The wine of the month, 2019, part 3 of 4
June 2019: Merryvale Vineyards, Profile, 2015, red dry blend wine, Napa Valley, North Coast, California, USA, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points) (12-05-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
Profile 2015 is a wine that makes you happy when you taste it. It is hard to stop smiling when one has smelled and tasted the wine. The wine really shows how high class Merryvale Vineyards winemaking and vineyards holds. The aroma is very complex with blackcurrants, dark cherries, dark chocolate and a hint of cedar and roasted coffee beans. The flavour is long and elegant with a velvety tannin structure, in combination with a good acidity. A very well-balanced wine where the aftertaste remains for a long time. This wine is great to drink now and will benefit from decanting. Those who really want to enjoy how the wine develops in the glass, it is recommended not to decant it. The wine will continue to develop for at least 10 years in the wine cellar i.e. until 2029. Merryvale Vineyards Profile 2015 goes very well with grilled lamb chops with buttery mashed potatoes and red wine sauce or with a classic Coeur de filet Provencale with pan-fried potatoes with garlic or with different types of hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Svecia, Västerbottensost, Parmesan and Grana Padano. Drink the wine at 18°C in real Bordeaux glasses, if possible, from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel. The grapes for the Merryvale Vineyards Profile 2015 come from a steep part of the Profile Estate Vineyard, which is located in the eastern corner of St. Helena appellation (AVA). The wine is produced from a blend of grapes of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The grapes are hand-harvested at night in order to them will come in the winery early in the morning and as fresh as possible. The grapes are sorted by hand. Each part of the vineyard is fermented separately in small tanks. After that the wine has been fermented and macerated for 15 days, it is racked to oak barrels where malolactic fermentation takes place and then a 26-month long aging. 80% of the oak barrels consist of new French oak barrels. After the aging, the wine is bottled without fining and filtration.
May 2019: Nederburg, Noble Late Harvest, 2018 (9 EUR/10 USD in Sweden; 375 ml) white sweet blend wine, Western Cape, South Africa, 4,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (95 points of 100 points) (04-05-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
Nederburg Noble Late Harvest 2018 is the best sweet wine that I have tasted so far from South Africa. If NJ Wines had a point scale between 4,5 NJP and 5,0 NJP, this wine would have gotten 4,7 NJP of 5,0 NJP i.e. 97 points or 100 points. The wine is also one of the best wines made of noble rot’s (Botrytis cinerea) attacked grapes that I have tasted. I am very surprised that South Africa can make such an excellent wine of the noble rot’s attacked grapes, a wine that is better than most similar wines from Sauternes in France. I am even more surprised that such an extraordinarily good wine can cost just 99 SEK (9 EUR/10 USD). The aroma of the wine is very sweet, complex and nuanced. Citrus fruits, raisins, dried apricots, honey, orange peel and orange marmalade appear clearly in it. The flavour of the wine is very sweet, complex, fresh and nuanced. Citrus fruits, honey, orange marmalade, orange peel, dried apricots and raisins appear clearly in it. Balance between the sweetness and the acidity cannot be better. The aftertaste is wonderful, both sweet and sour. Nederburg Noble Late Harvest 2018 should be drunk at 8°C from Riedel Vinum Extreme Rose/Icewine or Orrefors Difference Sweet or Orrefors Elixir. The wine will fit really well with a fruit salad consisting of fine chopped kiwi, orange, green sweet seedless grapes, passion fruit, mango and pear or with cheeses such as Roquefort and Stilton or with butter fried goose liver or with less sweet American apple pie. Or just enjoy it without any food at all. The grapes for the wine come from vineyards in Durbanville and Paarl. The vineyards are located at a height of between 120 and 160 meters above sea level. The vines were planted there between 1984 and 1993. Nederburg Noble Late Harvest 2018 consists of four grapes: 48% Chenin Blanc, 30% Muscat de Frontignan, 18% Grasa de Cotnari and 4% Riesling. The grapes may hang well beyond their maturity whereupon the noble rot (Botrytis cinerea) attacks the grapes. The noble rot’s attack causes water in the grape to evaporate while sweetness, acidity and flavours get a higher concentration. The noble rot’s attacked grapes are harvested/destemmed and selected by hand in the field. After the harvest, the grapes are delivered to the winery and pressed. Then the must is fermented at 16°C in stainless steel tanks for six weeks. Then the wine is aged, for a few weeks, in the same stainless steel tanks that it had been fermented in. After bottling, the wine is aged for a few more weeks. Nederburg Noble Late Harvest 2018 can be aged for at least 6 years i.e. until at least 2025.
April 2019: Louis Roederer, Brut Premier, NV (43 EUR/50 USD in Sweden) white dry blend sparkling wine, Champagne, France, 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (80 points of 100 points) (06-04-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
To this wine of the month, NJ Wines has chosen Louis Roederer's standard champagne, Brut Premier. Louis Roederer is a champagne house that has never disappointed NJ Wines. From the standard champagne Brut Premier and all the way up to the super-elegant prestigious champagne Cristal, Louis Roederer produces champagnes of very high quality. Brut Premier NV is a champagne that is characterized by Louis Roederer's distinctive house style i.e. elegance, freshness and complexity. Louis Roederer is one of the last independent and family owned champagne houses today. The wine has a large and generous aroma with citrus fruits, yellow apples, honey, nougat, mineral and a slight butteriness. Despite the generous aroma, the wine offers great finesse and elegance. The wine has a lovely mousse with lots of small elegant bubbles. The flavour is fresh and clean with a wonderfully refreshing acidity. The wine is both complex and well-balanced, and is dominated in the flavour by citrus fruits, yellow apples and a slight butteriness. The finish is long with a touch of herbs in the end. This is a really good food champagne. Serve it with an artichoke soup with grilled scallops or with small snacks such as lightly salted potato chips topped with crème fraiche and caviar. Serve the Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV at 8°C. The wine should, if possible, be served in wide, tulip-shaped champagne glasses from Riedel Sommelier, Orrefors Difference or similar. The wine is a blend of the three classic Champagne-grape varieties (40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Menuier). The grapes come mainly from Roederer's own vineyards, only about 20% are purchased. About 80 hectares of the 240 hectares of the vineyards, which is owned by Louis Roederer, are cultivated biodynamically. The grapes from the different plots of the vineyards are fermented separately in steel tanks and oak barrels. Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV is a blend of six different vintages. Reserve wines, which are used to produce the blend, are aged on large oak barrels. The wine is aged on its yeast sediment for 3 years and then, after the disgorging, in bottle for another 6 months.