Other news the past 12 months, part 1
Back on track again? Italian Wine Day 2019, Operaterrassen, Stockholm (31-01-2020 by Nenad Jelisic)
Italian Wine Day was the last major wine tasting of the year. It was held at the Operaterrassen in Stockholm the 25th of November 2019. Of the 167 tasted wines, 42 wines got more than 2,5 NJP, i.e. 25%, which is a good result. The result is a clear improvement compared with the result of the corresponding tasting in 2018, when only 15% of the wines got 2,5 NJP or more. At the Italian wine day 2015, 2016 and 2017, between 25 and 28% of the wines got more than 2,5 NJP in ratings. It feels like the Italian wines are back to normal level again. Unfortunately, only 10 wines got over 3,0 NJP in ratings. It is remarkable that only 2 white wines got more than 2,5 NJP in ratings. Unfortunately, it was the same trend at this tasting as at the other trade tastings in recent years; the most well-known producers and their prestigious wines were missing. This is both a very dull trend and a big difference to how it was for just a few years ago. The result could be much better if we, for example, got to taste the wines from Capannelle, Dal Forno Romano, Gaia, La Spinetta, Le Macchiole, Monteverro and Tua Rita or the wines as Masseto, Ornellaia or Sassicaia, to name a few. The wines that stood out in terms of quality and taste were mainly wines from Tuscany and Piedmont. From the tasting, NJ Wines must highlight the wines of the producer Terreno. At the last year's tasting, NJ Wines selected Terreno as the best producer at the tasting and at this year's tasting, Terreno was only beaten by the legendary Piedmont’s producer Aldo Conterno.
New wines in temporary assortment that were tasted during December 2019 (19-01-2020 by Nenad Jelisic and Robert Jonasson)
The tasted Systembolaget's new wines in temporary assortment, which were tasted during December 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. Artadi, Viñas de Gain, 2017 (22 EUR/24 USD) red dry wine, Spain, 2,0 NJP, 2. Benanti, Etna Rosso, 2016 (16 EUR/18 USD) red dry blend wine, Italy, 2,5 NJP, 3. Berardenga, Chianti Classico, 2017 (18 EUR/20 USD) red dry wine, Italy, 1,5 NJP, 4. Ca’ di Pian, La Spinetta, 2016 (19 EUR/21 USD) red dry wine, Italy, 1,5 NJP, 5. Château Moulin-Borie, 2015 (18 EUR/20 USD) red dry blend wine, France, 1,5 NJP, 6. Exton Park, Brut Reserve, NV (34 EUR/38 USD) white dry blend sparkling wine, UK, 2,0 NJP, 7. Hey Malbec, 2018 (14 EUR/15 USD) red dry wine, Argentina, 0,0 NJP, 8. Papaskarasi, Rouge, Chamlija, 2016 (16 EUR/18 USD) red dry wine, Turkey, 1,0 NJP, 9. Raats Dolomite, Cabernet Franc, 2016 (17 EUR/19 USD) red dry wine, South Africa, 2,0 NJP, 10. Rayos Uva, 2018 (14 EUR/16 USD) red dry blend wine, Spain, 0,0 NJP.
New wines in regular assortment December 2019 (18-01-2020 by Nenad Jelisic and Robert Jonasoon)
NJ Wines has tasted all Systembolaget's new wines in regular assortment December 2019. The wines got the following points (Note that the wines are arranged in alphabetical order and that the wines that have got more than 2,5 NJP, if any, are presented under "Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,0 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP"; NV = non-vintage wine; Systembolaget = a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden): 1. Anura, Reserve, Pinotage, 2018 (14 EUR/16 USD) red dry wine, South Africa, 1,0 NJP, 2. Bianco Trentino, Roberta Fugatti, 2018 (8 EUR/9 USD) white semi-dry blend wine, Italy, 1,5 NJP, 3. Castel del Monte, TorreVento, 2018 (9 EUR/10 USD) red dry blend wine, Italy, 0,5 NJP, 4. Champagne Taittinger, Demi-Sec, NV (38 EUR/42 USD) white semi-dry blend sparkling wine, France, 1,5 NJP, 5. Col d'Orcia, Rosso di Montalcino, 2016 (14 EUR/16 USD) red dry wine, Italy, 2,0 NJP, 6. Colossal, Reserva, 2017 (9 EUR/10 USD) red dry blend wine, Portugal, 2,0 NJP, 7. DB, Brut Cuvée, NV (9 EUR/10 USD) white semi-dry blend sparkling wine, Australia, 2,0 NJP, 8. Domäne Wachau, Riesling, Smaragd, Ried Loibenberg, 2018 (19 EUR/21 USD) white dry wine, Austria, 2,5 NJP, 9. Elias Mora, Crianza, 2015 (14 EUR/16 USD) red dry wine, Spain, 1,0 NJP, 10. Gosa, Syrah, 2018 (11 EUR/12 USD) red dry wine, Spain, 0,5 NJP.
Bordeaux shines - French Wine Day 2019, Grand Hotel, Stockholm, (16-12-2019 by Robert Jonasson and Nenad Jelisic)
During the annual event French Wine Day, there was an opportunity to taste around 400 wines. The number of wines available to taste was about the same as at the corresponding tasting last year. However, there were only 14 exhibitors at place, which is the smallest number that has been at any French Wine Day where NJ Wines has participated. Despite that, it was impossible to taste all wines during the five hours that the tasting was open. Therefore, it was decided to taste primarily wines that were considered as the most interesting, as well as those that are represented at Systembolaget (a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden). In total, 206 wines were tasted, of which 58 wines (28%) got more than 2,5 NJP in rating. This is a good rating and comparable to the corresponding tastings; in 2017 (29%) and 2018 (32%). Something that was fun to see was that a relatively large proportion of the wines got more than 3,0 NJP in rating. A contributing reason for this was that relatively many wines, which were tasted, had been aged for 5 to 10 years. These wines had come into their last stage of maturation and were, in many cases, very nice to taste. Unfortunately, no wine got more than 4,0 NJP in rating. The biggest positive surprise of this year's tasting was the wine region of Bordeaux. Many of the wines from Bordeaux came from great vintages (such as 2009 and 2015), which made it so that the wines had both good fruitiness and good tannin structure.
Aussie convinces again - Australian Wine Day 2019, Grand Hotel, Stockholm (15-12-2019 by Nenad Jelisic and Robert Jonasson)
The first major wine tasting of the autumn was the Australian Wine Day, which was organized by Wine Australia. It was noticed that desire to taste Australian wines was high as there were a lot of people at the tasting tables from the beginning. The Australian Wine Day has become an annual event and there were over 300 wines to taste from 58 producers at the tasting. There were wines to taste from 35 of Australia's total 65 wine regions. NJ Wines concentrated on the producers that are represented at the Swedish wine market. A total of 145 wines were tasted, of which 32 wines got more than 2,5 NJP, i.e. about 22%, which is a good result. Unfortunately, only a few wines got more than 3,0 NJP in ratings and only three wines got more than 3,5 NJP. Unfortunately, even during this tasting, the trend was that many of the best producers did not show their best wines. Despite this, this tasting increased the impression of the last year's tasting that the wines from Australia have got a big boost in the recent years. Jammy wines with eucalyptus scent, poor balance between the acidity and the sweetness and almost non-existent tannin structure were very few at this tasting. In general, most of the red wines were well balanced with good tannin structure and good fruitiness.
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.