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Take your pick from a hodgepodge of wines

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The Cambridge Dictionary describes hodgepodge as “a confused mixture of different things” and this describes the divergent selection of wines that I will share with you today as there is no common bond – except deliciousness!

First let me quote Market Watch magazine that is published by the same crew as Wine Spectator: “We are proud to announce that The Palm by Whispering Angel has been named Best New Wine Product of the Year by Market Watch magazine’s annual Leaders’ Choice Awards. This distinction is based on the editors compiling a list of nominees, derived from volume data, pricing and other factors. There are about 10 to 15 nominees. Following this selection process is an online survey voted on by more than 200 active leaders. The final decision is predicated on that vote. The Palm by Whispering Angel depleted an impressive 100,000 9-litre cases in 2019, and is expected to approach 200,000 cases this year, and earned Shanken’s Impact Newsletter’s ’Hot Brand’ honours – in just its third year on the market. The Palm’s success comes at a promising time for rosé, which has certainly established itself as a stand-alone category that has expanded into numerous regions and styles.”

When I first wrote about Whispering Angel’s “little sister” I mentioned that during a meeting with these folks I complained bitterly: “How could you design a package and its contents to be so perfect for our island and then limit us to only a few hundred cases?”

I found out that the problem was that they had secured orders for the whole first year’s production in the first few days of its release.

There is now sufficient stock of 2019 The Palm Rosé that is crafted from a blend of 89 per cent grenache, 7 per cent cinsault and 4 per cent syrah, that together show great aromatic freshness along with subtle fruity notes. Pork and poultry, salmon and tuna – there are so many good matches. Or just sip it on its own, and please just remember that the rosé season runs for twelve months of the year. In fact, I would only drink it on days ending in ’Y’. $23.65 (Stock #8112).

Would you like to try “the best red wine in the world”? Do not despair, as you can likely afford a bottle at $42.90. I am referring to our stock #7284 which is 2017 Gerard Bertrand Chateau L’ Hospitalet La Clape Gran Vin from the Languedoc region of France. It picked up this prestigious honour at the International Wine Challenge in London as it scored a most impressive 97/100. Of course, you can pay thousands of dollars and pick up a more classic wine, but combine price, quality and overall availability and this is what you get. We do not have very many cases in stock, and I suspect that they will disappear quite quickly once the news gets out. This biodynamic blend of 60 per cent syrah, 30 per cent grenache and 10 per cent mourvedre is bright ruby red in colour and the intense nose carries predominant aromas of spices and strawberries. Fine and silky tannins enhance the fruity freshness of this wine. It would be perfect with rack of lamb or mature cheeses.

We have been so careful with our mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing and have not had a dinner party in our home for over six months. As we have a 14ft deep porch that is covered and wraps around part of our home we decided, last week, to invite four couples to join us and dine at their own appropriately spaced tables.

We started with 2015 J. Lohr Tower Road Paso Robles Petite Sirah as this is just the type of wine that I really like when there is a fine piece of beef on the grill and I am looking for a glass just brimming with yumminess. Wine Enthusiast rates it 92/100 and writes: “Intriguing, deep and dark on the nose, this bottling offers aromas of root beer, black-cherry sauce and vanilla. Framed by upright yet polished tannins on the palate, fresh flavours of blackberry and blueberry are lifted by vanilla spice. This is an easy-to-like, yet heavy-duty wine.” Be ready to exhibit a purple smile when you enjoy this. $33.25 (Stock #6411).

My wife wanted wine from her favourite – and sadly at this time, smoke-filled – valley and so we served 2016 Louis Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that is a blend of 84 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 9 per cent petit sirah, 5 per cent petit verdot, 1 per cent merlot and 1 per cent malbec. Canadian critic Natalie MacLean calls it “a concentrated, yet balanced Californian cabernet with aromas of cassis and blackcurrant that is beautifully crafted” and she scores it 92/100. $48.30 (Stock #8683).

One couple arrived with a bottle of amarone and it got me thinking that it was about time I brought home one of my favourites, which happens to be 2015 Masi Costasera Amarone. It is a deep ruby-red wine that has powerful, complex aromas of dried plums and balsamic (anise, fennel, mint) traces. It is quite dry on the palate, soft and with bright acidity, and it shows flavours of baked cherry, chocolate and cinnamon. It is structured, but noble with delicate tannins that precede a long finish.

James Suckling is obviously very impressed as he gives this Italian beauty a 95/100 and feels this way: “This opens beautifully to reveal violets, blueberries, liquorice, citrus, oyster shell and orange rind. So velvety and polished, but with real depth and structure. Medium- to full-bodied with delightful fruit and a long finish. Drink in 2021 but already so satisfying.” $59.40 (Stock #9170).

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

The 2017 Gerard Bertrand Chateau L’ Hospitalet La Clape Gran Vin was billed “the best wine in the world” at the International Wine Challenge in London. It’s available locally from Burrows Lightbourn Ltd

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Published October 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Updated October 21, 2020 at 6:41 pm)

Take your pick from a hodgepodge of wines

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