Wines that have got 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (10-10-2020)
Il Seggio, Poggio al Tesoro, 2017 (19 EUR/21 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (07-06-2020 by Nenad Jelisic)
The last time I tasted such a good red wine in this price range from Italy as this was in December 2019 when I tasted Il Seggio Poggio al Tesoro 2016. This vintage is much closer to 4,0 NJP than the vintage 2016 thanks to a better tannin structure and a better balance. Unfortunately, nowadays, to be able to enjoy of a good so-called Super Tuscan-red wine from Italy like this one, one has to pay minimum 800 SEK. I take my hat off to both the Systembolaget and the wine importer (Iconic Wines). The wine is austere and nuanced, and it has a really good balance between its fruitiness, tannins, sweetness and acidity. The aroma is big, complex, sweetish, fruity and nuanced. It is filled with sweet spices (cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla), Crème de Cassis, freshly brewed dark roasted coffee, dried fruits and tobacco. The flavour is big, complex, moderate sweet and moderate fruity. It is filled with dark cherries, freshly brewed dark roasted coffee, cocoa-rich dark chocolate, tobacco, sweet spices and Crème de Cassis. Il Seggio Poggio al Tesoro 2017 consists of 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. This is a so-called Bordeaux blend. The wine, as this one, with such aroma and flavour richness will fit really well with Pasta Carbonara, made from fresh pasta, or with Lasagne, made from fresh lasagne plates, or with Pizza Capricciosa or with freshly baked baguettes stuffed with butter and garlic with air-dried ham (Jamon Iberico, Jamon Serrano, Prosciutto Crudo or Prosciutto di Parma) or with Camembert cheese or with (Swedish) meatballs with cream sauce and buttery mashed potatoes, without any berry jam. It should be served at 18 to 19°C in Bordeaux glass, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. Another option is to serve it at 16°C (when room temperature is above 20°C or outdoor temperature is above 23°C) and then enjoy it as it begins to open/grow in the glass. Il Seggio Poggio al Tesoro 2017 has a really good aging potential, at least 8 years i.e. until at least 2028. The grapes for the wine are harvested by hand. After very careful selection in both vineyards and wineries, careful destemming and pressing, the wine is fermented/macerated in stainless steel tanks at a temperature between 28 and 30°C for twelve days. After the fermentation and the maceration, the wine is aged in 70% second time filled 225 litres French oak barrels (barriques) and 30% new 225 litres French oak barrels for 70 months and finally in a bottle for a few weeks. The soil on which the grapes for this wine grow consists of gravelly, sandy, silty and clayey soil.
Schmelz, Ried Pichl Point, Grüner Veltliner, Federspiel, Weingut Familie Schmelz, 2018 (18 EUR/20 USD) white dry wine, Wachau, Niederösterreich, Austria, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (29-12-2019 by Robert Jonasson and Nenad Jelisic)
It is a very long time ago since NJ Wines drank such a good wine of the grape Grüner Veltliner. Schmelz Ried Pichl Point Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Weingut Familie Schmelz 2018 is a real hit from Austria. The complex, generous aroma is wonderful. In it, one finds pears, honey melon, clear notes of kiwi fruits and some white pepper. In the flavour, the wine is very fresh and fruity at first. Then a slight peppery tone emerges, and in the long aftertaste, a very pleasant grapefruit bitterness reveals itself. The wine has a high acidity that is balanced in a fantastic way by the complex fruitiness. This is a young wine that grows in both aroma and flavour when it is aired in the glass for 15 to 20 minutes. The wine should be drunk at 8 to 10°C from glasses such as Difference Crisp from Orrefors or Veritas from Riedel or Esprit from Peugeot or Atelier from Luigi Bormioli. Serve the wine with gratinated goat cheese on sourdough bread with honey and pine nuts or with oven baked cod back fillet with white wine sauce and a creamy potato puree. Pichl Point is a 16,9 ha vineyard in which the Schmelz family owns 2,2 ha. The soil in the vineyard is largely composed of loess, which is predominantly silt-sized sediment that is formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust. The average yield in Schmelz’s vineyards is below fifty hectoliters per hectare and all harvesting is done by hand. The grapes for the Schmelz Ried Pichl Point Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Weingut Familie Schmelz 2018 were harvested in September. After a slow pressing, the must is fermented in steel tanks. The wine is then aged together with the lees in the same steel tanks that it had been fermented for about three months before bottling.
