Wine review: Amarone della Valpolicella di Emilia 2013

10 10 2016

The Winery Cantina Valpantena Verona has been in business since 1958 and was established by several Verona wine growers as a cooperative and now has approximately 250 members farms that cultivate a total of approximately 750 hectares of vineyards, all included in the controlled origin brand areas in the Verona hillsides territory. These members were joined, in July 2003 after merger with the ‘Oleificio delle Colline Veronesi’, by another 150 farmer producing olive oil. This gave live to a new oil and wine business in Valpantena.

Grapes used in production are Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Cabernet Sauvignon


THE LOOK

Most Amarone bottle labes are modest without too much colors. di Emilia is one of the most modest.

Color of wine is dark red with hints of brown although wine is still quite young, 2013.

THE NOSE

Typical Amarone; intense, sweet and quite strong bouquet. However, one might find hints of stable aroma which might come from the mixture of grapes and oak barrels.

THE TASTE

Full-bodied and warm, soft tannins. Fig, plum and dark cherry can be found as flavors. Long and soft aftertaste without any disturbance

 

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Extract: 40 g/l
Acidity: 5,6 g/l
Energy: 100 kcal/100 ml (400 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Amarone della Valpolicella di Emilia 2013 is not the most known Amarone, at least for me. But after this tasting it became one of the favourites.

Compared to many other Amarones, price is very attractive. So with this wine you can replace many of the similarly priced more typical red meat or game dishes.

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++ / +++

http://www.cantinavalpantena.it/index.asp?Lingua=2

 

 





Wine review: Ned & Henry’s Shiraz 2015

25 09 2016

Established in 1998 Hewitson winery is situated in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Hewitson’s vineyards are spread throughout the renowned wine regions of South Australia, including the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills.

As fan of Hewitson red wines tasted this time Ned & Henry’s Shiraz 2015. Wine comes from Barossa Valley. Grape used is Shiraz 100%.

Like the names many Hewitson wines have. Miss Harry is the favourite also when it comes to taste.

THE LOOK

Color is quite deep red like a crimson

THE NOSE

Forest berries and slight oak bouquet

THE TASTE

Berries warm texture and soft tannins. Fresh acidity on the finish

Ned and Henry’s is meant to be enjoyed young. Had couple of weeks earlier at restaurant Roster same wine but vintage was 2013. Must say that difference between 2015 and 2013 is not huge, but would have given 4 1/2 for 2013.

image

As wine is not the strongest it can be enjoyed well as aperitif, if you like red wine before dinner.

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,0% by volume
Extract: 28 g/l
Acidity: 5,4 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (370 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: metal

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++ / +++

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Greek Merlot red wines

29 07 2016

Greece is one of the most popular destination for Finnish holiday travellers in the summer time.

However, Greek wines are under valued and difficult to buy in Finland. Only 4 red and 4 white wines available in Alkos as shelf products and 4 more wines which you can pre-order. Greek restaurants, few in Helsinki, offer also some other Greek wines, which they import by themselves.

During our visit to Crete in July 2016, tasted few young, good and ok red wines. Focus was on Merlot grape, which is actually quite popular, but not as popular as local grapes like Agiorgitiko, Asyrtiko, Mavrodafni and Xinomavro. Sometimes Merlot is additional grape as in few wines tasted.

Chateau Julia Merlot 2011

Winery Domaine Costa Lazaridi with distinctive title “Chateau Julia”, was founded in Adriani, Drama in 1992. The first bottles were marketed also in 1992. Amethystos white, Amethystos Rose and Amethystos Red. Today the Estate produces five families of wines, Amethystos, Chateau Julia, Domaine Costa Lazaridi, Oenodea and Oenotria Land. Today company exports wines even to Sweden but not to Finland, yet.

Chateau Julia Merlot 2011 was facinating or even surprising wine. Unfortunately wine was served too warm, but did not want to use cooler although waitress asked it. Complex aromas of forest fruit, mint and eucalyptus; rare bouquet for Merlot wine. Taste was warm, full-bodied and due to aroma, a bit complex too. Requires food with spices, pairs well with gyros, for instance.

 

Chateau Julia

 

Karipidis Merlot 2012

The Karipidi Winery is a family business in Vounaina Thessaly in central Greece that manages 30 hectares of privately owned vineyards. The vineyards, which are registered in a institution for inspection and certification of biological products, are being cultivated exclusively with methods of biological agriculture.

Karipidis Merlot 2012 is organic wine and has aromatic bouquet with hints of plum, currant, chocolate and vanilla. Mouth-feel of high density flavor, rich structure and robust body.

Pairs well with shellfish and seafood pasta and vegan foods too.

 

Wine

 

Biblia Chora Red 2014

Domaine Biblia Chora was established in 1998 by Vangelis Gerovassilou and Vassilis Tsaktsarlis being one of the newest wineries. In June 2001, the construction of this modern Domain began. In the same year, the first wine was made. Today, the Estate has a private vineyard of 350 acres, which surround the winery, and in which Greek and foreign varieties are cultivated in accordance with the biological standards of viticulture.

