As we are in May we’re continuing with Rosé wine recommendations. It is after all the perfect time to drink Rosé! Last week we enjoyed a Greek wine, which is relatively new in Norway. This week we’re off to probably the most famous Rosé wine district in the World - Provence! And of the wines from Provence, the ones from the Bandol AOC are some of the most famous. Here the Mourvedre grape reigns supreme.
Domaine de Suffrène is a family estate combining tradition and modernity. The vines have been in the family for over a century. It was after the war that Mr. Piche, a young farmer, began to develop the vineyard. He is one of the pioneers of the Bandol appellation. His grandson, Cédric Gravier, then took over the farm in 1996, and built the cellar as it exists today.
Although they make reds and whites it’s the Rosé we’ll be presenting this week. Different Plots located on different soils along the La Cadière-d’Azur and Le Castellet. The soils are mostly limestone and some very clayey soils. This makes for Fresh and mineral wines. The grapes are organically grown and hand harvested with selection done both in the field and in the cellar.
Dom. La Suffrene 2021 - 198,- kr
A delightful pink colour. Hints of roses, blood orange and peach on the nose. Great acidity and minerality makes the wine feel fresh and cool to drink. Orange and lime in the mouth with good length and weight. Great with white meats and grilled sea food.
May, spring and delicious pink juice. Rosé season is here in all its glory.
Traditionally this wine is considered a somewhat fresh of the shelves wine, meant for immediate consumption and not for your cellar. It’s mostly a light and very drinkable wine, and often from Provence or Piemonte. But this year we’ll challenge this with a fantastic bottle from Greece. It has character, bold flavours, a brilliant colour and it can be enjoyed now, but will also cellar for years.
Winemaker Apostolos Thymiopoulos has risen as one of the great stars of the Greek wine scene. He and his family has been into farming and agriculture for generations, but Apostolos only made his first wines in 2005. He truly believes in sustainable viticulture and minimum intervention during the whole winemaking process. Apostolos applies this philosophy to produce ten different expressions of Xinomavro, a renowned variety of Northern Greece, trying to reveal every aspect of its potential.
This week we’re digging into his somewhat unknown rosé. And we’ll be bold and say that this is the coolest rosé you’ll drink this year.
Grapes for this rosé are sourced from several small vineyards in and around the village of Fytia, inland west of Athens. Elevation is between 450-650 meters and vineyards are cooled by both inland mountain winds and from the sea about 40km away. Grapes are macerated for 12 hours, then fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel tanks for 5 to 6 months. The wine is matured in used 500 litre barrels for 5 months.
It’s May and time to put the red wine away and start focusing on the whites! With the warmer weather we automatically drift towards with wines just like we want reds in autumn and winter. This week we have gone for a particular favourite from the Piemonte. Like it’s more famous red Piemonte grape, the Nebbiolo, the Arneis grape is a almost exclusively grown in the famous northern Italian province. Historically the grape was mostly used in a blend with Nebbiolo to soften the the red wines and make them more drinkable sooner. But with the popularity of single grape varieties the Arneis grape was almost lost to time. Fortunately it has bounced back and now there are some fine white wines coming from Piemonte featuring this underrated grape.
The Giovanni Rosso family have farmed vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba,as long as the family can remember but not always producing their own wines. For generations they would cultivate the grapes and make wine for other brands to resell. But during the early 1980's Giovanni Rosso restructured the vineyards with the aim of growing the best fruit but it was his son Davide who finally put the family name on the wines and starting producing the wines himself.
Giovanni Rosso Roero Arneis - 195,- kr
As always when it comes to Arneis it is so fresh and fruity on the nose. Clear citrus notes, leaning towards orange and grapefruit. Great acidity and very long in the mouth. The citrus continues here and there is a pleasant weight to the wine that makes it feel long and good. Very good as an aperitif but will go well with shrimp. Try it as an alternative to Chablis!
Far north in Spain lies Castilla y León, one of the country’s 17 autonomous regions and the largest. But with only about 2,4 million people, there is a lot of land for agriculture. And that’s good, because the region produces some of the finest wines in Spain. Mostly reds and Tempranillo being the main grape. The whites are more rare, but the ones made are often with exceptional quality.
Everybody is enjoying the warmer temperatures and fine weather we are enjoying and when the sun finally starts warming us up it’s time to bring out a fine spring wine! We have gone to one of our favorite white wine countries, Germany. The grape is of course Riesling and we are grabbing a bottle of kabinett!
A few years ago we traveled to Germany to learn more about their fine wines and there we also were taught the Prädikat system and you can see how it is defined in our video from that episode.
One of the Prädikats is Kabinett. This has the lowest level of sugar content of the Prädikat wines and is often the one that is priced the lowest. Her you can find some superb value wines, like the one we have as this week's wine.
Schätzel have since 2007 been framed using biodynamic principles. The vineyards are located just outside the village of Nierstein in Rheinhessen and they produce a range of superb wines that are elegant and often have low alcohol and a super acidity that complements the natural sweetness of the Riesling grape.
Schätzel Riesling Kabinett - 175,- kr
Yellowish to green color. Very good scent of apples, citrus and some elder flower. Fresh, fruity with a delicious sweetness. Very well balanced. In the mouth you get the same apples as in the scent. Long, very good aftertaste. This is lovely by itself but there are a range of foods that this will be perfect with. Try it with spicy asian food. It’s going to be great with sushi and cheeses like Raclette, mature cheddar or even a good aged Jarlsberg.
