Here presents news and results from various wine tastings, which NJ Wines has attended, and other news.
New wines in temporary assortment that were tasted during November 2019 (11-12-2019 by Nenad Jelisic and Robert Jonasson)
The tasted Systembolaget's new wines in temporary assortment, which were tasted during November 2019, got the following points (Note that the wines are arranged in alphabetical order; NV = non-vintage wine; Systembolaget = a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden): 1. Altare, Dogliani, 2018 (17 EUR/19 USD) red dry blend wine, Italy, 0,5 NJP, 2. Avondale, La Luna, 2013 (22 EUR/24 USD) red dry blend wine, South Africa, 0,5 NJP, 3. Brancaia, Maremma, 2017 (19 EUR/21 USD) red dry wine, Italy, 2,5 NJP, 4. Chablis, Premier Cru Montée de Tonnerre, 2018 (33 EUR/36 USD) white dry wine, France, 2,0 NJP, 5. Château Bibian, 2016 (15 EUR/17 USD) red dry blend wine, France, 2,0 NJP, 6. Château de Villeneuve, 2017 (16 EUR/17 USD) red dry wine, France, 1,5 NJP, 7. Château La Louvière, Blanc, 2008 (23 EUR/26 USD) white dry blend wine, France, 3,0 NJP, 8. Château Lilian Ladouys, 2016 (28 EUR/31 USD) red dry wine, France, 2,0 NJP, 9. Colección, Cuvelier los Andes, 2014 (17 EUR/19 USD) red dry blend wine, Argentina, 1,5 NJP, 10. Coriole, Sangiovese, 2017 (17 EUR/19 USD) red dry wine, Australia, 0,5 NJP.
The top 10 wines 2019 (01-12-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
This is the seventh consecutive year that NJ Wines presents the top 10 wines. In 2019, NJ Wines tasted a few thousand wines that were, and still are, available on the wine market. Of all these wines, NJ Wines selected the top 10 wines. The most important criterion in the selection was of course the quality of the wines, but also the availability of the wines today. Among the top 10 wines come three wines from Croatia (from one and the same producer: Enjingi), three wines from Slovenia, two wines from USA (from one and the same producer: Morlet), a wine from Portugal and a wine from South Africa. This year, Slovenia with the best wine of the year, the fourth best wine of the year and the tenth best wine of the year proved that it is definitely one of the world's best wine-producing countries. This is the first time that NJ Wines gave 5,0 out of 5,0 NJP (100 out of 100 points) to five wines during one and the same year (note that our wine tasting year always begins the first week of December the year before and ends the last the week in November the current year i.e. for the year 2019 it started the first week in December 2018 and it ended the last week in November 2019). In 2018, six wines got 5,0 NJP, in 2017, no wine got 5,0 NJP, in 2016, one wine got 5,0 NJP, in 2015, one wine got 5,0 NJP, in 2014, no wine got 5,0 NJP and in 2013, one wine got 5,0 NJP. We are very pleased with the very positive result, but we do not believe that the global quality of the wines has changed as much in the positive direction as our test results show. We were just lucky enough to try some of the world's best wines in 2019.
