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|News from BKWine|
| “World’s Best Wine Tours” – Travel + Leisure Magazine, on TravelAndLeisure.com
BKWine offers you two possibilities to go wine travelling this autumn:
For more information please contact us on email or on phone (we’re on French time). Visit our video channel http://www.youtube.com/bkwine to meet some of the producers we visit.
What do people think about a wine tour with BKWine?
That is of course a question that we think is very important. We want it to be a wonderful and memorable experience for everyone. Here are some of the comments we’ve had from customers this season:
Custom wine tours
We also make custom designed wine tours – on-demand tours for you and a group of friends, for your company (maybe to scout new winegrowers?), for a special event… We can combine winery visits and wine touring with other activities: gastronomic workshops, visit to an oyster farm, truffles hunting, cheese making, and more. We’ve done tours for wine clubs, for sommelier educations, for corporate events, for wine importers, for wine course study groups… just to mention a few.
You’ll get a tour designed exactly according to your requirements and tastes, made by one of the most experienced wine people in the business. We personally visit some 200 wineries and taste thousands of wines every year; we write on wine for various wine magazines (we had more than 30 articles published last year); in 2007 we published a ground breaking book on the wine of the Languedoc and in 2009 we published a book on vine growing and wine making – unique in its kind. And we have organised hundreds of wine tours over the years.
Wine tours in Finnish
More info on the Finnish wine tours here: Viinimatkoja
|A selection of what we have tried, tasted or visited recently. □ Producers
Louis Sipp, Ribeauvillé, Alsace
Louis Sipp makes dry and elegant Alsace wines from grapes grown organically since a few years back. He got his organic certification in 2008. The balance in the most important thing in the wine, he says, and he gets it easier now, with organic grapes. “The grapes are riper and they have a higher degree of acidity at harvest time. The wines are fruitier and longer on the palate.”
Like all producers in Alsace Louis Sipp makes a huge number of wines. One of our favourites is Riesling Grand Cru Osterberg 2008. It’s dry with beautiful citrus aromas on the nose and very fresh in the mouth. The grapes are grown in a rather cool terroir which gives the wine a certain fatness. Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg 2008 is from a warmer soil with a sunny exposition and the wine is rounder but still totally dry with a good minerality, even sharpness. This is two brilliant Rieslings. Also keep a look out for the Pinot Gris from Louis Sipp, especially the one from Grand Cu Kirchberg. The 2008 has 20 grams of residual sugar but nobody would guess!
Read about more recommended producers on the site: Favourite Producers
□ Wine Bars and Restaurants
La Régalade Saint Honoré, Paris 1
The set three course menu at 33 euro is the same for lunch and dinner and very good value for money. The food is creative although in the French bistro tradition. We started with a perfectly cooked tuna fish and continued with grilled filet de dorade with lentilles verts as main course. The soufflé au grand marnier for dessert is a dream. But fish is not the only thing on the menu; there is chicken, entrecote, scallops and several vegetarian starters. The menu changes according to the seasons. The wine list is interesting and the prices very decent. You get some good bottles for between 20 and 30 euro.
Booking necessary. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
□ Wine of the Month
Criteria: an interesting wine (not too cheap) and one that you can enjoy with dinner or friends (not too expensive). And very good!
Åsa’s Wine of the Month
It also underlines that if you venture outside the most famous wine regions you can easily find good wines at modest prices. Price 7€, web: Web: http://www.belisario.it/
Britt’s Wine of the Month
Read more recommendations on restaurants and wine bars on my Restaurant and Wine Bar page.
|News from the Wine World|
|Towards a European definition of organic wine: CEVinBio?
