Caviste is a French company which sells French and to some extent also Italian wines to the Swedish market through distance selling. There are several companies which use the same principle to supply customers with wines other than those sold by Systembolaget. (Ed .: Here you can see BKWine’s list of “Swedish” online wine shops / distance sellers.)
If you are not in Sweden you can skip the intro on their philosophy and go directly to their very interesting wine selection and tasting notes further down. Or you can read the interview with the owner directly following.
Caviste has chosen to do it in a slightly different way. Instead of having a fixed range they sell, about once a month, a box of 6 selected wines from a specific producer. The wine is sent directly from the winemaker to the customer without intermediaries.
I recently had the opportunity to taste the Caviste “wine boxes” launched during the year. I talked with Martin Berggren who runs Caviste and asked how he selects wines to sell. The focus is, as I mentioned, on wines from France and Italy and Martin was clear that he always makes sure to have a number of producers from lesser-known regions among the wines he sells. It does not mean that the major regions are absent but rather that they are mixed with more unfamiliar regions as a “spice”.
The wines generally come from producers with a very limited production. Wines of a kind we would rarely see in Sweden if it was not for “private imports”.
To buy a box of wine without having had the chance to try the wine is a gamble, so I ask Martin why people choose to buy wine from him instead of making the choices for themselves. Martin responds that there may be several reasons. One is that with all the time he puts in to tasting wines and his focus on small producers give him an opportunity to get hold of wines you would not otherwise have been able to find.
I asked Martin if his customers will be people who have similar taste in wine as himself. The answer is that it may be true, but only partially. People with the same taste in wine are bound to like the wines he sells. But he also points out that many might first think that the wines are a bit beyond their comfort zone but in time they realize that there are a lot of other regions and styles that are interesting than the ones that they are used to.
In short, we can say that Caviste sells wines of very good quality at reasonable prices. A box is often sold around 100 euro (six bottles) but can sometimes be more expensive. One can also say that it is a way to buy some wines that you probably never have tried otherwise.
In the tasting all the wines they sold during 2015, and below you can see my tasting notes on them.
Domaine Labet, Côtes du Jura
2013 Côtes du Jura Cuvée Fleurs 145: -, 2 bt
(145:- indicates the approximate Swedish retail price in SEK. 9 SEK is around 1 euro so 145:- is approximately 15-16 euro. The same applies below for the “:-“ sign.)
This was a very fruity wine, with some floral elements. Pears and a lot of minerality. The acidity is fine and has some salty tones. Very good value.
2012 Côtes du Jura Fleur de Chardonnay 185: -, 2 bt
This wine has a bit more of an oxidized tone. The acidity is higher than in the wine above. An interesting style of chardonnay that is very interesting to try.
2011 Côtes du Jura les Varrons 215: -, 2 bt
A bit more anonymous. With time and when it warmed up a bit it showed some yellow apples and some pears.
Domaine Grosbios, Chinon
2014 Chinon La cuisine de ma mère 115: -, 3 bt
Fruity with light red berries and hints of green bell-pepper. There are also some spicy notes despite the fact that wine is so light-bodied.
2012 Chinon Gabarre 145: -, 3 bt
Some bell-pepper, but more towards the yellow type. A lot of spicy notes and even a little herbaceous. The wine is distinctly darker than the above. The aftertaste was very different and was not quite to my taste.
Domaine Coursodon, Saint-Joseph
2014 Saint-Joseph Silice Blanc 225: -, 2 bt
Full-bodied wine with a slightly oily character, great fruity aroma. The wine is very full bodied with an acidity at a level that manages to balance the wine. The aftertaste is long and balanced.
2013 Saint-Joseph Silice Rouge 255: -, 2 bt
A lot of white pepper at the start, followed by a lot of somewhat tannic red berries.
2013 Saint-Joseph L’Olivaie 295: -, 2 bt
White pepper and red berries is the first thing that stands out. A lot of raspberries in a fresh wine with medium tannins. A relatively light and fresh wine with a long fine finish.
Georges Descombes, Beaujolais
2014 Brouilly 125: -, 2 bt
A smoky aroma with a hints of tobacco is the first impression. The wine is fresh and light. I describe it as rather more interesting than good.
2013 Régnié Vieilles Vignes 185: -, 2 bt
The same smoky tones that wine above. The wine has a certain piquancy, and both raspberries and cranberries peek out. The acidity is distinct, and the wine is very fresh with a nice finish.
2013 Morgon Vieilles Vignes 185: -, 2 bt
Lots of berries with a rather big opening attack. Raspberries and strawberries are the dominating harmonics. Also this wine has a little piquancy. The best of the three.
Champagne Pehu Simonet, Verzenay
Face Nord Brut Grand Cru 255: -, 3 bt
A delicious champagne with marked features, but not as complex as the latter from the same producer. The wine feels a little edgy in the aftertaste but very good for its price. A wine that I think will benefit much from cellaring a few years.
Face Nord Rosé Grand Cru 285: -, 2 bt
A lot apples with a hint of toast. A very light and refreshing wine. It is not so complex, but very fresh.
2010 Fins Lieux No 5 Mesnil sur Oger Grand cru 355: -, 1 bt
Yellow apples and some toast. Really nice wine with wonderful bubbles and a nice long acidity. A very good champagne especially considering the price.
Domaine Vindemio, Ventoux
2013 Ventoux sonate 135: -, 3, fl
A light and fruity wine that feels a bit closed. There are a lot underbrush or forest but also some cigar box and leather. There are some fruit but the other tones dominate.
