Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Vinkällaren Grappes Newsletter May 2008

Vinkällaren Grappe have published their May 2008 Newsletter which can be downloaded from their website.

Website : Vinkällaren Grappes Nyhetsbrev Maj 2008

TN : Ser Lapo Riserva 2005, Chianti Classico, DOCG, Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli, Tuscany, Italy

The Mazzei family have been the proprietors of Castello di Fonterutoli since 1435.

This wine owes its name to Ser Lapo Mazzei who was a notary and a passionate wine connoisseur. He was the author of the first known reference to the Chianti appellation (December 16th 1398).

The wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Cherry, plum, polished oak, vanilla

Taste : Oak throughout, tannins upfront, rich cherry fruit, chocolate hints

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 169 SEK

Mark : B
Website : Mazzei

Monday, 28 April 2008

TN : Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Saint Clair Estate Wines, Marlborough, New Zealand

Saint Clair Wine Estates was founded by Neal and Judy Ibbotson in 1978. The sticker on the bottle states that Saitn Clair Estate Wines was the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2005 New Zealand winr producer of the year though quite what this has to do with this particular wine is beyond me.

The 43 Degree vineyard is planted with vineyard rows running in an unusual angle of 43 degrees North East to South West. This results in more shade to the southerly aspect of each row thereby producing a slightly more herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc than other sites in Marlborough. The soil is even, fertile, deep free draining silt loams.

The winemaker was Matt Thomson. The fruit was pressed off as quickly as possible to minimise skin contact and potential juice deterioration following harvesting. After settling the juice was fermented using selected yeast in 100 per cent stainless steel at cool temperatures to retain fruit flavour and freshness.

A winery analysis showed that the alcohol was 13.5%, the Titratable Acid was 8.3 grammes per litre, the Residual Sugar was 1.5grammes per litre, and the pH was 3.44.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

The wine was imported into Sweden by Sigva AB.

Colour : Pale straw

Aroma : Blackcurrant leaf, tropical fruit notes

Taste : Blackcurrant leaf, gooseberry, lemon, lively acidity, passion fruit

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 129 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Saint Clair Estate Wines
Website : Sigva AB

TN : 1992 Kanzemer Altneberg Spaetlese Riesling, Mosel Saar Ruwer, QmP, VDP, Weingut Kanzemer Berg, Germany

Colour : Lemon

Aroma : Lemon, slight lime and orange, petrol, honey

Taste : Lemon, honey, long finish, nice acidity, petrol notes on finish

Alcohol : 7.5%

Price : 149 SEK

Mark : B

Friday, 25 April 2008

TN : 7 Deadly Zins, Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi Appellation, Micheal and David Vineyards, USA

Seven of Lodi's best growers donated fruit for this wine.

The wine was imported into Sweden by Janake Wine Group AB.

Colour : Red maroon

Aroma : Dark berries, blackberries, pepper, licqourice, bramble jelly

Taste : Bramble jelly, licqourice, vanilla, chocolate, clove, pepper

Alcohol : 15%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Michael and David Family of Wines
Website : Janake Wine Group AB

Thursday, 24 April 2008

TN : Stuerz Riesling Kabinett 2007, Enosvezia, Mosel, Germany

I bought the half bottle, 375 ml, version of this wine which is also available in whole bottle size, 750 ml. It was sealed with a glass stopper to my surprise which was easily resealable.

The grapes were handharvested at the end of October 2007. The fermentation took approximately one and half months at 12 degrees. The fermentation was stopped using cooling.

This wine was bottled for Enosvezia and is marketed as being of their own brand.

Colour : Pale straw

Aroma : Oranges, honey, pear drops

Taste : Honey, orange, apples, pineapple, lime, cloying sugar sweetness which ruined this wine for me

Alcohol : 8.5%

Price : 49 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Enosvezia

TN : 2002 Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett, QmP, VDP, Weingut Forstmeister Geltz, Zilliken, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

Colour : Pale yellow, straw

Aroma : Citrus, marmelade, honey, petrol

Taste : Lemon, lime, sharp racy acidity, slight mineral, long finish

Alcohol : 8%

Price : 148 SEK

Mark : B-

Wine Map of Victoria by Max Allen

This map contains and up to date, 2007, listing of Victoria's 900-plus cellar doors, wineries, and vineyards. It also has a reasonably detailed description of each subregion of Victoria. It is, however, lacking information about the individual wineries. I bought my copy from Winetitles.

Website : Australian Wine Maps
Website : Winetitles

Map of the Vineyards of England and Wales

A new, fully-revised map of English and Welsh vineyards is now available at no charge from the English Wine Producers. The map shows the location of 163 of the country’s leading vineyards, with cross referenced listings by county, full contact details including postal address with postcodes, telephone numbers, and websites. For each vineyard, the map states if it is open to the public, open by appointment, not open to visitors, or not yet in production. The map also lists the most popular grape varieties grown in England and Wales.

