Friday, 29 June 2007

TN : Dourthe, Barrel Select, Bordeaux Superieur, 2003

This wine is 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has nice balance, typical Bordeaux style, but was a bit thin on fruit and lacking in concentration.

Colour : Plummy red

Aroma : Red fruit

Taste : Red fruits, oak, vanilla

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 88 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Dourthe


I got an email from VinUnic this morning with a link to the June 2007 newsletter from WineWorld. It covers their wines that will be distributed by the Systembolaget in June 2007 and new wines that can be ordered.

Website : Bonarome WineWorld AB
Website : WineWorld June 2007 Newsletter

Thursday, 28 June 2007

TN : Chateau Belgrave 2004, Haut-Medoc, Grand Cru Classe, Vignoble Dourthe

My overall impression of this wine was it was a classic left-bank Bordeaux. The only thing letting it down was a slight lack of fruit.

Decanter Magazine gave it 3 out of 5 starts and 16 out of 20 points. The drinking window was estimated to between 2008 and 2014.

Chateau Belgrave was graded a 5th tier Grand Cru Classe in the 1855 classification.

The vineyard is composed of deep gravelly soil set on a clay subsoil. It has been tenant-famred by Dourthe since 1979. 60 ha are used for vines. It is 100% hand-harvested and a double sortign tabel is used for grape selection.

The grape varieties in the blend are 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet France, and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine is matured in oak barrels; typically from 12 to 15 months. Part of the wine is matured in barrel on lees to preserve aromas.

A new cellar was constructed in 2003 equipped with average-sized vats and wooden vats. A conveyor belt system is used to minimise contact with the grapes.

The winemaking manager is Antoine Gonzales and the vinegrowing manager is Olivier Gayrard. The consultant oenologist is the omni-present Michel Rolland.

Colour : Blackberry, blackcurrant

Aroma : Cedar, oak, blackberry, spice

Taste : Blackcurrant, cedar, soft tannins, integrated oak, blackberry

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 245 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Dourthe

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Podcasts

The AWBC have started podcasting audio and video. Currently available are a set of MP3s by renowned Australian wine journalist and book author Max Allen. Each podcast is examining a different wine region of Australia going into detail about the history, stories, and wine.

Website : Wine Australia Podcasting

TN : 2003 Christian Moueix, Red, Saint-Emilion, France

This was packaged using a conglomerated cork. One of the points that the Systembolaget continually make is that they have quality control. In this case, all wines should be of good quality compared to their price i.e. good value for money. The person responsible for buying this wine should be made to sit down and drink a bottle every night until the supplies are depleted. This wine was almost totally lacking in fruit and very hard to drink.

Colour : Plum

Aroma : Red fruits, cedar, oak

Taste : Oak and cedar on finish, lead pencil, some plum, lacking fruit

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : E+

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

TN : Chateau des Annereaux 2003, Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France

Chateau des Annereaux has been owned by the same family for six centuries (20 generations). The Chateau is headed by Dominique Hessel, who manages Chateau Moulin-a-Vent in Moulis.

The vineyard soil, 22.7 ha, is sandy-gravel and the subsoil is Crasse de Fer (Iron Pan).

The blend is 72% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvingon.

Colour : Purple, brown

Aroma : Green vegetable, some dark fruits

Taste : Herbs, dark fruits, slight green vegetable, slight oak on finish

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 143 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Chateau des Annereaux

Monday, 25 June 2007

Neal Martin & Robert Parker

Recently, a number of Decanter article authors have written pieces in which they state that they disagree with the current trend of high alcohol, concentrated wines; sometimes they even mention Robert Parker himself. Well this month, July 2007, sees Neal Martin publish an article defending Robert Parker. I ask myself, why isn't Robert Parker writing his own article. I also observe that Neal Martin is now working for Robert Parker and publishes his own articles on the Robert Parker web site.

Website : Decanter Magazine

TN : Chateau Labadie, 2003, Cotes de Bourg, Bordeaux, France

Chateau Labadie is located in the Medoc in the Commune of Begadan, 70Km from Bordeaux. It owner is Yves Bibey having acquired the chateau in 1970. There 47 ha under vines and the average age of the vines is 28 years. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, and Petit Verdot.

The label shown is from 2002 but the 2003 label is identical except for the change of year.

Colour : Blackberry, red hues

Aroma : Cedar, smoke, blackberry

Taste : Cedar, blackberry, blackcurrant, oak on finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Cru Bourgeois du Medoc

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Fine Wine Magazine

Fine Wine magazine is distributed in PDF form. It is available in both English and Swedish. The next issue will be out in September, the editor Ove Canemyr assures me with a couple of articles relating to the Swedish tax laws, Swedish customs and excise, and private imports via the Internet.

The latest issue is May 2007. There are articles on what's happening in Priorat, the dangers of alcohol and labelling, Lavinia - a wine boutique in Paris, a review of some of the wines available to bid for in the Sweden Drinks Auction, held in cooperation with Systembolaget, which was held last week in Stockholm, Veuve Clicquot, Rose wines, Hungarian wines, and an offer to buy some fine wines from Mastroberadino.

