Toast summer with Marilyn’s favourite bubbly
Although these are strange times to judge which way our market is going, the decision has been made to reduce, for a limited time, the price of a few wines in our stores — with, of course, the desire to reduce stocks.
From a purely retail point of view it has not only been a matter of home sales picking up due to limited restaurant activity, but also many of our families who usually travel away for August have remained here.
Trying to forecast the impact while also dealing with changing shipping patterns around the world, makes for interesting days in this trade.
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre, one of the youngest and most dynamic producers, has been the backbone of this key Loire market for us with demand both for enjoying while dining out and at home as well. In the words of best known Canadian critic Natalie MacLean, the 2018 vintage is “a vibrant and juicy Loire sauvignon blanc with subtle lemon grass and lime zest aromas on the nose”.
She says: “Subtle on the nose, this sancerre is powerful on the palate with crisp green apple, gooseberry, lime-lemon zest flavours with a mouth-watering flinty mineral finish. Don't even think about it, chill and enjoy it with grilled seafood and shellfish dishes. Sancerre food pairings: grilled shellfish, mussel hotpot, clams vongole. Sensational shellfish wine.” We have been selling stock #7801 for $31.85 but you can now purchase a bottle for $27.50.
I do hope by now, dear reader, that you may be getting beyond “the rosé season is drawing to a close” frame of mind, as these wines have earned their place as a year-round treat. One that comes to mind likes to think that “it started as a whisper but it is now time to rock” and I, of course, refer to Château D'Esclans 2018 Rock Angel Rosé from the brilliant crew who gives us the Whispering Angel, its baby sister.
Critic James Suckling cares enough for Rock Angel to award it an impressive 92 points and describe it in this way: “Here's a very serious rosé indeed that shows fresh nectarines, newly picked peaches, tulips, rose petals, citrus and a lovely kick of vanilla and spices. Full-bodied and layered, framing a whole array of spicy but vibrant stone fruit. Oily, juicy and phenolic, but tangy on the long finish. Stunning and amazing value.”
May I reinforce this thought by making it even more stunning and amazing by saying that you may try it for $29.70 rather than $34.95 (stock #8102).
There are a few other specials that you can stop by and see, but I will mention just one more, a bottle of the ever-popular prosecco and a very fine one at that!
Take advantage of our special price for a bottle of stock #9028; if you have time on your hands or a desire to brush up on your Italian, you could ask for it by name — Canella 2018 Millesimato Extra Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. Either will ensure that you are handed a wine that, according to Wine Enthusiast magazine, “opens with aromas of yellow apple and jasmine”.
It continues: “The savoury off-dry palate offers Bartlett pear and white peach alongside bright acidity. Brisk bubbles provide the lively backdrop.”
The Canella winery was founded in 1947, after the Second World War, by Luciano Canella. Luciano's parents owned a small restaurant in San Donà di Piave, Italy. Luciano began to search the surrounding areas for the best wines to match his mother's cuisine, and then thought about creating his own. He put this idea into action and set up a state-of-the-art winery specialising in prosecco. The regular price is $23.35 but for now, please give us $19.85.
You may know that during this pandemic my official retirement took place but, I still have my toe in the door, stay in touch with the team through e-mail and actual meetings, and still write this weekly column.
During a chat yesterday, with the opportunity to voice my opinion on three wines that we tasted, I was told that champagne sales were very promising. I will wrap this up with a story of one renowned producer that we have recently reimported.
Piper-Heidsieck founder Florens-Louis Heidsieck was a lowly German draper who fell in love with a young woman from the Champagne region. Florens followed her to her homeland and promptly fell in love with its bubbly, adding champagne to his cloth and draping repertoire in 1785 and beginning what would ultimately become a wildly successful global champagne brand.
Marie Antoinette was such a fan of bubbles that Florens-Louis Heidsieck knew he had to impress her if he wanted to make a dent in the brimming champagne market. So, he brought his bubbly to Versailles. The queen liked it so much that she gave Heidsieck the equivalent of 14 exclusive VIP accounts in the royal court.
A much later queen of the screen, Marilyn Monroe, was rumoured to always have a month's supply in her kitchen.
I often reference the very influential, annual Wine Spectator list of the “Top 100 Wines in the World”.
Their 2019 selections included Piper Heidsieck Brut Non Vintage Champagne that represents the epitome of Heidsieck's style with its classic, well-structured and fruit-forward style. Bought from us. stock #7050 is $59.
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George's (York Street, 297-0409). Visit wineonline.bm