Friday, 28 September 2007

Chris Wine Sweden New Wines for Autumn 2007

In my inbox this morning was a posting from Chris Wine AB, a Swedish wine importer. They have a Gewurztraminer Reserve, 2006 vintage, from Julius Muller available. This could be worth a try as it costs only 99 SEK. I am not sure if it belongs to the orderable set of wines or is generally available - the posting doesn't say but I suspect it is generally available in Systembolaget stores. The wine has a new label compared to previous years and I think is an improvement. It is supposed to taste of a hint of oranges and have a long spicy finish.

Website : Chris Wine Sweden

Occasion Wine October 2007 Newsletter

I just received the Oktober Månadsbrev 2007 from Occasion Wine AB. I drank a lot of Clairet whilst in Bordeaux in August as it was quite warm, between 25 and 30 degrees. It is good to see a Bordeaux clairet on offer in the Systembolaget in October. It was imported by Occasion Wine AB. It is called Chateau de Lisennes 2006 and I for one will be giving it a try; even though the weather is turning colder in Stockholm and we are now definitely in Autumn. The cost is only 80 SEK.

Occasion Wine AB have also imported the Riesling Spaetlese "S" Trocken from Barth (149 SEK). I really like Spaetlese Rieslings as they the residual sugar to balance their acidity.

The October 2007 newsletter is available on their website.

Website : Occasion Wine AB

Thursday, 27 September 2007

VinUnic October 2007 Newsletter

I just received the new VinUnic October 2007 Newsletter in my inbox. Interesting wines worth a try include Finca el Puig 2002 and Vergelegen Mill Race 2005.

Website : Våra Viner Oktober 2007

TN : 1865 Cabernet Sauvingon Riserva, 2004, Cachapoal Valley, Vina San Pedro, Chile

This is a wine that tastes exactly as it smells. Was lacking in concentration somewhat.

The Cachapoal valley lies in the Rapel region, south of Santiago.

The grapes were hand-harvested in 20-kg boxes early in the morning to avoid high temperatures. The grapes were harvested with 24–25º brix. The vineyard yield is 6- 8 tons per hectare. When the grapes reached the cellar, they were kept cold for a pre-fermentative maceration for 2 to 3 days. This pre-fermentative maceration ensured a gentle extraction of colour, taste and aromas from the skin. Then the alcoholic fermentation took place for 8 to 10 days reaching temperatures lower than 27°C. Pump overs took place three times a day. Once the wine had completed fermentation, a post-fermentative maceration was undertaken, which lasted for 1-2 weeks. The wine was then transferred to French oak barrels, where it remained for 12 months, 30% of these barrels were new. The wine was clarified with natural egg whites and after a very thick filtration was bottled.

In 1865, the Correa Albano brothers, Bonifacio and Jose Gregorio, founded Vina San Pedro. Vina San Pedro is the second largest Chilean wine exporter and Chile's third biggest winery. The winery can be visited, Monday through Saturday. Tours start at 11:00 am and last for 2 hours. The cost is $6,000 Pesos per person. Book at least two days in advance.

This wine is imported by Vin & Sprit AB, Stockholm.

Colour : Dark red, ruby

Aroma : Blackcurrant, slight oak touches, vanilla, dark fruits, red fruits

Taste : Vanillary oak finish, blackcurrant, dark fruits, some red fruits

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 149 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Vina San Pedro
Website : Vin & Sprit

Thoughts on Terroir Wines

I have been reading and listening a lot recently and a theme that is forever cropping up is wines reflecting their terroir. What does this mean ? In my opinion, no wine made today reflects it terroir. All vines are manipulated by man. Why not simply let the vines grow they way they want to instead of managing their canopies and training them. What about irrigation ? If wines from California or Australia, for instance, reflected their terroir then the bottles would be empty. Simply put, vines that reflect their terroir in these hot climates just die.

Monday, 24 September 2007

TN : Chateau Saint-Brice 2001, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France

This wine is the second label Chateau Magdelaine which is ran by Christian Moueix. In 2004, the name of the second label changed to Les Sanges de Magdelaine because second labels are not supposed to carry the word "chateau" on the label.

