Wines that have got 4,0 NJP, part 1 (29-01-2018)
Tommasi, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2013 (30 EUR/36 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (03-12-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
I have never given less than 3,0 NJP to any Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. Neither this vintage has disappointed me. On the contrary, this vintage is one of the best that I have tasted of Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. A brilliant balance between tannins, acidity, fruitiness and 15% alcohol. Unlike 99% of Amarone-wines, the wine does not reveal so much in the aroma, especially not when one starts drinking it. The aroma can definitely be described as nuanced and not as spicy. In it, one finds ripe blue plums, ripe dark cherry, milk chocolate, raisins, figs and elements of sweet spices. The flavour is spicy and nuanced. In it, one finds dark chocolate, white pepper, dried dark cherry, ripe blue plum, vanilla, raisins, nuts and herbs. Tommasi, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013 consists of the following grapes: 50% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, 15% Corvinone and 5% Oseleta. The grapes are dried for 4 months before they are pressed, and then the wine is aged in 3,500 litres Slavonian oak casks for 30 months. Such a tasty, spicy and tannin rich wine as this one fits just fine 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, yellow onions, tomatoes and béarnaise sauce or with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Svecia, Västerbottensost, Parmesan and Grana Padano. Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013 should be served at 18 to 19°C in Bordeaux glasses. Start by serving it at 16°C (when room temperature is over 20°C or outdoor temperature is over 23°C) and then enjoy when it starts to grow in the glass. If the wine would be drank today, it should be decanted for an hour. The wine has a good aging potential, up to 10 years.
Spy Valley, Iced Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 (13 EUR/15 USD in Sweden; 375 ml) white sweet wine, Marlborough, New Zealand, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (04-11-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
The first that one gets impressed with this wine is the wonderful balance between the sweetness of the wine and the acidity of the wine. What is very special about Spy Valley 2015 is that its acidity does not feel so clear in the beginning, better to say in the beginning of each sip, but its acidity feels clearer and clearer for every second that the wine spends in the throat. The aroma is sweet, complex, refreshing and big. One finds in it, honey, citrus fruits, nutmeg and apricot. The flavour is sweet, fresh, concentrated and it stays very long in the mouth. One finds in it, apricot, citrus fruits, mango, passion fruit, honey and dried fruits. Spy Valley 2015 should be served with blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Stilton or with grilled goose liver or with apple pie or with citrus tart or with the New York cheesecake. The wine should be drunk at 8 to 10°C from Riedel Sauvignon Blanc glass or Spiegelau Authentis or Orrefors Difference Crisp or similar type of glass. It would have a very good aging potential if the cork was natural and not screw cap. The absolutely finest Sauvignon Blanc-grapes are used for Spy Valley Iced Sauvignon Blanc. One (Spy Valley Wines) waits that the grapes have been attacked by noble rot and then one hand pick them. After selection in both vineyard and winery, careful destemming, the grapes are slowly pressed and afterwards the must is fermented in French oak barrels and in small stainless-steel tanks for 9 months before the wine is bottled. Last but not least, Spy Valley Iced Sauvignon Blanc 2015 is the best sweet white wine from New Zealand that NJ Wines has tasted to date. Bravo Spy Valley Wines!
Masi, Amarone, Costasera, 2012 (30 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (01-07-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
The vintage of the wine (2012) belongs to one of the best in Amarone della Valpolicella's history. This wine is undoubtedly one of the best Masi Amarone-wines that I have tasted in the last 25 years. The grapes (70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara) for Masi Amarone Costasera go through a process called Appassimento, which means that the grapes are air dried for 100 to 120 days. Masi Amarone Costasera 2012 is a spicy, concentrated, flavourful, fruity and tannin rich wine, with a very good aging potential (minimum 20 years). Regardless that the wine has an "unusual" high alcohol strength, 15% (not unusual for Amarone wines), one does not feel it while one is drinking it thanks to the wine's perfect balance between fruitiness, acid and tannins. From the first second, when the wine come into the mouth, one feels an explosion of sweet spices (cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla), dried sweet fruits (grapes, plums and figs), and then, at the right moment, the sweet feeling is met by tannins, dark (cocoa rich) chocolate, white pepper, ripe dark cherries, blackberries, sweet tobacco and herbs. To get such a good wine, which has been produced by the grapes that had lost up to 40% of theirs weight due to the appassimento and which has such a good aging potential, for 299 SEK (around 30 EUR) is absolutely incredible. Such a tasty, spicy and tannin rich wine as this one fits just fine 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, onions, tomatoes and béarnaise sauce or with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Svecia, Västerbottensost, Parmesan and Grana Padano. Masi Amarone Costasera 2012 should be served at 18 to 19°C from Bordeaux glasses. Start by serving it at 16°C (when room temperature is over 20°C or outdoor temperature is over 23°C) and then enjoy when it starts to grow in the glass.
Campo Viejo, Gran Reserva, 2010 (12 EUR in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Rioja, Spain, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (06-05-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
Wow, what a good Gran Reserva-wine! 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. Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2010 has a long aftertaste, well-integrated tannins and feels velvety in the mouth. Aroma, which is both spicy and complex, of vanilla, tobacco, leather, raisins, black tea, prunes and ripe berries like blueberries and blackberries. Taste, which is spicy, tasty and complex, of white pepper, dark chocolate, dark cherry, tobacco, espresso, black tea and dried fruits. The wine consists of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. 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 (80%) and 1,000 litres American oak casks (20%) for 24 months and finally in bottles for 36 months. Foods that fit perfectly to the wine are pizza vesuvio, pizza capricciosa, pasta carbonara and grilled chicken or grilled chicken filled with smoked bacon with freshly baked ciabatta and mild ajvar. Decant the wine for 4 hours and then start to enjoy it at 16°C to 18°C from Bordeaux glass. Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2010 can be aged up to 7 years, i.e. until 2024.