Friday, 30 November 2007

TN : L'Avenir Stellenbosch Classic 2005, South Africa

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (20%), and Carbernet Franc (20%).

There is no mention of the 2005 vintage on the Laroche Wines website though which seems to rarely updated with information, preferring to try to dazzle with fancy graphics.

L’Avenir vineyards are situated in Stellenbosch. The soil is Origan – Glenrosa type (decomposed shale with clay underneath). The grapes were harvested between the end of January and the middle of March. Fermentation was done with selected yeast strains and took five days at temperatures up to 25° - 32°C in stainless steel tanks. The wine underwent a cold maceration for 36 hours. It went through malolactic fermentation and was matured for 14 months in French barrels. There was no fining and at bottling, the wine was sterile filtered and bottled under vacuum for maximum protection. The winemaker was Tinus Els.

The residual sugar is 3.2 grammes per litre, pH is 3.53, and TA is 5.9 grammes per litre.

This wine won a bronze medal at the 2007 Veritas show.

Colour :
Dark purple

Aroma : Tobacco, blackcurrant, cold tea, raspberry

Taste : Long strong tobacco finish, burnt rubber and heat at end, blackcurrant, raspberry, oak, and hints of liquorice

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Laroche Wines
Website : L'Avenir Vineyards

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Enosvezia latest Newsletter

Yet another newsletter arrived today.

Enosvezia are launching 4 wines from Tommaso Bussolas on December 1st 2007.

These are :

  • Amarone della Valpolicella, Order number 99985, Price 626 SEK
  • Ararone della Valpolicella Vigneto Alto, Order number 99986, Price 909 SEK
  • L'errante, Order number 99956, Price 304 SEK
  • Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Order number 99955, Price 232 SEK

Website : Enosvezia AB

Sigva Newsletter

I just got the latest Sigva AB newsletter in my mailbox. They are launching three new wines from Quinta do Noval, located in the Douro in Portugal, on December 1st 2007 :

  • Quinta do Noval Red Wine, Order number 97991, Price 439 SEK
  • Cedro do Noval Red Wine, Order number 98268, Price 149 SEK
  • Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2004, Order number 98464, Price 653 SEK

Registration for the Sigva AB newsletter is via their website.

Website : Sigva AB
Website : Quinta do Noval

Occasion Wine AB Newsletter December 2007

In my mailbox has just popped up the latest newsletter from Occasion Wine AB. In December, they are launching two German wines :

  • Heimz Nikolai 2006 Hallgartner Schönhell Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Order number 97342, Price 99 SEK
  • Schloss Mühlenhof 2006 Weinheimer Sibyllenstein Riesling Spätlese Feinherb, Order number 97388, Price 105 SEK
The Heimz Nikolai might be worth trying but I am not a big fan of the Feinherb style so I will give the Schloss Mühlenhof a "wide berth".

In addition, there is a short review of their attendance at the Det Goda Köket show.

You can subscribe to the newsletter via the Occasion Wine AB website.

Website : Occasion Wine AB

Grapevine Number 4 2007

I just received my copy of Grapevine, number 4 2007, which is published by Tegner Hermansson. Not much of interest contained it though. I did notice that they were offering a wine box of 6 wines for the Christmas period which looks interesting.

The contents are :

  • Chateau de Bonhoste Blanc
  • Dievole Rinascimento IGT
  • Tommasi Pinot Chardonnay
  • Tomassi Recioto della Valpolicella Florato
  • Irony Cabernet Sauvignon (2 bottles)

The price is only 720 SEK and the order number is 604539-09 (from Systembolaget).

Website : Tegner Hermansson

VinUnic Newsletter December 2007

VinUnic have published the December 2007 edition of their Våra Viner newsletter.

Guigal's 2003 LaLa wines are unleashed on Sweden. Italy's Tenuta San Guido's Sassicaia 2004 and Guidalberto 2005, which I might buy, are also available. From California comes Shafer's Hillside Select Cab 2003 and Relentless 2004.

Website : VinUnic Våra Viner Nyhetsbrev December 2007

TN : Massaya Classic 2005, Vin Rouge, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

This wine was sealed with a screwcap. It was imported by Vinalliansen but no mention of the 2005 vintage appears on their website !.

