Thursday, 28 February 2008

Vinkällaren Grappes Newsletter March 2008

Grappe have published their newsletter for March 2008. It can be downloaded from their website.

Website : Grappe Newsletter March 2008

TN : Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel 2005, Sonomo Heritage Vines, Sonomo County, USA

The winemaker was Eric Cinnamon. Rancho Zabaco wines bear the name of one of Old California’s earliest land grants – the Tzabaco Rancho.

Colour : Black/cassis

Aroma : Blackberry, herbs, slight pepper

Taste : Spice, blackberry, slight sweetness, dark berries, rich, long finish, mouth coating

Alcohol : 15%

Price : 145 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Rancho Zabaco

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

TN : Zaca Mesa Syrah 2003, Santa Ynez Valley, USA

This wine was estate grown and bottled. The vineyard blocks used for this wine were Chapel F, Cushman A, B and D, and Mesa A and F. Clay Brock was the winemaker. The grapes were harvested in early October, 8th to 18th, 2003. The wine is a blend of 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier. The wine was fermented in open topped bins and then spent 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% of which was new. the wine was minimally filtered and then bottled between 4th to the 9th March 2005. An analysis performed by the winery shows that the acidity is 0.57 grammes per 100 millilitres, the pH is 3.74, and the alcohol is 14.6%. 10, 693 cases were produced. Zaca Mesa have been making wine since 1972.

Colour : Black/purple

Aroma : Violets, blueberries, pepper, spice

Taste : Blueberries, raspberries, long white pepper finish

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 178 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Zaca Mesa

Monday, 25 February 2008

TN : Carabantes 2004, Syrah, Vina von Siebenthal, Aconcagua Valley, Chile

Chile's first wine was brought to the country in 1554 by a Spanish priest called Francisco de Carabantes. This wine is named in honour of this pioneer of Chilean viticulture.

The grapes were hand picked and the wine is unfiltered. This is a limited edition bottling of 17,992 bottles. It is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. This information is from the label though the winery's website states that it is only 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. The production was 1.6 Kg of grapes per vine. The vines were trained in double Gobelet trellising an dthe vineyard is 600 metres above sea level. Fermentation was in 150 hectolitre stainless steel tanks. The wine spent 12 months in a mixture of French and American oak of which 35% was new. The wine was bottles in October 2003. The analysis at the winery shows that the Tartaric Acidity was 5.14 grammes per litre (sulfuric) and the pH was 3.73.

The wine was imported by Carovin AB, Stockholm.

Colour : Purple

Aroma : Violets, red berries, blueberries, spice, herbs, mint

Taste : Sweet, slight toasty oak, blueberry, herbs, red berries, white pepper

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 178 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Vina von Siebenthal
Website : Carovin AB

Friday, 22 February 2008

TN : Marques de Arienzo Reserva 2002, DOC, Rioja, Spain

This wine is a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. The grapes were harvested from 300 ha of mature vineyards in Elciego and Laguardia. The wine was bottled at Bodegas Domecq, Elciego, Spain. This was a 375ml bottle.

Colour : Red/brown

Aroma : Oak, slight sherry, spice, red fruits

Taste : Red fruits, oak, acidic, long finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 47 SEK

Mark : C-

Thursday, 21 February 2008

TN : Montes Classic Series Merlot 2006, Colchagua Valley, Chile

This wine was aged in American oak for six months. It is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. All of the grapes were handharvested. The yield was about 8-10 tons per hectare (3-4 tons per acre). The wine underwent a light one soft pad filtration before bottling. Interestingly the alcohol level quoted in the information on the Hjo Grosshandel AB website (a PDF flyer) states that the alcohol is 13.5%

This wine was imported by Hjo Grosshandel AB.

Colour : Deep red/maroon

Aroma : Olive, slight spice, coffee, plums, dark fruits, oak

Taste : Coarse oak, vanilla, dark fruits, olive, slight initial sweetness

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Vina Montes
Website : Hjo Grosshandel AB

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

TN : Trapiche Malbec Single Vineyard, Vina Carlos Gei Berra, 2004, Lunlunta, Mendoza, Argentina

The chief winemaker was Daniel Pi.

Carlos Gei Berra is an agricultural engineer. The vineyard was planted in 1973 in Lunlunta, Maipu. It is situated at an altitude of 878 metres (2879 feet).

The harvest date was April 16th 2004. The average mean temperature during the ripening month realised 17.7 degrees with a thermal amplitude of 9 degrees.