New wines in temporary assortment that were tasted during October 2019 (10-11-2019 by Robert Jonasson and Nenad Jelisic)
The tasted Systembolaget's new wines in temporary assortment, which were tasted during October 2019, got the following points (Note that the wines are arranged in alphabetical order; NV = non-vintage wine; Systembolaget = a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden): 1. Amber, Cullen Wines, 2017 (24 EUR/27 USD) white dry wine, Australia, 2,0 NJP, 2. Capo di Terra, Conti Sertoli Salis, 2011 (18 EUR/19 USD) red dry blend wine, Italy, 0,5 NJP, 3. Chiara Condello, 2016 (14 EUR/15 USD) red dry wine, Italy, 1,5 NJP, 4. Corimbo, 2014 (24 EUR/27 USD) red dry wine, Spain, 0,5 NJP, 5. Cune Imperial, Reserva, 2015 (13 EUR/14 USD) red dry wine, Spain, 2,5 NJP, 6. Dead Arm, Shiraz, 2016 (35 EUR/39 USD) red dry wine, Australia, 3,0 NJP, 7. Eva Fricke, Rheingau, Riesling, Trocken, 2018 (17 EUR/19 USD) white dry wine, Germany, 2,0 NJP, 8. Istina, Cuvée des Gitans, 2015 (18 EUR/20 USD) red dry blend wine, Serbia, 0,5 NJP, 9. Kevin John, Chardonnay, Cullen Wines, 2017 (62 EUR/69 USD) white dry wine, Australia, 3,0 NJP, 10. Luke Lambert, Chardonnay, 2018 (28 EUR/31 USD) white dry wine, Australia, 2,0 NJP.
All you need to know about Port wine (06-12-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
Here presents excerpts from NJ Wines’s extensive wine glossary. You can read about other exciting wines, appellations, wine districts, wine regions, etc. by clicking above on the "Wine glossary and wine facts".
Port wine (port), a Portuguese fortified wine that is made from many grape varieties. The most used are Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional. White port wines are produced in the same way as red port wines. The only difference is that one uses white grapes like Donzelinho Branco, Esgana-Cao, Folgasão, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho instead of red. Port 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 real feet or mechanized feet, then the must is fermented together with the skins in the stone tanks or in stainless steel tanks until it has an alcohol strength of 6 to 8% when it is fortified to 19 to 21% with 77% grape spirit. The usual is that one first removes the skins before adding the grape spirit, but some winemakers do the opposite. Now, the wine has to be aged in large oak barrels for a few years before it is released on the market. Unlike sherry, the wine is fortified before the wine fermentation is complete. Port wine is made in several different styles: Colheita (a port wine that must be made from grapes from a single vintage, that must be aged in small oak barrels for at least 7 years before it starts to be bottled and that can be aged in small oak barrels as many as 50 years or more before bottling), Garrafeira (a rare port wine that must be made from grapes from a single vintage and that must be aged in both large oak barrels, between 3 and 6 years, and in large glass containers, for at least 8 years), Late Bottled Vintage (a port wine that must be made from a single vintage and that must be aged in large oak barrels between 4 and 6 years; longer than Vintage port), Ruby (the simplest port wine), Single Quinta Vintage (a port wine that is made in the same way as the Vintage port, but it must come from one winery and it is produced when the vintage quality is not good enough to be Vintage port), Tawny (a port wine that must be made from port wines from several vintages and that must be aged in large oak barrels from 2 years, the simpler version, up to 40 years) and Vintage (a port wine that must be made from grapes from a single vintage and that must be aged in large oak barrels, between 18 and 30 months, shorter than Late Bottled Vintage port).
Port wine the best vintages, 1806, 1812, 1815, 1820, 1821, 1834, 1851, 1858, 1868, 1872, 1878, 1896, 1897, 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1927, 1931, 1935, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1955, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The world's wines
Here presents the wines that have got at least 3,0 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP and which do not exit at Systembolaget (a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden that has a strict monopoly status on alcohol sales to consumers in Sweden, except for restaurants and bars), but they should definitely be there. Or should be at least be available to Swedish restaurants through some wine importer. Note that NJP apply only to the below described vintages.