Last year the EU project to agree on a definition of what “organic wine” would be was discarded. There was too much disagreement on what substances and what technologies should be allowed in the wine cellar. So the wine world is left with “wine made from organically grown grapes” because it is well defined and agreed what is allowed and what is not allowed in the vineyards. Some of the organic organisations in Europe have now launched an independent project to agree amongst themselves what ”organic wine” should mean, i.e. what should be considered organic in the cellar. The charter is called CEVinBio. It defines a (positive) list of accepted substances and additives in the vinification that are of agricultural origin and that are certified organic. It gives a (negative) list of a number of techniques that are not allowed, e.g. heating the must above 65 degrees C, very fine filtration (“ultra and nano” filtration), dealcoholisation, to mention some. Remains to be seen how this will be accepted in practice. (Source: La Vigne) Happy 20 Year Anniversary, Vacqueyras!
The AOC Vacqueyras is celebrating its 20th birthday. It was in 1990 that Vacqueyras was upgraded to an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. Before that it was “only” a Côtes du Rhône. A wine tasting in Paris recently of the 20 vintages made during these first twenty years as an appellation show that Vacqueyras indeed is a worthy AOC. The quality throughout was very good and the oldest wines well preserved. Most of the time it is wines that go very well with food. They are well structured with tannins and a fresh acidity.
Vacqueyras is in the region of southern Rhône, 30 kilometres northeast of Avignon and quite close to the beautiful mountains of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Some of its illustrious neighbours are Gigondas, Séguret, Sablet, Beaumes-de-Venise, Cairanne and Rasteau. The vineyards of AOC Vacqueyras cover an area of 1390 hectares and they are the most part situated around the small towns of Vacqueyras and Sarrians. The climate is Mediterranean with the northern Mistral wind blowing frequently and sometimes furiously. It is well liked though, because it keeps the vineyards dry and healthy. The garrigue is omnipresent in Vacqueyras. The perfume of wild herbes de provence is in the air and gives the wines a distinct spicy character. The soil is often extremely stony. A Vacqueyras must be made of at least 50 % Grenache and between 20 and 50 % of Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. Cinsault is also used, but sparingly.
We asked some of the producers who were present at the tasting in Paris about their impressions about the first 20 years as an appellation.
”It was a bit difficult in the beginning, the first 5-6 years”, says Frédéric Vache at Clos des Cazaux. ”We went from being one of the best Côtes-du-Rhône-wine to become an unknown AOC. But in the end of the 1990s there was the big boom for Châteauneuf-du-Pape which resulted in high prices which meant that we got our chance. Consumers that didn’t want to pay over prices for a Châteauneuf turned to Vacqueyras instead.”
An important development during these 20 years is the increase in the number of private wine producers. In 1990 there were only 20, now there are 60-65. “There were a lot of young people who left the cooperatives in the 90s and started to make their own wine”, says Christian Vache at Domaine la Monardière.
Serge Ferigoule at Domaine Sang de Cailloux points out another important development:”We are better now at taking care of our land”, he says.” Organic and sustainable culture is growing.” His own Domaine Sang de Cailloux (which means the blood of the stones…) will be biodynamically certified next year. “My wines have gained in finesse since I started in biodynamics and the terroir and the vintage is more obvious.”
Tasting 20 years of Vacqueyras: 1989-2009
— Vacqueyras 1990 Traditionelle
— Vacqueyras 1991 Cuvée Prestige
— Vacqueyras 1993 Vincilia
— Vacqueyras 1993 Classique
— Vacqueyras 1994 Vieilles Vignes
— Vacqueyras 1995 Lopy
— Vacqueyras 1996 Lopy
— Vacqueyras 1997 Traditionelle
— Vacqueyras 1998 Lopy
— Vacqueyras 1999 Cuvée des Templiers
— Vacqueyras 2000 Vieilles Vignes
— Vacqueyras 2001 Vieilles Vignes
— Vacqueyras 2001 Vincilia
— Vacqueyras 2003 Cuvée Prestige
— Vacqueyras 2004 Cuvée des Templiers
— Vacqueyras 2005 Ceps d’or
— Vacqueyras 2005 Le Clos
— Vacqueyras 2006 Sélection Maître de Chais
— Vacqueyras 2007 La Ballade des Anglès
— Vacqueyras 2008 Cuvée Templier
— Vacqueyras 2009 la Tour aux Cailles
New premium wines from Trivento in Mendoza
We recently had the occasion to taste a range of premium wines from Trivento in Mendoza, Argentina. The wines have just been launched in the “on special order only” range at the Swedish monopoly but our comments may be of interest also to other than our Swedish readers.
