This is shaping up to be an interesting and challenging year in the vineyards. An ice-cold spring until the end of June. Then one of the best summers in a long time, until the end of August. At the start of September it was as if a switch was turned off. Suddenly it was chilly, cold and rainy again.
Many wine regions expect that the harvest will be late, maybe two to three weeks later than usual. In France it looks to be a small harvest in terms of quantity. But for the quality it is still not quite certain. If it will stay cold and wet then it can become difficult. Rot. Mould. Difficult to work.
But right now it looks really good actually. We will have both sun and warm weather the next few days and also quite decent in the longer term. If so, we can probably hope for a good vintage even though you never really know until the wine is finished. We have recently drunk some wines from vintages that have been labelled as terrible to awful. But the wines have been perfectly enjoyable. If you buy wine to drink (and not as an investment) then there is really no reason to worry too much about, or to refrain from, “bad” vintages.
The beautiful weather in the coming weeks suits us really well. We have a lot of traveling going on right now. Over the next few weeks we will go on wine tours to the Rhone Valley, the Mosel Valley, the Piedmont, Veneto (with its ever popular Amarone), the Loire Valley, Alentejo, the Douro Valley and some more… We certainly hope that it will continue to be warm, sunny and pleasant! Both for all our travel guests’ sake and for the wine producers.
As you might imagine, there is quite a lot to do at this time of year (both for the wine growers and for us who organises wine tours). Therefore, the BKWine Brief will be a little shorter than usual. But we still have a lot of interesting articles for you to read. Follow the links in the news items below to read the full texts.
But before that, a brief reminder of upcoming trips :
This winter there will be two amazing longer wine tours. If you have ever been thinking about traveling to South Africa or South America now is the time to do it:
- Chile & Argentina, February 1 to 16
- South Africa, Feb 28-Mar 10
We also have a spring tour to:
- the Douro Valley
Absolutely charming in spring. Perhaps we can tempt you with that?
You can find all the details on travel site!
Book now. It would be so nice to meet you on one of the wine tours!
Britt & Per
PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief!
What’s on at BKWine Tours
- Douro Valley, Portugal, 23-27 October (closed)
- South America: Chile and Argentina, 1-16 February 2014
- South Africa, 28 February – 10 March 2014
- Douro Valley, Portugal, 14-18 May 2014
For more information please contact us on email or on phone (we’re on French time), or go to our wine travel site on www.bkwinetours.com!
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. More info on the custom designed and bespoke BKWine wine tours and travel here!
Wine tours in Finnish: We also do wine tours in Finnish. And in German, Norwegian, Spanish…
Do you want the latest news and updates on our wine travel activity? Subscribe here! (Second alternative BKWineTours.com)
From the World of Wine
Casablanca Valley, a new wine region not far from Valparaiso
25 years ago there were no vineyards at all in the Casablanca Valley in Chile. Today it is one of Chile’s “hottest” wine regions precisely because it is not so hot. It is located towards the coast from Santiago with cool sea breezes coming in. If you take the highway to the coast and continue until you get to the ocean you end up in … Valparaiso.
For many Swedes (and perhaps others!) Valparaiso is almost a magical or mythical city, thanks to a song by a classic Swedish song writer, Evert Taube. Britt too had dreamt about Valparaiso since she was small. Nevertheless, it was not until her third trip to Chile that Britt actually came to Valparaiso. She tells that story, and also how the Casablanca Valley rose “out of nothing” as a wine region on the travel blog: Combining Valparaiso and Casablanca makes a magical wine tour.
If you too have longed to experience (a very special) Valparaiso then you should know that a visit there is included on BKWine’s food and wine tour to Chile and Argentina this winter. Book now!
Italy, France and Spain, biggest suppliers of wine to Denmark
The wine preferences of the Danes are very different those of their neighbours the Swedes. It no doubt has to do with a different history and culture but is certainly also due to the fact that in Denmark there is no monopoly, but a free market, unlike in monopoly-controlled Sweden.
The monopoly in Sweden means that the Swedish wine selection is dominated by large-scale suppliers but in Denmark small independent producers have an easier time to sell. And these can be found mainly in the traditional wine-producing countries in Europe, topping the list in Denmark, unlike in Sweden. Vinavisen recently published figures from VSOD (Vin og Spiritus Organization in Denmark) which show Denmark’s biggest wine suppliers:
- Italy 19%
- France 16%
- Spain 14%
- Chile 12%
- South Africa 9%
- Australia 9%
- Germany 6%
- United States 5%
- Other 11%
Total imports reached 173 million litres in 2012, down 7% from the previous year, to a value of 3.4 billion Danish kroner (down 5%). The decline is believed to be due in large part to the increased taxes that have made Danes more and more cross the border to Germany where you can buy much cheaper.
France has dropped dramatically: down 40% since 2006, while South Africa has increased by 30% over the same period. Two-thirds of the wine is red. Thank you to Vinavisen for the interesting statistics.
When #winelover takes on a literal sense. Dating with Vinealove
Vinealove is the first online dating site that focuses on wine-lovers. Or so they say in their information. I wouldn’t know since I have very limited experience in that field. But I have no reason to doubt it. Why not try and find a friend (or a date) that share the same interest in wine? Sounds good. Vinealove also organises real life wine evenings in wine bars to help making the contact even easier. Vinealove was started earlier this year by Françoise Pauly in Languedoc.
