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

Monday, 9 January 2017

First day Sommelier education

On the first day we concentrated blind tasting techniques. We were served these wines without seeing the bottle and were asked to do a proper analyses in order to develop a logical answer. At each step we tried to conclude what it could potentially be or what we could exclude.

The first bottle (to the left) was pale yellow gren colour indicating no or very little oak influence. This was confirmed by the zingy and zesty smell with dominant gooseberry flavours indicating a potential Sauvignon Blanc. The taste was bone dry with a pronounced acidity. Again crispy flavours indicating no oak influence. Overall quality good and most people thinking Sauvignon Blanc which also was the correct answer.

The second wine had a more medium yellow colour and more tropical fruit flavours. Less acidity anymore body. The influence of oak was evident and many guessed Chardonnay from the new world.

The first red reminded me of Beaujolais on the colour. Medium purple. The nose was more towards ripe red and dark fruit with a certain"sweetness". Some infuence of flowers as well. That me drift towards Pinot Noir which was confirmed by the taste which offered a fruity well balanced wine (acid vs fruit). Medium to high acidity with very little tannins supported this argument. The slightly sweet aftertaste led us towards new world Pinot which is what it was.

The second red led us to believe it was an old wine by just looking at the colour; medium red with red brown rim. The nose however led me to Bordeaux due to the earthy, smoky, coffee like flavours. But there were some jammy flavours that suggested otherwise. The taste has high acidity, quite a lot of tanninsand a firm body that reminded me of Nebbiolo. The aftertaste had however some spice and vanilla which did not quite match that track. So when the guy next to me suggested Rioja it all came together. Vina Arana from 2008 based on tempranillo and some Viura, Mazuelo and Graciano. Key lesson is that Rioja is a blend and knottiest Tempranillo.

The last wine was obviously sweet white due to the deep yellow colour, viscosity, the complex sweet tropical fruit and honey. The very high acidity suggested that we should be away from Sauternes, which I thought it was. The best way to understand the difference between Botrytis sweet whites and ice wine is to the test them against each other.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

7 Fuentes red from Tenerife

This is a delightful reasonable red from Valle de la Ortava on Tenerife. The grapes are two local variations called Listan Negro (90%) and Tintilla. The growing area is on the north side of the volcano Teide, altitude between 300-700 meters above sea level. Many of the vines are more than 100 years old.

The colour of the wine is pale red and the nose is primary cherries and pepper. The taste is light, elegant and beautifully balanced with a decent length dominated by minerals, pepper and cherries.

A very interesting wine made by Bodega Suertes del Marques- Soagra which in a way can remind one of a light Burgundy.

7 Fuentes 2013
Suertes del Marques-Soagra
190 NOK or 12 €

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

La Parde de Haut-Bailly

The 2008 vintage from Bordeaux is not well sought after but on the bright side they are all reasonable as it was the last vintage before the very expensive 2009 and 2010 which ruined some of the market. The 2008 should in any case not be disregarded as it's drinking quite nicely now.

The mix in this wine is 50% Cabernet, 40% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. The second wine of Haut-Bailly in Pessac Leognan is good value for money with a typical Bordeaux nose (ripe red fruit and earth) and a very subtle and smooth style.

Very harmonious finish as well with soft tannins. drink now or for the next 5 years.

La Parde de Haut-Bailly 2008
Pessac Leognan
Ca 25 or 340 NOK

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Barbera d'Alba 2012 by Sandrone

There are many different Barbera d'Alba around. Many are easy drinking reds for lunch with some pizza or pasta and without too much complexity.

But then there are some that have something extra both in terms of quality and also price admittedly.

Sandrone is perfectionist and his Barbera delivers super quality every year.

One of the features with Barbera is the deep dark red colour and the purple rim. The nose is dominated by dark cherries with hints of wood, chocolate and almonds.

Perfectly balanced taste with plenty of body, fruit and acidity. Another feature with Barbera is the lack of tannins, if ever present, they are soft and well integrated into the long delicious aftertaste.

Barbera d'Alba 2012
Ca 25€ or 290NOK

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Puligny Montrachet Le Trezin" 2011 by Pierre Yves Colin Morey

I am not sure what to say anymore about the white Burgundies by Pierre Yves Colin Morey....

The smell, the taste, the balance, the sensation. Everything is so beautifully balanced and elegant that it is mind blowing.

A bit of lime.
A bit of butter.
A bit exotic fruit.
A bit of vanilla.

Speechless really.
His wines are pure mediation.
Just buy!

Puligny Montrachet "Le Trezin" 2011
Pierre Yves Colin Morey
Ca 40€ or 450 NOK

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Occidental 2012 Sonoma Coast

Pinot Noir from the cool Sonoma Coast can now compete with Burgundy in quality and taste. All the "cooked" flavours that has been the challenge with Californian Pinot have disappeared and you are left with beautifully balanced wines that have a very decent acidity.

Occidental has this basic Sonoma Coast version as well as one called Cuvee Catherine. Both are extremely good Pinot Noir but also a bit pricy very due to the low quantities.

This one has a very elegant nose of ripe red fruit with a great minerality. The taste is packed with "chilled fruit" and a beautifully struck balance that goes on and on.

It's a very elegant wine indeed!

Occidental 2012
Sonoma Coast
Ca 40$ or 500NOK

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Saint Aubin 1er cru by Lamy

Hubert Lamy and Saint Aubin is definitely one of my favourite combinations when it comes to white wines.

This delightful combination gives white Burgundies to die for and if you ever coms across you just have to buy as they are becoming increasingly more difficult to get hold of.

This premier cru with the funny name "Les Murgers des Dents de Chien" has it all. Beautiful aromas of lime, butter, minerals and green apples. Lovely fruity and balanced taste with perfect acidity and aftertaste.

Use big glasses and drink it not too cold, more around 10-12c.

Saint Aubin 1er cru 2013
Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Hubert Lamy
Ca 35€