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The wine of the month

 

During the first fourteen days of each month, NJ Wines presents the wine of the month.. NJ Wines tastes hundreds of wines every month and among them, the wine of the month is chosen. The criteria that a wine will qualify as the wine of the month is that it has got at least 3,5 NJP in rating and that it stands out both by its quality and its aroma/flavour complexity. The wine shall also be available on the wine market.

May 2022: Les Hauts de Granget, 2016 (18 EUR/19 USD in Sweden), red dry blend wine, Saint-Émilion, Libournais, Bordeaux, France, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (17-05-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

NJ Wines does not usually write about the value for money of the wines, but in the case of this wine we have to. To get such a good wine from Saint-Émilion Grand Cru for 189 SEK is absolutely incredible. Bravo Systembolaget, Wine Affair Scandinavia and Union de Producteurs de Saint-Emilion! It is austere and nuanced. ... Read more

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NEW WINES IN REGULAR ASSORTMENT MARCH 2022 (26-04-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)

NJ Wines has tasted all Systembolaget's new wines in regular assortment March 2022. The wines got the following points (Note that the wines are arranged in alphabetical order, that the wines that have got more than 3,0 NJP, if any, are presented or will be presented under "Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,5 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP", that NV = non-vintage wine, that Systembolaget = a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden and that NJ Wines does not taste wines from Boxes, Paper-packaging and PET-bottles because NJ Wines believes that these types of packaging destroy the wonderful wine culture. The Boxes also make people drink much more than they should.):

1. Bacio della luna, Prosecco, Rosé, NV (10 EUR/10 USD in Sweden), rosé semi-dry blend sparkling wine, Italy, 0,0 NJP, 2. Carpinus, Tokaj Dry, 2020 (13 EUR/15 USD in Sweden), white semi-dry blend wine, Hungary, 0,5 NJP, 3. Champagne, Charles Ellner, Grande Réserve, 2015 (27 EUR/29 USD in Sweden), white dry blend sparkling wine, France, 1,5 NJP, 4. Château Bastor-Lamontagne, Organic, 2016 (16 EUR/18 USD in Sweden; 375 ml), white sweet wine, France, 1,0 NJP, 5. Château Saint-Sernin, 2019 (9 EUR/9 USD in Sweden), red dry wine, France, 1,0 NJP, 6. Clay Creek Vineyards, Zinfandel, 2020 (12 EUR/13 USD in Sweden), red dry wine, USA, 0,5 NJP, 7. Crios, Rosé of Malbec, 2021 (10 EUR/10 USD in Sweden), rosé dry wine, Argentina, 0,5 NJP, 8. Diora, La Splendeur du Soleil, Chardonnay, 2019 (17 EUR/19 USD in Sweden), white dry wine, USA, 4,0 NJP, 9. Dr Bürklin-Wolf, Weissburgunder, Trocken, 2021 (14 EUR/16 USD in Sweden), white semi-dry wine, Germany, 1,5 NJP, 10. Earth Garden, Sauvignon Blanc, 2021 (12 EUR/13 USD in Sweden), white dry wine, Nya Zealand, 0,5 NJP.

 

See all 32 wines

NEW WINES IN TEMPORARY ASSORTMENT THAT WERE TASTED DURING DECMBER 2021 (24-01-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)

The tasted Systembolaget's new wines in Temporary Assortment, which were tasted during December 2021, got the following points (Note that the wines are arranged in alphabetical order, the wines that have got more than 3,0 NJP, if any, will be presented under "Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,5 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP", NV = non-vintage wine, Systembolaget = a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden and NJ Wines does not taste wines from Boxes, Paper-packaging and PET-bottles because NJ Wines believes that these types of packaging destroy the wonderful wine culture. The Boxes also make people drink much more than they should.):

1. Altare, Dogliani, Altare di Altare Nicholas, 2020 (17 EUR/19 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Italy, 0,5 NJP, 2. Altare, Nebbiolo, 2019 (22 EUR/25 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Italy, 0,5 NJP, 3. Château Chasse-Spleen, 2015 (25 EUR/28 USD in Sweden; 375 ml) red dry blend wine, France, 3,0 NJP, 4. Château Haut-Bages-Libéral, 2009 (83 EUR/94 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, France, 2,0 NJP, 5. Château Haut-Bages-Libéral, 2016 (62 EUR/72 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, France, 1,0 NJP, 6. Château Léoville Poyferré, 2012 (93 EUR/106 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, France, 4,0 NJP, 7. Château Potensac, 2015 (22 EUR/24 USD in Sweden; 375 ml) red dry blend wine, France, 2,5 NJP, 8. Fattoria Moretto, Canova, Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvreto, NV (13 EUR/15 USD) red dry sparkling wine, Italy, 1,0 NJP, 9. Fèlsina, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, 2009 (27 EUR/30 USD in Sweden; 375 ml) white sweet blend wine, Italy, 2,5 NJP, 10. Hey Malbec, 2020 (14 EUR/17 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Argentina, 0,0 NJP.

