Monday, 30 July 2007

TN : Riesling, 2006, A. Christmann, Pfalz, Germany

This wine was bottled under screwcap. It was imported by Enosvezia AB.

Colour : Pale straw

Aroma : Lemon, lime, minerals

Taste : Simple lemon, acidic, mineral and dry finish

Alcohol : 11.5%

Price : 109 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Weingut Christmann

Website : Enosvezia AB

Friday, 27 July 2007

TN : Villa Antinori 2003, IGT, Antinori, Tuscany, Italy

They say that wine is meant to go with food. The only food this would work well is grilled oak plank. This wine is overoaked. What was the winemaker thinking. I would have expected better from a well established and well recognised producer such as Antinori. This also goes to show what a joke the Systembolaget monopoly is. The idea is that all wines are tasted so that it isn't possible to get a bad bottle. This one got through. It was probably bought because the Systembolaget buys it every year. It had some fruit lurking in the background but it was quite well masked.

This wine is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 5% Syrah.

Autumn and winter 2002 were rainy and fairly cold. The spring and summer of 2003 were among the hottest and driest in recent years. Budding was earlier than average for all varieties because of the dry mild weather. From June onwards the temperatures were very high and there was no rain at all. Thus the grapes ripened early. High sugar levels were recorded after 15th August for the earliest ripening varieties. Production quantities were low because of the lack of water.

The grapes were destemmed, lightly presses, and macerated in stainless steel tanks for 12 days, at a temperature below 30 degrees. Alcoholic fermentation took place during this time. By the end of 2003, the malolactic fermentation had completed. The wine was then partially transferred to French, American, and Hungarian oak barriques to age for 12 months. The wine was then aged in bottle for 8 months prior to its release.

Colour : Purple, brown

Aroma : Oak, dark fruits

Taste : Oak, sour cherries, slight blackcurrant

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 128 SEK

Mark : D

Website : Antinori

Thursday, 26 July 2007

TN : Syrah 2003, Dehesa del Carrizal, Spain

The vineyard from where the grapes come is 2.5 hectares. It was planted in 1997 on the back of 3x2 frames. There were 1666 plants per hectare. An additional 2.5 hectares were planted in 2000.

Alcoholic fermentation takes place at termperatures less than 28 degrees. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is transfered to French and European oak casks for 12 months maturation. The wine is then fined with egg whites and subjected to a superficial filtering and released after a further 4 to 6 months bottle aging.

Colour : Purple

Aroma : Spice, bacon, dark fruits

Taste : Pepper, spice, violets, blueberry

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 137 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Dehesa del Carrizal

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

VinUnic Newsletter August 2007

I recieved the August 2007 newsletter from VinUnic today. There are new wines launched from both Vergelegen, and Shafer.

Website : VinUnic Newsletter August 2007

TN : Trilogie 2005, Red Wine, Lujan de Cuyo, Domaine Vistalba, Argentina

This wine is a blend of 70% Malbec, 15% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

It was vinted and bottled by Domaine Vistalba. It was distributed by Bornicon & Salming.

Colour : Plum, maroon

Aroma : Red fruits, spice

Taste : Spicy, plummy, hot finish, vanilla oak

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 59 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Bornicon & Salming

Website : Domaine Vistalba

Monday, 23 July 2007

English Sparkling Rose Wine as good as French efforts

Being a fan of English wines, I love to hear news like this.

Ridegview Wine Estate won a trophy at the recent Le Mondial de Rose competition which has the best Rose wines in the world competiting against the French. RidgeView’s Merret Fitzrovia 2004 won the Jean Feraud trophy in the 2007 competition for the Best International Sparkling Rosé.

RidgeView have been producing sparkling wine for the past 8 years, and are no strangers to awards, with 80 medals and 15 trophies to date. Their sparkling wine was the only English Wine on the menu for the Queens 80th Birthday lunch.

Website : English Wine Producers News

TN : Vinahonda Tinto 2005, Jumilla, Bodegas Silvano Garcia, Spain

This wine is a blend of 90% Monstrell and 10% Tempranillo.

Colour : Maroon, blackberry

Aroma : Savoury berries

Taste : Oak, dark and red berries

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 51 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Bodegas Silvano Garcia

TN . Black Tie 2004, Pinot Gris & Riesling, Caves des Vignerons Pfaffenheim, Alsace, France

This wine is a blend of 40% Riesling and 60% Pinot Gris.

