Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Book : Desert Island Wine

Desert Island Wine was published in 2007 by Miles Lambert-Gocs. The book consists of short stories around the theme of wine.

Unfortunately most the episodes were boring and trying to read. However, there were three gems. Firstly, an interview by a CNN correspondent with Dionysus, a profile of William Granville a terroirist who can deliver wine to match any desired terroir, and an interview with Brad Crostati owner of Gobs-of-Fruit vineyards.

TN : Claymore Grenache Shiraz 2006, Claymore Wines, Clare Valley, Australia

This wine is a blend of 82% Grenache and 18% Shiraz.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

2400 bottles were imported into Sweden by Jakobsson and Soderstrom Vinhandel.

Colour : Red

Aroma : Mint, liqourice, raspberry, vanilla, strawberry

Taste : Very spicy, thin, red fruits, mint, soft tannins

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 139 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Claymore Wines
Website : Jakobsson and Soderstrom Vinhandel

TN : Sancerre Les Belles Vignes 2008 Rose, Fournier Pere et Fils, Sancerre, France

Colour : Cooked salmon pink

Aroma : Jellied raspberries, herbs

Taste : Dry, herbs, redcurrants, sharp tangy finish

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Fournier Pere et Fils

TN : Vina Robles Syree 2005, Paso Robles, USA

The name Syree derives from Syrah and Cuvee. This wine is a blend of 72% Syrah, 15% Petit Sirah, and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.

Vina Robles was founded in 1996 by Swiss entrepreneur, Hans Nef. Matthias Gubler was the winemaker.

This wine received 90 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine in November 2008.

This wine was imported by Muram International AB.

Colour : Dark blackberry

Aroma : Spice, blackberry, milk chocolate, herbs, tobacco

Taste : Blackberry, blackcurrant, spice, plums, pepper, tobacco, tangy finish

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 289 SEK

Mark : B-

Website : Vina Robles
Website : Muram International AB

TN : Nottage Hill Riesling 2008, Hardys, South Eastern Australia, Australia

In 1850, at the age of 20, Thomas Hardy came to the new colony of South Australia from Devon, England. He established a winery on the banks of Adelaide's River Torrens in 1853. His Bankside winery was the start of a family wine business that grew to become one of the world's great wine companies. At Bankside, and later at his McLaren Vale property Tintara, Thomas Hardy focused on quality and craftsmanship.

The name Nottage originates from the husband of one of Thomas Hardy's cousins, Matilda, whose son Thomas Hardy Nottage was Cellar Manager at Tintara, and the backbone of the Hardy undertaking in McLaren Vale for over 60 years.

The grapes for this wine were harvested from 15-25 year old vines. After harvesting, the fruit was crushed and cold fermented in stainless steel tanks, where it was inoculated with yeasts suited to the Riesling grape. This wine was not matured in oak.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Lime, petrol, green banana, green apple

Taste : Lime, petrol, oranges, pear

Alcohol : 12%

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Hardys

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Wine in Sitcoms : Terry and June

Terry and June, a TV Sitcom, series six features and episode entitled "Wine, Women And So Long" which is heavily orientated around the subject of wine.

The beginning of this episode starts of with Terry experimenting with home winemaking, bottles half-full with sediment and bottles exploding in the airing cupboard feature heavily; the wine in question being a rice and raisin liebfraumilch. Next, Terry experiments with Coffe liquor which is a resounding success. His boss, Sir Dennis Hodge, nominates him as a judge in a home made wine competition which sees him drinking too much.

TN : Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand

The grapes were planted in free draining silty alluvial loams over deep stony river deposits located in the Central Wairau Valley. The vineyards are bordered to the south by the Wither Hills range.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

This wine was imported by Bibbendum Wine Ltd, London, UK.

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Nettles, gooseberry, minerals

Taste : Gooseberry, leafy, minerals, lemon, grassy, earthy notes on finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 149 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Bibbendum Wine Ltd
Website : Wither Hills

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

TN : Casillero del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Central Valley, Chile

Colour : Cassis

Aroma : Blackcurrant, coffee

Taste : Ribena Blackcurrant, coffee, cherries

Alcohol : 13.5 %

Price : 39 SEK (375 ml bottle)

Mark : C

Website : Casillero del Diablo

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

First Venture into Viticulture

Last weekend, I bought my very first grape vine. A black grape variety called Frankenthaler, a member of the vitis vinifera family. Today, it consists of a single cordon with three spurs. I will re-pot and add supports before pruning back to just two spurs in the winter in the hope of producing about four clusters next year. From what I have read, and my intimate knowledge of the Swedish weather climate, the vine should do best indoors and will be fine to remain "in pot".

According to the instructions that came with the vine, it flowers in June, needs full sun (preferably South facing) and protection from the wine, fertilising in early Spring with a fertiliser rich in Calcium or Potassium, and the earth should be kept moist but not too wet. I hope to see some ripe fruit in September.

TN : Ipsus Syrah 2007, IGT, Cantine Carlo Pellegrino, Sicily, Italy

Alcoholic fermentation and skin maceration was in steel tanks. The wine spent one year in French oak barriques. 6,000 bottles were imported into Sweden.