See all 18 wines

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NEW WINES IN REGULAR ASSORTMENT DECEMBER 2021 (22-12-2021 by Nenad Jelisic)

NJ Wines has tasted all Systembolaget's new wines in regular assortment December 2021. The wines got the following points (Note that the wines are arranged in alphabetical order, that the wines that have got more than 3,0 NJP, if any, are presented or will be presented under "Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,5 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP", that NV = non-vintage wine, that Systembolaget = a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden and that NJ Wines does not taste wines from Boxes, Paper-packaging and PET-bottles because NJ Wines believes that these types of packaging destroy the wonderful wine culture. The Boxes also make people drink much more than they should.):

1. Avalon, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 (19 EUR/22 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, USA, 0,5 NJP, 2. Avondale, Genus, 2019 (19 EUR/22 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, South Africa, 0,5 NJP, 3. Barolo, Cascina Rocca, Franco Molino, 2017 (24 EUR/27 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Italy, 1,0 NJP, 4. Casal Mor, Baga, 2020 (10 EUR/11 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Portugal, 0,0 NJP, 5. Ca' Vedole, Lambrusco di Sorbara, 2020 2021 (15 EUR/17 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Italy, 0,0 NJP, 6. Champagne, Vielle France, Blanc de Noirs, Charles de Cazanove, 2012 (45 EUR/50 USD in Sweden) white semi-dry blend sparkling wine, France, 1,0 NJP, 7. Château Fouquet, Saumur, 2019 (11 EUR/13 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, France, 0,0 NJP, 8. Château La Péyère, SCV du Château Sègue Longue, 2019 (14 EUR/16 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine torrt, France, 0,5 NJP, 9. Children of the revolution, Pinot Noir, 2021 (9 EUR/10 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Australia, 0,5 NJP, 10. Cono Sur, Single Vineyard, Chardonnay, 2020 (11 EUR/13 USD in Sweden) white dry wine, Chile, 1,5 NJP.

 

See all 28 wines

Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,5 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP

Diora, La Splendeur du Soleil, Chardonnay, 2019 (17 EUR/18 USD in Sweden), white dry wine, Monterey County, Central Coast, USA, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points) (24-04-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

This is the best Chardonnay-wine that NJ-Wines has tasted so far this year. Diora La Splandeur du Soleil Chardonnay 2019 is a dry, flavourful, full-bodied, fruity and nuanced wine. Its high fruitiness and fullness make one experience it as a semi-dry wine, regardless that it has less than 3 gr/l sugar content. The aroma is characterized by vanilla ... Read more

Real Tesoro, Eminencia, Pedro Ximénez, NV (19 EUR/21 USD in Sweden), sweet sherry, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Spain, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points) (19-03-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

Wow! What a complex, full-bodied, concentrated, fruity and tasty grape nectar. This is how a sweet sherry should be. Raisins, dried figs, dried apricots, dates, dark chocolate, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and roasted almonds characterize this wonderful, sweet sherry. ... Read more

Col d'Orcia, Brunello di Montalcino, 2016 (27 EUR/31 USD in Sweden), red dry wine, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (13-02-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2016 is a really good wine that comes from the appellation Brunello di Montalcino and that really wins on a two hour long aerating (decanting). It is austere and nuanced, has a very good tannin structure, wonderful aroma richness and a very long, dry and spicy aftertaste. Aroma: tobacco, black tea, ... Read more

The world's restaurants

 

Here presents the restaurants that is considered to be the world's best restaurants. The restaurants, which NJ Wines has visited, tried their food and wine as well as rated food’s quality, food's taste, how the food is presented and looks, wine selection, decor, atmosphere, service and cleanliness. (NJP = Nenad Jelisic Points)

Note that due to the Corona Pandemic, NJ Wines has not had opportunity to visit and rate any restaurant since March 2020.

Ekstedt, Stockholm, Sweden, 2,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (17-10-2020 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