Louis M Martini, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 (28 EUR/31 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, North Coast, California, USA, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (17-11-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
Right now, this wine is the best US-wine under 300 SEK at Systembolaget (a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden). The wine is also one of the best wines from the US that I have tasted in recent years when red wines under 300 SEK are in question. Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 is an austere and nuanced wine. Austere thanks to its wonderful tannin structure and nuanced thanks to its wonderful balance between its tannins, fruitiness and acidity. The aroma is fruity and concentrated with dark roasted coffee, dried blue plums, vanilla, crème de cassis, cedar, blackberry jam, dark chocolate and white pepper. The flavour is austere and fruity with dried blue plums, tobacco, dark cherries, dark chocolate, coffee and white pepper. The wine is really good already, but it will be even better in a few years. It can be aged for 4 more years, i.e. until 2023. Such an austere, nuanced and tannin rich wine as this one will go very well with with grilled fillet of beef/entrecote with café de paris sauce and potato gratin or with reindeer stew with buttery mashed potatoes, or with grilled pork chops with grilled red peppers, red onions, tomatoes and béarnaise sauce or with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Svecia, Västerbottensost, Parmesan and Grana Padano. Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 should be served at 18 to 19°C in Bordeaux glasses, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. Another alternative is to serve it at 16°C (when room temperature is over 22°C) and then enjoy it when it starts to grow in the glass. The grapes for Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon come from several vineyards in the Alexander Valley, but mainly from Barrelli Creek, Frei Ranch, Stefani and Monte Rosso. Taking into account that the grapes for this wine come from several different vineyards, the soil on which the grapes grow is very varied. To preserve the fruit the grapes are picked and sorted by hand early in the morning. Then they are destemmed and pressed gently. The must is first cold-macerated for two days and then fermented in stainless steel tanks under controlled temperature for three weeks. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in both French and American oak barrels, 50% new, for 16 months and then in bottles for a few more weeks.
Navajas, Crianza, 2015 (9 EUR/10 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Rioja, Spain, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (24-08-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
This vintage has better flavour richness, aroma richness, tannin structure and acidity than the previous vintage, 2014, which got 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (80 points of 100 points). The aroma is concentrated, spicy and deep with distinct vanilla, cardamom, sweet tobacco, as in exclusive Cuban cigars, dates, coconut, black cherry jam, blackberry jam and hints of cinnamon and dill. The flavour is spicy, but slightly less concentrated than the aroma, with distinct coconut, milk chocolate, freshly brewed coffee, dark berries and hint of vanilla. The flavours of the wine, especially the sweet ones, marry well with the good acidity of the wine. To get all this for 9 EUR/10 USD is incredible. This is without doubt one of the best Rioja-Crianza-wines that I have tasted in a long time. Navajas Crianza 2015 should be served with boiled veal in dill sauce and boiled potatoes or with creamy pasta (new) with bacon, basil, sundried tomatoes and small pieces of chicken legs files or with Wiener Schnitzel (veal) with roast potatoes, anchovy fillets and drained capers. It should be drunk at 16 to 18°C from real Bordeaux glasses, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. What is interesting is that according to Systembolaget (a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden) the wine consists of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Mazuelo, while according to the producer the wine consists of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo. The grapes for Navajas Crianza come from Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. The soil in Rioja Alta consists of yellow calcareous clay, ferrous-clay and river sludge while in Rioja Baja it consists of red ferrous-clay and river sludge. The grapes are picked and sorted by hand and then destemmed and pressed. The must is fermented with natural yeasts under controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in both French and American oak barrels for 14 months and then in bottle for 14 months. Navajas Crianza 2015 can be aged for 3 more years, i.e. until 2022.
