The wine of the month, 2017, part 1
December 2017: 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.
November 2017: 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!
October 2017: Trivento, Golden Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 (13 EUR/15 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Tunuyán, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina, 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (07-10-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
Who says that Argentina can not make really good Bordeaux-inspired wines. This wine, which is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc, is proof that they can do it. Aroma of sweet tobacco, milk chocolate, cinnamon, Crème de Cassis, blackberry jam, blueberry jam and green peppers. Flavour of dark chocolate, white pepper, plum, Cream de Cassis and blackberries. Trivento Golden Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is characterized by a good balance, a good tannin structure and a long dark chocolate-like aftertaste. It will suit very well with pasta carbonara, grilled/pot roast corn chicken filled with bacon with ajvar and potato croquettes, chili con carne (not too spicy) and pizza capricciosa. The wine should be drunk at 16°C to 18°C from Bordeaux glass, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. It will develop up to 3 years, i.e. until 2020. The Trivento Golden Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon grapes come from vineyards planted on alluvial soils. The grapes are harvested by hand. After selection in both vineyards and winery, careful destemming and pressing, the wine is macerated in stainless steel tanks for 2 days, then the wine is fermented/macerated at a controlled temperature of 26°C in stainless steel tanks during a 28-day long period. After the fermentation and maceration, the wine is matured in French oak barrels for 12 months and finally in bottles for 12 months.
September 2017: Peter Lehmann, Portrait, Barossa, Shiraz, 2014 (14 EUR/17 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (02-09-2017 by Nenad Jelisic)
This wine really needs to be decanted, come in contact with air. Initially, it was a 1,5 NJP wine, after 1 hour in the glass, it grew to a 3,5 NJP wine. The aroma is complex, big, fruity and sweet spicy. Vanilla, cinnamon, crème de cassis, blackberries, cardamom, chocolate and dried plums feel clearly in the aroma. The flavour is concentrated, fruity and peppery. White pepper, dark chocolate, crème de cassis, eucalyptus, herbs and mint feel clearly in the flavour. Peter Lehmann Portrait Barossa Shiraz 2013 shows that Australia is on the way back, from juice-like wines to wines that Australian wines should be; concentrated, flavoursome and fruity. The wine should be drunk at 16°C to 18°C from Bordeaux glass with high quality meatballs (not frozen or microwave heated) with creamy cream sauce and buttery mashed potatoes or with rich wild (venison and boar) stew with jasmine rice or with creamy cheeses like castello blue, castello white with truffles, brie and camembert. Shiraz grapes from more than 60 growers are used for this wine. Several of these well-kept vineyards are over 100 years old. 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 10-day long period. After the fermentation and the maceration, the wine is matured in French and American oak casks for 12 months. Peter Lehmann Portrait Barossa Shiraz 2013 should have a good aging potential, but the dumb (greedy) screw cap has destroyed this opportunity.