Restaurant Ekstedt was the fourth restaurant in a row in Stockholm that NJ Wines visited and rated. Restaurant Ekstedt is owned by one of Sweden's most successful and influential chefs, Niklas Ekstedt, who became known through the cooking program Niklas Food on Swedish Television in 2005. After internships at several very famous chefs such as Charlie Trotter, Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià, Niklas started in 2000, only 21 years old, his first restaurant, restaurant Niklas in Helsingborg in Sweden. From 2003, he also ran the restaurant Niklas Viken in the coastal community Viken north of Helsingborg. In 2007, Niklas opened the restaurant 1900 in Stockholm and with the move, the restaurants in Skåne were closed. In 2011, he opened the restaurant Ekstedt, which got a star in the prestigious Michelin guide in 2013 and has been retained it since then. A few years later, the restaurant 1900 was changed its name to Restaurant Niklas and then it was closed in 2017 when Niklas decided that he had to focus on his new restaurant (wine café) Tyge & Sessil and the restaurant Ekstedt. Since the beginning of 2018, Niklas owns restaurant Hillenberg in Stockholm. During 2018, Niklas was part of the cooking program "Four Hands Menu" and "New Scandinavian Cooking". He has also published seven cookbooks: Niklas cookbook (2004), Niklas in the middle of the week (2006), Niklas tastes (2008), Niklas Home cooked Swedish food (2011), Grill with Niklas (2013), Ekstedt over open fire: recipe for the analog kitchen (2017) and Niklas Christmas (2018). In addition to these seven cookbooks, he managed to write three more cookbooks with Henrik Ennart: Happy food: About how food and happiness are connected (2017), The blue food (2018) and Happy food 2.0: About how the meal and happiness go together (2018 ) and a cookbook together with Christian Daun: My child eats everything (2017). Niklas really has to like his profession a lot otherwise he would never succeed to do all this in just 41 years.

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The Veranda, Grand Hôtel, Stockholm, Sweden, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (23-11-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

There are not so many restaurants in the world that are located in a capital city and have such a fabulous view as this restaurant and the restaurant's big brother the Cadier Bar, which is on the opposite side of it. The view of the Royal Palace, the Old Town and the boats on Stockholm's current. Both restaurants are located in Sweden's most exclusive and very beautiful Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. While the Cadier Bar, which is named after Régis Cadier (French chef and hotel founder), is a restaurant where one comes mainly to be seen, and drink champagne, cocktail or beer, The Veranda is a restaurant where you come to eat good food and drink good wines. In the Cadier Bar, one can also order good food, the food comes from the same kitchen that makes food for the Veranda. During all years, which I have been visited the Cadier Bar, it has seemed that the visitors of the Cadier Bar are there to drink something or to take something that fits well with champagne or coffee. In addition to these two restaurants, the hotel has two restaurants of renowned Swedish chef Mathias Dahlgren: Matbaren (see my article from 05-11-2017) and Rutabaga.

 

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The Flying Elk, Stockholm, Sweden, 2,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (18-08-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

A new Stockholm-restaurant-disappointment again, but it is not as big as the one with the Matbaren, Mathias Dahlgren at the Grand Hôtel, which got 1,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP on my last visit, the third visit. I think that the problem with The Flying Elk's low rating lies in the fact that Björn Frantzén's small restaurant empire has become too big too quickly. So fast big that Björn has transferred control and management of his new restaurants to significantly less talented part-owners/managers. Then, their poor management and control has led to that cooks, sommeliers and waiters have stopped caring or that they had employed the cooks, the sommeliers and the waiters who would absolutely not be employed. I assert this because Björn Frantzén, one of Scandinavia's absolute best chefs, would never allow that the food, the wines and the service would end up on this level, 2,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP. It is a pity that it is so as I wrote because Björn is really passionate about food and cooking and it proves his relatively short and very successful chef-history. Björn took his first steps as a cook through the practice at the restaurant Edsbacka krog (Edsbacka Wärdshus) in Sollentuna, Sweden. Then he worked among others at the restaurant Chez Nico (Nico Ladenis, London, UK, three Michelin stars) and the restaurant Arpege (Alain Passard, Paris, France, three Michelin stars). In 2008, together with pastry chef Daniel Lindeberg, he opened the restaurant Frantzén/Lindeberg in Stockholm. The following year, the restaurant got its first Michelin star and two years later it got its two Michelin stars. In 2013, Björn and Daniel went separate ways and the restaurant was renamed to Frantzén. In 2018, the Frantzén became Sweden's first restaurant to be awarded three stars in Guide Michelin. In 2019, Guide Michelin confirmed the restaurant's three star status. Today, besides The Flying Elk and Frantzén, Björn also runs Catering Frantzén, Studio Frantzén, Corner Club and Gaston vin. In addition to all this, Björn has managed to write a book together with Daniel Lindeberg, see above, (Frantzén/Lindeberg, 2012) and a book together with Göran Lager (The Flying Elk, 2016) and two own books (Glow with Björn Frantzén, 2014 and Björn Frantzén prepares food for peckish diabetics and other people, 2017). To achieve all this and be 42 years old is absolutely incredible.

 

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All you need to know about Champagne (14-05-2022 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

Here we will present text excerpts from NJ Wines' extensive wine dictionary. The text excerpts will be changed one to four times a month. You can read about other exciting wines, appellations, wine districts, wine regions, etc. by clicking above on the "Wine glossary and wine facts".

