Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Bussola Valpolicella 2013

This is a very good "Valpo" based upon the Corvina grape. At 189 kr or just 12€ it's a pure bargain.

Beautiful medium dark red colour with a slight red brown rim.

Medium + intensity on the nose with dark fruit, coffee, plum leather and sweet cherries. Lovely stuff!

Full-bodied wine with medium acidity and soft smooth tannins.

The first time I tried this was in Verona with a friend of mine and  I asked the waiter if he had an example of how a good "Valpo" could be. He came with this one and on the sommelier education this March I failed miserably when I got it in a blind tasting....

Bussola Valpolicella 2014
Ca 12€
A pure bargain !

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Ojai Pinot Noir 2014

The name of this wine is pronounced similar to the "ujjayi" breathing technique in yoga. And both have a soothing effect on the stress level in your body.

Both can be used for meditative purposes.

Quite a pale reddish colour with a delightful nose of ripe red fruit, plum and spices.

The taste is wonderfully soft and balanced with easy going tannins and sweet red fruit.

Typical meditation wine! If food is required try with game.

Ojai vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
Sta. Rita Hills
Ca 30$r 340 kr

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Ridge Chardonnay

This is a monster of a white wine!

On the nose it is packed with ripe yellow apples, hint of oak, tropical fruit and some citrus.

The colour is pale gold.

It is a truly full bodied white with a very long and solid aftertaste. High in alcohol (14.5%), high intensity and a nearly wax like taste.

White Burgundy from the likes of Meursault or Chassagne Montrachet are nothing compared to this one. This one is massive. Not really delicate. Maybe a bit blunt in a way. I am not sure like it as much as I like white Burgundies. It's lacking a bit of finesse and is perhaps a bit too much in your face.

But it's good. Heaven forbid.

Ridge 2013 Monte Bello Chardonnay
Santa Cruz Mountains,
ca 60$

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Malpuesto 2012, Rioja

This is a monster of a wine from Rioja in Spain. 100% Tempranillo from low yielding old vines.

Malpuesto is a red wine produced by the Orben winery La Rioja, at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria. The Orben winery belongs to the Izadi Group, a group of well-known wineries in Ribera del Duero, Vetus or Toro.

Malpuesto is a single varietal Tempranillo from the Malpuesto Finca. The Finca vineyard was planted in 1931 and is today one of the oldest vineyards of La Rioja Alavesa. The name, Malpuesto, comes from the irregular arrangement in which the strains were planted. The farm is located on a hillside and has an area of 1.2 hectares.

The soil is sandy and poor, resulting in a low yield yet with high quality. The harvest is done manually in small boxes of 15 kg. Once in the winery, the grapes undergo a strict selection before being placed in vats. Fermentation takes place at controlled temperature and a very gentle pressing is applied before the wine undergoes aging in barrels for about 15 months. Malpuesto is a red wine with lots of character, with a limited production of just over 5,000 bottles.

Think about dark fruit, tobacco, coffee, chocolate and vanilla all mixed into a glass with a dark reed colour and purple rim.

The taste is big, massive, full bodied with lots of dark fruit and an elegant acidity and tannin structure all in perfect harmony.

Very difficult to get hold of, but if you do- just buy.

Only around 25€ which is a bargain.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Meursault 2008

Some of the older white Burgundies are cheaper than the most recent ones where the price has increased due to high demand and low supply.

This 2008 Meursault by Jobard is drinking perfectly right now although the first I opened was oxidated.

Lovely medium straw colour with a nose dominated by lime, butter and spices.

Perfect full bodied white with a long aftertaste and still with a lot of energy.

A truly lovely wine.

Meursault 1er cru Poruzots 2008
Antoine Jobard
Ca 40€ or 550 NOK

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Markus Molitor Riesling 2015

The 2015 vintage is just perfect for German Riesling and this example from the Mosel valley by Markus Molitor is just delightful

Medium straw colour.

Delicious nose of ripe apples, citrus , some spice and minerality.

The taste is offdry although it says dry on the bottle. The acidity (medium +) matches the sugar level in a nice manner and there is a lot of fruit to go with it. Nice minerality in the aftertaste as well.

Perhaps is just too approachable?

Try with fish and sushi.

Markus Molitor Riesling 2015
Ca 10€ or 160 NOK

Friday, 3 March 2017

Ch.Lagrange 2009

I came across this wine in the local wine-shop and I bought it as I wanted to know what all the fuzz about the 2009 vintage really was.

First of all it was not cheap and secondly I thought it was great, but not fantastic. The reason for that? The fruit was too "warm" and if I had been served it in a blindtasting, I would probably have gone for a Californian Cab Sauv. Nothing wrong with Cab Sauv and California, but for me a top Bordeaux has this "nervous" style straddling between failure and success due the fragile climate.

The wine had a medium to dark red colour with lots of nice dark fruit on the nose. Seductive fruity long taste with soft integrated tannins and medium acidity. It can of course be stored for a long time but to me it lacked energy and complexity. Perhaps my expectations were too high?

However, it showed a bit more character two days later after having been left in an opened bottle in the fridge....

Ch.Lagrange 2009
St.Julien, Bordeaux
Ca 50£

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Maria Vespolina 2015 from Colline Novaresi, Piedmonte

Colline Novaresi is a wine region north west in Piedmonte which gained DOC status in 1994. The most used grape is Spanna (Nebbiolo) but other grapes like Barbera, Vespolina and Croatina are used in the wine making.

This one is a Vespolina. Vespolina is a low-yielding variety thought to be the offspring of Nebbiolo. It has Nebbiolo's spicy characteristics, although its tannins tend to be softer. As a result, Vespolina is often used to help mellow youthful Nebbiolo-based wines and lift the blend's aromatics with hints of wild flowers, mushrooms and green tea leaves. Only a handful of pure Vespolina wines are produced.

