Friday, 29 August 2008

VinUnic Newsletter September 2008

VinUnic have published their newsletter, Våra Viner, for September. It can be downloaded from their website.

Website : VinUnic Våra Viner September 2008

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

TN : Casillero del Diablo Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Vina Concha Y Toro, Central Valley, Chile

The bottle neck has a sticker affixed stating the 2007 vintage in Chile was a historic vintage : The Best Premium Red Wine Vintage.

The soils on which the grapes for this wine were grown were on hillside and riverbank. The wine, 70%, was aged for eight months in small American oak barrels.

Colour :

Aroma : Vanilla notes, oak, cassis, coffee

Taste : Blackcurrant, toasty oak, chocolate, good concentration, black cherry, coffee

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 70 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Casillero del Diablo

TN : Kali Gi 2005, Vin de Pays de Halkidiki, Evangelos Tsantalis, Greece

This wine is a 50% Limnio and 50% Grenache blend. All the grapes were organically grown. Kali Gi means "good earth".

Colour : Brown/red

Aroma : Red fruits, spice, earthy, violets

Taste : Blackcurrant, spicy, raspberry, earth, licqourice, oak, pepper on finish

Alcohol : 13.5% (on label, Systembolaget Varunytt August 2008 states 14%)

Price : 79 SEk

Mark : C+

Website : Evangelso Tsantalis

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Systembolaget New Wines September 2008

Systembolaget have just published their brochure detailing the new wines that will be available from their stores in September 2008. The brochure can be downloaded from their website.

Website : Systembolaget Varunytt September 2008

Temperature in Systembolaget Wine Stores

There was a recent posting on the Decanter website regarding temperature that fine wine is stored at. I buy most of my wine at Regeringsgatan which is the top wine store in Sweden and notice that the temperature in the store is over 20 and can be warmer. A lot of fine wine is sitting at this temperature for over a year in some cases.

I asked customer service at Systembolaget why temperature control isn't practised in their stores and this was their reply :

Unfortunately it is not possible for our shops to keep the temperature as cool as would be best for the high end wines, especially in the summer. On the other hand the bottles on our shelves are not supposed to stay there for too long, though some wines do not sell as much as others. In the shop in Regeringsgatan we also have a wine cellar that keeps a more suitable temperature for the more expensive and delicate wines.

Website : Top stores keep wine too warm

Floyd Uncorked, Two DVD Boxset, The Keith Floyd Cookery Collection

This series was made in conjunction with Jonathan Pedley MW and was screened on Channel 5 in 1998. Each episode sees the pair in a region of France. They discuss the types of wines found their and Keith cooks up a feast focusing on local ingredients and recipes.

Their was even a spinoff video produced complete with wine to taste.

There are eight episodes : Burgundy, Loire, Rhone, Bordeaux, Alsace, Provence, Languedoc, and Champagne.

This is a Region 0 PAL DVD and lasts 200 minutes.

I bought my copy from Amazon UK for a cost of 8.98 pounds plus postage.

Website : Delta Leisure Group
Website : Floyd Uncorked Blog
Website : Keith Floyd's Official Website
Website : Floyd's France : An Adventure in Wine Tasting

TN : Craggy Range Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Te Muna Road Vineyard, Martinborough, New Zealand

This wine was imported into Sweden by Divine AB.

Te Muna means "Secret Place". The vines are grown on stony, limestone soil adjacent to teh Huangarua river.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Green pea, mango, passionfruit, blackcurrant

Taste : Passionfruit, minerals, blackcurrant leaf, mango, guava, mandarin, creamy mouthfeel

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Craggy Range Winery
Website : Divine AB

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Vintners' Tales DVD

This new DVD contains of the nine of best 10-minute film portraits in the award-winning BBC2 series Vintners’ Tales shown in 1992 and 1998, comprising the following characters in conversation with Jancis Robinson. Unfortunately, it is missing some episodes which is a bit of a let-down.