This wine is a blend of 60% Cinsault, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Syrah.

Colour : Pale red/ruby

Aroma : Violets, blueberry, white pepper

Taste : Violets, liquorice, blueberry, smooth tannins, slight spice and white pepper on finish, thin moothfeel

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 77 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Massaya & Co
Website : Vinalliansen

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Adopt a Vine at Three Choirs Vineyard

For 39 pounds it is possible to adopt a vine for a year at the Three Choirs Vineyards in Gloucestershire in the UK. This is a nice option if you intended to visit the UK and would like to do some vinous-related touring and visit a vineyard whilst there.

You will get :

  • A certificate of adoption (which is valid for a year)
  • A name plate on the vine (up to 20 characters)
  • A glass of wine for two people to toast their vine
  • 2 bottles of wine from a carefully selected list to take away
  • Free entry to the vineyards
  • Free wine tasting in the shop
  • Guided tour of winery at 2.30pm
  • 20% discount on wines bought from the shop
Website : Three Choirs Vineyards Shop

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

TN : Deakin Estate Reserve Sparkling Shiraz

There is no mention of any vintage on the label.

I served this wine chilled and really liked it but as it warmed up it lost its bite and fruit.

Dr Phil Spillman is Deakin Estate's winemaker. He joined the Wingara Wine Group from Villa Maria in New Zealand and, prior to that, worked at BRL Hardy and Chittering Estate. Craig Thornton has been Deakin Estate's vineyard manager since 2005.

The Deakin Estate property and its wines are named in honour of that visionary, Alfred Deakin. It was purchased in 1967 and then planted to premium wine grapes which were sold as fruit until 1980 when a winery facility was built. The Deakin Estate range was launched in 1994.

There is no mention of this wine on the Deakin Estate website !.

Colour : Deep black/purple

Aroma : Dark fruits, blackcurrants, blackberries

Taste : Fizzy but does not last that long, liquorice, dry, unsweetened bramble jelly

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Deakin Estate

Friday, 23 November 2007

TN : Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Alto Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Alto's history dates back to 1693, when it was part of a larger farm named Groenrivier ("Green River").

In 1919, the then owner of Groenrivier, Hennie Malan, divided the farm vertically in order to sell half of the land to his brother-in-law. The development of Malan's share was a co-operative venture between himself and his son, Manie. In the next few years they set about converting this partial wilderness into a wine farm, to which they gave the Latin name, Alto, a reference both to the altitude of the vineyards and their own aspirations. They built a homestead and a cellar, and planted the lower slopes with vines.

Malan's choice of red varieties was based on a shrewd assessment of the nature of his land. When Piet du Toit bought Alto in 1959, neither he nor the experts he called in for analysis and advice could fault the planting or the wine created by the Malans. When Piet retired in 1983, his son, Hempies, a well-known rugby Springbok, succeeded him. Hempies du Toit continued the fine red wine-making traditions of his predecessors until May 2000 when Neethlingshof's winemaker Schalk van der Westhuizen took over.

The wine is made from the grapes of unirrigated, north-facing vines between 8 and 19 years’ old at the time of harvesting. These vines grow in decomposed granite soils and a clay subsoil, at altitudes of 135 m and 475 m above sea level, with those at the higher levels cooled by False Bay breezes. A five-wire fence was used to trellis the vines which yielded a low four to five tons the hectare.

The grapes were harvested by hand at the end of March at between 24° and 25° Balling. After destalking and crushing, the mash was fermented in stainless steel tanks at between 25° and 27°C, using the selected NT112 yeast culture. The juice was separated from the skins after 10 days. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked into first-, second- and third-fill French-oak barrels and matured for 18 months.

A chemical analysis of the wine shows that the alcohol is 14,10% by volume, the residual sugar 3,1 grammes per litre, the total acidity 5,71 grammes per litre, and the pH 3,56.