Website : Fine Wine

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

TN : 2007 Malbec Rose, Chakana, Argentina

Unlike the 2006 which was sealed with a black synthetic cork, it seems that Chakana have now switched over to screwcaps. This wine was imported by PrimeWine Sweden AB. What I like about all the wines I have had from Chakana are that they are extremely good value and their wine label design is brilliant.

Colour : Canned strawberries

Aroma : Candied red fruits

Taste : Candied jellied cherries

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 65 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Chakana

Website : PrimeWine

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


I received a magazine called Vinfo yesterday, No 39 May 2007. It is published by Granqvist Vinagentur. The articles aren't that interesting It does have one interesting piece on Patrick d'Aulan who used to own, along with his family, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne and still own Chateau Sansonnet in Bordeaux. He now runs a company called Edonia wines whose properties include Alta Vista in Argentina.

Website : Granqvist Vinagentur

Monday, 18 June 2007

TN : Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Spaetlese Trocken 2004, J L Wolf, Pfalz, Germany

This was quite similar to an Aussie Riesling in that it was mostly lemon on the palatte. The minerality was just too much for me though and I wasn't that keen.

The J L Wolf estate in Wachenheim is a model farm designed by the architect Eisenlohr. It was completed in 1843 and boasts a unique country villa, a courtyard with mature trees, a formal garden and magnificent vaulted cellars.

The winery was founded in 1756 by the then mayor, Johann Wolf, who bought some of the best vineyard parcels above the villages of Wachenheim, Forst and Deidesheim.

In 1828 the King of Bavaria commissioned a cartographer to produce a map showing the taxable value of every slope in the area. The J L Wolf holdings still include five grand cru and four premier cru vineyards.

In 1996 Ernst Loosen took over the winemaking business, bringing new winemaking concepts and goals with him, including reduced yields, the use of organic fertilisers and selective harvesting.

Colour : Light lemon

Aroma : Green apple, honey tinge, lemon, minerally

Taste : Extremely minerally, Extreme lemon, slight spritz, slight honey

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 165 SEK

Mark : C

Website : JL Wolf

TN : Dolcetto Lagrein 2005, Heartland, Langhorne Creek, Australia

Superstar winemaker Ben Glaetzer was responsible for this blend of northern Italien varieties though quite what winemakers from North Italy would make of this wine I don't know.

This is a blend of 70% Dolcetto and 30% Lagrein.

The Dolcetto component was crushed and macerated for 4 days prior to yeast addition. A warm ferment (28 degrees) with 4 times daily hand-plunging. The wine was left on skins for 10 days before pressing.

Approximately 50% of the Dolcetto was transferred to French oak hogsheads for completion of ferment, the remainder was unoaked. The Lagrein was fermented at cooler temperatures (18-22 degrees) to preserve aromatics and limit bitter tannin extraction. The wine was transferred to four year old French oak for nine months maturation prior to blending.

Colour : Black cherry, plum

Aroma : Dark berries, herby, vegetal

Taste : Herby, slight vegetal taste upfront, savoury, cedar, dark and red berries, sweet (from the high alcohol)

Alcohol : 14.5 %

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Heartland Wines

Berry Brothers and Rudd Podcasks

Simon Staples, Sales Director of BBR, talks to Jancis Robinson. You can listen online or download the MP3. Simon Staples also did a series of nine podcasks, which are downloadable also in MP3 format, on the 2006 Bordeaux En Primeur tastings which were interesting. Unfortunately he failed to name, like most people who write or talk about wine, those chateaux that are not worth buying.

BBR has been in business since 1698 ! and they are still in the original shop in St James's Street.

I used to enjoy their London Heathrow shops but these have been shut down recently which I am not happy about as you can imagine :-(

Website : Berry Brothers and Rudd

New Zealand Wine Grower

Take a look at the New Zealand Wine Grower magazine. It is available by subscription and also as a free PDF download. This is the official journal of the New Zealand Wine and Viticultural industry. Beware : I could read it ok online but it didn't print properly; coming out as goggledygook on most pages.

Website : NZ Wine Grower

Friday, 15 June 2007

TN : Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004, Sonomo County, Gallo Family Vineyards, USA

Colour : Blackcurrant, purple, black cherry

Aroma : Vegetally, dark berries

Taste : Blackcurrant, vanilla, slight vegetale notes, sandelwood finish

Alcohol : 14%

Price : 126 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Gallo

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Private imports of wine into Sweden

Importing wine into Sweden, what is allowed and what is not allowed isn't clear at all anymore.

Last Tuesday, 5th June, the European Court of Justice, based in Luxembourg, ruled that the importing of alcohol into Sweden by private individuals is not justified i.e. illegal !. This is good news and maybe a wake up call to the Swedish government that Sweden isn't supposed to be a communist country; people want freedom of choice and do not want to be dictated to. Come on Sweden !, if you want to be in the EU then you have to play by EU regulations.