This television series won the Best Television Programme of the Year award at the annual Glenfiddich Awards.
The 1998 series also earned Jancis Robinson the only ever Glenfiddich TV Personality of the Year and went on to global recognition by winning the Gold Award for Wine TV Programmes at the World Food Media Awards at Tasting Australia in 1999.

The DVD Contents are

Series 1
Harry Waugh (Honoury MW)
Bill Baker (Reid Wines)
Farr Vintners

Series 2
Michael Broadbent MW (Christie's)
Carla Carlisle (Wyken Vineyards)
Adam Brett-Smith (Corney and Barrow)
Nigel Wilson (Lincoln College, Oxford University)
John Avery MW (Averys)
Edmund Penning-Rowsell

What comes across is Michael Broadbent's hatred of Sothebys, John Avery's chaotic approach to business and what a great job Nigel Wilson had; every time Nigel went down to one of the college cellars, if he could find them, there was almost a guarantee to discover some unknown treasure of a wine.

This DVD can be bought via Jancis Robinson's website. It costs ten pounds of which five pounds is donated to the charity Comic Relief.

Website : Jancis Robinson

TN : Casa Lapostolle Semillon 2007, Estate Bottled, Rapel Valley, Chile

Casa Lapostolle was founded by the Marnier Lapostolle family from France and the Rabat family from Chile in 1994, through Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, her husband Cyril de Bournet and Don José Rabat Gorchs. Today, Casa Lapostolle is 100% owned by the Marnier-Lapostolle group. The Marnier Lapostolle family are the founders and owners of the liqueur Grand Marnier. Originally winegrowers in the Loire Valley, the Marnier Lapostolle continue this vintner tradition today as owners of Chateau de Sancerre.

This wine was made from old vines in Apalta. It was aged for seven months in French oak barrels.

There is no mention of this wine on the Casa Lapostolle website.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Lemon, nutty, green apples

Taste : Beeswax, lemon, nutty, honey, green apples

Alcohol : 14%

Price :
129 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Casa Lapostolle

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

TN : Vina Chocalan Gran Reserva Blend 2005, Estate Bottled, Maipo Valley, Chile

This wine is a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Carmenere, 18% Syrah, 15% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot, and 5% Merlot.

The grapes were handharvested during the first week of April. Fermentation was in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 28 degrees. The wine was matured in French oak for 14 months.

This wine was imported by Sydamerika Viner AB.

Colour : Deep blackcurrant

Aroma : Oak, coffee, chocolate, blackcurrant, herbs

Taste : Smooth, savoury, blackberry, blackcurrant, herbs, plums, coffee

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 167 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Vina Chocalan
Website : Sydamerika Viner AB

TN : Chateau Preuillac 2000, Appellation Medoc Controlee, Cru Bourgeois, France

There is a sticker on the label stating that this wine won a medaille d'Argent at the Concours Mondial in Brussels in 2002.

Colour : Red/blackcurrant/brown

Aroma : Oak, cedar, dark fruits

Taste : Blackcurrant, dark fruits, smooth tannins, oak, slight cedar

Alcohol : 12.5%

Mark : B-

Price : 19.20 Euro (Aeroboutique, Duty Free, Bordeaux Airport, 24th July 2008)

Website : Chateau Preuillac

TN : Montelig 2004, Vina Von Siebenthal, Aconcagua Valley, Chile

This wine was imported by Carovin AB.

The grapes for this wine were hand picked and the resulting wine was bottled unfiltered.

This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 255 Petit Verdot, and 25% Carmenere (according to the label).

Only a limited number of 7095 bottles were produced and this bottle was number 4307.

Colour : Deep purple

Aroma : Green olive, blackcurrant, raspberry, mint

Taste : Blackcurrant, mint, green olive, white pepper, toasty oak, cocoa

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 279 SEK

Mark : A

Website : Vina Von Siebenthal
Website : Carovin AB

Friday, 8 August 2008

TN : Vina Chocalan Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2006, Maipo Valley, Chile

Chocalan is pronounced "Sho-kaw-lann", it means "yellow Blossom", the name given to the area by ancient aboriginal tribes, as the yellow blossoms grow wild there.