Colour : Yellow

Aroma : Lemon, honey, quince, spice

Taste : Almonds, ginger, lemon, honey

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 116 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Caves des Vignerons Pfaffenheim

TN : Claude Val Rouge 2006, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Languedoc, France

This wine is imported by Bornicon & Salming. It is a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, and Merlot. The grapes were grown in the Herlaut Hills in Languedoc. The producer is Les Domaines Paul Mas.

Colour : Deep dark plum, purple

Aroma : Savoury, spicy red fruits

Taste : Red fruits, spicy finish, drying tanins

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 55 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Bornicon & Salming

Website : Les Domaines Paul Mas

Friday, 20 July 2007

Wine Taxes

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said on Wednesday 18th July that the difference in taxes in wine and beer in Sweden breaks EU law. Wine currently is taxed higher than beer. As usual, the Swedish government conjured up some figures saying that the difference is negligible and doesn't affect purchases. However, The European Court usually follows the Advocate General's recommendations, although it can go against them. Sweden's Public Health Minister Maria Larsson and Finance Minister Anders Borg declined to comment on the Advocate General's opinion, saying they would wait for the court's decision.

What will happen, either beer taxes will go up or wine taxes will come down.

Website : Sweden's wine tax breaks EU law

TN : Trilogie 2006, Torrontes, Argentina

This wine was vinted and bottled by Domaine Vistalba. It was distributed by Bornicon & Salming.

Colour : Pale straw

Aroma : Stone fruits

Taste : Almonds, apricots, peaches

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 59 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Bornicon & Salming

Website : Domaine Vistalba

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

TN . Petalos 2006, Descendientes de J Palacios, Bierzo, Spain

This wine is imported by Prime Wine Sweden AB. It is 100% Mencia. It was matured for six months in new French oak and fined using egg whites before bottling.

Colour : Dark cherry

Aroma : Herby, dark berries

Taste : Drying tannins and slight herbs on finish, violets, blackberry, blueberry, dark fruits

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 139 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : PrimeWine Sweden AB

Monday, 16 July 2007

Systembolaget Varunytt August 2007

Systembolaget have released Varunytt which details the wines that will be launched on Wednesday 1st August 2007.

Website : VaruNytt August 2007

Schloss Reinhartshausen Riesling Classic 2005, Rheingau, Germany

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Lemon marmelade, fruity

Taste : Lemon. fruity, slightly off dry, some minerals on finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 113 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Schloss Reinhartshausen

TN : Poggio Teo, Chianti Classico, 2003, Fattoria di Valiano, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Italy

Great fruit but overoaked.

The Valiano Estate is situated in the heart of the favored Chianti Classico production area, whose well-defined boundaries were established back in 1716. Valiano is in the municipality of Castelnuovo Berardenga.

Poggio Teo originates from slope of the hill to the same name, in a typical Tuscan landscape like a little corner of paradise where time seem to stand still.

The grapes are harvested by hand in late September when they have reached their peak of maturity. Only the most carefully selected fruit is used to create this particular wine.

The wine undergoes further maturation in bottle as well before it is ready to be sold.

This wine is 1005 Sangiovese.

This wine was awarded 88 points by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Colour : Dark plum

Aroma : Dark fruits, oak

Taste : Cherry, blackcurrant, too much oak

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 149 SEK

Mark : C+

TN : Clos du Pape 2003, J J Mortier, Graves, Bordeaux

This wine was quite pinot noir like with tobacco notes. The blend is 20% Cabernet Sauvingon, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 60% Merlot. The residual sugar was 1.5 grammes per litre and acid was 3.19 grames per litre. Vinification was traditional and fermentation was approximately 25 days. The wine was imported by Bornicon and Salming.

J. J. Mortier is a Bordeaux negotiant which was founded in 1889 by Chateau lafite owner Louis Mortier. Jerome Faugere is the leader of the company today and the fifth generation of the family to lead the firm. 90% of the company's turnover is via the export market.

