I know that I mention Mollydooker Carnival of Love every year, but it is so appropriate for this day. The 2014 vintage that we currently stock is described in this way by its maker: “Luscious cherry, blackberry and plum jam fruit flavours marry together, forming this powerful yet elegant shiraz. Made from a selection of McLaren Vale’s premier grapes, its deep colour and fragrant nose leads to quite a voluptuous palate of fruit intertwined with rich mocha, coffee and chocolate, with traces of liquorice and toffee. Carnival of Love offers exceptional complexity while remaining balanced and delightful to drink.”
Wine Spectator magazine placed it 30th on their 2016 list of the World’s Top 100 Wines. They rated it 95/100 and called it “bold, expressive, velvety and generous” and suggested drinking it up to 2030. This is always one of the finest examples of Australian shiraz. $86.05 and perfect for a cold evening.
One review, if you feel this a little over budget, suggests, “Save up, rob a bank, get a loan, but just get some!”
The Beaujolais region in France was originally cultivated by the Romans and the gamay grape produces a fruity wine with soft tannins.
We do not stock any regular beaujolais but, instead, start at the next level that is called Beaujolais Villages. There are thirty-nine of these communes/villages that are designated as producers of this higher level.
There are ten beaujolais crus and, although they differ in character, they are considered the best of the lot.
Appropriately, I would like to tell you about the most northerly one of St Amour that supposedly takes its name for a Roman soldier who established a Christian mission there.
Loron & Fils Domaine des Billards 2015 St Amour is at a fine age and this style of wine can easily age for up to ten years. The nose is of peach, cherry and raspberry followed by rose petals. The Wine Enthusiast magazine rates it 90/100 and says: “This powerful wine offers rich texture and layers of tannin balanced by juicy black fruits and crisp acidity. This wine, from a southeast-facing slope, is ripe and ready to drink from 2019.” $26.55.
Our 2018 Gerard Bertrand Côte des Roses is just such a natural gift for a Valentine. The bottle is original with its base in the shape of a rose, created by a young designer from the Ecole Boulle. A wine to be given in the same way you would offer a bunch of roses! Rather than cork or screw cap, it features a glass stopper.
This rosé is a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. It is a soft, pale, brilliant pink with bluish tints developing over time towards more orangey nuances. The bouquet releases aromas of summer fruits, cassis and redcurrant.
Floral notes of rose along with hints of grapefruit complete the picture. The finish is fresh, offering notes of candy. On the palate the impression is fresh and full, with great aromatic persistence and balance. $24.50.
Now, I am thinking of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries. You just cannot go wrong with Bird in Hand 2018 Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé from the Adelaide Hills of Australia. Its flavours of fresh strawberries marry with the fresh fruit, and the bubbles and acidity cleanse the taste buds so that the second bite of chocolate is even better than the first. $26.15.
I suspect that we may have fine beef steak for dinner this evening and possibly a few bites of rich chocolate. I think a fine Californian zinfandel would fill the bill admirably and am considering 2015 Dry Creek Winery Old Vine Zinfandel.
The winemaker of this says about his 76 per cent zinfandel, 22 per cent petite sirah and 2 per cent carignane blend: “The complexity of our Old Vine Zinfandel lies in the spicy notes that are unique to these historic properties. This vintage presents alluring aromatics of blackberries, dried cranberries and a hint of mocha and nutmeg. On the palate, brambly layers of ripe boysenberry, raspberry and dark chocolate come forward. The wine is complex, with bright acidity complimented by a long, lingering finish of black pepper. The tannins are velvety and smooth to lend a round, rich mouthfeel.”
Wine Enthusiast calls it memorable and rates it 92/100. $40.50.
“Where there is no wine. there is no love.” Euripides.
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 (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm</i>