Some refreshingly different white wines

  • Ancient grape: Donnafugata vineyard terraces on Pantelleria, Sicily

    Ancient grape: Donnafugata vineyard terraces on Pantelleria, Sicily


It is certainly the season for a glass of refreshing white wine, but why not stray off the beaten path of sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and chardonnay?

Why not buy something you are not very familiar with and keep notes on your favourites?

Grillo is an ancient grape that is native to Sicily and the good folks at Donnafugata have created something rather special with it. They call it Sur Sur and here is what the Wine Enthusiast thinks of Donnafugata 2017 Sur Sur: “Grapefruit, white stone fruit and Mediterranean herb aromas lead the way along with a scent reminiscent of tomato leaf. Bright and juicy, the medium-bodied palate doles out pineapple, white peach and sage set against crisp acidity. A saline note tops it off. 90/100.”

If you speak classical Arabic there is no need to tell you that sur sur means cricket; the hopping kind that brings good luck. $23.35.

Viognier always wins for me and our Chapoutier Domaine des Granges de Mirabel 2015 Viognier is made from organically grown grapes. It exhibits fine aromas of apricot and pear and the round viscosity associated with this grape. One review states: “Basic Chapoutier, but brilliant compared to others.” $22.95.

One of the most famous German vineyards is named for a sundial in its midst and it borders the town of Wehlen in the Mosel region. Dr Loosen 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling is made in the classic style from late-picked (spatlese) grapes. The Wine Enthusiast shared this: “Veins of crushed slate and spice lend complexity to this spine-tingling wine. Fresh, sweet tangerine and stone-fruit flavours are concentrated yet pristine, bolstered by streaks of lemon and grapefruit acidity. The finish meanders long, nuanced by hints of bramble and earth 92/100.”

The touch of sweetness will match perfectly with Pacific Rim dishes. $36.70.

Let’s take the ancient verduzzo white wine grape from Northern Italy and lay it out to partially dry for three months on bamboo mats. You assign this task to Masi, who can trace their roots back to the poet Dante, and it is they that perfected this drying method called appassimento to make their famous Amarone red. They create a blend of 25 per cent verduzo and 75 per cent pinot grigio and call it Masi 2017 Masianco. Sip it and find citrus fruits, honey and flowers on the nose. The pallet adds peaches and apricots. $20.65.

Vermintino is a very traditional Italian grape from the grand Tuscan estate of Volpaia. Five acres of it are in Maremma, which is further south and on the Tuscan coast. Like all their land, they farm it organically. For $18.80 you can try their Prelius Maremma 2016 Vermintino and find floral aromas that merge with hints of racy citrus, pineapple and mineral character, combined with a softening marine influence. On the palate, this is a refreshing, elegant wine that retains its balanced acidity. The mouthfeel bursts with fresh fruit that lingers on the finish.

Maybe you are in a quandary about what to serve with your Belizean chicken tortilla soup, but I have found the answer on the website of respected Canadian wine critic Natalie Maclean. It is, as you probably expected, Torres Vina Esmerelda 2016 from Spain. Decanter comments: “An old favourite, consistently good and ideal for when the sun shines. Terrifically grapey moscatel with a dash of blowsy gewürztraminer, fresh and delicate in alcohol. A sumptuous match for Asian dishes with coconut and spice.” $16.90.

Austria’s best known white wine grape is grüner veltliner and we have Kurt Angerer KIES 2015 Gruner Veltliner. Here is what he has to say about it: “Grown in granite vineyards and aged only in stainless steel, this grüner veltliner will blow your mind. Ripe pear and lime marmalade on the nose with spice too.

“Rich on the palate, it’s got loads of ripe stone fruits, hints of more exotic stuff and a mineral, spicy nature. It’s a lovely, intense grüner with so much going on and, crucially, a real freshness. We like to drink it on its own, but you may like to drain the bottle with spicy Asian food.” $22.90.

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’s (York Street, 297-0409). Visit wineonline.bm

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Published Jul 13, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 12, 2018 at 7:53 pm)

Some refreshingly different white wines

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