April 09, 2014

March wines

The first month of spring according to the calendar, but since we never really had any winter besides a couple of weeks in January it suddenly just got warmer and lighter outside. The trees started to get greener and there were snowdrops and crocuses in the garden.

Spring also means some nice limited releases (at least here in Sweden) of Stoneleigh’s Rapaura series and Schloss Gobelsburg. Both excellent producers of light and crisp wines that should be drunken young.

Another excellent wine this month was 2011 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Chapelle des Augustins. Still young and will probably peak in 2-3 years, but everything that comes with a good Sancerre was there - bone dry, highly aromatic with intense flavours of peaches and gooseberries. To add to the experience, the bottle was one of the many bottles we bought back from France last summer. We know exactly how steep the hills are in Chavignol, how hard it was to park on the tiny serpentine village street and what first-rate service and information we got at the Henri Bourgeois tasting room. As an extra treat to go with the wine last glass of wine we also had some Crottin de Chavignol. Goat cheese made to perfection! We were without a doubt back in the Loire Valley.

2012 Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Steinsetz Grüner Veltliner

2006 Château Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2005 Château Menota

2011 Olivier Leflaive Rully Premier Cru Vauvry

2007 André Clouet Millésime

2012 Château Mont-Redon Côtes du Rhône Réserve Blanc

2001 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2011 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Chapelle des Augustins

2007 Jean-Marc Brocard Bourgogne Blanc Kimmeridgien

2007 Palmer Blanc de Blancs

2008 Brunello di Montalcino Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona

2008 André Clouet Millésime

2011 Trimbach Gewurztraminer

2007 Cloudy Bay Chardonnay

2009 Tim Adams Semillon

NV Deutz Brut Classic

2012 Stoneleigh Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc

2012 Stoneleigh Rapaura Pinot Noir

2008 Jose Maria da Fonseca Moscatel de Setubal

2008 Palmer & Co Millésime Brut

2008 Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino

March 04, 2014

February wines

We continued our weekend in Copenhagen with a day of browsing stores (along with a little bit of shopping) and of course smørrebrød for lunch at Bøf & Ost. I rarely drink beer and maybe once a year or even less than that I have a shot of schnapps, but a smørrebrød lunch at Bøf & Ost definitely requires those attributes. The snow from the blizzard the day before had turned into sleet, rain and around +1 degrees so both beer and schnapps warmed us as well.

During our last visit to Copenhagen we had an amazing dinner at Alberto K. This time we decided to try the sister restaurant to the only Italian restaurant in Scandinavia with a Michelin star. Only two doors away from each other they share wine cellar, but L’Altro is far from fine dining instead it is old school family cooking the way Nan used to do. Each month they also have a theme menu and for February the theme was The Godfather movies. Seven different Sicilian courses all prepared and done with lots of love and passion. The wines were marvelous too. All Italian, mostly Sicilian ranging from the mid 1990’s until today. When a young woman came around and played the godfather theme on the violin we all laughed, but somehow it still fit into the theme.

On Sunday the sun was shining and suddenly spring was in the air. After a long walk around town in the sunshine we decided to visit La Glace, Denmark’s oldest café from 1870. Time has almost stood still and you get your coffee in tiny little silver plated pots. Milk also comes in silver plated jugs and the pastries have probably not changed much since they opened. I went for a slice of chocolate caked called Lucky you whereas TheMan went for slice of the Othello cake.

Full and happy (and probably high on sugar) we took the train back to Sweden in the afternoon. As always we started to talk about our next visit before we hadn’t even crossed the border. Copenhagen is without doubt a city that we love to come back to over and over again.

2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Poliziano

NV Baron Fuenté Galipettes Brut

2011 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Cuvée Margot

1999 Künstler Stielweg Riesling Spälese

2004 Gianni Voerzio Barolo La Serra 2004

2007 Sancerre Domaine Raimbault-Pineau

2011 Serrata Belguardo

2012 Schloss Gobelsburg Kammerner Gaisberg Riesling Erste Lage

2009 Fonterutoli

2011 Langhe Nebbiolo Fontanafredda

NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut

February 17, 2014

January wines

Finishing off the old year with drinking champagne all through the dinner we continued on New Year’s Day with our all-time favorite bubblies - Palmer Blanc de Blancs. Some left-overs from the night before including foie gras and cheese to make sure the new year was off to good start as well. I might have to add that we were off the day after New Year’s Day so "decadent" living was totally OK…

January passed by very quickly and ended with train ride through a very snowy south of Sweden taking us to Copenhagen, where there was heaps of snow as well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much snow in the Danish capital before. The Danes looked quite surprised themselves. By Sunday all snow was gone through and spring was almost in the air.

