Raise a glass: The very best wines to enjoy this summer
KISHORE AND SMITA IYENGAR discover the magic of summer, bottled into gloriously grand, superlatively fragrant world wines and their delightful flavours.
‘Let the Sunshine In”….that nostalgic yesteryears number rings like a tinkle, piercing sun rays dancing through vine leaves in sprawling viridian Mediterranean vineyards, rows of white and red roses beaming their approval at the head of each grape-pregnant row. Summer is here and with it, the enchantment of relishing some of the very finest premium wines that capture the environment in them with ecstatic assertion! Come, raise a goblet to boutique and award winning bottled brilliance.
As the climes undergo metamorphosis from genteel spring to assertive summer, mood enhancers dictate the choices of wines that tease the olfactory with aplomb.
-Printemps highlights the delights of quaffing the suave, premium jewel, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes D’Or from France with its distinct bouquets of white pear, peach, walnut, apricot, light musk, spring berries and rich fruit. The flavors exhilarate with spicy notes highlighted with pepper and green ginger, the bubbly perfected to linger onto moist grass undertones.
Making sunshine on your palates is the Australian -Banrock Station Chardonnay a superb floral expression of honeysuckle, distinct peach, kiwi fruit and pear bouquets, the striking flavors of creamy fresh vanillin oak, lightly spicy tongue and pear creates in addition, a mild citrusy tang on the taste buds. A fine spring white, indeed.
It’s truly light and easy with the elegant Zonin Pinot Grigio Friulli Aquileia DOC from northeastern Italy, the unmistakable peony fresh fruit flavors offering a fleeting summer rain magic. The hay colored white displays bamboo and leafy dew characteristics with striking dryness , -enjoyable to the hilt.
Hilly sunshine glory is personified aplenty in the lemony white brilliance of the outstanding French Albert Bichot Pouilly Fuisse that highlights very delicate, light aromas of rich apricot, and lingering fresh pineapple. The palate is treated to woody, vinous and mineral hints with a lingering palate of mild acidity.
Mediterranean, electric blue coastal summers never had it better than with the boutique bottled sensation, -Mateus Sparkling Rose Brut from Portugal. In a bashful blend of bouquets of raspberries, apple, pear and heather, this mildly acidic crisp bubbly with perfect effervescence is easy on the palate with lingering green wood flavors.
MERRY MONTHS OF MIRTH
Balmy sea breezes, moist beach gravel and swaying stately palms make for great weekend getaways! Holiday buffs cool it off with the chilliest ways. With a rapidly and hugely burgeoning wine market aided by cool winters and long hot summers, India offers expansive scope for all these premium, award winning world wines readily available. The excitement of relishing diverse global cuisine with these grand sparkling, red and white labels is now a preferred lifestyle aspect.
The azure oceanscapes invite you to uncork the globally celebrated red wine, -Frontera Merlot from Chile with it’s surprising summer tones. Freshly picked blackcurrant, ripe berries and coffee pronounce it’s advent on the nose, the flavors dancing the summer tune are chocolate, medium bodied tannins and faint mushroom too, on the taste buds.
In contrast, as you amble across grassy hilly Alpine turfs around the Hahnenkamm Range in Tyrol, Austria with the sun winking from the colobus cloud formations, open up a fine Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling from Kamptal, Austria. This charming wine radiates pear and soft citrus bouquets with mushroom, light vetiver and peachy flavors, a bit spicy to thrill.
An orchard of exhilaration welcomes your senses as you uncork a chilled Freixenet Cordon Negro D.O. Cava, the chirpy bouquet of this summery sparkling wine shows off in its remarkable blend…Parellada, Macabeo and Xarello displaying elegant green and citrus fruits and moist grass essence. With white rose and dusky aromas the palate experiences silky light vanilla and sweet lime in good measure.
Down from the rolling hills of Burgundy into the hinterland of France, a basket of floral blooms and fruity thrills encapsulate you in this classic Chardonnay, -Maison Albert Bichot Puligny Montrachet. Candied orange comes alive with distinct honey, hedge leaves, the oaky touch blends with medium acidity and light lemony after taste.
From the Bingen region in west Germany comes an elegant blend that dazzles with it’s unique aromas and flavors. The meadow-fresh attributes of Black Tower Dornfelder Pinot Noir is a unique combo of skittish berries, ripe fruits, the red rose, pomegranate nose and peppery flavors spelling exclusivity par excellence!