Trivento was created in 1996 and is today one of the five biggest exporters of wine from the Mendoza. They have 1289 hectares spread over several different vineyards. The vines are around 15 years old. The name Trivento means “three winds” and refers to the three winds that are frequent in Mendoza: the cold polar wind, the warm zonda, and the wind from the south-east called sudestada, that often brings with it storms and sometimes hail. “The winds are a challenge for us, but also a part of Mendoza”, says Maximiliano Ortiz, the winemaker.
Like many other in the Mendoza today Trivento are keen on finding new and better locations for their grapes. They are buying land in the Uko Valley and they will plant new vines to make new wines. 2005 was the first vintage of their premium cuvee Trivento Eolo, made from almost 100% malbec (there is also between 2 and 10% of syrah). The grapes grow in stony soil but in a well protected area close to the Mendoza river. The vines were planted in 1912! Therefore the yield is low and they give a concentrated wine. The 2007 is very good, with good yet elegant structure; a touch of oak; ripe, dark berries, and a fresh acidity. It a wine to drink with food. It has been aged in French oak barrels in their brand new winery cellar, inaugurated in 2008. They have 4200 oak barrels, 60% of which are French, the rest being American. “The American oak gives more sweetness and softness to the wine”, says Maximiliano. “The French oak gives more elegance, but the wine needs to stay longer in the barrel.” They are doing test with aging the same wine in both types of barrels to see what works best.
They have also been successful at Trivento with torrontes, chardonnay and syrah. A favourite of ours is Trivento Golden Reserve Syrah 2007 made from grapes coming from the Uko Valley. The wine has a good syrah style with quite a lot of black pepper in the finish and a very good an generous fruit, and just the right amount of tannins. Also delicious is the Trivento Amado Sur Torrontes made from 75% torrontes, 15% viognier, and 10% chardonnay. Maximiliano Ortiz, the winemaker, likes the combination of viognier and torrontes: “Viognier adds aromas of apricot and peaches to the flowery style of torrontes.”
The name of the vineyard and the soil is more important than the grape variety in Burgundy, according to BIVB
Representatives from BIVB – Bureau Interprofessionel des Vins de Bourgogne – were in Stockholm recently and BKWine took the opportunity to talk to Raphaël Dubois, wine grower with his sister in Premeaux-Prissey, and also responsible for communication at the BIVB. The theme for the Stockholm event was terroir och climats. The objective was to put forward the unique notion of terroir in Burgundy and especially in Côte d’Or. Thanks to the great variation in soil and micro climate in the Bourgogne we have hundreds of different climats och lieu-dits, that is separate vineyards or part of vineyards, often mentioned on the label. It can be a grand cru, a premier cru or just a parcel of land that deserves being vinified separately.
It was the monks during the middle ages that started it all. They noticed the differences and they divided the land in the Côte d’Or into all these different climates. It is easy to see Burgundy as a very traditional wine region but Raphaël Dubois says that the young generation of wine growers is very open minded and modern. ”The last ten years we have seen a lot of young people taking over from the parents but also growers coming from outside, from other parts of France and from other countries. They are all fascinated by the possibilities that our unique terroir gives them but they also want Burgundy to be seen as a dynamic wine region”, he says.
”It is important that we can explain to the consumers the big differences we have in terroir. But this word, terroir, is difficult for certain consumers to understand. Sometimes they ask, why can’t you just put the grape and the signature of the producer on the label?!” But of course Raphaël, or any other producer in the Côte d’Or, would never simplify things like that. It would make life easier, he says, instead of making, say 20-25 different wines from 15 hectares, but much more boring.
”Burgundy is not a beginner’s wine”, says Raphaël, ”our target group is consumers that already know something about wine. If people already know our wines and our grape varieties, then you can start talking about terroir and climats.”
This post is also available in: Swedish