This year has been one to behold that’s for sure. Who would have thought we would be stuck inside for most of the year, quarantined form each other because of a damn virus? Now, with new vaccines on the horizon, we can slowly start to hope for a better 2021. But there was something good in 2020. We did drink a lot of wine! All of us, just check the sale numbers from Vinmonopolet … so we did end up trying out some fine wines. These are the best wines we had this troublesome year. Here’s to putting 2020 away in the cellar and cheers to a new year!
We will take the holidays of and be back in the beginning of January with our first recommendation of 2021! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
A star is Born
Bodega Catena Zapata is one of our absolute favorite producers. The Argentinian wine family makes the undoubtedly best wines in South America. No questions asked.
They specialize in wines made from high altitude vineyards and Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapes dominate their world.
Paraje Altamira Malbec 2018 is a single vineyard wine, from the Altamira vineyard. It consists of 80% sand, 10% Clay and 10% Silt.
Ticking in at just 209kr, this is an enormous amount of quality wine at the price. It’s spicy, fruity, well structured, has soft tannins and will go excellent to many autumn and winter dishes. What more do you need?
Bodega Catena Paraje Altamira Malbec 2018 - 209kr
Dark, cold, brilliant red color.
Intriguing smell of spices, dark berries, chopped wood, some oak and forest.
Delicious taste of dark berries, beef spices and cherries. Well balanced acidity, smooth tannins and a long flavorful aftertaste.
It’s a very versatile wine. Excellent for just enjoying a glass at the fireplace or hitting it up with some food.
As most Malbec wines, it pairs very well with grilled or pan fried beef. Classic bottle for a classic entrecôte meal.
But will also be great with all the lean game dishes of the season. Or try it with a cheesy pizza or your favorite bolognese.
An American Icon
The common American palette caters to heavily oaked and bold fruited wines. They tend to lack acidity for balance and freshness. But in recent years things have changed. More and more producers are adjusting techniques and working differenty in the vineyards. And this is good news for us.
The 2016 Chardonnay from winemaker Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat. Since 1982 they've made true artisan wines and winning prices all over the world. Located in Santa Barbara they make wines as a homage to Burgundy.
It's a small investment, but this is a Chardonnay unlike any other. I mean, it smells of white chocolate :)
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2016 - 315kr
Brilliant yellow colour.
Appealing smell of fresh butter, yellow plums, zesty lemon, spices and delicious white chocolate.
Rich and smooth in the mouth with elegant flavours of lemon, bourbon vanilla and ripe peach.
Long and delicious aftertaste with superb acidity.
An icon of a Chardonnay!
Try it with a creamy fish soup, halibut in butter sauce or a pasta vongole.
Will also handle a pulled pork dish or chicken in creamy sauce.
Keep your enemy close
Inspired by our resent travel to Argentina, this wine 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 :)
EL ENEMIGO Chardonnay 2017 - 246 kr
Medium yellow colour, with a twist of green.
Intriguing smell of peaches, cantaloupe melon, lemonade, butter and toast. Hints of oak and roasted nuts.
Yummy in the the mouth with fruit and butter party. Rips yellow plums, peaches and a seducing amount of butter.
Smooth mouth feel with an impressive length.
This bottel will continue to develop over the next 5 years or so. Keep on in the cellar just for fun.
Buttery fish dishes and any shellfish dish. Try a risotto with shrimps, cod in hollandaise or a classic grilled cheese sandwich using a hard cow cheese.
Because you deserve it
Barolo, also called «King of Wines”, is the pride of Piemonte. These wines fetch fabulous prices and the good ones often cost over 1000,- NOK. So when we read about Fenocchio’s Barolo from 2013 at a mere 349,90 we had to try it. It didn’t disappoint. We opened this bottle and let it air for over five hours and it needed that time to fully blossom. We had it with Finn-Erik’s Mushroom Lasagne and it was a perfect match! Try both for yourself:
Fenocchio Barolo Bussia Sottana Riserva 2013 - 349,90 kr
Very, very good Barolo at a very reasonable price. It needed five hours to open up, but it is well worth the wait. Red berries, mushrooms and forrest floor on the nose. Great structure and minerality in the mouth. Good tannins that cleans the palate. Red berries, cherry and mushrooms in the mouth. Perfect with mushroom lasagne.
As we do not grow wine in Norway – yet – but we do grow apples! And from apples comes sider, and followers of this blog will know – we LOVE Norwegian cider. It’s so sharp and precise in both it’s bouquet and in the mouth. This rose sider is just pink perfection and perfect for hot summer days, or a christmas aperitif!
Åkre Gard Edel Rosesider - 159,90 kr
Such a beautiful rose colour! I can admire this the whole day long. The raspberries dominate the bouquet with hints of red apples in the back. It is such a fine scent of fruits and berries, like walking through a garden when it is ripening. In the mouth there is a sweet feeling at first, but the acid soon kicks in to give a perfect sense of balance. This will work perfectly with salads and barbeques, but let’s be honest – you will have drunk every drop long before the food comes to the table. Pure pink perfection indeed!
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.
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.
Angelica Zapata Chardonnay 2017
An outstanding chardonnay from Catena Zapata. So fresh and fruity. Great acidity and minerality makes it so fresh and easy to drink. Lemon, lime and mint on the nose and that carries on to the mouth with some extra hints of butter and ripe apples. This should be great with the seasonal cod, Skrei, we have in Norway now.