Monday, 31 January 2011

TN : Kuenstler Riesling Kabinett 2008, Weingut Franz Kuenstler, Rheingau, Germany

This wine was imported by AB Nigab. The wine was sealed with a screwcap.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Honey, pear, lemon, oranges

Taste : Honey, pear, pineapple, lemon

Alcohol : 7%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Weingut Kuenstler

TN : Riesling Spaetlese 2009, Hessische Staatsweingueter Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau, Germany

This wine was sealed with a screwcap and was imported by Granqvist Vinagentur AB.

Colour : Watery yellow

Aroma : Pear, honey, white grapes

Taste : Sweet, white grapes, lemon, lime, honey, pears

Alcohol : 8.5%

Price : 109 SEK

Mark : C+

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

TN : Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Saint Clair Family Estate, Marlborough, New Zealand

Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994.

The Saint Clair name originates from the vineyard property, first settled by the Sinclair family. Pioneer James Sinclair built one of the first homes in Blenheim and was closely associated with the early development of the town. Over time the name of the property reverted to the original Saint Clair.

The grapes were sourced from two vineyards, one in Dillon’s Point and the other on Thomsons Ford Road. The fruit was pressed off as quickly as possible to minimise skin contact and 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. The winemaker was Matt Thomson.

A lab analysis showed that the Titratable Acidity was 7.6 grammes per litre, the Residual Sugar was 2.9 grammes per litre, and the pH was 3.41.

The wine was seald with a screwcap.

Colour : Pale straw

Aroma : Passion fruit, gooseberry, citrus fruits, nettles

Taste : Blackcurrant, leafy, nettles, gooseberry, intense, long limey nettley finish, passion fruit

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 149 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Saint Clair Family Estate

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

TN : Purple Angel 2007, Montes, Colchagua Valley, Chile

This wine is a blend of 92% Carmenere and 8% Petit Verdot. The Carmenere is from Marchique and the Petit Verdot comes from Apalta. The vineyard yield was 3.7 tons per hectare. This wine spent 18 months in French oak barrels and was bottled unfiltered. The pH is 3.61, total acidity is 3.76 grammes per litre, volatile acidity is 0.65 grammes per litre, residual sugar is 2.65 grammes per litre, and free SO2 is 0.026 grammes per litre.

Colour : Dark blackberry

Aroma : Blackcurrant, green pepper, oak

Taste : Vanilla, toast, liqourice, lashings of polished oak, tobacco, green pepper, spice

Alcohol : 15%

Price : 399 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Montes

TN : Querciabella Chianti Classico 2008, DOCG, Agricola Querciabella, Tuscany, Italy

This wine is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Colour : Dark red/maroon

Aroma : Oak, cherries, liqourice, milk chocolate, red fruits

Taste : Concentrated cherries and red fruits, oak, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, long sour cherry and liqourice finish

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Agricola Querciabella

TN : Chateau Sainte Marguerite Cru Classe Grand Reserve Rose 2009, Cotes de Provence, France

This wine was sealed with a synthetic cork.

Colour : Pale orange/pink/copper

Aroma : Orange, strawberry, herbs

Taste : Dry, oranges, redcurrants, raspberry, minerals and herbs on long finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 159 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Chateau Sainte Marguerite

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Cigar Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Yalumba, Coonawarra, Australia

Yalumba's ‘The Cigar’ is a wine from the Yalumba Coonawarra Estate. Sibling to ‘The Menzies’, this wine is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon harvested from The Menzies Estate vineyards. The wine is named from the unique cigar-shaped strip of rich red terra rossa soil which defines Coonawarra’s wine region.

Colour : Dark blackcurrant

Aroma : Vanilla, blackcurrant, mint, liqourice, toast

Taste : Vanilla, blackcurrant, liqourice, mint, toast, very acidic (too much high ?) finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 169 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Yalumba

TN : Punto Nino Pinot Noir Reserva 2010, Laroche, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Viña Punto Alto is located in the Casablanca Valley, between Santiago and Valparaiso, 20 km away from the Pacific.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

Colour : Pale raspberry

Aroma : Strawberry, raspberry, liqourice, spice

Taste : Red berries, herbs, liqourice, spice

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Laroche Wines

TN : Mariflor Pinot Noir 2007, Mendoza, Argentina

This wine is 100% Pinot Noir. The vineyard is four hectares and was planted in 2002 at 1,100 metres. The soil is sandy-clayey with pebbles in depth.

The wine was aged for 14 months in French oak barrels and 12,000 bottles were produced.

Colour : Red/maroon

Aroma : Spice, coca cola, red fruits, toast

Taste : Concentrated red fruits, coca cola and spice on finish, smooth mouthfeel

Alcohol : 15%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Rolland Collection

TN : Marks & Spencer Classic Claret 2008, Bordeaux, France

I had this wine on Boxing day and remember that it tasted like a Bordeaux so it lived up to its name but was a bit thin, oaky and had some blackurrant fruit.