This Vespolina by Brigatti has a nose which is aromatic with red fruit, cherries and flowers. The taste is dominated by high tannins and acidity but it all works well together with the fruit and gives a long refreshing finish crying for some food.

Very interesting acquaintance.

Maria Vespolina 2015
Fransesco Brigatti
Colline Novaresi
Ca 20€

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Grand Puy Lacoste 2008- Paulliac

This Paulliac Grand cru classe is drinking beautifully now. 2008 is not the best of vintages but at least the price was decent as it was the year before the price rocketing years of 2009 and 2010.

The colour is medium to dark red with a red rim. Very elegant indeed.

The nose is delightful with dark fruit, some red cherries, liquorice, leather and pencil sharpener. Great stuff!

The palate is ever so smooth despite the present tannins which fortunately are of the soft kind. Medium body with a long refreshing aftertaste.

Grand Puy Lacoste 2008
Ca 35€ 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Pago de los Cappelanes 2013

Pago de los Capellanes has invested lots of money in a new modern winery and visitor facilities. They have the 3 different levels of Tempranillo (Crianza, Reserva and Gran R) plus two single plots which are just amazing.

The basic version which is enclosed has a lovely medium purple colour. The nose is delicate with lots of red fruit, cherries and hint of oak spices and some liquorice.

As far as the taste is concerned it has a very elegant smooth and fruity aftertaste with super soft tannins and a delicious acidity. Nearly Burgundy like. The grapes are harvested in october when the day temperature is around 25c while at night it can be down to 5c (explains the acidity).

Lots of new oaks been used but it is perfectly balanced with the fruit and it is thus impossible not to be impressed by their basic wine.

Pago de los Cappelanes 2013
Ribera del Duero  
Ca 220 NOK or 15 €

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Pleiades XXIV

Sean Thackrey is quite a special wine person. He makes wine because it should taste nice and in this version he use many different grapes. 

In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were the seven daughters of Atlas and thus the wine is said to contain seven grapes (though it might sometimes contain more) and some of the commonly used grapes include Syrah, Barbera, Carignan, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and white Viognier. Thackrey does not measure the percentages of the grapes, using what he feels like, tasting and testing as he goes along. It is a nonvintage wine, each release receiving a new Roman numeral.

The Pleiades have intense flavors, complexity and unique character. They also possess an appealing, earthy gaminess that could remind you of  Burgundy.

Pale red colour, a bit like Burgundy. Delicious nose of red fruit, rose  and gingerbread. Lovely balanced taste dominated by raspberry and spicy cake. 

Pleiades XXIV
California Red Table wine
Ca 30usd  

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Nuits St.George 2009 by Patrice Rion

Nuits St.George wines in Burgundy have almost always a dark and intense colour. Close Saint Marc is a premier cru which is just across the road from the Patrice Rion facilities.

The Clos Saint Marc is just less than 1ha and only 4000 bottles a year are produced from around 60 years old vines.

The nose is firm but delicate and dominated sweet raspberries, cherries and some earthy undertones.

His wines are biodynamic and all the stalks are removed before fermentation.

The taste is wonderfully balanced with lots of elegant red fruit with a long and complex finish.

Stunning stuff as always from Rion!

Nuits St. George 2009 
Clos Saint Marc
Patrice Rion
ca 40€

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Cornas 2012 Guillaume Gilles

I attended a wine tasting in Oslo this week and had the pleasure of participating to a tasting of different Rhone wines. Bordeaux and Burgundy are getting increasingly expensive and Rhone is perhaps one place to look for good values.

The Syrah grape are the star grape in this region reds and it must be said that the most prestigious wines from Hermitage, Cote Rotie and Cornas are quite pricy too. St.Joseph and Crozes Hermitage are thus the more reasonable choices.

Cornas is dense dark red wine with lots of dark fruit which requires both time and food to excel. This one by one of the new guys in Cornas, Guillaume Gilles, is a big full bodied red   packed with massive approachable tannins and a nice minerality. The nose is very clean and elegant.

Guillaume owns 2 hectare in the Chaillot part of Cornas and started in 2008. His wines are honest with a great concentration. The 2012 is probably best in 3-5 years but if you want to drink it now it's probably best to decant it upfront.

Cornas 2012 
Guillaume Gilles
Ca 30-50€

Thursday, 2 February 2017

El Grifo white wine

The wine world keeps surprising me and this time it's a white wine from the warm and sunny Lanzarote that are hitting the headlines.

When are you on holiday in the Canary Islands good wines can be difficult to track down as there are a lot of plunk around.

El Grifo is the oldest winery on the Canary islands (1775 in fact) and this white wine based upon the pre phylloxera Malvasia grape is very good value for money.

Pale and clean straw colour.

Aromatic wine with plenty citrus, tropical fruit and white flowers.

The wine is bone dry with an elegant acidity and a lovely minerality from the volcano ashes that the grapes have grown in.

A real treat for 14€!

El Grifo
Malvasia Coleccion

Friday, 20 January 2017

Nyetimber Tillington 2010

This is a delightful vintage and single vineyard sparkling from Tillington in England. Nyetimber decided that vines from Tillington were of superior quality and could be bottled separately.

Climate change means that the wine quality has increased in England over the last decade or so and this is a very elegant sparkling indeed with predominantly Pinot Noir and some Chardonnay.

Only ca 4000 bottles have been released. Delicious clean citrus fruit with some scent of grapefruit and creamy notes. Elegant and pure complex mousse with a long finish.

Nyetimber 2010
Single vineyard
England £75