Cricketing nations and their wines – The Royal Gazette

Created: Jul 22, 2022 07:58

Clos Henri Winery Chapel in Marlborough, New Zealand (Photograph provided)

Today we’ll head to the southern hemisphere and visit Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, because it’s time to have cricket in mind – and hopefully the wine – because these three nations do it with passion.

The Jim Barry Winery is located in South Australia in the famous region of Coonawarra, which is the Aboriginal word for honeysuckle. Thirty acres of their land holdings were originally the Penola Cricket Ground which they purchased in 1996 when that sports facility closed.

Some of their wines reflect this heritage. Our thoughts are on one of the most graceful and beautifully executed hits a drummer can make when we open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Jim Barry Cover Drive 2018 from grapes grown in Coonawarra and Clare Valley. This wine packs a punch on the nose, with dark red fruits, musk, spice, black cherry, brambles and a hint of vanilla bean. Slippery on the attack, the palate shows initial dark red fruit, which instantly transitions to darker fruit layered with delicate tannins and a bramble finish. Wi-FiPassionate aboutawards this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon 91 points. $25.15 (Stock #6421). Natalie MacLean from Canada rates the 2017 91/100 and you can still find a few magnums in our stores. $47.35 (Stock #6428). Look for the drummer on the label.

As we are in Australia, you might be thinking of shiraz, so how about Shiraz Jim Barry Lodge Hill Vineyard 2017? The wine is deep red with a bright magenta hue. Vibrant aromas of red and dark berries, a touch of violet blossom, clove spice and mixed garden herbs. The mouth is dominated by a lively explosion of small fruits well framed by fine and powdery tannins. Juicy plum and blackberry flavors linger on the finish, with sweet spice on the finish.

Wines & Spirits magazine has this to say: “Peter Barry makes this wine with fruit from his family’s Lodge Hill vineyard, in the hills three miles east of Clare Township. This is a shiraz with vibrant flavors of red and black raspberries, showing Clare’s cool side in 2017. Fresh and bright, opening with graceful intensity, it’s ready to take on the crispy-edged grilled pork. 92/100. $29.05 (Stock #6419).

Winemaker Tom Barry tells us that Lodge Hill sits 480 meters above sea level and is one of the highest vineyards in the Clare Valley.

“Its cool, south-facing slopes make it an ideal place to produce world-class Riesling. Crafted in a dry style, the wine displays a bounty of citrus and stone fruit, with a long, dry finish. It refers to their 2020 Lodge Hill Vineyard Dry Riesling. The winery is particularly known for this wine and one reviewer, Nick’s Wine Merchants, gives it 95 points; another, 94/100. It has even been suggested that this wine will still drink well in the year 2030! Riesling has a remarkably long life cycle compared to most white grape varieties. $26.90 (Stock No. 6418).

When the Henri Bourgeois family, so famous for their Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France (Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé) decided to settle in New Zealand, they did not do things by halves! They have planted over 200 acres which they cultivate organically in Marlborough, an area renowned for enhancing the varietal aromas of Sauvignon Blanc. Their 2019 Clos Henri Bel Echo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was rated 92 points by James Suckling who wrote: “A vibrant, fresh style with lots of lemon as well as zesty tropical fruit notes. $26.90 (Stock #7065).

Their best offer is 2019 Clos Henri Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc it’s a fantastic expression of what their Greywacke River Stones are capable of. This Sauvignon Blanc has a fresh acid structure and delicate salinity that leads to an enticing mineral finish. James Suckling gives it 95/100 and comments: “It’s so refined and concentrated. It has superbly fresh lime, passion fruit and guava, along with fresh herbs and wet stones. The palate shows attractive, detailed flavors with a fresh, zesty acid line and lots of intense, crisp, refreshing lime and passion fruit flavors. Sleek and polished. $35 (Stock #7064).

We will now jump to South Africa, and the white grape they are particularly known for, as we consider 2020 Cederberg Chenin Blanc. Fifth-generation winemaker David Nieuwoudt leads a talented team to produce his award-winning wines from the highest vineyards in this country. They thrive in a pure, virus-free environment. This chenin is aromatic with herbaceous notes of bell pepper, gooseberry, white asparagus and lime zest. The finish is very refreshing. $26.95 (Stock #7180).

Our 2017 DeMorgenzon DMZ Syrah, from the coastal region of South Africa, has a deep purple core and a rich berry nose with lots of ripe red plum and whiffs of white pepper. A few floral notes are in the background, including violet, lavender and spring flowers. Full on the palate with layers of berry fruit and developing spice of pepper, cinnamon, clove and vanilla. The smooth integration of oak is complemented by black tea, vanilla and dark chocolate. $27.85 (stock #7187).

• This column is an infomercial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Contact Michael Robinson at [email protected] Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit

Elisha A. Tilghman