Mark : C-

TN : Marks & Spencer Bordeaux Merlot 2009, Bordeaux, France

This wine was created for Marks & Spencer by Yvan Meyer. It is 100% Merlot.

Colour : Red, raspberry

Aroma : Plums, earth

Taste : Plums, earthy, cherry, spice on finish

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 7.69 British Pounds (Marks & Spencer, Cardiff, UK)

Mark : C+

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

TN : Prieur des Jacobins Les Jailes 2008, Maison Sichel, Bordeaux, France

I had this wine on a British Airways flight from Stockholm Arlanda to London Heathrow on Christmas eve. It came in a 187 ml PET screwcapped bottle.

Colour : Red/maroon

Aroma : Plums, earth, spice

Taste : Plums, earth, fruity, savoury note on finish

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : Free

TN : Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2008, The co-operative, Colchagua Valley, Chile

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. The wine was bottles by Vina Luis Felipe Edwards.

Colour : Dark blackcurrant

Aroma : Blackcurrant and toasty oak

Taste : Blackcurrant, plums, vanilla, harsh toasty oak

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 5.99 British Pounds (The co-operative, Worcester, UK)

Mark : C

TN : Ninquén Mountain Vineyard 2006, Vina Ninquén, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Founded in 1998, Ninquén is the result of the entrepreneurial spirit of its owners, brothers Eduardo and Hernán Gras and Cristián Hartwig who converted it in Chile’s first Mountain Vineyard. Ninquén (nin-ken) means “Plateau on a Mountain” in a native dialect and literally describes its geographic condition.

This wine received 92 Points from the Wine Advocate in May 2009 and a gold medal from the International Wine & Spirit Competition, 2009, in the UK. It is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines were trained on a VSP Trellis System. The soil type is clay and the age of vines was 11 years.

The grapes were subject to a cold soak lasting four days. The yeast used for alcoholic fermentation was PDM. The fermentation temperature was between 29 and 32 degrees. The fermenting must was pumped-over three times per day. The total skin contact wa 30 days. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

100% of the wine spent 21 months in oak. The oak used was 80% French and 20% American. 80% of which was new and 20% was second use. The residual sugar is 3.2 grammes per litre, the total acidity is 5.25 grammes per litre (as tartaric acid), and the pH is 3.50. 1,500 cases were produced. The winemakers were Hernán Gras and Paul Hobbs.

Colour : Black/blackberry

Aroma : Blackberry, blackcurrant, plums, mint, burnt toast, green pepper

Taste : Blackcurrant, blackberry, toast, drying grippy tannins and spice and earth on finish, green pepper, coffee

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 289 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Ninquen

TN : Trapiche Single Vineyard Malbec Vina Fausto Orellana 2005, La Consulta, Mendoza, Argentina

This wine is 100% Malbec. The grapes for this wine come from the La Consulta vinyard in San Carlos, Mendoza. The grapes are grown at an altitude of 990 meters above sea level and the vineyard is located at a latitude of 33º49’134’’ South. The age of the vineyard is 57 years. The row orientation is North to South. The trellis system used is low espalier. The vines are planted at a density of 5000 vines per hectare. The yield was 2600 kg per hectare. Furrow irrigation was used and the vines are planted on their own roots. The vineyard soil is alluvial, sandy soil with pebbles throughout.

The grapes were hand harvested into 20 kg plastic cases. Fermentation and maceration took place in in small concrete vats for a minimum of 23 days at 23-25ºC. Natural malolactic fermentation occured. Finally, the wine was aged 18 months in new French oak barrels. The total acidity is 6.15 grammes per litre and the pH is 3.56.

Colour : Dark blackberry

Aroma : Plums, spice, oak, blackberry, herbs

Taste : Blackberry, plums, spice on finish, herbs, violets

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 245 SEK

Mark : A-

Website : Trapiche

Monday, 17 January 2011

TN : Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2009, Marlborough, New Zealand

The grapes for this wine are sourced from a number of vineyards in the Awatere and Wairau Valleys of Marlborough.

Colour : Raspberry

Aroma : Spice, strawberry

Taste : Soft, fruity, raspberry, strawberry, spice, coca cola

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 10.49 British Pounds (Sainsbury's 28th December 2010)

Mark : B-

Website : Villa Maria Estate

TN : Kaesler Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Kaesler Wines, Barossa Valley, Australia

Kaesler was established in 1893. This bottle was number 14142 of this vintage. The grapes for this wine were sourced from Matthew's block which was planted in 1985. The vineyard is adjacent to the winery. The vineyard soil is red brown loam over clay and then limestone rubble. The wine was matured in new, one, and two year old French oak for 15 months and bottled with no fining or filtration. This wine received 90 points from Jay Miller of The Wine Advocate.

