News, Expert Opinions and general chit chat from the world of wine

JN Wine Blog

New to JN and ready for you to enjoy! Shop Now.

Just arrived at JN Wine- Villa Sparina Gavi 2013. Villa Sparina is a family run estate in the Gavi district of Piedmont, in production since 1974.  Piedmont is a district that specialises in growing Barbera and Dolcetto; but it has been growing the white grape Cortese for more than 1000 years.  Here, the Moccagatta family, who own Sparina, produce top quality wines from all the local grape varieties. Their wines are easily recognised by their distinctive bottle shape.

Villa Sparina Gavi 2013

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The wine is fermented in stainless steel which helps retain its zingy acidity. The beautiful rich colour comes from the grapes being picked when they are fully ripened (around September/October) - average age of the vines used is around 25 years old. The wine is a straw-yellow colour with a nose of flowers and a hint of peach. The flavours are intense, due to the ripeness of the grapes and the finish is long, crisp and refreshing. This wine goes perfectly with white meat and fish dishes. Serve at a temperature of 12°C.

New to our portfolio- a red wine from Domaine Bellier. Their white bland of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay is one of our top-sellers from the Loire Valley and I’m sure this one will also be a hit! With vines of an average age of 20 years, this red is a blend made up of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay- two varieties that are more commonly found in Burgundy.

Domaine Bellier Cheverny Red 2014

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Vinification takes place in stainless steel vats under controlled temperatures and just like the wines of Beaujolais it is fresh and delicate. It’s packed full of fresh red fruit flavour, making it very quaffable! This is definitely a wine for drinking in its youth and would also benefit from being slightly chilled- about 12°c. This is a great wine to pair with poultry, grilled meats and cheese.  


Dominus Estate and Napanook 2011 Pre-arrival Offer

''The annual release of Dominus always evokes a surge of interest from our customers so if you wish to try these icon wines, I urge you not to tarry! While the 2010 dominus received rave reviews from critics and is definitely a wine for cellaring, the 2011is much more restrained and forward in style. in fact it is the perfect wine for drinking over the next year or two while you wait for the 2010s to mature.'' 

Jane Boyce MW

History

In the late 1960s, while attending the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix of the famed petrus family, fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wines in 1995, he became the sole owner of the 124 acre napanook estate. He chose the name 'Dominus' or' Lord of the Estate' in Latin to underscore his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the land

2011 VINTAGE SUMMARY

“A vintage that demanded experience and selection, 2011 was characterized by unusually wet conditions. The growing season began with a cold spring, delaying bloom after an early budbreak. Summer’s average temperatures prolonged the growing season. Rains at the beginning of October precipitated a selective harvest, where our Bordeaux experience of such conditions proved to be very useful.” Christian Moueix

2011 DOMINUS

The 2011 vintage displays fresh almond, wild strawberry and cassis. The wine has delicate notes of smooth caramel.  Polished tannins, dark berries, cocoa and sage accompany a long elegant finish.

The 2011 vintage is composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This wine is ready to drink on arrival but will keep for another 10 – 15 years.

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Critic’s comments:

Dominus 2011 – 94/100 Antonio Galloni 
“Savory herbs, menthol, smoke and licorice are some of the aromas that open up in the glass in the 2011 Dominus. This is a relatively immediate, expressive Dominus with plenty of near-term appeal. The style is open and succulent for the year, with lovely balance and poise. Crushed rose petals and dried herbs linger in the close. With time in the glass, the 2011 fleshes out nicely”. 

2011 NAPANOOK

Napanook is an estate bottled wine from the historic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, Napa Valley, made from grapes carefully selected for their lively fruit and soft tannins. Notes of blonde tobacco and fresh cedar are integrated with lacy tannins. On the palate, the wine is bright and finishes with plum and mocha. A beautiful wine for pairing with beef, game or fish.  The 2011 vintage is composed of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 8% Cabernet Franc.