Biblia Chora Red 2014 is produced from two grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon 50% and Merlot 50%. It has pure and complex bouquet of ripe red fruit, chocolate and some spicy notes on the finish. Intense flavour with a full body, good structure and a high tannin content, which provides a lasting aftertaste

Pairs with quite variety of foods because of Cabernet Sauvignon, which smoothens the taste.

 

Red wine

 

Melios Red Dry Wine

Domaine Brintziki cultivates vineyards owned 120 acres applying faithfully and with love of the principles of organic agriculture for many years planted with local varieties of Greek. Winery uses also the Avgoustiatis, which belongs to a group of very rare Greek varieties, grown in small size, few producers, but with remarkably high quality results. It is a red wine variety, which gives mostly red dry wines, leading the exploration of the world’s vineyard at the edges. Products product at winery are Tinaktorogos, Augoustiatis, Sign, Melios and Enipeas.

Melios Red Dry Wine is produced from Merlot 80% and Mavrodaphne 20% grapes. Wine has dark red color, intense aroma of red fruits, vanilla and cherry. Full mouth with soft tannins.

Pairs with meat, vegetables and pasta.

Unfortunately winery’s web-pages did not work properly.

 

Melios

 

 

Idisma Drios Merlot 2013

Wine Art Estate was created by Yannis Papadopoulos and Yannis Kalaitzidis 1993. 26 hectares of vineyards at a location known since ancient times for the cultivation of the vine and the production of wines, as indicated by the ruins of a Sanctuary of Dionysus. Wine Art aims to present how well certain Greek and cosmopolitan varieties are adapted to the microclimate of Drama. Towards this direction, a new wine, Chardonnay Idisma Drios was put to market in 1999. This was the first of a new range of products, Idisma Drios (“sweetly oaked”), to be followed by Assyrtiko, Merlot and Syrah.

Idisma Drios Merlot 2013 has deep purple colour. Quite complex bouquet of spices and dark berries.
Wine is balanced and has noble tannins. It is mature, full-bodied, with a long aftertaste.

Pairs with meat, cheeses and even with asian flavors.

 

Idisma Drios Merlot

 

As said earlier, Greek wines are undervalued. Many of the wineries produce organic tasty wines, but production amounts are so small, that many times only Greeks can enjoy of these wines.

Visited Agreco Farm http://www.agreco.gr/ which is partly tourist attraction but also produces organic wines. Wines are sold from their own shops and via some hotel chains and restaurants but production quantity does not allow export these wines.

Maybe some day there are more quality Greek wines available in Finland. But travellers should first choose better wines (not the best ones) instead of grape juice (house wines in caraffes).

 





Farewell to Wine Expo in Helsinki?

21 03 2016

For several reasons Wine Expo in Helsinki has to be renewed or there has to come decision to stop keeping the fair.

  • Only Spanish bodegas were enough interested in to be exhibitors with country department. Visited Bodegas Penafiel and tasted two nice Crianzas.

 

image

 

  • Almost as many beer exhibitors as wine exhibitors or importers. What beer has to do with wines?

 

  • Entrance fee 23€ and you were forced to take tasting glass with you.

 

However, tasted few wines. From Hewitson always reliable Ned & Henry, Le Lecateur and Miss Harry. One of the best wineries in the world come from Australia.

http://www.hewitson.com.au/

 

image

 

From Sweden wine agent Granqvist offered wines from Scriani, Amarone Della Valpolicella and Valpolicella Ripasso. These wines differed from standard similar wines, especially Amarone. It was not that sweet as Amarones typicall are. Also the strong aroma of stable make this wine extraordinary.

http://www.scriani.it/

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But with same setup prefer to visit wine importers own events and new Champagne tasting in April sounds more interesting than Wine Expo in the future.





Wine review: Chill Out – Soft & Vibrant Merlot

9 03 2016
Chill out wine - reijosfood.com
Chill Out wines are a range of wines by Finnish beverage company Altia. Wines come from Europe, Australia and South-Africa and then they are bottled by Altia. Product range contains red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Even ecological and alcohol-free wines include in sortiment.
BUT, all wines are in plastic bottles or bags!

Chill out merlot - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Plastic bottle is light but it feels quite odd in hand because of the weight.

As wine is young it is also quite pale red for Merlot grapes.

THE NOSE

Modest bouquet, hardly can recognize otherwise so spicy Merlot.

THE TASTE

Taste is as weak as aroma. Merlot wine usually “kick” a little bit but this one was without character. On the other hand easy to drink if you do not like full-bodied wines.

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Extract: 31 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: Plastic cork

Chill Out wines must target younger consumers but also those who sail, visit festivals or camp. Light weigh makes it easy to take more bottles with you. And bottle is still recyclable.