Colour :

Aroma : Stewed fruits, oak spice

Taste : red fruits, smooth tanins at end, slight spice, slight oak

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 244 SEK

Mark : A

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Fine Wine Magazine September 2007

I just received the September 2007 edition of Fine Wine by email. In it are articles on Slovania, Barolo, Entre-Deux-Mers, the second part of a long article on Hungarian wines, and building your own wine cellar.

Send an email to Ove Canemyr, the chief editor, to get on the mailing list.

E-Mail :

Website : Fine Wine

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

TN : 1994 Kanzemer Altenberg Riesling Spaetlese Halbtrocken, QmP, Weingut von Othegraven, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

Cork crumbled when I tried to get it out. I ended up having to push it into the bottle and pour through a strainer !

Colour : Yellow

Aroma : Petrol, faint lemon

Taste : Petrol, lemon, long finish

Alcohol : 9.5%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Weingut von Othegraven

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Train of the Great Vineyards - Saint Emilion

This August, 2007, and last August - 2006, we visited the pretty town of Saint Emilion. Their we took the train "Le Train des Grands Vignobles". It costs 5.50 Euros each and kids go free. The trip lasts about 35 minutes and commentary is in English. Basically you sit on a small "train" which tours through vineyards surrounding Saint Emilion. The train also stops at Chateau Rochebelle for visitors to get off and purchase some wine - we preferred to buy our wine in the town itself.

Notable chateaux that one can see along the way include Troplong Mondot, La Mondotte, Pavie, Pavie Decesse, Ausone, La Gaffeliere, Angelus, and Beausejour. The trip was well worth money though if you don't have any small kids then I think it would be nice to spend some more time and take a leisurely long walk. Speaking of small kids, if you have a pram or pushchair then you can leave it at the tour office whilst you go on the train or stroll around the town and pick it up later.

Here are some pictures that I took (from both 2006 and 2007) :

Website : Le Train des Grands Vignobles

VinUnic Newsletter September 2007

VinUnic have just published their September 2007 newsletter. Top end wines from Guigal are released on September 1st and VinUnic update some of their regularly released bottlings on 15th September.

Website :
Våra Viner September 2007

Monday, 17 September 2007

TN : Nero D'Avola, Campo Reale 2006, IGT, Tenuta Rapitala, Italy

Colour : Deep ruby, purple

Taste : Oak, dark berries, slight rough tanins on finish, spice

Aroma : Ribena, blackberry, oak, spice

Alcohol :

Price :
77 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Tenuta Rapitala

Friday, 14 September 2007

Chateau Lynch-Bages Visit 2007

This August I was in Bordeaux for week and visited Chateau Lynch-Bages. Getting there was very easy. Take the Bus 705 from Bordeaux and the stop is called Bages. The journey is quite long but once you get outside the city suburbs, the scenery is great if you are a wine lover.

The tour cost 5 Euro per person. We didn't get to go out in the vineyards but we got to taste the 2001 vintages of Lynch-Bages and their second wine, Haut-Bages Averous. This wine is named because the chateau once belonged to the family Averous. The grand vin was superb but I thought the second wine lacked concentration. The guide said it was vinified identically to the grand vin but the vines were much younger which would explain the lack of concentration. A white wine is also produced but this wasn't available for tasting due to the limited production.

The old winery still exists and has been extended for the modern facilities.

There was a modern art exhibition containing paintings by artist Guenther Foerg but it wasn't my cup of tea and I didn't feel the paintings fitted into the setting.

Once the tour had finished, we went to, the nearby, Cafe-Restaurant Lavinal which was very good but the patisserie was unfortunately closed.

There was a wine shop where one could purchase wines produced by the Cazes family all over the world but I felt the prices were higher than one could find in Bordeaux. There was also a selection of books for sale but these can be purchased much cheaper using Amazon for instance.

Website : Chateau Lynch-Bages

TN : Chateau de Cruzeau 2004, Pessac-Leognan, France

Château de Cruzeau is situated between Martillac and St Médard d'Eyrans in the south of the Pessac-Léognan appellation in the Graves region. It is an old estate which appears on amap drawn up by Belleyme in 1760.