Steyer, Kraljevo vino, Diseci Traminec, Ledeno vino, 2011, white sweet wine, Stajerska, Slovenia, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) (2019-09-01 by Nenad Jelisic)
Wow, what the wine! This is probably the world's best ice wine made of Gewurztraminer, and the Steyer winery is probably the world's best producer of ice wines made of Gewurztraminer. In any case, I have never tasted better ice wines made of Gewurztraminer than those from the Steyer winery and I have tasted many. So far, the winery has produced only six vintages of this fabulous wine: 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2011. Three of these (1999, 2001 and 2011) have been tasted by NJ Wines and all have got NJP 5,0 of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points). Bravo Steyer! Balance between the sweetness and the acidity is absolutely incredible in this vintage. It was a pure joy to taste/drink this fantastic wine. Steyer Kraljevo vino Diseci Traminec Ledeno vino 2011 has at least a 30 years long aging potential, i.e. until at least 2049. Note that it is already 8 years old. The aftertaste is extremely long, better to say, it almost never disappears from the mouth. Very sweet, extremely complex, honey-like and mineral-like, almost salty, flavour with dried fruits, citrus fruits, orange peel and sweet spices. An explosion of aroma of incredible complexity with honey, sweet spices, raisins, dried figs, orange peel, citrus fruits and yellow pears. Kraljevo vino Diseci Traminec Ledeno vino 2011 should be enjoyed with grilled goose liver, which is the best combination with the wine, or with fruit salad consisting of orange, white grapes, mango, kiwi and a little of this wine or with tasty cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Stilton or without any food at all, just enjoy its enormous complexity, taste and aroma. It should be drank at 8°C from Riedel Vinum Extreme Rose/Ice wine or Orrefors Difference Sweet or Orrefors Elixir. The soil on which the grapes for the wine grow consists of marl (a clayey soil that contains a lot of lime). The grapes are harvested, destemmed and sorted by hand. Then they are pressed very slowly and very gently for a three-day period. The fermentation takes place in old oak barrels from France, which hold 200 to 300 litres, over a two-month period and a controlled temperature of 12 and 15°C. The aging takes place in the same oak barrels as the fermentation has been done for a period of 24 to 36 months. The harvest usually takes place during the month of January. According to the Slovenian rules, the temperature must be at least minus 7°C, three days in a row, before the harvest may begin. This vintage began to be harvested in January, after the temperature was under minus 12°C, three days in a row. The wine is only produced during exceptional years and in very small quantities. Only 933 0,375 litre bottles were produced of this vintage. Finally, and not least, Kraljevo vino means Royal wine, Diseci Traminec means Gewurztraminer and Ledeno vino means Ice wine.
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)
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.
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.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London, UK, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (18-12-2018 by Nenad Jelisic)
What food! What wines! What a service! What a sommelier! What a restaurant! I have difficulty to find words about how impressed I was when I visited this fabulous restaurant on the 2nd November 2018. The restaurant, owned by internationally well-known chef Gordon Ramsay, belongs to 1 of 3 London restaurants that have 3 Michelin stars. There can not be so many food interested persons in the world who do not know who Gordon Ramsay is. He has participated in many food programs such as: Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking, Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef, Ramsay's Best Restaurant, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word and this year came the Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back program. Since 1996, Ramsay has written 25 books. The latest book came out this year and it is called Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Fit Food. Gordon Ramsay's (Gordon Ramsay Group’s) restaurant empire has 35 restaurants and 7 Michelin stars, with restaurants from Europe to the United States and the Middle East. Of these 35 restaurants, 15 are in London. His internationally most famous and most exclusive restaurant is Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and it is his only restaurant with 3 Michelin stars. The restaurant was founded in 1998 when Gordon Ramsay was 31 years old. In 2001, the restaurant got 3 Michelin stars and it has retained them since then. The restaurant is decorated in a modern and elegant style. It is located on 68 Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea in London.
Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,0 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP
More abut wine - Wine producer profile
Wine producer profile: Domaine Parent (01-12-2019 by Nenad Jelisic and Robert Jonasson)
Domaine Parent is a producer in Pommard, in the heart of Côte d’Or in Burgundy in France, dating back to the 17th century. Domaine Parent is currently run by the sixth generation of Parent; Anne Parent and her sister Catherine Fages-Parent. Anne and Catherine took over the company from their father, Jacques, in 1998. Domaine Parent currently owns about 10 hectares of vineyards, mainly in Pommard. It produces 15 red wines and only 3 white wines. The heart of the production at Domaine Parent is their fine series of wines from Premier Cru vineyards in Pommard. A total of 6 different Pommard Premier Crus are produced. The wines from the vineyards north of the road Rue de la Refène are experienced as more powerful while the wines from vineyards south of the road are experienced as more elegant, e.g. Pommard Premier Cru Les Epenots. The reason why the wines are experienced so different is the soil. The soils vary in the vineyards of Pommard, but consists mainly of red clay, dolomitic limestone and marl. On the north side of the road, the soil is red colored by iron oxide, which makes the wines more powerful.