On Friday night in Copenhagen we trudged through the snow and returned to Wining & Dining for dinner. Still great value for your money with both very good food and wines. Exactly what you need after a long week.

2007 Palmer Blanc de Blancs

2008 Castelforte Amarone della Valpolicella

2009 Fonterutoli

2009 Château la Commanderie

1988 Riesling Hugel

2011 Le Bertille Rosso di Montepulciano

NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier

2010 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

2009 Château des Jacques Morgan

2008 Coto Real Reserva

NV Mumm Cordon Rouge

2010 Vedré

2007 Cullen Mangan Merlot Petit Verdot Malbec

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Chardonnay

2012 Jean Pabiot et Fils Sancerre La Merisiere

2004 Bodegas Bilbainas Vina Pomal Gran Reserva Rioja

January 14, 2014

December wines

Looking back at December and the year as whole, the first thing that comes to mind are time flies. Wasn’t it just summer? Is it really Christmas already? Thinking back, it has yet again been an amazing year. Lots of amazing wine discoveries, fun trips and fabulous meals with TheMan and needless to say December was no exception. It would be a lie if I didn’t say I hope this coming year will be the same. I’m so happy and blessed to have found someone who shares my passion for food, wine and travels.

What I will remember most from December is probably drinking a fabulous South African Cabernet Franc from High Constantia Winery the same time as the news of Nelson Mandela’s death broke. Someone clearly wanted me to think about South Africa…

Or finally getting to try British sparkling wine which I’ve heard so much about. Nyetimber Classic Cuvee was all I heard about it and some more. Aromas of melon and bread along with hints of vanilla. On the palate apricot and melon flavours ending in a long finish.

Another highlight was of course Christmas Eve and our annual Christmas champagne. This year a bottle of Perrier Jouët Grand Brut. Non-vintage but it had aged incredible well over the last 5- 6 years. Golden colour, floral and fruity aromas with notes of butter and hazelnuts. Simply fabulous!

Talking about Champagne, New Year’s Eve was quite special as well. We tried different champagnes all through the meal where Champagne Collard-Picard Cuvée Dom Picard Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs made the biggest impression on me. Wonderful aroma, lots of citrus and acidity which went perfect with canapés consisting of seafood paté, Kalix roe and sour cream and foie gras with Sauternes jelly. Marvellous!

2006 High Constantia

2009 Nyetimber Classic Cuvee

2008 Travaglini Gattinara

2000 Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve

NV Pierre Peters Cuvée de Réserve

2011 Ro-Rée Saint Joseph Louis Cheze

2009 Trimbach Selection de Vielles Vignes Riesling

2012 Château Mont-Redon Côtes du Rhône Réserve Blanc

2006 Vigna Pedale Riserva

NV Taittinger Brut Réserve

2010 Cuvée Sextant

NV Delamotte Brut

2006 Trimbach Gewurztraminer

NV Perrier Jouët Grand Brut

2007 Sancerre Domaine Raimbault-Pineau

2008 Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel

2008 Barbera d'Alba Gallina La Spinetta

Castelforte Prosecco Extra Dry

2010 Campogiovanni Rosso di Montalcino

2004 Baron De Ley 7 Viñas Reserva

2008 Kanonkop Pinotage

2008 Rotari Rosé

NV Champagne Collard-Picard Cuvée Dom Picard Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs

NV Taittinger Brut Réserve

NV Champagne Collard-Picard Cuvée Prestige

1996 Rotari Brut Mezzacorona

NV Taittinger Prélude Brut

December 20, 2013

November wines

November is my least favourite month of the year and this year was no exception. Dark, wet and windy. Ugh! Thank God for nice wines to drink and good friends to enjoy them with.

My favourite bottles of the month are both champagne, 2008 André Clouet Millésime and NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve.

André Clouet is an old favourite of mine and yet again I could only say – Mmm, so very good! Brioche, butter, apricots, citrus and some slate. Perfect to get a dinner party going.

