When the top white wines in the world are discussed one always ends up in Burgundy. And this has a price ... especially for the wines in question. But fortunately there are some bargains out there, like this weeks wine of the week.
In Burgundy you'll find alot of wine cooperatives and wine trading companies. It can be difficult to know if they are quality driven or quantity driven wine makers, but the only way to be sure is to try the wines your self. Maison Roche de Bellene was founded in 2008 and they have several wines at Vinmonopolet ranging in price from 140 to over 2000,- nok. But we will focus on their affordable chardonnay for this weeks wine.
Maison Roche de Bellene Vieilles Vignes 2016 - 189,90.
Delicious white burgundy, Ricch and full bouquet, with hints of flowers, strawberries(!) and peach. Great minearlity and structure. Tropical fruits, ripe orange and grapefruits in the mouth. Very drinkable.
This is fine to drink by it self, but will also be perfect with a flat fish, like a dover sole with a buttery sauce.
This week 132 products containing liquid apples competed to be best of the best. There were five categories, with tight competition for the golden medals. Finn-Erik was one of 20 judges. Here are the winners.
THIS PART IN NORWEGIAN ONLY
Beste rene eplemost
Beste eplemost fantasi
In the famous region of Piemonte, north in Italy, there is a wine that once had the attention of European royalty. Gattinara is both the name of a small city situated between Torino and Milano, and the name of the wines from this small region. It's a limited production and , in most cases, on 100% Nebbiolo grapes.
"Conterno wants in on the fun happening in Gattinara", an employe at Vinmonopolet told me, as we spoke of the region. "The price of Nervi's Gattinara 2015 rose from 300NOK to 380NOK, overnight, as Conterno bought the house. And that's even before Conterno did anything to the winemaking."
A Gattinara wine is a very different experience than it's Barolo & Barbaresco brothers and sisters south in Piemonte. Even made on the same grape, in the same region, the Gattinara wines stand out differently. They are more slim and acidic, and demand more of you as a consumer. They tend to be quite complex and with great potential for ageing.
Our pick for wine of the week is from Travaglini. A winery started in 1920 that produces a number of different wines. We've tasted their traditional Gattinara DOCG from 2014.
Last week we had the absolute delight of dining at new Restaurant Rest. in Oslo. It has already received rave reviews from the newspapers, so we were very exited to try for ourselves. And it didn't disappoint. A fantastic 19 course meal all with a focus on Norwegian produce and everything salvaged from what is in essence leftovers. Amazing!
Fortunately for us I knew the head sommelier there and she served up some of the fine wines they have on their menu. Understandably, they haven’t got the biggest cellar yet, that comes later, but what they have is of the highest quality. And one of my favourites from the evening is this weeks wine.
I am a big fan of German wines, but almost exclusively their Riesling wines. But this time she had a fine Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder as the grape is known in Germany, for us to taste. K. Wechsler Spätburgunder Trocken 2014 is fine and very drinkable wine that is also quite affordable. Perfect for both fine dining and the comfort of home. Made by the very talented Katharina Wechsler, another of the very exiting female wine makers making a splash in todays wine market.
K. Wechsler Spätburgunder Trocken 2014 – kr. 196,90
Lovely and nice Spätburgunder with all the notes you would expect from a Pinot. Red berries and strawberries. Very, very drinkable. Will be very nice with a vegetable dish like we got at the restaurant or something else light. But also fine to drink by it self.
We love France and we love pretty much everything French. So we keep returning here for our wines of the week. This time we travel to the exiting appellation of Beaujolais. Here they mostly produce light and delicate red wines. Some whites are made too, but the fame comes from the reds produced on the Gamay grape.
Once every year, for a limited time only, you can find the Beaujolais Nouveau in stores. We made a special episodes for out podcast on this. Check it out:
In Beaujolais you will find three levels of wine. First you have the straight up Beaujolais wines. This is the most grown and standard wines of the region. Then you find the Beaujolais Villages wines. These are specific to what communes they've been grown in. And finally you have the top ten cru wines. The finest of the region. These are: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Côte de Brouilly and Régnié
Wine of the week is a Morgon, made with 100% Gamay. It's a fantastic wine at a fantastic price. All in all medicine for cold winter bodies.
Last autumn we had the absolute delight of traveling to Sicily to try the fantastic wines from the spectacular island. On of the highlights was a trip to the top of Mount Etna. It was calm when we were there, but last week the grand old lady again began to rumble. Hopefully the wineyards on the vulkano were spared. This weeks wines is one of the finest the mountain and island has to offer.
Our story form our trip to Sicily in now finally finished and awailable. Have a look:
Tenuta Della Terre Nere have for over thirty years now made fine wines from their wineyards on the sides of the wolrds most famous vulcano. They have been available in Norway for a while and are quite popular already. And it's easy to understand why. Their wines are fruity and fresh and always a high quality.