Wine producer profile: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (24-07-2018 by Nenad Jelisic)
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which was founded 1869, is one of the world's most famous winery, and is located in the French wine region of Bourgogne. The winery has 7 fantastic vineyards: Echézeaux (4,67 ha), Grands Echézeaux (3,53 ha), La Tâche (6,06 ha), Montrachet (0,67 ha), Richebourg (3,51 ha), Romanée-Conti (1,81 ha) and Romanée Saint Viviant (5,29 ha). They together cover 25,51 hectares. All seven are classified as Gran Cru-vineyards. Besides Montrachet, which belongs to both the appellation Chassagne-Montrachet and the appellation Puligny-Montrachet, all other belong to the appellation Vosne-Romanée. In addition to the aforementioned vineyards, the winery rents three vineyards that are located in the French appellation of Aloxe-Corton and who are also classified as Grand Cru-vineyards: Bressandes (1,19 ha), Clos du Roi (0,57 ha) and Renardes (0,51 ha). They together cover 2,27 hectares. The vineyards: La Tâche and Romanée-Conti are 100% owned (so-called monopol) by the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
Wine producer profile: Ridge Vineyards (05-03-2017 by Robert Jonasson and Nenad Jelisic)
High up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with a magnificent view over the San Andreas Fault, lies Ridge Vineyards. Ridge Vineyards is a legendary wine estate in California, which was founded in 1960. The winery and the vineyards are located at Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation (AVA). Monte Bello Ridge lie at an elevation of about 800 m above sea level. The history of the Ridge Vineyards and Monte Bello Ridge began long before when Osea Perrone planted vineyards near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in 1885. In 1892, Perrone’s company Monte Bello Winery produced the first vintage from the Monte Bello Ridge vineyards. During Prohibition, the property was abandoned, and it was not until the 1940s when a man named William Short bought the abandoned winery and some of the vineyards that surrounded it. In 1949, William Short replanted Cabernet Sauvignon and planted the first vines of Chardonnay in the Monte Bello Ridge vineyards.
The wine of the month
The first weekend of every 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 3,0 NJP in rating and that it stands out both by its quality and its aroma/flavour complexity. The wine shall also be available in the wine market.
December 2019: Morlet Family Vineyards, Ma Princesse, 2015, white dry wine, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, North Coast, California, USA, 4,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (95 points of 100 points) (07-12-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
Wow! This wine belongs to one of the most complex, flavourful and concentrated Chardonnay-wines that I have tried so far. Both the wine's aroma and flavour grow/develop in the glass without stopping and its aftertaste lasts forever in the mouth. The interaction between the wine's acidity, sweetness, minerality and fruitiness is fabulous. The aroma is big, concentrated and complex. In it one finds freshly baked brioche, vanilla, yellow pears, tropical fruits, walnuts, yellow apple and minerals (wet stones). The flavour is fruity, big, concentrated and complex. In it one finds citrus fruits, minerals, vanilla, tropical fruits, white pepper, yellow apples and creamy tones. The soil on which Wente Chardonnay-grapes for this wine grow consists of sandy silty clayey soil, sandstone and small volcanic rocks. The Wente Chardonnay, which is a clone of Chardonnay-grape, gives small grapes that both improve the wine's concentration and complexity. The grapes for the wine are hand-harvested and carefully selected during both the harvest and upon arrival at the winery. After the selection, the grapes are pressed very gently and when the pressing is complete, the must is poured into new 225 litre oak barrels from France where the fermentation begins. The fermentation takes place under a controlled temperature around 20 degrees. Only the natural yeast, which comes from vineyards, is used. After the fermentation and the malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in the same oak barrels as it was fermented for at least 12 months. During the aging, the wine is in contact with its lees (sur lie) and the lees is stirred (bâtonnage). After the aging, the wine is bottled, without filtration, and aged for at least 12 more months. Morlet Family Vineyards Ma Princesse 