Website : English Wine Producers

TN : San Leonino Riserva Chianti Classico 2003, DOCG, Tenimenti Angelini, Tuscany, Italy

This wine is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo. Fermentation was in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 30 degrees. The total maceration time was 18 days. The wine was matured in 18 months in Slavonian oak and two to three year old French oak. The wine was then bottle aged for 6 months before release. The grapes come from the commune of Castellina in Chianti. The average age of the vines was 15 years. The training system used for the vines was Cordone Speronato. The vineyards face north to south and are at an altitude of 200 metres. The grapes were harvested in early October 2003.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Raspberry, oak

Taste : Raspberry, cherry, oak, licqourice, dry tannins on finish

Alcohol : 14% (14.5% noted in Systembolaget Varunytt April 2008)

Price : 138 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Tenimenti Angelini

Friday, 18 April 2008

TN : Wakefield Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Clare Valley & Coonawarra, Australia

Jaraman is the aboriginal word for seahorse, the icon adopted by the Taylor family after fossilised remains of tiny seahorses were found on the family's Clare Valley Estate. The grapes for this wine come from two parcels of fruits from South Australia; 54% of the fruit came from Clare Valley and 46% from Coonawarra. A winery analysis showed that the alcohol was 14.5% and the pH was 3.48.

This wine was imported by Fondberg & Co.

Colour : Deep purple

Aroma : Chocolate, slight mint, dark berries, rich, blackcurrant

Taste : Mint, blackcurrant, green pepper, vanilla, dark fruits, very fruity

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 159 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Wakefield Wines
Website : Fondberg & Co

Thursday, 17 April 2008

TN : Masi Valpolicella 2006 Boncosta, Italy

This wine was in a 375ml half bottle and sealed with a synthetic cork. It is a traditional blend of Veronese grape varieties 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Molinara. The grapes are harvested separately (mid September for Molinara and Rondinella, end of September for Corvina). Fermentation is at controlled temperatures (25-28°C), using selected yeasts. Contact with the skins lasts 16 days for Corvina, 10 days for the other grapes. Fermentation lasts 20 days in total, and is followed by complete malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 6 months in 60-90 hectolitre Slavonian oak barrels. 20% of the Corvina is aged in new Allier and Slavonian small oak casks, followed by 1 month’s ageing in bottle. A winery analysis showed that the alcoholwas 12.40% by volume, the sugars 4.5 grammes per litre, dry extract was 25.8 grammes per litre, the total acidity was 5.10 grammes per litre, and the pH was 3.59.

Colour : Dark maroon

Aroma : Muted, red fruits, slight spice, oak

Taste : Red fruits, oak, spice, volatile acidity, sour

Alcohol : 12%

Price : 52 SEK

Mark : D+

Website : Masi Agricola

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

TN : Catena 2005 Malbec, Bodega Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina

This wine is 100% Malbec. The grapes come from estate grown vineyards; specifically the Angelica vineyard, in the Lunlunta district,at 2,850 feet elevation, the La Pirámide vineyard, in the Agrelo district, at 3,100 feet elevation, the Altamira vineyard, in the Altamira district, at 3,870 feet elevation, and the Adrianna vineyard, in the Gualtallary district, at 5,000 feet elevation.

Selected yeast was used for fermentation at a maximum temperature of 29 degrees for 11 days folowed by a 28 day maceration. The wine was aged for 12 months in 70% French oak, of which 20% was new, and 30% new American oak. The acidity is 5.25 and pH is 3.75. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Jose Galante made the wine and who has been head winemaker with Catena since 1975.

The wine is imported by VinUnic AB.

Colour : Blackberry, cassis

Aroma : Violets, blackcurrant, vanilla, oak

Taste : Savoury soya sauce undertone, violets, blackberry, oak, spice

Alcohol : 13,5%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Bodega Catena Zapata
Website : VinUnic AB

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

TN : 1865 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Vina San Pedro, Maipo Valley, Chile

The grapes for this wine come from the Alto Maipo Valley. The vineyard was planted 40 years ago with vines that were propagated by massal selection. The climate is mediterranean. The average summer high temperature was around 30 degrees. The vineyard's clay-loam soils, from an alluvial terrace, include the presence of cobblestones at 50 centimetres below the surface.

This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were hand-harvested in 20 kg boxes early in the morning to avoid high temperatures. The grapes were harvested at 24 to 25 brix. The vineyard yield was 6 to 8 tons per hectare.

The grapes were kept cold on reaching the cellar for a pre-fermentation maceration to ensure gentle extraction of colour, taste, and aromas from the skins. The temperature during alcoholic fermentation was kept below 27 degrees and pump-overs were done three times a day. After a post-fermentation maceration, the wine was transfered to French oak barrels for 12 months. 30% of these barrels were new. The wine was clarified with natural egg whites and bottled after filtration.