Colour : Blackberry

Aroma : Oak, blackcurrant, spice, mint

Taste : Some blackcurrant but overpowered by oak, spice, mint, liquorice and slight sweetness on finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 129 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Alto Wine Estate

Thursday, 22 November 2007

TN : Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2007, J.L. Quinson, Romaneche Thorins, France

Colour : Black cherry/red

Aroma : Bubblegum, stewed strawberry

Taste : Long acidic finish, bubblegum, stewed strawberry, spritzy moothfeel

Alcohol : 12%

Price : 70 SEK

Mark : D+

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Wine and Symbian OS

A couple of months ago I bought "The Symbian OS Architecture Sourcebook" by Ben Morris. Symbian OS is what powers most Smartphones (example manufacturers being Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and Motorola). Ben is a freelance writer and system and product architect focusing on Symbian OS.

When not using, thinking or writing about software, Ben likes to write about wine and vines. He owns a small vineyard (less than one hectare) that he is restoring to production in Alba, Piemonte, Italy, at Google Earth 44 38.01 N 8 8.850 E or thereabouts.

Ben spends most of his time in London but is flying quite a lot, Ryanair, to Italy. He is also studying on a Wine Production part time course at Plumpton College in the UK. He has written an article for the UKVA's magazine around a Plumpton trip to the Vintech Expo in Bordeaux.

Last year, Ben made around 60 litres of Dolcetto and Barbera from old vines. This year, his aim was to make 200 to 300 litres. The summer in Alba was good this year; around the mid 30 degrees earlier and then consistently warm, mid 20 degrees. Some of the young vines, "Barbatelles", planted this year were lost to heat though some could come back. There were a couple of days of rain in August and a hailstorm with stones the size of cherries.

Website : Ben Morris

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

TN : Chateau Perenne, Premieres Cotes de Blaye, 2004, Cru Bourgeois, Bernard Magrez, France

The vineyard dates back to the 17th century. Up until the French revolution in 1789, the monks of the Saint Romain de Blaye Abbey lived at the Saint Geres Prieure, receiving a significant source of revenue from the vineyard. In 1791, the estate was sold to the Irish O'Lanyer family.

This wine won the Medaille de Bronze at the Concours d'Aquitaine 2006. It was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months and is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Colour : Purple/red

Aroma : Oak, cedar, blackcurrant, leafy

Taste : Smooth moothfeel but not mouthcoating, blackcurrant, smooth tannins on long finish, blackcurrant, some underlying dark fruits

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 17.35 Euro (purchased at the Bernard Magrez Boutique at Chateau Pape Clement, Pessace, France)

Mark : B

Website : Bernard Magrez

TN : Beaujolais Nouveau 2007, J.L. Quinson, Romaneche Thorins, France

This wine promised so much from the nose (really good for the price) but it was only just drinkable so buyer beware !. This also makes a mockery of the Systembolaget's monopoly policy; one of their stated reasons for existing is that they taste everything beforehand so it's theoretically impossible to buy a bad wine but this is just a joke.

Colour : Brown/Red

Aroma : Spice, bubblegum, strawberry

Taste : Spice, lean fruit, thin, bubblegum

Alcohol : 12%

Price : 59 SEK

Mark : D

Monday, 19 November 2007

TN : Viu Manent, Reserva Malbec, Colchagua Valley, Chile

All grapes were hand harvested from the San Carlos estate vineyard between 18th and 22nd April 2004. The average age of the vines was 40 to 50 years old. The vines are planted at a density of 4464 vines per hectare. The canopies are trained using VSP and the vines are cane pruned. San Carlos is situated near the town of Cunaco. The soil is free draining, alluvial loam/clay of medium fertility.

The fruit was destemmed and crushed into tank. Then 15% percent of the juice was bled off to increase concentration. The must was then cold soaked for 5 days at 10-12 degrees. The must was then heated and inoculated with selected yeasts. Temperatures peaked at 30 degrees and two pumpovers were carried out daily. There was a three week post-fermentation maceration period. The wine was matured for 14 months in 85% French and 15% American oak barrels and then lightly filtered before being bottled. Malolactic fermentation started in tank and finished in barrel.

The alcohol measured at the laboratory was 14.1%, pH was 3.55, TA was 4.9 grammes per litre, residual sugar was 2.9 grammes per litre, and volatile acidity was 0.49 grammes per litre.

