aromas of shaved cocoa and red cherry jam meet with a bit of smoke on the nose of this widely available yet reliable bottling. There is ample tension on the sip, giving the big-boned flavours of black cherry, incense and smoke the tannic edges to cling to”. $28 (Stock #7993). Please pay attention as the tannins in the wine soften the fat in the meat, so that they release more flavours, and in turn this beef fat softens the tannins, teamwork at its finest.

This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail mrobinson@bll.bm or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit www.wineonline.bm

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Published September 01, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated September 01, 2023 at 7:13 am)

Labour Day weekend barbecue wines

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