Billecart-Salmon was actually a new try for me (Yes I know…), but what a find. Just my taste – some bread, some pink grapefruit and some green apples. Also hints of flowers in the finish. Very nice!

During the month there was also a bottle of 2005 Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Chardonnay and several glasses of both Palmer & Co and Piper-Heidsieck. Clearly a champagne month. Madame Lilly Bollinger (1899-1977) was unaccountably right.

"I only drink champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty."

2005 Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Chardonnay

2009 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Poliziano

2002 Château Greysac

2008 Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Altenbourg Clos des Capucins

2010 Beronia Viticultura Ecológica

2111 Periquita Reserva

2011 Serrata Belguardo

2011 Barone Ricasoli Brolio

2007 Jean-Marc Brocard Bourgogne Blanc Kimmeridgien

2006 Chablis Le Beaunois Labouré-Roi

2007 Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Premier Cru Montée de Tonnerre

2010 Luigi Righetti Campolieti Ripasso

2010 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

2008 André Clouet Millésime

2009 Tenuta Argentiera Poggio Ai Ginepri Bolgheri

NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve

2009 Trimbach Selection de Vielles Vignes Riesling

2009 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf-du-Pape

2005 Chateau d’Arche Grand Cru Classé Sauternes

November 13, 2013

October wines

Just like September, October went and gone in a hurry. But still there were some real nice wine moments of course.

Like 2010 Springfield Estate Special Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc. A gift from a dear friend in London which has showed me several times that South Africa makes excellent wines. Unfortunately those wines never make it to Sweden, as most Swedes just drink South African bag in the box wine (getting chills down my spine just thinking about it). Anyhow, after 3 years in the cellar it was perfectly matured and a match in heaven with grilled scallops.

Or 2006 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Cuvée Margot. Our last bottle from 2006. Lots of cherries and berries. Decent acidity and a bit chalk. So very good!

Or 2011 Serrata Belguardo. Yet another excellent wine from Mazzei Family in Tuscany. (I honestly don’t think they can make a bad wine…) Dark ruby colour with blue hues. A rich full body with dark berries. A classic Tuscan wine that will spice up any boring weekday night and any other day of course.

2010 Springfield Estate Special Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc

1999 Künstler Stielweg Riesling Spälese

2006 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Cuvée Margot

2012 Domaene Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner

2012 Château Mont-Redon Côtes du Rhône Réserve Blanc

NV Champagne Gaudriller Cuvee Presitge

2011 Serrata Belguardo

2011 Chakana Estate Selection Malbec

2004 Michele Chiarlo Barolo Tortoniano

NV Champagne Gaudriller Cuvee Tristan

2009 Trimbach Selection de Vielles Vignes Riesling

2009 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf-du-Pape

NV Champagne Delamotte Brut

2012 Winkl Sauvignon

2007 Le Busche

2009 Fonterutoli

October 10, 2013

September wines

Could someone please stop the clock? The first autumn month is already gone and I’m still thinking it’s summer or ok, late summer. Being busy means not as much time for tastings and trying out new wines, but the weekends are still saved for doing what we like the most. Spending time in the kitchen trying new recipes and finding the perfect wine to go with it.

For the last couple of months French wines have of course been the centre of our attention. A couple of weeks ago TheMan found a bottle of Rioja in the cellar. A "forgotten" bottle 1998 Baron de Oña Grand Reserva. Opening it we were quite excited, wondering if it would be overmatured or not. Sadly it was. The colour was quite amazing brownish brick, but no smell and hardly any taste. Just flat, so with deep hearts the content was poured down the drain.

The big find of the month was probably Domaine Louis Cheze Ro-Rée Saint Joseph. A classic example of Northern Rhone Grenache. A nose filled with red berry fruit with notes of forest along with macerated prunes. The palate rather vital and spicy with a touch of pepper. Pleasing both body and mind.

NV Couly-Dutheil Brut de Franc

NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve

2009 Trimbach Selection de Vielles Vignes Riesling

2012 Couly-Dutheil Domaine René Couly

2011 Domaine Louis Cheze Ro-Rée Saint Joseph

2009 Louis Jadot Couvent des Jacobins Bourgogne

1998 Baron de Oña Grand Reserva

NV Palmer & Co Brut Reserve

2009 Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet

2000 Lat 42 Gran Reserva