This week we got news of how and when the government will open up society and slowly we will be able to meet our friends again. I don’t know about you but I long to open a nice bottle of wine. pouring a generous glass and cheering with good friends and family. It got me thinking – what will be the first bottle of wine I will open with friends? For us there was only one choice.
We love Champagne here in KulTour, who doesn’t? There are so many to choose from in the Vinmonopol, but our got to brand has for a long time been Louis Roederer and their Brut Premier. The brand that is most famous for the luxury champagne Cristal, makes a fantastic house champagne that we all can afford and deserve!
We have actually visited the Roederer vinery and mad a fun story about how the Cristal champagne became so famous.
Louis Roederer Brut Premier - 479,90 kr
Hints of brioche, toast lemon and lime on the nose. Very classic and what you want from a champagne. Fantastic acidity and minerality makes this so balanced and fresh. Lime, toast and fresh baked brioche in the mouth. Elegant, sublime and fantastic. So, so good.
What bottle will you take with you when society opens up?
Easter is here with an interesting mix of weathers and moods. From late winter storms and flooding, too mild spring days under the sun. To balance this all out, I suggest we just kick start rosé season with this great bottle from Piemonte, north in Italy.
This rosé is orchestrated by Italys by far best winemaker, Luca Roagna. We've visited him a couple of years back; check it out here if you feel like traveling to Piemonte:
This exclusive wine is made predominantly from the Barbera grape, with some Nebbiolo and other local varieties as well. The beautiful deep crystal clear red colour comes from 20 hours contact with the grape skinn. It's produced for the Norwegian market only and comes in a limited quantity. It will be a perfect companion for your Easter, whether it's spent at the cabin or home on your couch binging series. A great value wine.
More than 4000 years ago, vines were already growing in the land of Canaan, what is today Lebanon. The Phoenicians were among the first to ferment grape juice from the vines growing in the Bekaa valley. So, wines from Lebanon have a history that goes back a long, long time. We here in Norway have a special affinity for the wines from this area. There are few places all over the world that has the selection of great Lebanese wines that we have here. Was it the Norwegian soldiers stationed in Lebanon for 20 years that took home stories of these great wines? I don’t know, but I sure am glad we have these wines for sale, as they are great, and this week’s wine is no exception.
The wine with the fantastic name Le Cedre De Beyrouth is made especially for the Norwegian marked by Chateau Kefraya. Their vineyards are spreads over 300 hectares of terraced slopes, 1000 meters above the Mediterranean Sea, on the foothills of Mount Barouk in the Bekaa Valley. Clay-limestone, clay-chalk as well as sandy and gravelly soils compose a real mosaic of terroirs. The vines enjoy an exceptional sun exposure with no irrigation. They are mainly trellised with a planting density of 4000 vines per hectare and an average yield limited to 35 hectoliters per hectare.
The grapes for Le Cedre De Beyrouth are Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Syrah 30%, Grenache 15%, Tempranillo 10%, Cinsault 10%. The grapes are all hand picked and the fermentation is on steel tanks, but not aged in oak barrels. This means the fruits really dominate both the bouquet and the flavour. And the price is an absolute steal at 149,90!
Le Cedre de Beyrouth 2018 - 149,90 kr
Dark red colour. Smells of blackberries and other dark, dark berries with hints of spices and herbs from the Middle East. Very pleasant. In the mouth the wine feels young, fresh, and juicy. Berries again dominate, but I also get plums and cherry. The spices are present also here and the tannins are firm, but not too much.
The firmness and freshness of this wine makes it a fine match for the Easter Lamb, but it will also go great with a spicy dish from the Mediterranean.
Whatever your plans are, for this second easter affected by the Pandemic, some traditional meals might be on the horizon. Easter lamb is historically a Christian tradition, but is enjoyed all over the world by people in search of great food.
Our wine of the week is a 13 year old, fully ripened, brilliant bottle of Rioja wine. And it's going to be perfect with your easter lamb.
Rioja is by far the most well known wine region in Spain, but also the most historical and traditional area for winemaking. We have earlier written about a new wave of young, new thinking generation of winemakers, but today we're keeping it classic. Old school Rioja, with age, is some of the more fun wine experiences I enjoy. And it's extra fun because you can get old, great bottles for a very reasonable price, which is the case with this beauty.
We’ve had some very cold days these last few months but now it seems winter has let the sun come back and there is a small tingle of spring in the air. That gives us a good chance to try out some nice white wines for a change. This week we are letting our minds flow to the warm, sunny coast of Galicia in Spain and a wine that is as easy to drink as it is delightful.
The eastern part of Galicia has a cool Atlantic climate, which gives a correspondingly cool, clear and fruity wine style. Godello was a virtually extinct grape variety until it was rediscovered in the early 1970s. Today it is experiencing something of a renaissance in the northern part of Spain. The aroma profile is not different from Albarino from DO Rias Baixas.
