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Enjoying wines of a certain age

I wrote last week about wineonline.bm being back up and running and shared some of the wines in its “monthly specials” section.

There are more, including ones that offer the opportunity of experiencing the effects of age.

You may wonder what condition Bird in Hand Nest Egg Adelaide Hills Estate 2010 cabernet sauvignon is in? I can tell you that last week my wife and I opened a bottle of Australian Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon. We did not expect very much, as it had not been stored in our best cellar and the original price had been in the high teens — we did not waste a drop (except the sediment). The vintage was 1995!

Cabernet sauvignon is very age-worthy; the oldest I have ever tasted was an 1875 bordeaux. With very old wines, they literally change as you are drinking them, as oxygen greatly accelerates this ageing process. Nest Egg will be quite wonderful now as the structural tannins and acid should have smoothed out and leather and tobacco come more into play, possibly even the cedar that is so special. The aforementioned 1995 cabernet reminded me of coffee.

In 2010 Bird in Hand made 9,864 bottles of this top wine and one review, that rated it 95/100 said: “A potent, full-bodied cabernet with exemplary flavour and structure.” This stock (#6091) did sell for $62 but has been reduced to $49, or get a six pack for $264.60 which is $44.10 a bottle.

Don't forget, a 2010 from the southern hemisphere is the age of a 2009 from the north.

The classic Italian sangiovese grape also ages extremely well; good chianti is capable of 20 to 25 years (we recently enjoyed a Felsina riserva from 2000). Terrabianca (white earth) is a cutting edge and beautiful Tuscan estate that is first mentioned in documents dated 1085 — two centuries before Dante!

Today, they concentrate on their chianti riserva and Bermuda's popular Super Tuscan called Campaccio, but a few years ago they offered other wines. Terrabinaca Piano de Cipresso 2010 Sangiovese was always one of my favourites even thought it sold for a modest $25.90. This stock (#9074) is $17.50 and 10 per cent off this on a case of 12.

It was only a few weeks after the great earthquake of 2010 when we were dining in a Mendoza restaurant that the sommelier presented to us a wine list with more than 400 from Argentina.

As we often did on these scouting trips, we asked him to select a bottle for us. He chose an offering from Fabre Montmayou and I knew immediately that Bermuda had to have a selection of these wines, made by a French couple that had settled here from Bordeaux.

Fabre Montmayou Barrel Selection 2016 Patagonia cabernet sauvignon is an intense red colour with very good concentration on the nose, with aromas of dark blackberries and cassis fruits. Juicy and fruity on the palate, with hints of coffee and leather from the oak, it is full-bodied with silky tannins and a long finish. Great accompaniment to meats and strong cheeses.

Critic James Suckling awarded it 93 points and wrote: “This has a hint of bell pepper, there are also attractive blackcurrant and redcurrant notes. A serious tannin structure and a long dry finish of some complexity. Drink or hold.” Stock #8909 was $20.50 but is now reduced to $17.75 or only $16.42 if a case of 12 is purchased. I think that I better stock up myself!

Pinot noir is a grape that is also capable of ageing well. Even though its soft nature can be very enjoyable in its youth, some in our personal collection are approaching 40 years. Burrows Lightbourn no longer imports Deerfield wines, but we have a little of their medium-aged and certified organic Deerfield Ranch 2014 pinot noir on sale. Their method of production assures very low histamines and sulphites. Owner Robert Rex makes small lots of handcrafted wines and he sources his pinot noir grapes from the Russian River Valley so well known for this varietal. He says that: “This wine is feminine and delicate and pairs with a wider variety of foods than any other wine.” Stock #6084 was $47 and is now $33.55.

I will mention one more very special offer and if you are a fan of curries and Asian dishes you cannot go wrong with this one. I refer to Torres Vina Esmeralda 2016 from Penedes in Spain. This white is a blend of gewurztraminer and muscat. As I feel that this “fruit bomb” is so enjoyable with such dishes I wonder if it is the difficulty in pronouncing the “G” grape that stymies sales? It is two German words joined, with gewurz meaning spicy and traminer the grape type. So say “ge-voortz-tra-meener” or if you do not dare, then “stock #9399”. This was $18.25 but now is a giveaway at $10 and 10 per cent off on a case of 12! Well chilled, it also is such a pretty, summer sipper.

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), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm

Taste from down under: wine from Australian vineyard Bird in Hand is available at Burrows Lightbourn (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 26, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated June 26, 2020 at 9:26 am)

Enjoying wines of a certain age

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