Colour : Stewed fruits, brown hues

Aroma : Stewed fruits, oak

Taste : Tobacco, stewed fruits, oak

Alcohol : 12.5 %

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : C

Website : J J Mortier

Website : Bornicon & Salming AB

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Wine Studies at Plumpton College, UK

Plumpton College is the only educational establishment in Europe where one can take courses in winemaking and viticulture in English. It is possible to study for a BSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology and take the WSET courses.

Interestingly enough, Plumpton College is working in association with the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) at Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand to offer the EIT Certificate in Wine through correspondence study in Europe. The Certificate in Wine (Correspondence) is a two year programme that is designed for people wishing to pursue a career in the wine industry, or those already working within the industry and looking to gain a formal qualification. It is mainly completed through independent learning, guided by distance learning packages. However, attendance at a residential school, where students gain practical experience, is an essential part of the programme. These schools are held annually at both EIT (NZ) and Plumpton College (UK).

In addition, there is a small commercial winery and both red and white wines are produced.

Website : Plumpton College Wine Studies
Website : Chris Foss Podcast

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

TN : 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Assemblage Red Wine, Central Coast, Limited Edition, Concannon Vineyard

Overall this was disappointing. I think I could have got a cab of similar quality from Chile for half the price. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah.

Colour : Blackcurrant

Aroma : Red fruits, Dark fruits, slight oak

Taste : Dilute blackcurrant and dark fruits, some dark chocolate, oak, drying tannic finish

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 130 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Concannon Vineyard

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Skåne Vinvägen / Skåne Vineyards

The Skåne area of Sweden now has a clickable map of vineyards available online. Simply click on a vineyard location and it takes you to the vineyard's own web site.

Website : Välkommen till Vinvägen i Skåne

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

TN : Chateau Hourtin-Ducasse, 2004, Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux

This wine won a Bronze medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2006.

Chateau Hourtin-Ducasse is located in Saint-Sauveur at the edge of the Pauillac commune. Its name undoubtedly comes from the juxtaposition of those of two of its former owners, Mr. Hourtin (18th century) and Mr. Fleury-Ducasse (19thcentury). The Chateau was acquired in 1976 by Mr. Marengo.

The property includes approximately 30 hectares, including 25 devoted to the vine. The wine making is carried out under the vigilance of Jean-Claude Arcennathury.

Colour : Dark plum, cassis

Aroma : Blackcurrant hints, green vegetal, oak

Taste : Oak, cedar, dark fruits, drying finish

Alcohol : 12.5 %

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Chateau Hourtin-Ducasse

Monday, 2 July 2007

Malborough Wine Research Centre

Malborough Wine Research Centre is located in prime New Sauvignon Blanc country i.e. Blenheim, Malborough. All publications and information about research projects can be found on their web site. The aim of the centre is to provide scientific leadership, authorative information and innovative technological development for the grape and wine industry, both in Marlborough and throughout New Zealand.

Currently the research centre is running New Zealand's first large-scale wine research project, into Sauvignon Blanc, funded by FoRST. This project aims to help the industry retain and understand the unique flavour of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and to ensure it maintains its international reputation.

The campus includes four laboratories, a technology transfer theatre seating 84, a wine sensory room for conducting specialised tastings, and a small-scale winery for teaching and training viticulture and oenology students.

Website : Malborough Wine Research Centre

The Focus Vineyard Project New Zealand

The Focus Vineyard programme is a three-year project funded by the MAF Sustainable Farming Fund and the New Zealand wine industry. The aim of the project is to investigate best practice techniques within the industry and improve the adoption of this best practice. The project encompasses Malborough, Gimblett Gravels, and Hawke's Bay. All material from the project are available from the project website.

Website : Focus Vineyard Project

TN : Le Cardinal, Merlot-Cabernet Suvignon, Bordeaux, 2006, Dourthe

The blend is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Colour :
Ruby red

Aroma : Muted Red fruits

Taste : Heavy cedar, oak, muted red fruits

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 69 SEK

Mark : D+

Website : Dourthe

TN : Tsar, Cabernet Sauvingon Reserve, 2004

This is a quality wine of origina Plovdiv. It was produced and bottled by Vinzavod PLC, Assenovgrad, Bulgaria. The town of Assenovgrad is located in Southern Bulgaria.

Colour : Plum, brown hues

Aroma : Green leaf, dusty, red fruits, blackcurrant

Taste : Strong tobacco, oak, red fruits, earthy finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 39 SEK

Mark : D-