The Swedish government have already issued a statement defending their beloved Systembolaget monopoly.

On Sunday, June 9th, Swedish customs stopped confiscating alcohol that is bought over the Internet. This week, the Swedish goverment is supposed to clarify how things will work and how taxes will be collected; a private internet buyer shouldn't be taxed twice within the EU.

Can I buy from an internet site in Sweden ?

Website : European Court slams Sweden's alcohol import ban
Website : Sweden defends state alcohol monopoly
Website : Swedish Customs lets online booze through

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

TN : Hellenic Portraits, Limnio - Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Red Dry Wine, Domaine Porto Carras, Regional Wine of Sithonia, Greece

This wine was imported by Ward Wines AB. Their web site contains no information about this wine :-(. The back label states that Limnio was Aristotle's favourite grape variety !.

Colour : Blackcurrants

Aroma : Blackcurrants, herbs

Taste : Blackcurrant, cedar, herbs, blueberry, licquorice, drying dusty tannins on finish

Alcohol : 13.5%

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Ward Wines
Website : Domaine Porto Carras

Monday, 11 June 2007

TN : Attitude Sauvignon Blanc 2005, Loire, France

Pascal Jolivet was founded in 1987. The vines are planted close to the Loire castle Touraine. Jamie Goode, on the Wine Anorak, gave this 88 out of 100.

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Blackcurrant leaf, green apple

Taste : Blackcurrant leaf, slight tropical fruit taste, green apple, slight lemon

Alcohol : 12%

Price : 115 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Pascal Jolivet

TN : Artino Riesling Kabinett, 2006, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

This wine was bottled by F.W. Langguth Erben. They have been making wine since 1789.

Colour : Light yellow

Aroma : Stone fruits, lime

Taste : Apple, lemon, lime, citrus, off dry

Alcohol : 11%

Price : 69 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : F.W. Langguth Erben

TN : Rompicollo 2005, Poggio Al Tuffo, Maremma Tuscany Italy, IGT, Tomassi

Poggio al Tufo estate is located in Pitigliano, a very important Etruscan city in Maremma, a few Kilometres from Savana, Sorano and Saturnia and about 1,5 hour north or Rome. It has been owned by the Tommasi family since 1997.

There are 66 ha of vineyards, the soil has vulcanic origins, very rich of “tufo”, and is about 350 metres above sea level. The Rompicollo vineyard is 35ha.
After a very meticulous analysis of the soil, in 1998, 50 ha of the vineyards were replanted using a modern system with very high density ( 6.500 vines per ha. ) and with selected clones of traditional and international grape varieties.

The wine was bottles unfiltered. It is 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 10 days and the maturation was doen in 35hl barrels for about a year.

Colour : Plum, cassis

Aroma : Oak, blackcurrant

Taste : Oak, cherry, blackcurrant

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 95 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Tommasi Viticoltori

Vinunic Montly News June 2006

Vinunic have published their June 2006 monthly news Våra Viner.

Website : Vinunic Våra Viner June 2006

Friday, 8 June 2007

TN : Soldimela Vermentino 2006, Tenuta Moraia, Maremma, Tuscany, Italy

100% vermentino. This wine had 18 hours skin contact, which is presumably where it picked up the harsh bitter phenolics, and then was fermented in steel tanks.

Colour : Gold, yellow

Aroma : Apple, grapefruit

Taste : Stone fruits, apple, bitter finish

Alcohol : 12%

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : D

Website : Tenute Piccini

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Pinot Noir NZ 2007

The presentations, in MP3 audio format, from the New Zealand Pinot Noir 2007 event are now available for download.

Website : Pinot Noir NZ 2007

Monday, 4 June 2007

TN : Erdener Herrenberg, Riesling Auslese, 1994, Dr Pauly-Bergweiler, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

A classic aged riesling showing good petroleum character. This wine was imported by PrimeWine AB; however there is no information on their (not updated) web site for this wine. There is no information available for this wine (or vineyard site) on the Dr Pauly-Bergweiler site also.

Colour : Lemon

Aroma : Petrol, lime

Taste : Petrol, lemon, sweet, golden syrup finish

Alcohol : 8%

Price : 99 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Primewine
Website : Dr Pauly-Bergweiler

Friday, 1 June 2007

TN : Redfin, Shiraz - Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, South Australia

A "critter" wine. This has what looks like a Perch on the label. It is imported by MondoWine Sweden AB. The grapes were sourced from Mclaren vale and is a blend of 65% Shiraz and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was stored for a short time in oak and then bottled unfiltered in November 2006. The winemaker was Stephen Pannell.

Colour : Dark blackcurrant, plum

Aroma : Oak, blackcurrant, slight oak

Taste : No tanins, hot finish, slight oak and pepper on finish, vanilla, blackcurrant, slight spicey note

Alcohol : 15%

Price : 67 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : MondoWine Sweden AB