Viu Manent has been family, the Viu family, owned since 1935. The Managing Director is Jose Miguel Viu Bottini.

This wine was imported by Vinia Sweden AB.

Colour : Very dark purple

Aroma : Plum, chocolate, dark fruits, herbs, pepper

Taste : Oak, dark fruits, green pepper, herbs, blackcurrant, tar

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Viu Manent
Website : Vinia Sweden AB

Friday, 16 November 2007

Wine and Vineyard in Öland

I have been speaking to a work colleague of mine, Torbjörn Cagenius, who is growing vines and making wine in Öland. He has ten vines of four different grape varieties planted. The varieties yielding the most are Schuyler (blue) and Sukribe (green). He is looking at planting Rondo since another producer, Wannborga on Öland, are apparently producing excellent wine from this grape variety (I must try to get hold of some to try). Öland is agricultural zone 1 whereas where I live, Tyresö, is agricultural zone 3. However, Torbjörn considers the micro climate and soil more important and I would agree with him for such a small plantation. In his experience, it takes three to five years before the vines produce enough grapes to make wine from. he has, so far, no problems with any diseases and no problems from the deer and rabbits which are plentiful on Öland. The only problem has been with birds eating some of the ripe grapes but this has not proven to be a big issue. Torbjörn has his vines planted against walls and on traditional trellising (poles and steel wires between). His oldest vine is 10 years old !.

All his equipment (including yeast) was obtained from :
Gratulera Presenter i Sundyberg
Sturegatan 30
17231 Sundbyberg
Tel : 08 29 08 68

This season, Torbjön has invested in a 5 litre oak barrel made of medium toasted French oak. I am eager to await the results for his experiment. The barrel was bought from Thorslundkagge.

Good luck to Torbjörn !.

Website : Wannborga Vin och Lamm
Website : Thorslundkagge
Website : Swedish Agricultural Zones

Chris Winews No 7 Autumn 2007

I received in the post Chris Wines latest food and wine magazine. It's free and can be downloaded from their website and it also possible to subscribe to a printed copy (which is what I have done). In this issue is an article on Neil Ellis, a South Africa wine producer, whose just released Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (Systembolaget number 82019) looks interesting at 223 SEK. There is also a one page article on Pinotage.

Website : Chris Wines

TN : Tabali Reserva Shiraz 2005, Limari Valley, Chile

According to the label, Vina Tabali is the most northerly premium winery in Chile. Their website contains no information on the 2005 vintage of this wine.

The grapes were hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 26 degrees. Then it was matured in French and American oak for 12 months. It was then fined with egg whites and subjected to a light filtering. It was then aged in bottle for six months before being released.

This wine is imported by Vin & Sprit AB which has a decent amount of information relating to this wine.

Colour : Blackcurrant/violet

Aroma : Spice, dark fruits, burnt rubber

Taste : Undertones of burnt rubber, smoky bacon crisps, oak, some sweetness, dark fruits, long length, good concentration for wine of this price, gripping tannins, white pepper on finish

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 93 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Vina Tabali
Website : Vin & Sprit AB

Thursday, 15 November 2007

TN : Xavier Cotes du Rhone 2004, Xavier Vignon, France

This wine is made by Xavier Vignon who is an oenologist whose laboratory works for leading estates in the Southern Rhone. He has been making his own wines since 2002, although he has been an oenologist for the past fifteen years now.

Colour :

Aroma : Spicy, red fruits, blueberry

Taste : Long spicy finish, raspberry, blueberry, red fruits

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 96 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Xavier Vignon

Systembolaget Drinks Auction 2/2007

I received my catalogue for the Systembolaget drinks auction, to be held on Tuesday 11th December 2007, yesterday. Lots of Bordeaux and Burgundy of course. Not much in the way of pictures and no tasting notes; this doesn't live up to the qualty of the Sotheby's or Christie's catalogues for instance. The catalogue is available for online browsing at the Stockholms Auktionsverket website.