2015, which is a 100% Chardonnay-wine, will be developed for at least 10 more years i.e. until at least 2029. It should be drunk at about 8°C in large Burgundy glasses from Orrefors, Spiegelau or Riedel. It can be enjoyed as a wonderful aperitif or with grilled salmon, if possible, not farmed salmon, with white wine sauce and buttery mashed potatoes or with Bouillabaisse or with a creamy seafood and fish gratin. With this wine, Luc Morlet proves again that his wines are impossible to characterize because they all are truly unique and stand out from all possible wine norms and frames. It is really wonderful that we have a such unique and brilliant wine producer as Luc Morlet, but unfortunately there are extremely few of them in today's wine world.
The Systembolaget's New Vintages and New Wines (03-11-2019 by Nenad Jelisic and Robert Jonasson; next update 03-11-2020)
The Systembolaget's new vintages and new wines in regular assortment, small assortment and order assortment are presented here. Note that: the wines are arranged in alphabetical order, if some bottle is smaller or larger than 750 ml it appears behind the price of the wine otherwise it does not appear and the best wines, which got more than 2,5 NJP, are presented under the 167 best. The new vintages and the new wines got the following points: 1. A, Amarone, 2015 (19 EUR/21 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Italy, 1,5 NJP, 2. A, Amarone, 2016 (19 EUR/21 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Italy, 1,0 NJP, 3. AA Orbus, 100% Syrah, 2013 (33 EUR/37 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Spain, 3,0 NJP, 4. Abbotts & Delaunay, Carignan, Vieilles Vignes, 2017 (8 EUR/9 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, France, 2,0 NJP, 5. Adobe, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 (7 EUR/8 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Chile, 0,5 NJP, 6. Adobe, Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 (7 EUR/8 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Chile, 0,5 NJP, 7. Adobe, Reserva, Malbec, 2018 (7 EUR/8 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Chile, 0,0 NJP, 8. Adobe, Reserva, Rosé, 2017 (7 EUR/8 USD in Sweden) rosé dry blend wine, Chile, 2,0 NJP, 9. Adobe, Reserva, Rosé, 2018 (7 EUR/8 USD in Sweden) rosé dry blend wine, Chile, 1,5 NJP, 10. Aglianico, Riserva, La Fortezza Società Agricola, 2011 (16 EUR/17 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Italy, 2,0 NJP.
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.
King’s Bay, Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 (10 EUR/11 USD in Sweden) white dry wine, Marlborough, New Zealand, 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (80 points of 100 points) (18-04-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
I cannot remember when I have recently tasted such a good Sauvignon Blanc-wine from New Zealand. To be a Sauvignon Blanc-wine, King's Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 surprises with its aroma and flavour richness. In the aroma, one finds green tomatoes, passion fruit, sweet spices, apple and elder. While in the flavour, one finds lime, lemon, passion fruit, elder, green tomatoes and yellow apples. Already from the first sip, the sweetness of the wine is met extremely quickly by the wonderful acidity of the wine and their wonderful interplay continues to the last drop. The wine's balance between sweetness and acidity makes it to a really good aperitif. Grilled salmon with white wine sauce and boiled potatoes (preferably new potatoes) or gratinated lobster halves with a little butter, parsley and finely chopped red pepper on them or fresh boiled crayfish with dill or shrimp with baked garlic bread or pizza frutti di mare will fit exceptionally good to the wine. It should be drunk at 8 to 10°C from glasses as Difference Crisp from Orrefors or Veritas from Riedel or Esprit from Peugeot or Atelier from Luigi Bormioli. King's Bay Sauvignon Blanc is made from 100% organically grown grapes. The grapes for this wine are grown on the northern tip of New Zealand's southern island, in Marlborough. The ideal climate with long sunny days, little rain and limestone-rich soil contribute to that the grapes get longer time to mature compared to other places. The grapes are harvested by machine and after pressing the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks. Thereafter, the wine is aged in the same stainless steel tanks for a few months. After that the wine has been bottled, it is aged in bottles for a few months before it is released for sale.