This wine is created to be consumed young, and enjoyed with food, but will also age well for more than a decade.  Christian Moueix recommends decanting young wines before serving to allow them to reach their full potential

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Critic’s comments:

Napanook 2011 – 91/100 Antonio Galloni 
“The 2011 Napanook is deep, rich and intense for the year. Plums, mocha, spices, licorice all flesh out in an inviting wine to drink now and over the next few years. The 2011 has no hard edges or greenness, but the medium-bodied structure suggests it is best enjoyed sooner rather than later.”

The wines will arrive with us in late April / May at which point we will contact you. You can then decide whether to pay the duty and VAT and take immediate delivery or to continue to store in Bond.

The offer

- Dominus 2011 (6 x bts) - £625/€785 - PRE-ORDER HERE

- Napanook 2011 (12 x bts) - £375/€475 - PRE-ORDER HERE

Or email: shop@jnwine.com / call 028 44 830091 Mon – Sat 9am – 7pm.


Making a Case for French, Italian and Iberian Wines - Shop Now!

Ever feel like you are buying the same wine time and time again? Don’t worry, you are not alone! It is easy to fall into a pattern of buying something you know and love – we all have a comfort zone. Sometimes it pays to be a little more adventurous and that’s where our mixed cases come in to play.

Do you always stick to Rioja? Maybe you will enjoy tasting the other wines Spain has to offer, and Portugal is always a great choice for spicy reds – you are bound to find some treasure in our ‘Adventures in Iberia’ case. From the ever popular Rioja, to the lesser known Mencía grape and sparkling Alvarinho – there are many different styles to explore. This 12 bottle case covers a varied selection of what Spain and Portugal have to offer, and a great way to widen your horizons.

Adventures in Iberia

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Are you a fan of all things Italian? Or do you find it hard to deviate from your usual pickings of Pinot Grigio, and Chianti? Italy can be a hard place to explore without a little guidance – and ‘An Italian Job’ is just that. With wines from every corner of Italy, and even one from Sicily there is much to choose from in this mixed case. Let us show you around, you’re really going to like it!

An Italian Job

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France – the home of endless classic wines and favourite destination of many wine drinkers. Rhône wines are some of my personal favourites.  For some, however the selection can be overwhelming. Maybe you too enjoy what the Rhône has to offer, but tend to avoid the complicated areas of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Or perhaps you are yet to discover the wonder that is Loire Sauvignon Blanc. This is your time! Our ‘Foray into France’ case includes a sample from 6 of France’s wonderful regions, along with some case notes to keep you informed - making it a great way to explore this beautiful country.

Foray into France

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So dust off your adventure boots, and pick a case. It’s a great way to learn something new, whilst enjoying an interesting glass of wine!

 


Riesling - make the smart choice!

Let me introduce you to my favourite white grape, Riesling. Riesling is a fruity and aromatic grape which typically has low alcohol and high acidity, which is balanced by varying degrees of residual sugar. It produces great wines in a range of styles from dry and off dry to semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling. It can grow in a range of climates, but it always prefers moderately cool areas. Germany is Riesling’s ancestral home, but it also thrives in many countries, with Alsace, Austria, California, New Zealand and Australia producing fine examples. 

One of the intriguing characteristics of Riesling is the way it is influenced by where it is grown - wine buffs use the term “terroir-expressive”. In Germany it can have fresh grape and green apple characteristics, whereas in Australia’s Clare Valley it can reveal citrus and peach notes. Some of the richest, most concentrated Rieslings are produced in Alsace, but that area can also craft some of the most tinglingly dry wines – it’s all down to where and how it’s grown. 

Germany’s complex system of designating the various styles of Riesling equates quality with ripeness and illustrates the many styles of the wine. The different designations reflect the grapes’ sugar levels: 

Kabinett wines are typically light bodied, semi-sweet, but can be dry, with crisp acidity.

Donnhoff Kreuz Kroten Ries Kab

Donnhoff Kreuz Kroten Ries Kab 09 Pk6

£18.50 / €25.50

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Grapes harvested a little later are labelled Spatlese (late harvest). Typically semi-sweet, these wines will have a more concentrated ripe flavours and more body than Kabinetts. Confusingly, Spatleses can also be dry. 