Website : Systembolaget
Website : Stockholms Auktionsverket

Systembolaget Varunytt December 2007

The December 2007 list of new wines to be releases on Saturday 1st December 2007 is now released an available for download. Lots of good priced Italian reds and German whites to buy for over Christmas drinking.

Website : Systembolaget Varunytt December 2007

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

TN : Les Bateaux 2006, Rose de Syrah, Vin de Pay d'Oc, Les vins des Salices, Jacques & Francois Lurton, Languedoc, France

The J&F Lurton website contains minimal information this wine.

I bought this wine in the Kista Galleria Systembolaget and have not seen it anywhere else on sale.

Colour :
Diluted strawberry cordial

Aroma : Simple sweet red fruits

Taste : red fruits, rosehip, flabby, dry

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 67 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Jacques & Francois Lurton

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Divine new wines November 2007

I have a newsletter in my mailbox from Divine which details their new wines for November 2007. These are for the beställningssortiment. Wines that I am interested in are the Copain l'Hiver Syrah 2005 (169 SEK), Copian Madder Lake Syrah (249 SEK), and the Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (299 SEK).

You can subscribe to the Divine Newsletter via their website.

Website : Divine AB

VinUnic Press Reviews November 2007

The press reviews for VinUnics November 2007 offerings can now be found on their website.

Website : VinUnic Novembernyheter 2007 Pressrevy

Mondowine strengthens portfolio

I received an email yesterday from Mondowine saying that they will be the new representative for Champagne Henriot in Sweden. Henriot dates back, as grapegrowers, to the mid 1600s. Henriot was founded in 1808 by Apolline Henriot. Back then she sold the champagne to close friends and family under the name "Veuve Henriot Aine". Nowadays, Henriot own 115 hectares of vineyards in Cotes des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, and Vallee de la Marne. What distinguishes Henriot champagnes is the high proportion of Chardonnay in the blends and almost no Pinot Meunier.

Website : Mondowine

TN : Leconfield Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Leconfield wines, Coonawarra, Australia

Leconfield estate was established in 1974 by noted oenologist Sydney Hamilton. Today, Paul Gordon is the winemaker and Richard Hamilton is the winegrower.

The vineyards are situated in Coonawarra. The soil is terra rossa over limestone. The clones planted are Reynella, CW44, and 125. The age of the vines vary between 1974 and 1988. The grapes were machine picked between 13th April and 7th May 2004.

The wine is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. The actual alcohol, as reported on the Leconfield website, is 14.4%. The acidity is 7.03 grammes per litre. The residual sugar is 1.9 grammes per litre. The pH is 3.38. Oak maturation was in 60% new French, 3% new American, 29% in 1 to 2 year old French, and the rest in older oak. The wines was left in contact with the lees for three weeks in tank. The fermentation temperature was between 22 and 28 degrees. The yeast used for fermentation was Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The wine underwent blending in January 2005 and was bottles on the 23rd February 2006.

Robert Parker gave this wine 87 points in the edition 161 of his Wine Advocate. James Halliday gave this wine 92 points in his 2008 Australian Wine Companion. My conclusion is that this wine could do with a couple more years to let the oak marry and die down.

This wine was imported by Premium Wines Nordic. Though there is almost no information about this wine on their website.

Colour : Dark maroon

Aroma : Oak, vegetal, mint, coffee, some dark fruits, cold tea

Taste : Oak, blackcurrant, coffee, red fruits, lacking in fruit, overwhelming oak on finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 154 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Leconfield Wines
Website : Premium Wines Nordic

TN : Caitec Pinot Noir 2006, Bodega del Anelo, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina

Caitec is from the Quechuas Indian language meaning "firelight".

The vineyard is located on the banks of the river Neuquen in Anelo. The vines are planted on red alluvial soil.

This wine was imported by Oenoforos AB. There is no mention of this wine on the Bodega del Anelo website.

Colour : Stewed dark fruits

Aroma : Violets, blueberries, plum, spice

Taste : Spicy finish, violets, blueberry, plums

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Bodega del Anelo
Website :
Oenoforos AB

Friday, 9 November 2007


Britt Karlsson pointed out the company WineFinder to me which specialise in the Internet purchase/delivery of wine to customers in Sweden. They have a small but very interesting range currently. I noticed Almaviva 2004, Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2004, Chateau La Tour Carnet 2004 Errazuriz Syrah La Cumbre 2005, and Luce 2003. All of these wines I would like to purchase.