More abut wine - Appellations and wines
Appellations and wines, Barolo (25-05-2019 by Robert Jonasson and Nenad Jelisic)
Barolo is both an Italian DOCG-appellation, which belongs to the Piedmont (Piemonte) wine region, and a DOCG-wine, one of Italy's most exclusive and best red wines. The appellation has 2,161 ha planted with Nebbiolo grapes, which can only be used for Barolo-wines. Barolo extends over 11 municipalities: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Mora, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Searralunga d'Alba and Verduno; the most known of them are: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, La Mora, Monforte d'Alba and Searralunga d'Alba. The allowed yield is 56 hl/ha, while the average is 48 hl/ha. The minimum age for aging is three years, two of which must be in barrel. Barolo may be designated as Riserva if it was aged in barrel for at least four years. Barolo may be also designated as Riserva Speciale if it was aged in barrel for at least five years. There are two schools: 1. modern school and 2. traditional school. The modern school ferments at a lower temperature and allows the grape skins macerate (i.e. let the grape skins remain in the must and leach) in maximum two weeks. The traditional school ferments at a higher temperature (up to 30ºC) and allows the grape skins macerate for three to four weeks, and ages wines in "botti" for many years (8 to 10 years). Barolo’s aroma and flavour are complex with blackberries, ripe dark and bright cherries, plums, violets, roses, red currants, liquorice and tar. As the wine matures new aromas and flavours are created as mushrooms, currants, tobacco, leather, decayed leaves, peppery notes and truffles. Barolo's best vintages to date are 1958, 1971, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2016.
Appellations and wines, Bordeaux (15-02-2018 by Robert Jonasson)
Bordeaux is a French wine region, which is divided into three wine areas. The first wine area is located on the Garonne and Gironde river's left bank and it is called the Left Bank. The second wine area lies between two rivers, the Garonne and Dordogne, and it is called Entre-Deux-Mers, the area "between two seas". The third wine area is located on the Dordogne river's right bank and it is called the Right Bank (also called Libournais). The first wine area (Left Bank) is divided into two wine districts: Medoc and Graves, there also Sauternes and Barsac are embedded. The second wine area (Entre-Duex-Mers) is divided into nine appellations. The third wine area (Right Bank) is divided into whole series of individual appellations, the most famous between them are Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, which together form the Libournais. Bordeaux's best vintages to date are 1900, 1904, 1906, 1914, 1918, 1924, 1926, 1929, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Enjingi, Venje, Bijelo, 2008, white dry blend wine, Kutjevo, Slavonia, Croatia, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) (03-11-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
Unlike the 2006 vintage, this fabulous vintage is considerably more tannic, but still very complex and concentrated. Big and complex aroma and very dry, fresh and mineral flavour. Extremely long and very flavourful aftertaste. Better to say the wine never stops growing/developing in the glass. Clear aroma of dried fruits, sweet spices, peaches, honey, white flowers, yellow apples and yellow pears. Clear flavour of orange peel, honey melon, peaches, dried fruits, lime, sweet spices, yellow apples, honey and yellow pears. Enjingi Venje Bijelo 2008 will fit really well with grilled cod fillet with hollandaise sauce and roasted small potatoes or with bouillabaisse or crawfish etouffee or with cold smoked salmon with horseradish-crème fraiche and dill fried potatoes or with toast skagen. It should start drinking at about 8°C from large Burgundy glasses from Orrefors, Riedel or Spiegelau. Venje is always made from these five grapes: 20% Riesling, 20% Grasevina (Welschriesling), 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Gewurztraminer and 20% Pinot Gris. The grapes are organically grown, and all the grapes are harvested by hand. The vines are between 30 and 50 years old. The soil on which the aforementioned grapes grow consists