I've been swimming around in quite a few Chianti bottles over the last months. With both the excellent 2015 and 2016 vintages hitting the marked, it's been a joy to keep tasting.
I usually enjoy Chianti during fall and winter, but with the weekend coming up and spring taking a break I'm staying on track.
The beautiful winery is situated in commune of Radda in Chianti and produces traditional, organic and sustainable wines. I've selected their main house wine, and this is great value for money.
These are strange times indeed! A couple of weeks into isolation and I am glad I have a wine fridge and I have been going to it regularly. This week’s wine comes from a region not known for it’s white wines which is a shame because they are really good and often come at a really good price.
The Cotes du Rhône has many times featured as our wine of the week but mostly the red. And that’s natural, the reds are much more famous here than the white wines. But they do make excellent white wines here, featuring mostly three grapes – Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. This week’s wine has a blend of all three of those grapes with some Grenache Blanc added in for good measures. The Domaine is called Domanie de l’Echevin and is a single estate covering 14,5 hectares located on the commune of Saint Maurice. The grapes grow facing this small and cosy village situated in between Avignon and Montélimar and also facing south so they get the good sun exposure. The result is a good representation of what good white wines from this area can produce.
Dom. de l´Echevin Guillaume de Rouville Blanc 2017 - 264,30 kr
Great nose of typical white Rhône qualities, peach and other tropical fruits and hints of honey. In the mouth good structure and weight. The plush fruit palate is well oaked, finishing long. Young, juicy Viognier with peach and herbal tones. Rounded but also quite grippy, showing varietal richness with pitch-perfect balancing acidity. Polished and very well-made.
I remember that wonderful smell walking, as a child, through the raspberry garden of my buddy Terje, up in northern Norway. It would be the end of July and school was on the horizon. But with a few weeks left off summer vacation, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted, as long as we stayed outside. And every day between playing, we would wonder into this magical berry garden and pick a couple of ripe raspberries. They were huge, juicy and sweet. Then Terjes mother would come out on the balcony and order us away, not to eat all of her crop :)
Our wine of the week is a beautiful bottle from Beaujolais in Burgundy, France. This wine takes me back to that garden and those wonderful smells.
Domaine Saint-Cyr is actually on e of our favourite producers of both Pet Nat and rosé. And now also this rich and fruit driven red Beaujolais.
Grape is 100% Gamay and parts of the vineyards used are more than 70 years old. This contributes to an enormous complexity that suits this style of winemaking very well.
We are in the middle of editing our episode from Argentina and seeing the pictures from our stay brings backs some really good memories. The fantastic nature, beautiful vineyards, lovely people and of course great wines. This week’s wine is one of my favourites from our trip.
When you visit Mendoza the first ting you are struck by is the mighty Andes mountains. The rise up like a gigantic wall that the city lies in the shadow of- Majestic and grand they define the city in so many ways. When driving around you will see vineyards almost everywhere. You get the sense that wine is very important here, both by what you see and what people are telling you. Everybody either works with wine or knows someone who does.
In 1992 Nicolas Catena Zapata wanted to challenge the traditional ways of making wine and thought about how he could “stress” the grapes more. As we know, grapes produce the best juice when they have difficult growing conditions. Around the city the grapes were doing fine, but no one had tried to plant further up in the mountains. So, he planted what has become the Adrianna vineyards at about 1450 meters above sea level. Here the climate is cooler, with hot days and cold nights. This stresses the grapes and makes for more concentrated grape juice. But also important was the varied terroir. Inspired by the French theory that quality depends mostly on terroir. The Catena winery did a lot of research into the terroir in and around Mendoza and especially in the high-altitude plots.
They made some startling discoveries: The alluvial soils from Mendoza are not homogenous. In other words, in the same vineyard, within short distances, there are both physical and chemical soil differences, resulting in vineyard lots or parcels with unique characteristics. As a result, each vineyard lot gives origin to its own unique wine with very specific flavours and aromas. Laura Catena, Nicolas Catena’s daughter, who herself is a doctor and biologist has had a research department instilled in the winery where they now are in the forefront of the world when it comes to scientifically understanding terroir and its impact on the wine.
The wines from these high-altitude vineyards were by far the best we tasted in Mendoza. Both the Malbec’s, but perhaps mostly the Chardonnays showed an uniqueness and crispness that I don’t think I had tasted in a Chardonnay before.
I recently spent two weeks in Lofoten and lucky me, it was Skrei season! As most people will know Skreis is the fantastic cod fish that comes to Lofoten every winter to spawn. It is big, delicate and in our opinion the best fish in the world.
The locals make a fantastic fish dish called "Skreimølje" which is the cod boiled, with boiled potatoes, roe and cod liver. You top it of with a god portion of melted butter. It is FANTASTIC! We have actually made an episode of Oldemors Kokebok on it, check out the link:
Now there are some good wine and food combinations in the world. Just think of a Muscadet sur Lie with oysters, a Sautern with a Roquefort cheese and a jucy beef with a Bordeaux red with some age. But few things a better than Skrei with a central Burgundy white. It something about the delicate fish with butter, a sligh saltyness, but not to much that goes fatastic with the fresh and fruity Chardonnay. You can have almost all of the Burgundy whites and use with this dish, but if you are traveling you can get a good buy at the tax free at the moment and that is this weeks wine.