The wine was imported by Divine AB.

Colour : Black/blackcurrant

Aroma : Coffee, blackcurrant, mint, liquorice, blackberry

Taste : Concentrated dark fruits, blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry liquor, mint, liquorice, oak on finish

Alcohol : 15.5%

Price : 269 SEK

Mark : A

Website : Kaesler Vineyards and Winery
Website : Divine AB

TN : Sankt Anna Riesling 2009, Weingut Sankt Anna, Pfalz, Germany

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

This wine was imported by Mondowine Sweden AB.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Pineapple, green apples, lemon, oranges

Taste : Minerals, pineapple, green apples, lemon

Alcohol : 10.5%

Price : 49 SEK (375 ml bottle)

Mark : C

Website : Mondowine Sweden AB

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

TN : Tanbark Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Philip Togni Vineyard, Napa Valley, California, USA

This wine received 89 points from the Wine Advocate.

This wine was imported by Divine AB.

Colour : Dark blackcurrant

Aroma : Blackcurrant, sandalwood, coffee, oak

Taste : Dense, creamy, sandalwood, blackcurrant, cherry, spicy, grippy tannic finish, overoaked, warm harsh toasty oak finish, flabby

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 399 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Philip Togni Vineyard
Website : Divine AB

TN : Laberinto 2007, Vina Ribera del Lago, Georg Andersen y Cia Limitada, Maule Valley, Chile

This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. Rafael Tirado was the winemaker. The wine was matured for 14 months in French oak.

This wine was imported by The Wineagency AB.

Colour : Dark plummy red

Aroma : Blackcurrant, plums, coffee, chocolate, herbs

Taste : Blackcurrant, plums, herbs, milk chocolate, grippy tannic finish with tobacco finish

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 195 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : The Wineagency AB

Monday, 10 January 2011

Argentiera 2005, DOC Superiore, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc. The grapes come from an altitude of between 180 and 200 metres above sea level. The soil varies from sandy to clay in the vineyard. The yield was 5,000 kg per hectare. Harvesting started with the Merlot on the 15th September 2005. The Cabernet Franc was harvested during the last week of September and the Cabernet Sauvignon from the end of September until the 10th October.

All of the grape varieties were vinified separately. Alcoholic fermentation and maceration took place in stainless steel vats for about 25 to 30 days and a controlled temperature between 28 and 30 degrees. The wine was transferred to 225 litre French oak barriques (Allier and Troncais wood) where malolactic fermentation completed. The wine was then aged for 14 months in oak and then for a further 12 months in bottle before release.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Plums, blackcurrant, wood, spice, herbs

Taste : Concentrated, thick, mouth coating, blackcurrant, plums, over oaky, herbs, spice

Alcohol : 14%

Mark : B-

Website : Tenuta Argentiera Bolgheri

TN : Bad Boy 2005, Ets Thunevin, Bordeaux, France

The bottling of this cuvee produced 6666 cardboard boxes of six, or 39996 bottles. The wine is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, from vines at least 40 years old in a terroir of clayey limestone. In the USA, this cuvee is known as Mauvais Garcon.

Colour : Dark plum

Aroma : Blackcurrants, plums, vanilla

Taste : Blackurrant, plums, cherry, wood, earth, drying grippy tannins, talculm powder texture on finish

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 199 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Ets Thunevin

TN : Craggy Range Sophia 2005, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

This wine is produced entirely from the Gimblett Gravels Vineyard nestled on the right bank of the Ngaruroro River. The wine is a blend of 62% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. The average brix at harvest was between 24.2 and 25. The production level was on average 62 hectolitres per hectare and all the grapes were handharvested. All of the grapes were 100% destemmed. Alcoholic fermentation was conducted using inoculated neutral yeast. The wine was matured for 19 months in French barriques of which 80% were new. The finished wine was both fined and filtered. The pH is 3.63 and acidity is 6.01 grammes per litre. The wine was released on the 1st June 2007. The vigneron was Steve Smith.

This wine was imported by Divine AB.

Colour : Dark blackberry

Aroma : Plums, blackcurrant, spice, blackberry, chocolate

Taste : Fruity, blackberry, plums, blackcurrant, polished oak furniture, spice, grainy tannins

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 358 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Craggy Range Vineyards
Website : Divine AB

TN : Argento Chardonnay

There was no vintage date on this bottle of Argentinian Chardonnay that was served to me on a British Airways flight from Stockholm to London Heathrow just before Christmas. It came in a 187ml PET screwcapped bottle. I tried the wine on the return journey also to see how consistent the wine and myself were. The wine tasted more like a Sauvignon Blanc than a Chardonnay and was nettly with some lemon but not much else going on.

Price : Free
Mark : D+