Try Cohen and Pour les Amour for the 14th
Let me share a few recent, and sadly, last words from songwriter Leonard Cohen as I know of no one who could better express loving and being loved: “If the sun would lose its light and we lived an endless night and there was nothing left that you could feel — that's how it would be, what my life would seem to me if I didn't have your love to make it real.”
Code Rouge is a new bubbly for us from Gerard Bertrand and it is fermented in the bottle using the same method that the law insists on in champagne. Even though I am not blessed with the ability to identify colours, I can somehow see the beauty in this red glass bottle. Very festive and impressive.
The wine itself is a cuvee (blend) of white grapes from terroirs located within the oceanic climates of Limoux. I admit that the claims of monks at Saint Hilaire Abby, in this area, are not alone when they state that the world's very first sparkling wine was made here. They share this thought with the good folks of England and Champagne!
This is how Wine & Spirits magazine feels about Gerard Bertrand Code Rouge Blanc de Blanc: “Although the bottle is red, the wine is white, a blend of 70 per cent chardonnay, 20 per cent chenin blanc and 10 per cent mauzac, fermented in bottle and aged at least a year before release. A new cuvee from Bertrand, it's a big, rich sparkler, creamy and broad with hazelnut, mushroom and spice notes detailing the yellow plum fruit. It finishes dry, an opulent cremant for lobster rolls this summer.” $36.60.
How could anyone resist a wine on the 14th named Pour les Amour? This is exactly what a 100 per cent pinot noir rosé is called from Bird in Hand winery situated on an old goldmining site in the Adelaide Hills of Australia. The cool climate in this high land is so suitable for pinot noir and, with minimum skin contact, it is a translucent, salmon-pink coloured wine. Lifted strawberries join cherry blossoms and crisp acid and a long, clean finish follows. Bird in Hand Pour les Amour Rosé 2016 is yours to share for $25.85.
By far our bestseller from the two brothers at Bird in Hand is their sparkling pinot noir rosé and, once you taste it, you may appreciate why they won Australian Winemaker of the Year in 2014 and 2015. Fresh strawberries and cherries blend beautifully with persistent, fine bubbles. Recently, when I presented this wine to a group of corporate clients, I told them how it has always solved four problems for me. If I meet people that do not like sparkling wine, pinot noir, Australian wine or rosé, I just give them a sip of this and all their problems fade away. It is just so delicious. If you have been enjoying this wine for some time you will note the new lower price due to the weak Aussie dollar. $23.35.
I happen to be looking at this whole Valentine situation as an opportunity to impress the gentler sex, but if it is a matter of impressing a male, then there is nothing better than Mollydooker's Carnival of Love 2013 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia. I wish I could say that we have the 2014 vintage, but that went out of here like a scalded cat as Wine Spectator placed it second on their list of the top 100 wines in the world. The 2013 is, however, no wimp. The colour is like squid ink and there are huge aromatics ranging from bright fresh berries to plum jam with undertones of chocolate icing. It is multilayered, offering milk chocolate and mocha flavours that roll on to a seamless structure and velvet tannins. This is a powerful and brooding sip for sure. The Wine Spectator awards it 93/100. $90.60.
•This column is a paid-for advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Michael Robinson is Director of Wine at Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. He can be contacted at 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's (York Street, 297-0409). A selection of their wines, beers and spirits is available online at www.wineonline.bm.