Our Easter pick is a brilliant white made on a grape traditionally found and cultivated in The Loire Valley and South Africa; Chenin Blanc. But this time made by two Americans whose trade is within the wine business. William Kelly is a wine journalist now reviewing wines from Burgundy for Decanter Magazine. His partner in crime is Frank Ingriselli, also a wine journalist. Together they started Beau Rivage Cellars. Launched in 2017, their search for organically farmed fruit capable of attaining mature flavours at moderate degrees of alcohol led them to Clarksburg, where Chenin Blanc thrives on the banks of the Sacramento River.
They found that growing Chenin Blanc in Clarksburg turned out very different from California. They used their love for Burgundy wine making techniques and applied it to their Chenin and with remarkable results. Our wine of the week is actually their first vintage. 2017 was a vintage that needed a few years to unwind in the bottle, but now it’s drinking just perfectly. It only holds 12,1% alcohol, which in American terms is very low. This makes room for more flavours, depth and pure drinking pleasure. A little gem of a wine.
With easter up next on the calendar we figured it would be good to have something light and fresh to enjoy in what will hopefully be a nice and sunny holiday-time. Our natural go to choice would be champagne or maybe something from England, but this week we have ventured further off – all the way to South Africa!
Testalonga is owned by Craig and Carla Hawkins. It was established in 2008 and The Hawkins' currently rent 11ha of organically farmed vineyards, all growing on the granite soils of the Paardeberg, and 4ha on the sandstone soils of the Piketberg. In 2015 they purchased a farm on the slate/sandstone soils of the northern mountains of the Swartland called Bandits Kloof. The first vineyards were planted there in 2018, the focus being Mediterranean grape varieties. In Norway we are lucky to have a lot of their wines available at the Vinmonopol and this weeks wine is one that has become very popular among the hippest of crowds.
Testalonga I am The Ninja – 269,90 kr
This is a bottle that is fun to pop. It opens as a soda bottle not your regular wine bottle and right away there is a nice bang and then a fizzle. In poring it is light yellow with more bubble than you might think. A nice and fresh smell of honey, melons and pear on the nose gives us hope that this will be fun. And it doesn’t disappoint in the mouth. The freshness from the bubbles is matched perfectly with the nice sweetness of the wine. It’s very fruity, with honey melon and ripe apples and some citrus. I’m not a huge fan of Pet Nat, but this was very good. Heres hoping the next bottle is just as good!
Back in 1861, following a successful gold mining adventure, James Skinner decided to invest in wine. Originally a Scotsman, he’d come to the land of opportunities, in search of a better life. James, his wife and their oldest son moved west from Massachusetts, when word of gold in California spread.
Full of gold he decided to set up at winery and plant vines on one of the main trading routes in California. Thirsty gold diggers soon came for both wine and brandy, which they also made at the ranch. The winery grew and soon became on of the most important in the golden state.
Today, some 161 years later, the Skinner Vineyards are still going strong, with a new generation keeping up the legacy.
And you can really taste their proud heritage. Precision and top quality wines in a range of varieties. They focus on grapes and methods from the Rhône valley in France, and our pick is a white one. Their 100% Grenache Blanc is a true gem. Extremely elegant and tasty. Just a ridiculously well done wine in all areas. So delicious to enjoy on its own, but also a great match with a variety of dishes.
Its Oscars week and were celebrating with some great american wine.Since 1982 the Cline family have been making wine on the Sonoma Coast in California. They craft their wines combining timeless techniques and modern technology that work in concert with each varietal, utilizing thoughtful wine growing, gentle handling, attentive sorting, and meticulous blending to achieve wines of great flavor at a great price. This results in fine wines that are at the same time complex, but also very drinkable.
Like the vineyards in Piemonte the vineyards along the Sonoma Coast are soaked in by lingering morning fog on most summer days, where temperatures can swing up to 27 degrees from morning to afternoon. These conditions induce a longer growing
season which enables the grapes to develop the rich California flavors of bright cherry, pomegranate, and wild strawberries while preserving the fresh acidity and classic earthiness that is synonymous with Pinot Noir. This gives these wines a perfect balance between old and new world styles of Pinot Noir.
Cline Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2020 - 209,90 kr
The first thing that hits you are the classic California flavors of bright cherry, pomegranate, and wild strawberries. In the mouth this continues while preserving the fresh acidity and classic earthiness that is synonymous with Pinot Noir from the new world but there is a fine balance between old and new world styles of Pinot Noir in this wine. It really feels like you get the best of both worlds.
It will make an ideal companion to foods like lamb, duck, or braised meats.
Penfolds is without comparison the best producer in Australia. They are behind a number of truly remarkable wines, with their red "Grange" ranging at the top. A wine that needs 50 years of cellaring before opening. Our wine of the week, however, is great right now and ready for consumption.
The Bin 311 variety of Penfolds Chardonnay is a cool climate one, sourcing grapes from different regions for every vintage. The winemaker makes a point to get the grapes from regions that have had the most beneficial climate every year. And for the 2020 vintage grapes were sourced from Tasmania, Adelaide Hills and Henty. All known for their excellent cool climate.