However, they have an annual membership fee of 2000 SEK. This seems to be excessive and I don't understand why it exists given that I only want to buy wine. I don't need a membership fee to buy from Berry Bros & Rudd for instance.

There is a wine club where you get 12 bottles of wine a month for only 1600 SEK plus moms. There is no mention of what these wines might be. There are also wine investment possibilities; 50000 SEK appears to be the minimum investment.

Website : WineFinder

TN : Eclat 2004, Vina Valdivieso, Maule Valley, Chile

This wine was imported by AB Nigab. It is a blend of 50% Mourvedre, 38% Carignan, and 125 Syrah. Vina Valdivieso was founded in 1879 and the current winemaker is Brett Jackson.

The grapes were harvested during March and April. The wine was aged for 12 months in barrel (70% French oak and 30% American oak). The barrels were one to five years old. The fruit was all sourced from the Maule Valley, Carignan was sourced from old (more than 50 years old) dry farmed head pruned vines in the Maule Valley. The sites are free draining sandy clay loams. The bunches were destemmed, not crushed, and cold soaked for 48 hours before being inoculated with yeast. Fermentation was in small stainless steel tubs for 7 days. During fermentation the cap was hand plunged three times a day. After alcoholic fermentation, there was post-fermentation maceration on skins for 14 days, before pressing. The wine went directly to barrel, and underwent a natural malolactic fermentation in barrel.

Colour : Dark red/black

Aroma : Spicy, oak, liquorice, red and dark fruits, blueberry

Taste : Spicy, dark and red fruits, liquorice, coffee

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 139 SEK

Mark : B

Website : AB Nigab
Website : Vina Valdivieso

TN : Monteregio di Massa Marittima 2004, DOC, Vendemmia, Morisfarms, Italy

This wine was imported by Carovin AB.

The wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards lie in Monteregio di Massa Marittima in South West Tuscany. The soils are clay and rich in fossils. The yield was 6000 kilos of grapes per hectare. Harvesting was during the second and fourth weeks of September. Fermentation was in cement tanks for 18 days with pumpovers twice a day. The wine was matured for one year in seasoned barriques. The total acidity in Tartaric acid is 5.00 grammes per litre. the volatile acidity in vinegar acid is 0.53 grammes per litre. The pH is 3.58 and dry extract is 27.10.

Colour : Deep plum

Aroma : Plum, oak, dark chocolate, dark fruits

Taste : Dark fruits, slight tartiness , slight oak

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 159 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Carovin
Website : Morisfarms

TN : Mineralstein Riesling Vom Blauschiefer 2006, QmP, GP Winery, Mosel, Germany

This wine was imported by Oenoforos.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Mineral, apricot, citrus marmelade

Taste : Oranges, grapey mid-palatte, citrus lemony finish, minerals, off-dry

Alcohol : 11%

Price : 77 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Oenoforos

TN : Pangea Syrah 2004, Vina Ventisquero, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Only 120 bottles were imported into Sweden.

This wine is from vineyards in Apalta.

It is made by a collaboration Felipe Tosse of Vina Ventisquero (Chief Oenologist) and the famed Australian winemaker John Duval (ex-Penfolds).

Colour : deep dark purple

Aroma : Violets, blueberry, spice, oak

Taste : Pepper and spice on long finish, silky, mouth coating, dark fruits, blueberry, violets

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 269 SEK

Mark : A-

Website : Vina Ventisquero

TN : Gran Caus Rosado 2006, Can Rafols dels Caus, Penedes, Spain

This wine may have been slightly oxidised (a bad bottle ?) but at the price I wasn't going to buy another one to be disappointed again.

This is 100% Merlot and 53300 bottles were produced.

Only the 2004 vintage is mentioned on the Can Rafols dels Caus website.