This wine was imported by V&S Vin and Sprit AB.

Colour : Blackcurrant

Aroma : Blackcurrant, ribena, oak

Taste : Blackcurrant, too much toasty oak, pepper on finish, smooth tannins, blackberry, heat

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Vina San Pedro
Website : V&S Vinsprit

TN : Ingwe 2004, Alain Moueix, Stellenbosch, South Africa

This was like drinking a very fruity soft easy-drinking right-bank Bordeaux. It is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Ingwe means leopard. It is derived from the leopards that live in the mountains near the farm on which this wine is made.

Alain Moueix is the owner, He graduated from the Toulouse University and then gained valuable experience working at Kumeu River Wines in New Zealand. Alain today is the co-owner and manager of Chateau Fonroque (St Emilion Grand Cru Classé) and the director of Chateau Mazeyres (Pomerol).

Francois Baard is the viticulturist and has trained at the South African Wine Research Institute at Stellenbosch. Francois, also a junior partner in Ingwe, joined Alain in 1999 and has been the driving force in developing the Ingwe vineyards. Francois trained at Nietvoorbij near Stellenbosch and was previously farm manager/viticulturist at Groot Constantia, Buitenverwachting and Zevenwacht wineries. Francois also looks after the local marketing of Ingwe wines.

PJ Geyer is the winemaker. He gained his winemaking skills in both new world (the USA and New Zealand) and old world (Pomerol, France) cellars. He joined Ingwe in 2002.

The Ingwe soils are a mixture of clay and gravel. The gravel provides efficient drainage allowing the water to penetrate the soil’s deep clay reservoir. The roots are lured down to this level thus minimizing the impact of weather and temperature variations on the vine. Research into the great terroir of Bordeaux has shown that moderate water stress two-to-three weeks before grapes start developing their color has the most beneficial impact on the wine’s body and complexity. By regulating irrigation this effect has been simulated in the Ingwe vineyards. By using a pressure chamber to determine the stem water potential they are able to measure the stress on the vine. If irrigation is required large amounts of water are used in order to wet all the soil horizons. The upper horizons dry quickly, stressing the roots into penetrating the deeper moist clay levels.

This wine is imported by Domaine Wines.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Tobacco, dark fruits, oak

Taste : Blackcurrant, plum, tobacco, very fruity, slight oak

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 149 SEK

Mark : B+

Website : Domaine Wines

Monday, 14 April 2008

TN : Max 2004, Miles Mossop Wines, South Africa

This wine won a gold at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show in 2006. It is wine of origin coastal region. It is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 22% Petit Verdot. The wine was names after Miles and Samantha Mossop's son, Maximillian Anthony. Max inherited his names from his grandfathers. Miles Mossop wines has been in existence since 2004. 500 cases of this wine were produced. Miles Mossop is winemaker at Tokara, appointed in January 2000. Miles attended Wynberg Boys’ High in Cape Town and completed a degree in geology and geochemistry at the University of Stellenbosch in 1995 before obtaining a degree in viticulture and oenology in 1998, graduating top of his class. In 1999, he spent a vintage at the prestigious Knappstein winery in South Australia. Miles has also experienced winemaking in France, Italy and California’s Napa Valley.

This wine is imported into Sweden by AB Nigab.

Colour : Dark plum

Aroma : Talcum powder, spice, turkish delight, dark fruits

Taste : Spice, plums, dark fruits, talcum powder and turkish delight on finish, slight heat on logn finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 189 SEK

Mark : B

Website : AB Nigab

Friday, 11 April 2008

TN : Chateau Bonnet 2007, Rose Wine, Andre Lurton, Bordeaux, France

Colour : Pink/strawberry

Aroma : Strawberry, cream, mint, white pepper

Taste : Strawberry, vanilla ice cream, mint, slight spice on finish

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 80 SEK

Mark : B+

Website : Andre Lurton

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Systembolaget New Wines for May 2008

The May 2008 issue of Varunytt can now be downloaded from the Systembolaget's website. The wines will go on sale on Friday May 2nd 2008. There is a big focus on rose wines next month.

Website : Systembolaget Varunytt Maj 2008

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

WineWorld AB Newsletter April 2008

WineWorld AB have published their April 2008 Newsletter. It is available for download from their web site. The focus this month is on Barossa's St Hallet with an article on Tony Barlow, the new winemaker.

Website : WineWorld AB Nyhetsbrev April 2008

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

TN : Querciabella Chianti Classico 2005, DOCG, Agricola Quercialbella, Tuscany, Italy

This wine is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Colour : Brown/cherry

Aroma : Spice, cherry, licquorice, violets

Taste : Spice, cherry, raspberry, violets, licqourice

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Agricola Querciabella

TN : Clos de la Mine 2005, Domaine d'Ambinos, Coteau du Layon Beaulieu, France

J.P. Chene is the viticulteur for this wine. They can be reached by telephone on 0241784809.