SIZZLING UP THE BASKET OF BOUQUETS
Flower beds, rushes, gushing streams, rivulets and mirrored lakes. In the pastures as cows graze with indifference, the birds make merry as you uncork a fantastic Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve from France. What a bubbly! A faint barbecue nose, woody and hay nose, fruity yet complex with white rose. Exceptional.
To enjoy the marvelously light Zonin Ventiterre Soave from Veneto region in Italy, you need to spend time understanding it. Chilled down to icy thrills, this superb white spells distinction in its superb Trebbiano di Soave and Garganega blend lending fragrance of peach, white roses, green apple and faint honey. It grows on your palate with slight musky flavors and a steady, mild acidic lilt.
From the hills of Adelaide in south Australia to the magnanimous Indian ocean shores with stunning azure seafronts the summery sensation Wolf Blass Chardonnay delights to the core. Nectarine clarity heightens the aromas with honeysuckle lightness, fine oaky tautness, spicy undertones on the palate with white pear hints and citrus on the anvil.
Be it spring or be it sultry summer, the remarkably aromatic Carpene Malvoti Prosecco Special Cuvee packs in a surprising bloom of white rose on the nose, while offering striking richness in juniper, wild strawberries and acacia flowers. Golden apple asserts on the olfactory. The taste is smooth, dry and light bodied. Best enjoyed with grand views of valleys and light breezes!
A stroll through grassy knolls alongside cliffs overwhelm mind and body. Settling down on the wet grass, release the vivacious wonders of a Maison Albert Bichot Chablis Blanc Domaine Long-Depaquit from Bourgogne, France. The mellow Chardonnay in this grand wine lets off teasing aromas of white flowers, hedge blooms and a palate of almonds and truffles. Superlative indeed!
COOLING OFF WITH DAZZLING FLAVORS
Amidst bracing blue and viridian tinged deep valley views, the wafting natural essence of mint-laced air invigorates your stillness. Aah! You can sense it in bottled wonders like the distinguished Schloss Gobelsburg Zweigelt a thrillingly sensuous red wine from Austria which offers a sensuous velvety fruity bouquet, aromas of Alpine woodlands and oak. The distinctive spicy top notes give way to a smooth, lingering finish with medium bodied tannins enhancing the flavors. Almost like it entices the hills to charm you all the more.
As the Andean heights regale their peachy saffron sunshine-lit snow capped peaks, a superlative white beckons you to explore. The top-of-the-line Ventisquero Clasico Sauvignon Blanc, one of Chile’s most celebrated aromatic oenophlic jewels opens out it’s colors with pear, lime, pineapple and grapefruit. Down the spirited quaff, you discover jasmine and lily and exclaim hmmmmm! A fine cold climate wine in all its sunshine glory.
With spring and summer heralding festivities and celebrations around the Veneto region in northern Italy, whites cast a colorful veil on palates. The amazingly suave boutique Zonin Ventiterre Chardonnay makes mystic mirth with its peachy and pineapple aromas, flavors of guava and kiwi fruit with slight acidity and a medium bodied, well rounded palate.
Typical summers are long and heady, calling for cooling companions that comfort and elate. The cheery Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc from Paarl, South Africa offers a cool treat with its remarkable straw-hay-green tinge, the fragrance of white lily, wet grass and wild gooseberry notes uplifting the bouquets. This is complimented with an unusual cool fresh cucumber palate, vanilla oak and green apple flavors that refresh your keen quaff. Sawubona!
Pretty flower-decked French villages with picture postcard frames are a treat to experience first hand and a chilled goblet of premium white stills your discovery at a local al fresco bistro of a one-lane village! To match your lazy gait and curious mien is Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite Legende Bordeaux Blanc from, western France. What a wine!
The humungous Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend is a symphony of aromas of merry quince, white pear, freshly sliced lime and nectarine. The palate is simple with an explosion of fruity mélange cascading into mildly acidic and moist hay finish. Sante!
One encounters class and distinction only if inclined to the privileged. From the sprawling grassland sweeps in Chile’s Limari, Casablanca and Rapel valleys comes a white of blue blood pedigree,-the Casillero Del Diablo Chardonnay. Priding itself with attributes of aromas like hazelnut, Macadamia in inching proportions, peach and melons to the finish, this grand Chardonnay asserts itself with oaky and barrique flavors that are pinewood and elm characteristics. Rare, commendable.