This wine was imported by Fondberg &Co.

Colour : Dark deep purple

Aroma : Toasty oak, herbs, dark berries

Taste : Concentrated, mouth filling, dark berries, cherries, chocolate, herbs

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : A

Website : Trapiche
Website : Fondberg & Co

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

TN : Erasmo 2004, Red Wine, Maule Valley, Vina la Reserva de Caliboro, Chile

This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. This is the fourth version of Erasmo produced. The vines were planted in 1998 on the alluvial terraces of the Perquilauquen river. The wine is a collaboration between the consultant enologist Maurizio Castelli and the producer Francesco Marone Cinzano. The grapes were hand harvested between February 23rd and March 10th 2004. Fermentation was in stainless steel with a long maceration period. The wine was then aged for eighteen months in French oak barriques. Bottling took place in December 2005. The wine is unfiltered. An analysis of the wine shows the alcohol content is 14.1%, pH is 3.54, total acidity is 5.54 grammes per litre, and the residual sugar is 1.1 grammes per litre.

Colour : Cassis

Aroma : Oak, blackcurrant, violets, vanilla, licqourice

Taste : Blackcurrant, polished oak, licqourice, herbs

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 189 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Vina la Reserva de Caliboro

TN : Swedish Hill, Dry Riesling, 2006, Finger Lakes, New York, USA

This wine was imported by Andersson Wines International.

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Floral, grapey, sweetness

Taste : Fruity, mineral, slight sweetness

Alcohol : 12.2%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Swedish Hill
Website : Andersson Wines

Thursday, 14 February 2008

TN : Matariki Quintology 2002, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

This wine is a blend of 42% Merlot, 23.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 8.5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Syrah.

The wine was matured in fine grain French oak, from a selection of coopers,for 21 months. Approximately 40% was new oak whilst the remaining 60% was aged in seasoned 1, 2 and 3 year old barrels.

Winestate Magazine awarded this wine 4 Stars in the September/October 2006 Issue

It was imported by Modern Wines, Stockholm.

Colour : Purple, brown hues

Aroma : Oak, tobacco, red berries

Taste : Spicy finish, cedar, tobacco, hints of red berries and blueberries, sour acidic finish, lacking fruit

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : D

Website : Matariki Wines
Website : ModernWines Sweden

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Systembolaget New Wines for March 2008

The latest Varunytt from the Systembolaget detailing the new wines for March 2008 can now be downloaded.

Website : Systembolaget Varunytt Newsletter March 2008

TN : Les Fumees Blanches Sauvignon Blanc, 2007, Domaines Francois Lurton, France

This wine was bottled under screwcap.

Colour : Pale watery lemon/yellow

Aroma : Blackcurrant leaf, tropical fruits

Taste : Green blackcurrant leaf, lemon, minerally finish

Alcohol : 12%

Price : 67 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Jacques & Francois Lurton

A Good Year

I finally ended up watching my copy of A Good year on DVD. It was much better than I expected since a lot review stated it was not very good.

Basically a high-up Stockbroker, Max, inherits a vineyard from his uncle. It turns out that Max spent a lot of his childhood visiting his uncle at the vineyard in Provence. He goes there when his uncle dies determined to sell the vineyard. A girl shows up from the USA claiming to be the daughter of Max's uncle. The wine produced on the estate stinks. Max meets up, nearly knocks her off her bicycle with his car, a local waitress that he falls in love with. In the end, Max fabricates a letter stating that his uncle leaves the vineyard to his "daughter" who just happens to have spent some time working in a winery in the USA. Max ends up giving up his job in London (and the possibility of a partnership in his firm) to go back to his love. The end of the film sees the daughter arguing with the local vigneron about how the wine should be made.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

TN : Glen Carlou Gravel Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Wine of Origin Paarl, South Africa

According to the label this wine was handcrafted by David Finlayson.

The grapes were harvested on 15th March 2005. During fermentation, the wine spent 12 days in stainless steel tanks and then 7 days on skins. The wine was then aged for 18 months in 100% new French oak (Nevers MHT and Les Bertrange HT). The wine was bottles in January 2007.

The TA is 6.4 grammes per litre, pH is 3.68, and the residual sugar is 1.4 grammes per litre.

This wine won a double gold at 2007 Veritas awards.

Only 180 bottles were imported into Sweden.

