The dreaded ice saints
Well known to wine producers, the dates known as St-Mamert, St-Pancrace and St-Gervais – from May 11 to 13 – are the last days of the calendar for a frost capable of wiping out a year’s production. Paradoxically, in 2020 in Burgundy, the ice saints each deserved a votive offering for having spared the harvest and permitted an exceptional vintage.
Ropiteau: Bourgogne Chardonnay 2020
Grown on a selection of Burgundy’s soils, this regional appellation chardonnay from the house of Ropiteau is generous. Ripe scents of apple-pear and grilled almonds reflect the warmth of the vintage. The smoothness makes the flavours last in the mouth and is accompanied by a particularly effective freshness.
Pairing it with a penne in creamy parmesan and butternut squash sauce, which relates beautifully to the mellow and balanced mouth of this chardonnay, is close to a minor sin.
Umani Ronchi: Cùmaro 2016
South of Mont Coneri (The Marches – Italy), sheltered from cold winds but swept by Adriatic breezes, you’ll find these grapes: the highest quality montepulciano. Awarded the prestigious “Tre Bicchierri”, the Cùmaro is a foundational wine of Umani Ronchi. Purplish red in colour, it seduces the nose with complex aromas of plum, black currant, black olives, long peppers, roasting and cocoa.
The mouth is juicy with deep, ropy black fruits and an overlay of enticing tannins. In other words, it’s flexible enough to team with glazed duck legs.
Les Tètes: Tète Blanche
A last-minute discovery…. A wine from the Loire, an assemblage of chemin, roussanne and sauvignon blanc, grown organically and despite the absence of the year of vintage: Les Têtes Tète Blanche is indisputably a lovely white, as crisp as you could want it, light and digestible.
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