Leitz Rud Magdalenen Ries Spat 2011 

Leitz Rud Magdalenen Ries Spat 2011 Pk6

£19.99 / €27.45

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Auslese (selected harvest) wines are made from hand selected very ripe grapes. They are semi-sweet to sweet with flavours of honey, apricot and peach. Ausleses can occasionally be made into a powerful dry wine.

Loosen Weh Sonnenuhr Ries Aus 2010

Loosen Weh. Sonnenuhr Ries Aus 2010 Pk6

£29.95 / €41.00

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By leaving the grapes on the vines longer, and given the right conditions, (does not happen every year) the grapes can become infected by noble rot, also known as botrytis. Noble rot affects the grape by shrinking and drying out the grape, but all the sugar is retained. The grapes are pressed multiple times to get all the juice from them and the resulting wines are dense and concentrated, golden in colour and very sweet. When fermented, this typically leaves a wine with considerable residual sugar. Wines made this way are labelled Beerenauslese (selected harvest of berries) and Trockenbeerenauslese (dried berries selection). 

Beerenauslese wines are individually picked and are sweet with very rich intensive flavours. As they keep their acidity and rich ripeness they can age for decades. 

Trockenbeerenauslese wines are made from grapes that are dried on the vines until they are almost raisin-like. The resulting wine is very sweet, rich with honey-like flavours. Top quality Trockenbeerenauslese wines are some of the most expensive in the world. 

Hopler Trockenbeerenauslese

Hopler Trockenbeerenauslese 2013 1/2 Pk6

£19.99 / €26.24

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Eiswein (ice wine) is made from grapes that have been naturally frozen on the vine. Freezing concentrates not just the sugar in the grapes, but also acidity and extract, and Riesling Eiswein is always the highest in acid of any German wines. For best results, a frost of at least −8 °C is required. Harvesting generally takes place between five and eight in the morning in the first sufficiently cold days in November or December. Eiswein is a very sweet, highly concentrated wine, the sweetness moderated by vigorous acidity. It is always in short supply and is hugely expensive.

Hopler Gruner Veltliner Eiswein

Hopler Gruner Veltliner Eiswein 1/2 Pk6

£24.95 / €29.75

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What does ‘corked’ wine mean?

What does ‘corked’ mean? How and why does it happen?

Firstly, a corked wine does not refer to the little pieces of cork floating in the wine, this just happens if the cork is unscrewed badly, or it has disintegrated. A corked wine, or ‘cork taint’, means that the wine has been contaminated by a compound called TCA which is naturally occurring and can sometimes be found in cork as well as other wood, soil, vegetables etc. TCA forms when natural airborne fungi (that can live in the cork itself, or in the tree or barrels) come in contact with certain chlorophenol compounds (found in winery sanitation products as well as herbicides and pesticides) causing a reaction with pretty funky results! A wine affected by cork taint smells musty, like wet cardboard, wet dog, or a just a general, dank, stinkiness! The taste of the wine will be rather dull and flat, and the fruit characteristics will be lost. It is completely harmless to your health to drink a corked wine, but it won’t be much fun.

The statistics vary, as do the levels of detectable infection, but it is said that cork taint occurs in about 5% of wine that is sealed with a real cork, so you will, most likely, come across a few over the years of your imbibing career. As such, it is important to be able to spot it. It isn’t always detectable in the cork itself, it will be most noticeable in the smell and taste of the wine.

Sometimes a wine can be misconstrued as corked, when it is just the style it has been made in. Richer, oaked (white) wines may be misinterpreted as corked due to the buttery, toasty notes from the oak ageing process. The main way to differentiate between the two is that a corked wine has a really unpleasant smell, there is no doubt about that; if a wine is rich, toasty and oaky, it won’t smell foul, it might just be not your style. And that’s ok, discovering what you like and don’t like in the world of wine is fun.

But if you have been unfortunate enough to end up with a corked bottle of wine, the bad news is that there isn’t much you can do about it.  If you’re lucky enough to have a second bottle on stand-by, crack it open and enjoy it – chances of it also being corked are very low. Do keep the wine though, and return it to your wine merchant who will be happy to replace it.

Hope this helps!