The Tenuta Della Terre Nere winery is beautifully situated on the slopes of the mountain and they have a simple philosophy. Given an extreme climate, in order to obtain the best and most consistent ripening, the attention must focus on vineyard management. And this shines through in their wines.
This weeks wine is their Etna Rosso, made from 95% Nerello mascalese and 5% Nerello cappuccio. It's produced from young wines from several of their wineyards all over the estate and they are all situated between 600 and 900 meters up. After harvest and fermentation the wine is aged in large french oak barrels and then botteled after 16 months in the barrels and one further month in a steel tank.
Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2017
Fresh and raw smell of earth and forrest, spices and herbs. Good acid, rasberry and berris from the forrest in the mouth. Very refreshing and drinkable. the good minerality adds to the freshness.
This is a fine wine to enjoy by itself, but will also go well with tomato based pasta dishes, pizza and maybe try it with game.
Christmas is soon upon us with all the joys that brings. There will be songs, presents and a lot of food! Here in Norway it's lamb, pork and cod that are the staples of Christmas dinner and they are all on the heavy side. In our podcast this week we talked about what kinds of wine you can drink with these dishes. But there will also be time to relax and enjoy the holidays. And if you want something delicious and easy to drink for that time, then this week’s wine is for you
Domaine de Crêts Macon Chardonnay L'echenault de Serre 2017! A name you will struggle to remember I'm sure. But don't let the long and difficult name discourage you, this is a fantastic wine. It's from Macon, so just south of the more famous white wine regions from Burgundy, but the quality is very similar. Macon wines have become favourites of ours the last few years as they keep making god, solid wines for a very good price.
This winery is collaboration between Francois Lequin and Mattieu Ponson, two already established wine makers. The wine yards are located in Ozenay close to Tournus.
Dom. des Crêts Mâcon-Chardonnay L'échenault de Serre 2017
Toast, lime and butter on the nose. Great structure and minerality which makes it feel very fresh in the mouth. You also get flavours like butter, lime and almonds when drinking and it has weight enough to be a great food wine.
You can definitely enjoy this on it's own. It's light and fresh enough to be a comfort wine. But this can also be great with food. Try it with Dover sole with lemon sauce. It will be fantastic.
Luca Roagna is 5th generation winemaker in one of the best wine regions in the world; Piemonte. He's considered one of the best in the world and he's selling this gem for only 209kr. I recommend you run to the store and secure a few bottles before continuing this article :)
Here he is, Luca in green shirt. John Kaare and I slightly ecstatic after tasting his whole range of wines (2013 vintage).
Our visit to his winery premieres on Matkanalen, FB and YT January 2019.
Luca is an outstanding winemaker who has brilliant vineyards in both Barbaresco and Barolo. His wines are sought-after world wide and his limited 77.000 bottles production can be tricky to come by. The retail price ranges from 500kr to much much more. So what is the deal with this 209kr gem?
The top wines from Luca have been harvested from vineyards approximately 45 to 80 years old. As he's continuously is expanding, some of the newer vineyards have yet to reach that level of maturity. But in the ageing process they still produce grapes, excellent grapes; every year.
And it's from these grapes he makes what he labels as "a simple wine". But make no mistake, these wines are far from simple. They are complex, elegant world class wines, at a bargain prices.
After 24 hours of air
At once you see a different wine. A lot has happened since yesterday.
Delicious smell of ripe fruits, plums, black currants and wet forest. There are some notes of elegant oak poking around as well. Lovely.
Super juicy in the mouth, with elegant and kind tannins.
Raspberries, cherries and currants.
Pizza, pasta and hard cheeses.
What a wine! Wow!!
I have to admit something - I'm not to fond of Beaujolais Nouveau ... I know, I know, not something you say in november when the Est Arrive-hysteria is at it's peak. But after having tasted the 18-vintage it hit me: The New Wine just isn't that good. It feels rushed and unfinished. And when yoy taste wine from Beaujolaise that has been given some time. That has been made like it was a regular wine, then you have to ask yourself: Why do we even bother with Nouveau?
Because wine from Beaujolais can be fantastic! Like this weeks wine from Cheateau Thivin. Their Cuvée Zaccharie is a superb wine in any regard. Fresh and fruity, it is easily a wine to enjoy by itself or with food. It really shows off the great Gamay grape and puts all the Nouveau-wines to shame!
Run by Claude Gouffray, the fifth Claude from this family to make iwnes on the estate that the family bought in the late 1800's, the make their wine the old fashioned way and the result are wines with structure in addition to the great fruitiness that the Gamay is so famous for.
Ch. Thivin Cuvée Zaccharie Côte de Brouilly 2017
Dark and deep purple red colour. Extremely fresh with delightful pepper notes, great minerality and red berries on the nose. Great structure in the mouth. The minerality really shines through. Hints of strawberries at the end. Just a great wine.
We enjoyed this with turkey this thanksgiving and it was a fantastic match. Will also be excellent with goats cheese.
Just goes to show what a little patience will do to a wine ...