The vineyard is Located between 400 and 500 meters of altitude and has reddish, clayey soils on metamorphic slates. It has 20 % bushwine and the rest more common vertical trellis. This is a great buy at under 200,- kroner and a very exiting new grape to try out.
Gaba do Xil Godello 2019 - 198,- kr
Very nice surprise for me. A style and grape, Godello, that I don't often try, and this was very nice. Orange, grapefruit and white pepper on the nose. Great acidity and minerality. Orange, grapefruit, honey melon in the mouth. Superb wine that drinks great now.
Workes perfectly as an aperitif and with white fish and also with shrimp.
It’s rare to find high quality 15 years old, fully ripe Chablis. It’s even more rare to find this at a very decent price. But since Vinmonopolet is the greatest wine store in the world; we’ll here we are.
Most of us have had a glass of Chablis at one point. It’s from the greatest wine region in the world, Burgundy, and it goes very well with Norwegian seafood. Check.
But I’m going to guess that most of us only have tasted young Chablis. Because that’s what’s normally available at the store.
A fully ripe bottle of Chablis is a completely different ballgame. During years of storage fruit flavours develop personality and the acidity becomes like your grandmother. Rounder, mellow and very likeable.
Lemon flavours can turn to dried lemon peel or candied lemons. The smell of fresh herbs can develop into dried flowers or an autumn forest. Yellow apples can turn to baked apple pie. It’s really fantastic; take my word for it.
Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix is a renowned producer in Chablis and has been available at Vinmonopolet for years. They have just released their 2006 vintage and it’s widely available both at stores around the country and online.
It’s a bargain like no other, so be quick if you wanna taste this treasure.
We’ve had some of the coldest weather in memory and for some reason that makes me want to drink full bodied red wines. Wines that are complex and pack a punch. One grape I often come back to for these attributes is the Tuscan Sangiovese. It was one of my first favourites, but lately I have neglected it for the Burgundian and Piemonte wines, so it has been fine to revisit Tuscany this winter, in the only way to travel for now – by drinking wine from far away places and dreaming of when we can visit again.
Cantina Dei is run by Maria Caterina Dei so the name is more from family than divinity, although the wine are fit for gods - as the wines from Montepulciano has been for so, so long, but that is another story. Vino Nobile wines are very underrated in Norway now so you can make some really good buys, as this wine shows. The price and quality here compare with the best in the world and you get so much wine for the price.
Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2017 - 239,- kr
This Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a brilliant ruby colour with hints of garnet as it ages. Intense bouquet, pungent and mature, with aroma of ripe cherry, plum and violets. Flavourful, balanced and persistent, it has soft, velvety tannins. You find your usual cherry, butcher, raw meat in here. Good acidity as always with Sangiovese dominated wines. A good food wine and we'll worth the price.
This will work well with any typical Italian pasta or pizza. And if you have any kind of beef this will be perfect.
This week we head to Argentina - the land famous for their steaks and barbecue. Here they've made it an art form to cultivate high altitude Malbec grapes, which is the finest pairing you can have with a steak.
The producer, Bodega Catena Zapata, has been a favourite since our visit one year ago today. Watch our two part episode here to take part in the journey 🥰
A few years ago, we made a story from Piemonte and visited the Brandini winery. Beautifully situated just outside La Morra in the heart of Barolo with stunning views over the valley this relatively small vinery wasn’t just known for their superb wine but also because of the two innovative sisters that run this vinery. At that time, their wines were not available in Norway but now they have arrived at our shores, and that is about time if you ask us!
Giovanna and Serena Bagnasco took charge of the Brandini Winery in 2007 together with their parents. The make a wide range of wines, the usual suspects from Piemonte - Barolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Langhe Bianco, Arneis, Moscato d’Asti – and the subject of this weeks wine – a Langhe Nebbiolo.
The grape Nebbiolo reigns supreme in Piemonte, and anyone who has had Barolo and Babaresco knows why. But not all of the Nebbiolo grapes are used for these super wines. Some vines are too young, they grow in the wrong places, the reasons are many, but they produce great wines and often at a very good price.
Brandinis Filiari Corte Langhe Nebbiolo, which you can find in the Vinmonopolet now, is just like that, a great buy. Here you will get a lot of wine for you money. A wine you can consume now or even leave in the cellar for a few years to see how it develops. Check out the episode from Piemonte and get to know more about Brandini.
Brandini Filari Corti Langhe Nebbiolo 2018 - 239,90 kr
Superb Nebbiolo. So fresh and drinkable. Cherry, mushroom and red berries on the nose. Good acidity and minerality. Fresh and long in the mouth with raspberry, cherry and mushroom with hints of spices. Great with tomato based pasta, but also great to drink alone.
If it's been a while since you last thought about Uruguay, here's a quick look.
Our wine of the week comes from Bodega Garzon. Recognised as the number one winery from the New World in 2018. They run a fantastic operation focusing in sustainability and terroir. It's a modern type winery, where innovative techniques are crossed with years of history.