of about 30 cm of very rocky clay soil on the top of weathered magmatic rock. The grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks under a controlled temperature between 15 and 20 degrees. Only the natural yeast, which comes from vineyards, is used. After the fermentation, the wines are blended together and first aged in 225 litres new oak barrels (barrique) from the Slavonia in Croatia for at least 18 months and then in stainless steel tanks for at least 12 months. After the aging, the wine is bottled, without fining, and aged for at least 12 months more. The wine is only produced during exceptional years. This vintage is the latest. Before it, the wine was produced in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2006. The quantities are very limited. Everyone who knows a little about white wines knows that the largest majority of white wines should/shall be drunk young i.e. 1 to 3 years old, but this rule does not apply to Enjingi's Venje. The wine is already 11 years old and wonderful to drink now, but that it will even better show its fabulous complexity, it should be aged for 5 more years i.e. until 2024. After those five years, the wine will continue to develop for at least 10 more years, i.e. until 2034. In 2004, Enjingi Venje Bijelo 1998 got both a gold medal, the best white cuvée wine for the entire Central and Eastern Europe, and the International Trophy, the world's best white cuvée from the prestigious wine magazine Decanter and its Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA). I am convinced that if Enjingi would send Enjingi Venje Bijelo 2008 to DWWA, it would also be selected among some of the world's best wines again.
Morlet Family Vineyards, Force de la Nature, 2014, red dry wine, Oakville, Napa Valley, North Coast, California, USA, 4,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (95 points of 100 points) (06-10-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
As usual, Luc Morlet goes outside of all reference frames. This time with this wonderful 100% Cabernet Franc. Regardless of that I have been tasting a lot of Cabernet Franc-wines over the past 30 years, Luc Morlet proved to me that his version of Cabernet Franc-wine belongs to a completely different category of Cabernet Franc-wines. To the category of powerful, austere and nuanced wines where none of the other Cabernet Franc-wines, which I have been tasted before, had been categorized. Freshly ground dark roasted coffee, black pepper, tobacco, cocoa-rich dark chocolate, dried green spices and dried fruits appear clearly in the aroma. While cocoa-rich dark chocolate, black pepper, tobacco, dark berries and dried green spices appear clearly in the flavour. The wine's rock hard tannin structure, really good acidity, good concentration and fruitiness signals that Force de la Nature 2014 will develop for at least 15 years more, i.e. until at least 2034. For that one should fully experience this wonderful wine one should drink it with a calorie and flavour rich pizzas such as Capricciosa with extra ingredients such as black olives, red onions, finely sliced beef fillets and finely grated Parmesan cheese or with grilled beef fillet/entrecôte 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 pasta Carbonara. Force de la Nature 2014 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 20°C or outdoor temperature is over 23°C) and then enjoy it when it starts to grow in the glass. If the wine would be drank today, it should be decanted for an hour. The grapes for the wine are harvested by hand. After very careful selection in both vineyards and winery, careful destemming and pressing, the wine is fermented/macerated in stainless steel tanks and puncheons (454 litres oak barrels). Only the natural yeast, which comes from the vineyards, is used. After the fermentation and the maceration, the wine is aged in new puncheons for 16 months and finally in a bottle for a few weeks. The wine is not filtered. The soil on which the grapes for this wine grow consists of gravelly, sandy, silty and clayey soil. Taking into account everything that was written before, Force de la Nature 2014 has a good potential to reach 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) within a few years. But even then, it will be a unique Cabernet Franc-wine. Bravo Luc Morlet!