Wines to complement grill fare
With the long weekend ahead of us I would suspect that pleasant, crowd-pleasing wines with enough body and flavour to stand up to outdoor grilling would be what many are looking for.
You may have heard of an innovative trend where certain wines spend time in barrels that have previously held distilled spirits. 19 Crimes The Uprising is a new arrival for us that joins this popular range of Australian wines and its label tells us that 30 days have been spent in barrels that originally aged rum.
Although you might expect these flavours to dominate, they do not and are surprisingly subtle.
In making The Uprising, parcels selected for their spice and concentration of flavour provide the wine with great intensity and lusciousness on the palate. The vintage 2016 is shiraz-dominant, lending bright raspberry fruit and plush tannin structure, with cabernet sauvignon to provide blackberry fruits, palate weight and structure, and then grenache to provide spice and fruit sweetness on the palate.
The nose has intense lifted mocha, caramel and baking spice notes. On the palate the wine is full and mouth coating with brown sugar, jammy blackberry and chocolate notes. The blend is 50 per cent shiraz, 35 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 15 per cent grenache. $21.35.
A particularly good value is our Primus Red Blend 2015 from Chile that gets two superb 94/100 ratings. It is yours for only $21.20. The base is cabernet sauvignon, which provides structure, while merlot delivers red fruit and vitality in mouth. Carménère adds weight and softness as well as spices that combine beautifully with petit verdot’s smooth, complex finish. And finally, cabernet franc presents elegance and persistence.
James Suckling writes: “A generous and rich red with round and chewy tannins. So much lovely ripe fruit with currant and hints of walnut character. Full and beautiful. Gorgeous wine. 40 per cent cabernet, 25 per cent merlot, 24 per cent carmenere, 8 per cent petit verdot and the rest cab franc. Drink or hold.”
Tim Atkin comments: “This superb bordeaux-styled blend is a cuvée of mostly cabernet sauvignon, carmenère and merlot with a little cabernet franc and petit verdot for company. Elegant, seamless and smooth, with textured tannins, aromatic oak and layers of grassy, dark berry fruit. Drink 2018 to 27.”
Primal Roots 2016 blends Californian merlot, syrah and zinfandel that are just waiting to accompany those juicy burgers with ripe layers of black currants, cherry jam, crème de cassis and vanilla. It is made to be pleasing and affordable and at $18.35 it is both.
The Bogle family have farmed in California for six generations and made wine there for 50 years. Their 2016 Essential Red is a compelling blend of old vine zinfandel, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah that has created a ripe and mouth filling wine. Richly textured fruit of dark berries and black plums is nuanced by the flavours of juniper and dried herbs. The juicy, jammy fruit is framed with spicy cedar and hints of pipe tobacco and cocoa as the American oak lingers through the ageing of 12 long months. Luscious from start to finish, this wine is easy to drink. Share it with your friends who will appreciate the smooth texture. $22.90.
Of course, if you pay a little more — say $30.40 — you expect more. Bogle 2015 Phantom certainly gives us that with its concentration and intensity as this wine will tantalise and linger long after the last sip is gone. Wild berries, black pepper and hints of juniper are framed by the influence of oak ageing with baking spices with a hint of toasty vanilla.
On the palate, the entry is explosive, supported by chewy, chalky tannins that will age this wine for decades. Mourvedre, petite sirah and zinfandel team up to create a lovely experience.
I have a bottle of The Hope Family 2015 Treana on standby for the holiday as my wife and I find this blend so representative of what is being done in the Paso Robles area today.
Here is how the company describe it: “Treana is the sum of elements that influence our wines: the land that our family farms, the warm California sun that nurtures and the cooling ocean breeze that balances. These elements combine to create the perfect growing conditions for our grapes. As the original label of Hope Family Wines, Treana represents over 30 years of grape-growing history. A classic Paso Robles blend of cabernet sauvignon and syrah, Treana Red uses fruit from our finest vineyards. Combined with a passionate winemaking team and years of refinement, Treana Red is the Paso Robles benchmark blend.”
The 2015 Treana Red is a deeply coloured wine with a purple-black core that fades to a ruby rim. Intense aromas of freshly picked blackberries, black and red currants, along with dried cranberries give way to underlying tones of dried rose petals, violets, potpourri and clove, while caramelised oak notes are spiced by a hint of cinnamon. A velvety rush of ripe blackberries and pomegranate fruits envelop the palate, while subtle nuances of baking spices, cocoa powder and dried vanilla beans add to the wine’s complexity. $45.50.
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail email@example.com 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)