Louis Jadot - Les Deux Versants Saint Véran - 159,00 Kr
Light and fresh chardonnay from the outskirts of Macon. Great lenght and good acidity that is well integrated. Good lengt and body that serves it well when it is enjoyed with food. The typical lemon and lime flavours with hints of tropical fruits as well.
Chianti, the famous red wine from Italy, has been loved for its elegance for hundreds of years. The breathtaking region, with the same name, attracts thousands each year to feast on the ruby red elixir produced here.
And if you can find bottles from the 2015 vintage you're in for a treat. Rated 9/10 on the official scale, the 15 vintage delivered some legendary bottles. Our wine of the week is one of them, and at a very affordable price.
Inspired by our resent travel to Argentina, our wine of the week is a brilliant bottle of high altitude Chardonnay. The best vineyards in Argentina are situated as high as coffee plantations. With the best peaking at 1500 meters up in the Andes.
Grapes for this bottle are hand harvested and fermented in oak barrels. Winemaker Alejandro Vigil then decided on used barrels for the 10-12 month ripening process. This leaves a very smooth, juicy and very tasty wine, at a very reasonable price.
Things are happening in Argentina. Get in while you can :)
We have spent the last week in 'Mendoza getting to know this great wine area, We have been high up in the andes to se what the altitude does to the vines and further down below. The grapes have looked fantastic, the vineyards spectacular, but best of all have been all the amazing people we have met. Wine making has some carachters for sure and the Argentinians are no different. But most of all we have been impressed by the kindness, generosity and knowledge the people here have shown. It has been a week of learning and having fun for sure.
Naturally this weeks wine will have to come from our travels. We have tasted so many different wines here and so many diffrent grapes, but one stands out before all the others and that is the Malbec. So we'll go with one of the best buys you can get at the moment in the vinmonopol, the Alamos organic Malbec 2018. When we return to Norway you will get a full report of our travels.
Alamos Malbec 2018 136,90 kr
Lovely Malbec from Medoza. Jucy and fresh vit nice notes of blackberries, cheery, hints of herbs and liquorice . Good structure and fine lengt. Wine from Argentina is made for meat! And so is this. Try it with lamb or a fine cut of beef!
We’ve already recommended a Norwegian cider this this year but something can’t be recommended enough so for this week we are bringing back som great apples from Hardanger.
The producers with the great name Hardangergutane, The Hardanger Boys in English, are two brothers, Kristian and Karl Magnus Andersen. Their family farm is situated in Sekse, just south of Ullensvang, famous for the old hotel, and on the opposite side of the fjord from Aga. The family has long traditions for making cider but is relatively new on the exiting cider scene here in Norway.
The South Fjord, where both they and Aga are situated is a deeper fjord than the one going in to Ulvik. That means the water is colder and this has an effect on the microclimate here compared to Ulvik. My sense is that the cider from the South Fjord is more acidic and sometimes tougher than the slighter and more floral cider from Ulvik. Both are great though and it all depends on what you prefer and like.
The cider that Hardangergutane produces reflect that, but I was pleasantly surprised by the elegance of this week’s recommendation.
Vindpust 159,90 kr
Beautiful pale yellow colour. On the nose, fresh and ripe green apples hits you right away. It so pleasant and nice. In the mouth the first ting I notice is the balance. Near perfect between sweetness and acidity. It is so good and fresh as well and so good to just enjoy. I had it with sushi and it was a superb combination.
We are really getting so many new and exciting producers of quality cider! The future is as golden as the colour in the glass.
Last week we had Norwegian Cider as out wine of the week. We are really fond of Cider and very proud of what Norwegian apple farmers are making now. On only a few years the level of quality has risen enormously. Sometimes we even like to compare it to wine, but what wine is best compared to cider? This week’s wine is one the we feel is pretty close.
Those who read this recommendation every week know that we love Germans wines here at KulTour and we have recommended several different Rieslings before. This week we want you to try and buy this week’s wine and parallel taste it with last weeks cider and see what you think.
The wine comes from the tiny hamlet of Graach in the Mosel valley. Situated right next to Wehlen and Bernkastel on either side Graach is a classic town for lovers of German wine. And the wine yard we all speak of is the Himmelreich, Kingdom of Heaven. It gets its name from the steep hill it lies on that looks like it will go straight up to heaven when you look up at it.
S.A. Prüms Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese 2016 from wine maker Saskia Andrea Prüm who took over the house in 2017 after her father Raimund retired. When you drink a German wine with Predikat like Kabinett or Spätlese you’ll find that they have great acid to balance the sweetness. This makes the wines very fresh and drinkable. And they are also very good with spicy food. Another thing in common with these wines is the feeling of green apples that you often find when drinking them.
Try it with last weeks cider and see if you can find differences and similarities. The apple connections stand out for me, but the cider feels dryer somehow. The Riesling is a bit sweeter and more like a dessert. Both works superbly with sushi and with spicy oriental food. And another ting they have in common is the low alcohol, only 7,5 to 8,5%. So less of a hangover the next day!
Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese 2016 - 195,90 kr