This wine was imported by Sydamerika Viner AB.

Colour : Black cherry

Aroma : Oak, spicy, vanilla, blueberry, herbs, red berries

Taste : Violets, syrah-like, slightly overdone toasty oak, strawberry, blueberry, herbs, vanilla, spice and white pepper on finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 167 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Vina Chocalan
Website : Sydamerika Viner AB

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Health and Safety for Wineries and Vineyards

A new book has been published "Health and Safety for Small- and Medium-Sized Wineries Handbook" by the British Columbia Wine Council relating to health and safety for wineries and vineyards. It would be useful for any vineyard/winery owner to read. Ignore the references to local organisations and documents and then most of it applies for wineries/vineyards in any part of the world. If you are thinking of setting up and winery and/or vineyard then this is a necessary read. It is freely available from the BC Wine Grape Council.

Website : BC Wine Grape Council

Monday, 4 August 2008

Wine Chocolate Pinot Noir

I bought a bar of Pinot Noir wine chocolate for 49 SEK in my local flower shop (Tyresö Centrum) of all places. It consists of chocolate with raisins that have been marinated in Australian Pinot Noir. It tasted quite good but not what exactly like what I was expecting. The taste was Cadbury's fruit and nut chocolate, heat, spice, and cherry liquor. The chocolate was also a bit overpriced but I suspect in Australia it is much cheaper.

Also in the wine chocolate range, and I still have to try are a Shiraz wine chocolate, and Pinot Noir or Shiraz wine chocolate drops.

The chocolate is made by an Australian venture, out of Melbourne.

Website : Farm By Nature

Friday, 1 August 2008

Book : The Billionaire's Vinegar

I just finished reading my copy of The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace; it is subtitled The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive bottle of Wine. It is published by Crown Publishers of New York. I picked my copy up at Chapters in Montreal for 29.35 Canadian Dollars but I have seen it at NK here in Stockholm.

The most expensive bottle of wine was a 1787 Chateau Lafite sold in 1985 to Malcolm Forbes who stored the bottle in unfriendly conditions leading to the wine turning to vinegar.

This bottle and other bottles purporting to have been ordered by Thomas Jefferson were discovered by Hardy Rodenstock who had been given them by somebody who found them behind the wall of a bricked-up cellar in Paris. Hardy Rodenstock has never given out the source of these bottles, he is also vague about the number of bottles found.

There are two questions, were these bottles really ordered by Thomas Jefferson? , and are they really what they say they are ?.

Christies and Broadbent should never have sold these on the premise that they may have been destined for Thomas Jefferson; this book presents no evidence of such a fact.

This book does not present Michael Broadbent in a good light. He comes across as an old woman, jealous of Sothebys and far too friendly with Rodenstock.

It is noted in the book that Rodenstock was found guilty of wine fraud by a court in Munich. The bottles were not found at the house that Jefferson lived at since that had been knocked down a logn time before the discovery. Also there is no mention of these bottles in any records produced by the meticulous Jefferson. All of this is hardly compelling evidence and would have been knows to Broadbent and Christies at the time of the sale.

The fight against Rodenstock is currently being led by William Koch who claims that the engravings on his four bottles are modern in origin whilst Christies are still claiming that they are genuine, despite not making public their report.

Colour photographs of all the so-called Jefferson bottles, at least the Koch ones, would have been a nice extra.

Website : Benjamin Wallace
Website : The Crown Publishing Group

TN : Plaisir De Merle Petit Verdot 2005, Wine of Origin Paarl, South Africa

There was no information about this wine on the Plaisir De Merle website !.

Colour : Deep purple

Aroma : Violets, blackberry, blackcurrants, toast, vanilla

Taste : Blackberry, blackcurrant, vanilla notes, spice, on the finish are liqourice, tangy mint, drying tannins and heat

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 164 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Plaisir De Merle