Colour : Deep purple, cassis

Aroma : Blackcurrant, smoky oak, red berries, vanilla

Taste : Vanilla, blackcurrant, thin, minerals, red berries, acidic, coffee, chalky tanins, oak

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 179 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Glen Carlou

Monday, 11 February 2008

TN : Schmitt Soehne, Beerenauslese 2005, QmP, Rheinhessen, Germany

This is a desert wine and came in a 500ml bottle. It is mostly made from Ortega and Optima grapes.

Colour : Yellow, gold

Aroma : Orange marmelade, pineapple

Taste : Cloying sweetness, honey, citrus fruits

Alcohol : 8%

Price : 67 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Schmitt Soehne

TN : Grand Callia 2004, Winemaker's Reserve, Bodegas Callia, San Juan, Argentina

This wine was aged for 18 months in French and American oak. It is a blend of 40% Shiraz, 20% Malbec, 20% Merlot, and 20% Tannat. The winemaker was Oscar Biondolillo.

Colour : Deep dark purple

Aroma : Oak, dark fruits, vanilla, coffee, licqourice

Taste : Licqourice, slight blackcurrant, vanilla, coffee, very spicy finish

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 268 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Bodegas Callia

TN : Chateau Bibian 2005, Cru Bourgeois, Listrac-Medoc, France

This is a blend of 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine spent 18 months in French oak. Alain Meyre is the chateau owner.

Colour : Red, purple

Aroma : Black berries, herbs, oak, vanilla, licqourice

Taste : Herbs, dry tanins, blackberry, liqcourice

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 138 SEK

Mark : C+

Blaxsta Vineyard featured in Wine & Spirit Magazine

Tim Atkin MW recently wrote an article on Blaxsta vineyard for Wine & Spirit Magazine. It is freely available on the magazine's web site.

Website : Blaxsta Vineyard feature in Wine & Spirit Magazine

Friday, 8 February 2008

TN : Engelbrecht Els Proprietor's Blend 2005, Western Cape, South Africa

This is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Shiraz, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 4% Malbec.

Nice fruit but too much smokiness ruined this wine for me. The high alcohol was not noticable.

The winemaker was Louis Styrdom.

This wine was imported by The Wineagency AB.

Colour : Deep purple

Aroma : Smoky, oak, blackcurrant, mint

Taste : Dry tanins on finish, smoky, blackcurrant, green pepper, licquorice, coffee, mint

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 215 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Ernie Els Stellenbosch
Website : The Wineagency AB

Thursday, 7 February 2008

TN : Santa Rita Triple C 2004, D.O. Valle del Maipo, Vina Santa Rita, Chile

Santa Rita was founded in 1880, by a distinguished entrepreneur of those times, Mr. Domingo Fernández Concha in the area of Alto Jahuel where the main installations of the winery are currently located. From the end of the 19th century until the mid 70´s, Santa Rita developed under the ownership of Mr. Vicente García - Huidobro, father of the famous Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro Fernández. Then in 1980, the Grupo Claro acquired the Santa Rita property.

The Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are from the Alto Jahuel Estate in the Maipo valley. The soil is colluivial loam and is 0.8 to 1 meter deep with a gravelly subsoil. The grapes were harvested during April.

The Carmenere is from 60 year old vineyards located on a southern slope located halfway up the Apalta valley hills. The plantign density is 5,500 vins per hectare. There is no irrigation; the water is obtained via winter rain (700 mm per year average) and the natural water basin. The soil is poor and is granite based.

The wine is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Carmenere.

The winemaker was Andres Ilabaca.

The winery analysis shows that the pH is 3.54, the acidity is 5.64 grammes per litre, the alcohol is 14.5%, and the residual sugar is 2.40 grammes.

100% of this wine was aged in new French oak for 17 months on average. This was too much in my opinion.

Robert Parker gave this wine 93 points which just shows that he is a big fan of oak. I like oak but in this case it was too much and spoilt the great fruit, texture, and well managed alcohol underneath.

Only 360 bottles were available in the whole of Sweden on February 1st 2008.

Colour : Dark deep inky purple

Aroma : Blackcurrant, blackberry, green pepper

Taste : Overwhelming toasty oak, green pepper, olive, blackcurrant, dark berries, nice dry tannic finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 248 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Vina Santa Rita

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

WineWorld Newsletter February 2008

The latest , February 2008, Newsletter from WineWorld AB can now be downloaded from their website. It details their releases for the first quarter of 2008.

Website : WineWorld February 2008 Newsletter