Maybe wines should be enjoyed from plastic glasses to maximize bouquet and taste? Real wine glass is not optimal choice, prefer food glass instead.

When price of the wine at Alko is about 7€, it is one of the cheapest wines there.

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++ / +++

 





Wine review: Best mulled wines 2015

12 12 2015

Glögi - reijosfood.com

Mulled wines (Glögi or Hehkuviini in Finnish) are really popular in Finland during Christmas time. They can be purchased at Alko’s already at the end of October. As the assortment of mulled wines is quite wide it is important to select right ones. Many of the mulled wines at Alko are too sweet, too strong or strangely flavored.

So,  here is a selection of TOP3 best mulled wines available at Alko: Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi, Hehkuviini and Rauschgoldengel Organic Glühwein (1 litre bottle!)

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

What is odd that first two come from Denmark, which seems to be THE country of mulled wines, if conclusion is based on Alko selection. So, most of the mulled wines are not made in Finland. As a matter in fact, most of them are imported or specially manufactured for Alko and bottled in Finland.

Gluhwein comes from Germany, of course. Very popular drink with several producers in Central Europe, but only one brand to be chosen in Finland.

THE LOOK

The labels of Danish mulled wine bottles look similar, same red ground and golden decorations. Organic gluhwein label is not so flashy, nice winter picture on it.

Hehkuviini is a little bit darker red than Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Gluhwine is even more lighter than Punaviiniglögi.

However, the difference of the look of mulled wines is usually negligible.

THE NOSE

The aroma of Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi is softer due to amount of less alcohol. Clove dominates but not disturbingly.

Hehkuviini smells like raisin and Christmas spices but alcohol tries to come up. The scent of both wines is christmassy, which is most important savor of mulled wines.

Gluhwein bouquet is nice, not too much alcohol which makes sniffing more pleasant.

THE TASTE

You can find cardamon form Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Taste is well balanced and spices are in harmony.

In Hehkuviini mostly you can taste almond and gingerbread. As it has more alcohol that can also be noticed. Quite a lot calories too…..

Gluhwein tasted much better than last years version. Balanced spiced taste and tempranillo grapes made this drink winner of the year. And most of all, it is not too sweet.

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

Facts:

……………Gluhwein………….Punaviiniglögi……………..Hehkuviini
Alcohol:   10.00 %                       13.00%                           22.00% (be careful!)
Extract:   105 g/l                          120 g/l                           170 g/l
Acidity:    4.9 g/l                           5.7 g/l                            4.7 g/l
Sugar:     85 g/l                             95 g/l                             150 g/l
Energy:   100 kcal / 100 ml  120 kcal / 100 ml  190 kcal / 100 ml

Mulled wines are part of Christmas time, at least in Finland. It is a pity that Alko does not provide wider selection of Gluhweins, only one choice available but fortunately excellent. Gluhweins are quite close to mulled wines, but not so sweet.

One option is to buy low-alcohol mulled wines from super markets, but then you also to need to know which ones to pick. Most of them are actually juices.

REVIEWS:

Perinteinen Punaviini: OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++

Hehkuviini: OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++ (little bit too strong)

Gluhwein: OVERALL GRADE 5-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++ 





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau and Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (2015)

20 11 2015

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November. “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe.

The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 00.01 AM local time. In Finland Alko, monopoly company selling wines and alcohol, starts selling these wines at 09.00 on Thursday 19th November.

Luckily 2015 we are able to taste 2 different wines, both cost to consumers less than 10€ in Alko.

These wines are Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Georges Duboeuf wine was for also for sale last year, but Doudet-Naudin is new. One specific feature differentiates these wines from the previous vintages, amount of alcohol >13%!!!

BN2015

THE LOOK

Bottle: Label of Georges Duboeuf follows colorful and joyful trend but Doudet-Naudin does not look traditional Beaujolais Nouveau style with black background.

Wine: Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish as young wines always are.

THE NOSE

Fruity, even sweet aroma especially when using tasting glass. Cherry, rasberry and fruit candy scent came in to the nose from both wines.

It seems that Doudet-Naidin has more deep bouquet.

THE TASTE

Medium-bodied, young, light fruity wines. Berries (cherry, cranberry) dominate, but on the other hand taste is light. Aroma is more convenient than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Doudet-Naudin felt softer because less acidity, but extra 0,5% in strongness made this wine my favourite.

Facts:

                      Georges Duboeuf                                                  Doudet-Naidin
Alcohol:        13,00 %                                                           13,50 %
Extract:        30 g/l                                                               27 g/l
Acidity:         6,1 g/l                                                              5,7 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)          90 kcal / 100 ml (360 kJ / 100 ml)

Alko has imported 50.000 bottles alltogether of these wines. Let’s see is they are finished before Christmas.

REVIEW:

Georges Duboeuf  OVERALL GRADE 4-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

Doudet-Naidin OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++








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