In 1841, the review “Le Producteur” gave it Premier Cru status for both whites and reds. On high, south-facing hillsides, the vineyard is planted in deep gravelly soil, whose pebbles are thickly strewn. Some of the buildings date from the 18th century, though the château itself was built in 1912.

Purchased in 1973 by André Lurton, and since entirely restored, the estate today comprises 101 hectares.

The wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The vines are double guyot pruned and the grapes are hand harvested. The grapes are fermented in oak barrels at a temperature between 18 and 23 degrees. There is no malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured in oak barrels for 10 months (35% new oak) on full lees with stiring. The wine was fined using cold tartaric precipitation.

The consultant was Denis Dubourdieu.

This wine was awarded 5 out of 5 stars by Decanter magazine.

The wine was imported into Sweden by Bibendum.

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Faint, citrus, nutty, oak

Taste : Dull, creamy, lemon, mineral

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 120 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Andre Lurton
Website : Bibendum

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Systembolaget New Wines October 2007

The catalogue of new wines that will go on sale in the Systembolaget on October 1st is now available for download.

Website : Systembolaget Varunytt October 2007

TN : Echeverria Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Vina Echeverria, Central Valley, Chile

This wine came packaged in an attractive grey carboard cellophane-wrapped box.

The wine is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, and 5% Carmenere. All the vines are ungrafted selected clones of pre-phylloxera French rootstock. The grapes were harvested between April 8th to 26th 2004. The grapes were 100% handharvested into 18Kg boxes. The grapes were fermented in 10000 litre stainless steel vats for 10 days at 25-28 degrees using selected yeasts. Then they were subjected to an extended skin maceration for 15 days. The wine has been through 100% malolactic fermentation. It was then matured in 225 litre French oak barresl for 18 months. The wine was then blended and returned to barrels for a further 6 months.

The total alcohol is 13.8% by volume. The total acidity is 6.1 grammes per litre. The residual sugar is 2.6 grammes per litre. The pH is 3.6.

The wine was imported by HJO Grosshandel AB.

Colour : Dark damson

Aroma : Blackberry, licquorice, black tea, blackcurrant, oak, herbs

Taste : Black tea, oak, cherry, red fruits, blackcurrant, licquorice, herbs

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 249 SEK

Mark : A

Website : Vina Echeverria
Website : HJO Grosshandel AB

Halmstad 700 Years Centenary Celebration Champagne

If you live in Halmstad then you probably know that your town is celebrating its 700 year anniversary this year. There is now a special champagne launched to celebrate with. It is available at bars in Halmstad and can be ordered from the Halmstad branch of the Systembolaget. The order number is 500056-09 and is available as a pack of three wines - each costing 249 SEK.

The blend of the Champagne Halmstad 700 Brut Premier Cru is 25% Pinot Noir, 60% Pinot Meunier, and 15% Chardonnay. It is produced by Champagne Cl. de la Chapelle.

The wine is imported by ChampagneHuset.

Website : Halmstad 700 years
Website : Halmstad 700 years Brut Champagne
Website : ChampagneHuset

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Champagne "Lobster Academy"

I got a news posting from ChampagneHuset this morning saying that there is a release of a wine called Champagne Hummerakademien. The Hummerakademien is an institution dedicated to spreading knowledge about the lobster. The society was founded in 1996 and costs 100 SEK to join.

The wine is 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir and naturally it is claimed that it is a perfect fit for drinking whilst eating a lobster.

The wine can be ordered from the Systembolaget as a box of three bottles costing 279 per bottle. the order number is 82815.

Website : Svenska Hummerakademien
Website : ChampagneHuset

Chateau Pape Clement Visit 2007

On August 9th 2007, I visited Chateau Pape Clement in Pessac on the outskirts of Bordeaux.

It was very easy to get to, either bus from Bordeaux or tram from Bordeaux and then bus. The bus stop is right outside the chateau and is called Pont L'Orient. The journey takes about 30 minutes altogether.

We were greeted by a friendly tour guide who turned out to be very knowledgeable. Our tour lasted about 45 minutes in total and cost us nothing.