 

Champagne, a French wine region that is known for its sparkling wines. It consists of five wine districts: 1. Aube (also known as the Côte des Bar, 7,721 ha or 23% of the district's area planted with grapes), 2. Côte des Blancs (4,351 ha or 13%), 3. Côte de Sézanne (1,944 ha or 6%), 4. Montagne de Reims (7,959 ha or 24%) and 5. Vallée de la Marne (11,593 ha or 34%). It has 32,173 ha under vine. There are 324 villages in Champagne and all are classified in percentage (80 to 100%) according to Echelle des Crus, where the best vineyards receive 100% of the maximum price for the grapes. The region has 17 Grand Crus-villages, all of which are classified as 100% and all are located in the three most famous wine districts. 9 of those are located in Montagne de Reims, 6 in the Côte des Blancs and 2 in the Vallée de la Marne. The best Chardonnay grapes are grown in Côte des Blancs and many claim that the majority of the best vineyards are lying on the middle slopes of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. The best Pinot Noir grapes are grown on the southern slopes of Ambonnay and Bouzy and the northern slopes of Verzenay and Verzy. Champagne annually produces 385 million bottles i.e. the average yield is incredible high, 86 hl/ha.

Champagne, a sparkling wine from France's Champagne wine region. Only the sparkling wines from Champagne can be called Champagne.

Champagne grapes, Pinot Noir (13,091 ha, 39%), Pinot Meunier (10,742 ha, 32%) and Chardonnay (9,735 ha, 29%). There are also 91 ha planted with Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.

Champagne grapes, only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red grapes) and Chardonnay (white grape) are allowed to be used for the production of Champagne.

Champagne method, each grape variety is fermented separately and the fermentation is the same as for ordinary white wine. After the fermentation the wine goes, in some cases, through the malolactic fermentation and, in some cases, when one want to keep the sharp malic acid, not. When the fermentation and, if it was carried out, the malolactic fermentation (the second fermentation) is finished, the wines are drawn (racked), blended, got a little sugar and yeast and bottled. A new fermentation (the second fermentation or the third fermentation), which creates carbonic acid, starts in the bottle. When the fermentation has been finished, the wine must be in contact with its yeast sediment for at least 15 months (standard champagne, not from a single vintage year) or for at least 36 months (vintage champagne). When the aging is finished, the bottles are placed with the neck downwards, for an inclination of 45 degrees, in wooden racks and then the bottles are gradually tilted to an angle of 90 degrees. Now is the time to start to turn the bottles (remuage). This process takes an average of 8 days, if performed by machines, or 56 days if it is performed manually, and through it, the yeast sediment is accumulated in the bottle neck. The yeast sediment in the bottle neck is frozen and ejected (dégorgement). Now, it is time to fill a little of special wine (dosage) in the bottle, to shake the bottle and then the champagne is ready to be corked and sold.

Champagne method for Rosé Champagne, in contrast to the usual Champagne, Rosé Champagne is made by a short maceration between the skins (Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier) and the must before the first fermentation is started or is made by adding some red wine (10 to 20% of Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier) before the second fermentation in the bottle begins.

Champagne soils, 75% of the soils are composed of calcareous soil (chalk, marl and limestone). This type of soil provides good drainage and also explains why certain Champagne wines have a distinct mineral taste. Two different chalks occur: Belemnite chalk and Micraster chalk, where Belemnite chalk, which dominates in most of the Grand Cru-villages, has more lime and thanks to it gives the grapes higher acidity. The chalk acts as a natural reservoir (it holds 300-400 liters of water per cubic meter), which gives the vines enough water even in the driest summers. The effort, which is required from the vines to utilize this water, puts the vines at a moderate water stress during the growing season, helps the grapes to achieve the delicate balance between ripeness, acidity and taste. In some areas of the Champagne region, chalk rich soils give way to areas that have a greater proportion of marl, clay and sand as in the Vallée de la Marne (west of Châtillon-sur-Marne) and in the hills surrounding Reims (Saint-Thierry, Vallée de l'Ardre and Montagne Ouest). The marl dominates in the vineyards of Côte des Bar (Bar-sur-Aube and Bar-sur-Seine). While wine district Aube differs from other districts (areas) by the calcareous soil mixed with clay rich in fossils of small oysters, so-called Kimmeridgian soil.

Champagne sweetness levels, Brut Nature (less than 3 grams per litre of residual sugar), Extra Brut (between 0 and 6 g/l), Brut (less than 12 g/l), Extra Sec (between 12 and 17 g/l), Sec (between 17 and 32 g/l), Demi-Sec (between 32 and 50 g/l) and Doux (more than 50 g/l).

Champagne the best vintages, 1804, 1811, 1825, 1834, 1846, 1858, 1862, 1870, 1874, 1880, 1884, 1892, 1898, 1899, 1914, 1921, 1947, 1949, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1966, 1976, 1979, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2008 and 2012.

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