Colour : Gold/yellow

Aroma : Muted, sugar, lemon

Taste : Overwhelming sweetness, lemon, lime, lucozade, long finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 158 SEK

Mark : C

Thursday, 3 April 2008

TN : Chakana Malbec Syrah 2007, Argentina

This wine is available as a 3 litre bag-in-box.

It states on the box that "Chakana was the name given by the Indians to the Southern Cross constellation. It was represented by the square cross, a powerful scared symbol with great importance in the protection of crops. Chakana literally means bridge in indigneous language."

The wine was imported by Primewine Sweden AB.

The box was filled on January 9th 2008 and it is stated that it is best before 9th November 2008.

Colour : Deep purple

Aroma : Dark berries, violets, spice

Taste : Spice, white pepper on finish, red berries, dark berries, slight hint of violets

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 177 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Chakana
Website : Primewine Sweden AB

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Vinkällaren Grappes Monthly Newsletter April 2008

For April 2008, comes the latest newsletter from Vinkällaren Grappe. Amongst the wines delivered this month include Ser Lapo from Marchesi Mazzei and Ingwe from Alain Moueix.

Website : Vinkällaren Grappes Nyhetsbrev April 2008

VinUnic Newsletter April 2008

VinUnic have just published their newsletter for April 2008. This month sees a couple of good low-end wines from Catena and a couple of high-end wines for South Africa's Vergelegen.

Website : Våra Viner Nyhetsbrev April 2008

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Italian Wine Day for Consumers (Italiensk Vindag), Stockholm, March 29th 2008

I went to the Italian Wine Day for Consumers tasting last Saturday, 29th March 2008. It was held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Stockholm and organised by the Nordic Wine Institute. It was very busy and sometimes very annoying to wait in queues for tasting whilst somebody waffled on about something irrelevant. Each person got a set of drinks coupons though nobody asked for them so it was unlimited pours.

The best wine of the night was a red from Tenuta Poggio Verano called Dromos 2004 which retails at 307 SEK. It was poured by the only winery representative I could see, Francesco Bolla; everybody else behind the tables were from importers.

Here's my scores, and notes where I wrote some, for the wines I tasted. I concentrated mainly on Tuscany as this is my favourite area of Italy :

A Wines
Brunello di Montalcino, 2002, Piccini, Tuscany, 219 SEK
Ilatraia 2005, La Brancaia, Tuscany, 358 SEK
Dromos 2004, Tenuta Poggio Verano, Tuscany, 307 SEK
Maronea 2004, Casa di Terra, Tuscany, 298 SEK
Poggio Querciolo 2004, Casa di Terra, Tuscany, 186 SEK

A- Wines
Castello di Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2004, Marchesi Mazzei/Castello di Fonterutoli, Tuscany, 271 SEK

B+ Wines
Sormonno, Parmoleto, Tuscany
Ser Lapo Chianti Classico 2006, Marchesi Mazzei/Castello di Fonterutoli, Tuscany, 169 SEK
Brancaiai Il Blu 2004, La Brancaia, Tuscany, 389 SEK
Lamainone 2004, Merlot di Toscana IGT, Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Tuscany,, 315 SEK

B Wines
W... Dreams 2005, Jermann, Friuli-Venezia-Giula, 360 SEK, Chablis-like
Red Angel 2005, Jermann, Friuli-Venezia-Giula, 170 SEK
Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2006, Marchesi Mazzei/Castello di Fonterutoli, Tuscany, 148 SEK
Brancaiai Chianti Classico 2004, La Brancaia, Tuscany, 199 SEK
Montesodi 2004, Chianti Ruffina DOCG, Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Tuscany, 379 SEK

B- Wines
Torre Testa IGT Salento 2004, Rubino, Apulien, 244 SEK
Castello di Ama Chianti Classico 2001, Castello di Ama, Tuscany, 269 SEK, brownish tinges, a little oxidised ?
Lucente 2005, Tuscany IGT, Luce Della Vite Frescobaldi-Mondavi, 205 SEK, a little oxidised ?

C+ Wines
Vintage Tunina 2005, Jermann, Friuli-Venezia-Giula, 360 SEK, this was more tropical fruits than the Were Dreams 2005
Brancaia Tre 2006, La Brancaia, Tuscany, 119 SEK
Il Cortono 2004, Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro, Tuscany, 169 SEK

C Wines
Moreccio 2006, Casa di Terra, Tuscany, 126 SEK
Casamatta Bianco 2006, Bibi Graetz, Tuscany

Website : Italiensk Vindag Vinkatalog March 2008