2013 Ventoux Funambule 195: -, 3 bt
More aromatic than the former. On the nose it is similar but a little more intense, cigar box, leather and tobacco stands out. Both are very good wines but I hold this to be the better of the two.
Domaine Goisot, Saint-Bris
2013 Saint-Bris Exogyra Virgula 135: -, 2 bt
Flint and wet stones and also some hazelnut. This is followed by an oily feel and finishes with a slightly sweet and oaky tone. Really nicely balanced.
2012 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Corps de Garde 165: -, 2 bt
Yellow apples with a hint of nuts and similar oak sweetness to the wine above. Compared to the wine above this is a bit more complex and has a long finish.
2012 Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Biaumont 195: -, 2 bt
Yellow apples and a hint of pear. The nuts are smaller than in the two previous wines, and there are also a little less oak notes. The wine has a long and well-balanced taste.
Le Grappin, Burgundy
2013 Savigny-Les-Beaune Blanc 295: -, 1 bt
Pears and some minerals. A wine that feels calm and very finely balanced. A very good wine.
2013 Savigny-Les-Beaune Rouge 295: -, 1 bt
Light red berries with both strawberry and cranberry. Some notes of juniper wood. The acidity is well balanced and the wine has a pleasant aftertaste.
2013 Santenay Premier Cru Les Gravières 355: -, 1 bt
Light fruit with a hint of pear. It feels like there may be some residual sweetness. Light wine with some vanilla in the finish.
2013 Beaune premier cru les Greves 415: -, 1 bt
Little stale yellow apples (in a positive way), sweeter fruit and finishes with a hint of nuts.
2013 Beaune premier cru Boucherottes 415: -, 2 bt
Light fruit with some woody notes. Very nice balance and distinct tannins. Very pleasant aftertaste.
Champagne Huré Frères, Ludes
Invitation Brut 255 -, 2 bt
Quiet start with quite low aromas. The acidity is very high and the fruit is a little too low to balance the acidity in my opinion. There are some apples but they don’t quite manage to fully balance out the high acid today.
Insouciance Brut Rosé 275: -, 2 bt
Lots of acidity, some apples and even some strawberry.
2008 Instantanée Extra Brut 315: -, 2 bt
Yellow apples and here too a massive acidity, a bit like biting into a lemon. These wines are ideal for those who really like champagnes with very high acidity.
Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2014 Vin de France Raisin de Loup 95 – 2 bt
Light nose that is very fruity and with berries. The wine has a fine finish and although it is not very complex so it is a really nice experience. Very good value.
2014 Côtes du Rhône 145: -, 3 bt
A full-bodied wine with lots of dark berries. A lot of black currants, blackberries, but also darker tones such as liquorice and leather can be found.
2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 365: -, 1 bt
The wine is dark and has an almost little rustic feel. Very concentrated berries, especially blackberry. There are also some liquorice and the tannins are very present. A great wine that shows excellent regional character.
Ferdinando Principiano, Barolo
2013 Dolcetto d’Alba Sant’Anna 105: -, 2 bt
Dolcetto is a grape that is rarely seen in Sweden which makes it extra fun to try this wine. It starts with some sweet fruit with strawberries the most prominent. There is a certain piquancy. The acidity is relatively low.
2013 Barbera d’Alba Laura 135: -, 2 bt
Almost a touch of frizzante, a lot of dark fruit with some floral notes that show through. The tannins are medium-level and the wine has a nice balance.
2011 Barolo Serralunga 255: -, 2 bt
Light and fresh aroma with some violets and roses. There are also some red berries and some liquorice. The tannins are very powerful. This is a barolo which can be kept for many years in the cellar.
Domaine Binet Jaquet, Faugères
2014 Faugères 125: -, 3 bt
Berries and herbs, but not very full-bodied, the wine can feel a little bit flat.
2013 Faugères Réserve 175: –
Herbs and some wood notes. Also quite a lot of berries and even though it is dark berries it still retains some cool tones. Both blackberry and blackcurrant. The tannins are quite strong which is necessary for such a fruity wine.
2012 Faugères Grand Reserve 265: -, 1 bt
Herbs and slightly fruity. The wine is full bodied with liquorice, blackberry and black currants. There is even a hint of violets in the aroma. The finish has big tannins and a long pleasant aftertaste.
L’Overture Brut 285: -, 2 bt
Yellow, almost white apples. Light and elegant where all the elements fall into place. Very nice.
L’accomplie Brut 315 -, 2 bt
Yellow apples and some pears, broad and delicious champagne. The wine is very well balanced and has a clean finish.
Rosé de Bulle Brut 345: -, 2 bt
The wine has a light pink shade. The taste has both yellow and red apples and is fruitier than the two wines above. This wine too has a good acidity and very nice finish.
Patrick Piuze, Chablis
2014 Chablis Terroir de Courgis 165 -, 2 bt
Lots of minerality and yellow apples. Nice acidity and a hint of nuttiness.
2014 Chablis Terroir de Fyé 165: -, 2 bt
Seductive scent with a lot of flowers and even some yellow apples and pears. The finish is good but felt a little bit too sweet and fruity.
2014 Chablis Premier Cru Les Forêts 315: -, 2 bt
Very mineral and a bit more closed than the two wines above. The wine feels broad and has a hint of vanilla.
Tobias Karlsson writes on BKWine Magazine on wine tastings with wine merchants and importers.
This post is also available in: Swedish