Colour : Dark red, blue hues

Aroma : Plums, violets, oak, herbs

Taste : Plums, violets, herbs, vanilla, oak, tannic finish

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 89 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Cantine Carlo Pellegrino

TN : Catapult Shiraz Viognier 2007, Wirra Wirra Vineyards, McLaren Vale, Australia

The late Greg Trott saw many of his dreams realised at Wirra Wirra. Yet one vision eluded him - to build a medieval siege machine, or "trebuchet". His reasons ? To use as a catapult of course; bombing neighbouring wineries with bottles of fine wine. He hoped they would return the favour and make it a showpiece for his beloved McLaren Vale. Plans are drawn and in his honour and Wirra Wirra will finish the job one day very soon. This pioneering spirit is honoured by hurling a splash of Viognier into Shiraz and calling it Catapult.

"Wirra Wirra" is an aboriginal name meaning "amongst the gum trees". Wirra Wirra Vineyards was originally established in 1894 by known South Australian eccentric and cricketer Robert Strangways Wigley. The winery prospered in its early days, producing many wines including a much acclaimed Shiraz, which was exported to England and the Empire until Wigley's death in 1925. The winery ran into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. In 1969 under the watchful eye of the late Greg Trott and his first-cousin Roger, the winery was rebuilt from the remnants of two walls and some slate fermenting tanks.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Liquorice, mint, blackberry, spice

Taste : Pepper, mint, dark berries, chocolate, spice, savoury

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Wirra Wirra Vineyards

Monday, 17 August 2009

TN : Semi-Dry Riesling 2007, Hermann J Wiemer, Finger Lakes, New York State, USA

Hermann Wiemer was born in Bernkastel in Germany into a family with a 300 year winemaking tradition. In 1973, Hermann selected a property on the west shore of Seneca Lake with similar soil and climatic properties to that of his native Mosel.

The grapes for this wine were harvested between October 10th and 15th 2007. The grapes underwent a whole cluster press followed by cold alcoholic fermentation.

This wine was imported by Andersson Wines International. 1500 bottles were imported into Sweden.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Petrol, oranges, lemon, white grapes

Taste : Petrol, off-dry, lemon, oranges, honey, white grapes

Alcohol : 11.5%

Price : 119 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Hermann J Wiemer
Website : Andersson Wines International

Sunday, 16 August 2009

TN : Pimpala Road Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese 2006, Geoff Merrill, South Australia, Australia

Pimpala Road is the location of the Mount Hurtle winery that Geoff Merrill purchased in 1985.

This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

This wine was imported by Ward Wines AB.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Dark berries, vanilla, mint, oak, chocolate

Taste : Oak, mint, cherries, blackcurrant

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 79 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Geoff Merrill Wines
Website : Ward Wines AB

TN : Chateau de Cruzeau 2008, Andre Lurton, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France

This wine is a 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out in stainless steel vats followed by 10 months of ageing on lees before bottling. The vines were all double guyots trained. All of the grapes were hand-harvested. Denis Dubourdieu, Professor at the Institut d'Oenologie of Bordeaux, was the consultant for this wine. This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

Château de Cruzeau is situated between Martillac and St Médard d'Eyrans in the south of the Pessac-Léognan appellation in the Graves region. It is an ancient estate and appears on the map drawn up by Belleyme in 1760.

In 1841, the review “Le Producteur” gave it Premier Cru status for both whites and reds. On high, south-facing hillsides, the vineyard are planted in deep gravelly soil. Some of the buildings date from the 18th century, though the château itself was built in 1912.

The estate was purchased in 1973 by André Lurton, and since entirely restored; today it comprises 101 hectares.

Colour : Pale lemon

Aroma : Nettles, vanilla, green apple, citrus

Taste : Nettles, creamy, sharp lime and lemon

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 149 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Andre Lurton

Thursday, 13 August 2009

TN : Chateau Ksara Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Bekka Valley, Lebanon

This wine was imported by Grapes Svenska AB.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Leather, herbs, blackcurrant, tobacco

Taste : Blackcurrant and plums upfront, herbs, unpleasant stale tobacco on hard tannic finish

Alcohol : 13%

Price : 109 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Chateau Ksara
Website : Grapes Svenska AB

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Systembolaget New Wines September 2009

The Systembolaget have published their set of new wines to be released at the beginning of September 2009. The list can be downloaded from their website in PDF format.

Website : Systembolaget Varunytt september 2009

Systembolaget New Wines Mid-August 2009

The Systembolaget have published the list of new wines to be released on the 15th August 2009.

Website : Systembolaget Nyheter 15 augusti 2009

TN : Arboleda Viognier 2008, Vina Sena, Valle de Curico, Chile

This wine is a blend of Viognier, Rousanne, and Marsanne. The grapes for this wine were hand harvested on April 7th and 8th 2008. The grapes were pressed whole. 88% of the must was fermented in second and third fill French oak; the rest was fermented in steel tanks at a temperature between 12 and 15 degrees. The wine was matured for three months in a combination of steel tanks and French oak. Half of the finished wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The finished wine was bottled under screwcap.