The first activities have been launched in France (Bordeaux, Montpellier, Dijon…) but they have the intention to expand internationally. They are even offering a $50 wine voucher with NakedWines (obviously) for the first people to register in the US. Worth a try? If nothing else, at least it will give you an excuse to have another glass of wine. Read more on MidiLibre.com.
Sangiovese, not a happy grape?
Who would not be happy to be in Tuscany? Apparently not sangiovese, according to what Asa writes on the travel blog. Sangiovese, she says, is often described by female winemakers as “a stubborn old man” and by male winemakers as ” a hysterical woman”… (Remember that we are in Italy.) But handled correctly and with skills it gives amazing wines.
In the article she also talks about all the different guises that sangiovese can take in Tuscany, the kind plum, the little brown one, and the little dark one. And finally, she talks about the single most important thing of all to remember in order to fully enjoy the wines from Tuscany made from sangiovese. Read Åsa’s article on the travel blog: The red soul of Tuscan wines: Sangiovese.
Our picks from the range of the wine importer Handpicked Wines | BKWine’s selection
Handpicked Wines is one of the smaller niche importers. It primarily focuses on small producers with individual and characterful wines, according to what they say themselves. BKWine’s reporter Carl-Erik Kanne was at their showing of their range of wines. He has made his his selection of the best wines. There are several small and very interesting producers from Italy, Portugal, USA etc.
In Italy it starts in Veneto with some Soaves and Valpolicellas, plus some very good Piedmont wines. Tuscany Sicily and Campania (a new destination on BKWine’s wine tour program for 2014!) further south. A quick stop in Hungary before moving to Portugal where he found many excellent wines. And finally some New Wold finds from the USA and from New Zealand. Read the full article with all of Carl-Erik Kanne’s favourites on BKWine Magazine: Handpicked Wines showcasing wines from Italy, Portugal, USA etc.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant 2010 | Tomas’ Wine of the Month
The wine has a very elegant and typical burgundy-style nose of dark cherry, floral notes of violets, perfume and roses, a little liquorice, notes of spices, and some animal tones. On the palate it has a good concentration of cherry, a nice slightly acidic hint of berries, lots of minerals, and well-integrated medium strength tannins, very velvety. 98 (+) points. It is a fantastic wine with great power, but still focusing on the elegance, the style where Burgundy in its good moments are unmatched in the wine world. The wine is just as good as one can hope for when one of the great stars in the wine world, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, tackles the outstanding vintage of 2010 with its freshness, elegance and mineral tones.
The wine is young, but actually works very well to drink at the moment, which is not true of all of DRC’s wines. However, it just might close up in a year or two, to open up again at 10-15 years of age.
12 bottles of total 13,910 produced were released in Sweden at Systembolaget’s website launch on June 13 at the price of 6,895 SEK each. They sold out in about a second, which was nevertheless slower than La Tâche in 2010. At this price level, it is obviously impossible to use the concepts of value for money in a meaningful way, but this wine is still a perfect example of why many wine lovers regard great Burgundies as the world’s best and most elegant wines.
Read about the DRC 2010 tasting where the wine was included on Vintomas’ blog: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, 2010 vintage – wine simply doesn’t get much better than this…
A new Sassicaia from carignan? We meet the winemaker at Agricola Punica
Agricola Punica is a new vineyard in Sardinia with close ties to the legendary Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia) in Tuscany. In Sardinia they make two wines, “entry level” Montessu and the more ambitious Barrua. Winemaker Sebastiano Rosa was in Stockholm to present his wines. BKWine’s Roland Eriksson was there.
Agricola Punica is a partnership including the family behind the Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia) and a wine cooperative in Sardinia. They started the project in 2002 and have set the goal high. The tasting included both their base wine, Montessu, and a whole series of vintages of the prestige wine Barrua. So, will it become a new Sassicaia? Read the whole article on BKWine Magazine and see what the winemaker himself replied to the question: Wine from Sardinia: Agricola Punica with winemaker Sebastiano Rosa
The best wines from the range of the wine importer Vinovativa | BKWine’s selection
Wine importer Vinovativa has over ten years positioned itself as one with a wide range of wines with wines from the world represented. At the same time, they focus mainly on smaller individual (or individualistic) quality producers. They recently celebrated their tenth anniversary with a huge tasting. BKWine’s Carl-Erik Kanne was there and skimmed the cream from the Vinovativa milk.
The result is a vary varied bunch of wines from, for example, Austria, Barolo, Bordeaux, Cahors, Douro Valley, New Zealand, Piedmont, Priorat, Saint Emilion, sherry, Tuscany, Germany, and more! Read about the best wines in Carl-Erik Kanne’s article on BKWine Magazine: Wines from all around the world from the wine importer Vinovativa.
A selection of some very good ”natural wines” | BKWine’s selection
“Natural wines” was the trendiest of the trendy not long ago. But as with all wines, it is not sufficient just to be a “natural wine”. There are good and bad ones, even among natural wines, as Tomas Eriksson emphasizes in his report from a tasting recently. There are several wine importers specializing in natural wines (plus sometimes organic and bio-dynamic). Three of them had teamed up and presented a wide range of wines from their range.
Tomas Eriksson found quite a few good wines in the selection that was on show, including some champagnes, white and red burgundies, several Rhone wines, some from the Loire, and at the end a little Languedoc-Roussillon and Hungary. Many of the wines are relatively widely available on the international market. See what wines Tomas thought was the best in the article on BKWine Magazine: Natural Wines from three importers, our selection of the best wines.
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This post is also available in: Swedish