First we walked into the vines where we had a short talk about the viticultural philosophy. The vines are green harvested but only on one side so the grapes are subjected to the morning sun but are not sunburnt in the afternoon. The grapes were going through veraison so half of each bunch was black whilst the other half was still green. The fermentation hall was not viewable as all the steel tanks were being replaced by oak vats (a la Robert Mondavi Winery).

We saw both the red and white maturation rooms. The rooms are kept at nearly 100% humidity and no topping up of the barrels is performed as no wine evaporates. Next we toured the basement of the house which contains a replica of the tomb of the ex-pope but I thought it was a bit out of place and the choral music (from a boom box) didn't help.

Lastly, the tour guide took us to the wine boutique for a tasting. Unfortunately, we couldn't taste the grand vin but it was possible to taste a wide variety of Bernard Magrez wines from around the world as well as Gerard Depardieu wines as a lot of the times their properties are adjacent.

If I lived in Bordeaux, I would be making regular trips to this wine outlet. I believe Bernard Magrez also has an outlet in Paris. The chateau came into ownership of Bernard Magrez as his wife inherited the property.

More details about the history of the chateau etc. can be found on the website.

Website : Chateau Pape Clement

Monday, 10 September 2007

Systembolaget Monoploy Wine Blog

I have just discovered an interesting wine blog about the Systembolaget (the monopoly in Sweden). It is written by the publishers of the excellent BKWine newsletter.

Website : Monopolet i Sverige

TN : Ihringer Fohrenberg, Pinot Blanc 2006, Kaiserstuehler WZG, Baden, Germany

Kaiserstuehler Winzergenossenschaft Ihringen was founded in 1924. With a storage capacity of 3,2 million liters of wine annually. There are 850 devoted winegrowing members of this coop.

This wine is 100% Pinot Blanc. Fermentation was in stainless steel tanks.

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Pear drops, apricots

Taste : Grapes, pears, lemon, almond finish, flabby

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 68 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Kaiserstuehler WZG

TN : Chateau de Monteberiot 2005, Cotes de Bourg, France

This wine is a blend of 80% merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was matured for 15 months in "one or two wines" oak barrels. Cotes de Bourg is north of the city of Bordeaux.

Colour :
Dark plum

Aroma : Green vegetally, oak, plums

Taste : Red fruits, plums, oak, coffee

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Chateau de Monteberiot

TN : Coyam 2004, Vinedos Emiliana, Colchagua, Chile

This wine is a blend of 37% Syrah, 34% Carmenere, 14% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Mourvedre. It was matured for one year in oak, 70% French and 30% American. The winemaker was Alvara Espinosa.

This wine was imported by Premium Wines Sweden.

Colour : Very dark purple

Aroma : Red and dark berries, spicy, herbs

Taste : Red and dark berries, herbs, liqourice

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 150 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Vinedos Emiliana
Website : Premium Wines Sweden

Friday, 7 September 2007

Occasion Wine Newsletter September 2007

I received the September 2007 newsletter from Occasion Wine AB yesterday. Occasion Wine AB started up in 2004 and is located in Stockholm

There are two new wines available. A Pouilly-Fuisee 2005 from Domain de Fussiacus which is orderable from the Systembolaget monopoly and the Langmeil Barossa Old Vine Shiraz 2004 which is orderable by the case from Occasion Wine AB. The latter wine received 96 out of 100 points from noted Australian wine writer James Halliday in the 2008 revision of his Australian Wine Companion.

You can subscribe via their website.

Website : Occasion Wine AB

Thursday, 6 September 2007

TN : Alix, Chateau Plaisance, 2005, Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, France

This wine was awarded 85/87 out of 100 by Robert Parker. It is a blend od 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The bottle was heavy and tall with the Château Plaisance Lion Head embossed on it.

Colour : Dark plum, cassis

Aroma : Dark fruits, plums, spice

Taste : Dark fruits, blackcurrant hints, violets, very spicy finish leading to dry chalky tanins

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 16.50 Euro (price at Bernard Magrez Wine Boutique, Chateau Pape Clement, August 2007)

Mark : B-

Website : Bernard Magrez
Website : Chateau Plaisance