Fonseca, Terra Prima, Organic Port, NV (9 EUR/10 USD in Sweden; 375 ml) port wine, Porto, Portugal, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (10-03-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
It is a great sin that we do not drink more port wines in Sweden because the port wines are perfect dessert wines, they fit our cold climate and they almost always keep high quality. In the aroma of this port wine, dried grass, sweet spices, licorice, Crème de cassis, blackberries, strawberries, peppers and dried plums appear clearly. While in the flavour, black pepper, dark cocoa-rich chocolate, sweet spices, licorice, tobacco and dried dark cherries clearly show up. What is unique about Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Port NV is the aroma of dried grass and strawberries. I have tried port wines for over 25 years, but I have never before tasted a port wine that has aroma of dried grass and strawberries. From where these two scents come from is a mystery to me. The wine is a blend of seven different grape varieties: Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. The grapes come from the producer's vineyard São João da Pesquira. The vineyard has 20 hectares and it has been grown organically for about The wine's production process is as follows: the grapes are harvested by hand, after the harvest, the grapes are delivered to the winery, destemmed and placed in the low stone tanks (lagares) where they are treaded by mechanized feet, then the must is fermented together with the skins in the stone tanks until it has an alcohol strength of 6 to 8% when it is fortified to 19 to 21% with 77% grape spirit. Then the wine is aged in large oak barrels from 4 to 6 years before it is released on the market. The wine will fit brilliantly with strong flavoured cheeses like Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Stilton. Or with less sweet cheesecake, cherry pie, blueberry pie and apple pie or with cocoa rich dark chocolate with orange, as Lindt Excellence Intense Orange, or cocoa rich dark chocolate with raspberry, as Lindt Excellence Raspberry Intense, or with pancakes filled with Nutella, very fine grated dark chocolate and walnuts or with chocolate fondant. Or just enjoy it without any food. I recommend that you start to drink this good port wine at 8°C (unlike what most of wine websites and the producer itself recommend) and let it slowly grows/opens in the glass while you drink it. If you can drink Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Port NV from Riedel Vinum Port or Orrefors Difference Sweet or Orrefors Elixir.
Campo Viejo, Reserva, 2012 (10 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Rioja, Spain, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (03-06-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
This wine has always been one of my most appreciated Reserva-wines from Rioja. That both Reserva 2012 and Gran Reserva 2010 got 3,5 NJP and 4,0 NJP respectively, say a lot about what good wines are produced by Campo Viejo. The main reason that I like Campo Viejo Reserva is because it always evolves into a better and more complex wine in the wine cellar. Here we talk about a fragrant and tasteful spicy wine. The sweetish and spicy aroma is characterized by vanilla, cloves, milk chocolate, coconut, blackberry jam and raspberry. The spicy and peppery flavour is characterized by good tannin structure, good acidity, dark cherry, vanilla, prunes and raspberries. To be a Rioja Reserva-wine, the wine feels very young. The wine consists of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. The wine should be drunk at 16°C to 18°C from Bordeaux glass with prefect grilled (not dry) pork chops with grilled red peppers, grilled yellow onion, grilled tomatoes and garlic baguette or with meat pate with Serrano ham, grilled pickled red pepper in olive oil, Blue Castello cheese (or Roquefort or Gorgonzola) and garlic baguette. The grapes for the wine come from Campo Viejo’s various vineyards in Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. After selection in both vineyards and winery, careful destemming and pressing, the wine is fermented/macerated at a controlled temperature of 28°C in stainless steel tanks during a 20-day long period. After the fermentation and the maceration, the wine is aged in 225 litres French oak barrels (50%) and 1,000 litres American oak casks (50%) for 18 months and finally in bottles for 18 months. Campo Viejo Reserva 2012 can be aged up to 5 years, i.e. until 2022.
Tommasi, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2012 (29 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Veneto, Italy, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (07-11-2015 by Nenad Jelisic)
A really good Amarone and one of the best I have tasted from Tommasi in recent years. Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012 consists of 50% Corvina Veronese, 30% Rondinella, 15% Corvinone and 5% Oseleta. The special feature of the Amarone wines is that their grapes go through so-called appassimento process, the process during which the grapes are dried for 100-120 days. The grapes for this wine have been dried for 120 days. The drying makes the water content of the grapes to decrease and the sugar content, the concentration and the flavour richness of the grapes to increase. The wine had been aged in 3,500 litres Croatian oak barrels for 30 months before was bottled. Spicy, concentrated, flavourful and tannic. But it must be added that the tannins are well integrated with the wine's other components and that they do not feel at all obtrusive. What the smell (the nose) and the taste (the palate) have in common are candied black cherry, sweet tobacco, sweet spices, milk chocolate, vanilla and ripe prunes. In addition to all of that, one can find raisins and blackberries in the taste (on the palate). The wine is wonderful moderately sweet and tannic and the wine's aftertaste lives long in the mouth. Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012 will age well up to eight years i.e. up to 2023. It should be drunk from large Bordeaux glasses, but before that it should be aired at least 90 minutes. Parmesan, Grana Padano, Västerbotten cheese, Cheddar, grilled entrecote with potato gratin, reindeer stew with buttery mashed potatoes (or jasmine rice) and rich Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Bourguignon) are recommended to the wine. It should be drunk at 18-19°C.