Colour : Deep red fruits

Aroma : Red fruits, slight vinegar

Taste : Red and dark fruits, slight sherry

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 169 SEK

Mark : D-

Website : Can Rafols dels Caus

Thursday, 8 November 2007

TN : Eroica 2006 Riesling, Columbia Valley, USA

There was only 120 bottles of this wine imported into Sweden.

This wine was produced and bottled by Chateau Ste Michelle, Woodinville, WA, USA. It is made from a joint venture between Washington State's Chateau Ste Michelle and Mosel's Dr Loosen.

The wine received 90 points from Wine Spectator and was named as a "Smart Buy".

Colour : Gold/yellow

Aroma : Lemon, orange, minerals

Taste : Lemon, orange, lime, minerals, slight petrol, spritzy finish, slight sweetness, long long finish

Alcohol : 12.%%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : A

Website : Chateau Ste Michelle Partners Eroica

TN : Piccini 2005, IGT, Picinni, Tuscany, Italy

This wine is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were harvested by hand and then vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 15 days. The wine was then stored in 500 litre oak bottis for three months before bottling.

Piccini was founded in 1882 by Angiolo Piccini and is run today by Mario and Martina Piccini.

The wine was imported by Fondberg & Co.

Colour : Dark deep red

Aroma : Spice, oak, cherry, plum

Taste : Sour cherry, liquorice, oak, spice, herbs

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 85 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Fondberg & Co

TN : Pink Billy Rose 2006, Philip Shaw, Orange, Australia

This wine comes from the Koomooloo vineyard which was established in 19988 at 900 metres altitude.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap. It is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Shiraz. The clones used are Merlot D3 V14 and Shiraz BVR CL20/CL12/CL30, 1654. The pH is 3.36. The TA is 5.50. The wines was harvested between March 16th and April 3rd.

Colour : Pale raspberry/strawberry

Aroma : Muted red fruits

Taste : Red fruits, spice, long finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 179 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Philip Shaw

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

TN : Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2005, Montes Wines, Casablanca Valley, Chile

This wine was slightly overpowered by too much oak for my liking.

The wine was vinified with clean must separating three different lots using three different strains of selected yeasts: D', Montrachet and native. It was fermented and aged in French oak barrels for 1 year, 40% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The grapes sourced from Casablanca Valley. The wine remained in its original cask for one year using a monthly batonage.

This wine was imported by Av Hjo Grosshandel AB though no mention of this wine is on their site.

Colour : Yellow

Aroma : Mango, melon, sweetcorn

Taste : Oak, mango, sweetcorn, butter

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Montes Wines
Website : Av Hjo Grosshandel AB

TN : Poacher's Blend 2007, St Hallett Wines, Barossa, Australia

This wine is a blend of classic Barossa varieties Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling. The winemakers were Stuart Blackwell and Matt Gant.

This wine was imported by WineWorld AB Sweden. There was no information available on their website as it is currently being updated.

The St Hallet website contains information about Poacher's Blend but sadly not for the 2007 vintage.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Apple, pear, honey, apricot

Taste : Apple, pear, apricot

Alcohol : 11.5%

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Wine World AB
Website : St Hallett

Monday, 5 November 2007

Wineworld Newsletter November 2007

I just received the latest newsletter from Wineworld. Interesting wines (i.e. that I can actually afford and don't have to cellar for twenty years before I can drink them) include the 2007 Poacher's Blend from St Hallet and Casalferro 2003 from Baron Ricasoli.

Website : Wineworld Nyhetsbrev November 2007

VinUnic Newsletter November 2007

The latest newsletter from VinUnic can be downloaded (PDF format).

The 2004 DRC wines are launched; not that I could afford them and there was a huge queue at the Regeringsgatan store in Stockholm when I went in to buy my Eroica 2006 (luckily available without queueing which was a bit strange given its good reviews in Wine Spectator and the fact that onyl 120 bottles made it into Sweden).

Eroica 2006, as previously mentioned, is imported by VinUnic. Vergelegen V also looks interesting but I suspect is overpriced for the quality at 775 SEK. Dr Loosen Graacher Himmelreich 2005 is also imported.

Website : VinUnic Våra Viner November 2007