Vina Sena was founded in 1995 by Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick.

Colour : Pale yellow

Aroma : Mango, peach, floral, oranges

Taste : Oak, mango, peach, white pepper on finish, oranges, full-bodied

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 89 SEK

Mark : B

Website : Arboleda Wines

TN : Terrassen Riesling 2008, Trocken, Rainer Wess, Wachau, Austria

This wine was sealed with a scewcap.

This wine was imported by Stragas-gruppen AB

Colour : Very pale yellow

Aroma : Pear, honey, lemon, minerals

Taste : Minerals, sharp lemon, honey on finish

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 109 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Winery Rainer Wess

TN : Constantia Saddle, Proprietary Red Blend, 2006, Constantia Glen, Constantia, South Africa

This wine is a blend of 61% Merlot and 39% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The grapes are planted grown high on the mountain slopes of Constantia overlooking False Bay.

This wine was imported by JPC Wines AB.

Colour : Dark red

Aroma : Smoke, plums, blackcurrant, burnt undertones, herbs

Taste : Smoke, tobacco, cedar, plums, herbs, blackcurrant

Alcohol : 15%

Price : 129 SEK

Mark : C+

Website : Constantia Glen
Website : JPC Wines AB

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

TN : Geil Riesling Trocken Spaetlese 2007, Bechtheimer Geyersberg, Weingut Oekonomierat Johann I Geil Erben, Rheinhessen, Germany

The Geil estate is located in the commune of Bechtheim, Wonnegau district, in the Rheinhessen. The origins go back to 1871, when Georg Geil purchased the manor house, thus laying the foundation for viticulture here. His son, Johann Geil I. Ökonomierat zu Bechtheim, was for many years the mayor of Bechtheim. Today the estate is owned by Karl and his son Johannes Geil-Bierschenk, who is the cellarmaster.

The total size of the property is 55 hectares, with a total vineyard area of 27 hectares, with holdings in the Geyersberg, Gotteshilfe, Hasensprung, Rosengarten, Stein Heiligkreuz and Pilgerpfad sites. Riesling is planted on around one third of the area, other varieties include Pinot Noir, Pinot Madeleine, Kerner, Silvaner, Dornfelder, Blauer Portugieser, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau, Rieslaner, Huxelrebe and Scheurebe. The grapes are pressed gently, then fermented under temperature-controlled conditions, the wines are then matured in either stainless steel or in oak barrels, and bottled early. The estate specialises in sweet wines and sweet botrytis desert wines at Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese level, as well as Eiswein. Bottle-fermented sparkling wines as well as spirits are also produced.

Alcoholic fermentation was in steel tanks. and the resulting wine was sealed with a screwcap.

Colour : Pale lemon/lime

Aroma : Honey, lemon, mandarin oranges, green apple and pear

Taste : Honey, mandarin oranges, pineapple, lemon upfront, mineral and green unripe fruits on finish

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 100 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : Weingut Oekonomierat Johann I Geil Erben

Monday, 3 August 2009

TN : Fabre Molntmayou Malbec 2007, Barrel Selection, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina

This wine won a gold medal at the 2009 International Wine Challenge.

This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.

The wine was imported by Bornicon & Salming.

The grapes for this wine were handharvested between the 27th March and 14th April 2007.

Colour : Blackberry, dark red

Aroma : Blackberry, plums, violets, vanilla, liquorice, blueberry

Taste : Violets, plums, blueberry, blackberry, herbs, oak

Alcohol : 14.5%

Price : 89 SEK

Website : Fabre Montmayou Winery
Website : Bornicon and Salming

TN : Cookoothama Riesling 2008, Nugan Estate, King Valley, Australia

Cookoothama is made from estate grown fruit from the Nugan family’s vineyards in the King Valley and Darlington Point. Cookoothama “cooka-a-tharma” is the name of the Nugan family’s vineyard at Darlington Point on the Murrumbidgee River and is the aboriginal word meaning ‘fertile land’. The two hands on the label represent the people who have lived and cultivated the land spread along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River transforming it into the prosperous land it is today. This wine was sealed with a screwcap.

Colour : Pale yellow, green tint

Aroma : Lime, kiwi fruits, tropical fruits

Taste : Lime, pear, mango

Alcohol : 12.5%

Price : 69 SEK

Mark : C

Website : Nugan Estate
Website : Chris Wine and Spirits

Sunday, 2 August 2009

TN : Chateau Marsau 2002, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs, France

This bottle was lacking in fruit - possibly faded away by now - and over the hill. It is 100% Merlot. Cotes de Francs is an appellation located north-east of St. Emilion. The vineyards are east-facing. The soils are limestone-clay. Wine Spectator awarded this wine 87 points.

Colour : Brown hues, dark red

Aroma : Tobacco, oak, plums, raspberry

Taste : Wood, cigar box, little initial plum fruit, earthy drying finish

Alcohol : 14.2%

Price : 189 SEK

Mark : C-

Website : VinUnic AB
Website : Vins et Vignobles Dourthe