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Nenad Jelisic's rating system (Nenad Jelisic Points = NJP)

5,0 NJP = A fabulous, unique and world-class wine. Closer to heaven, you cannot come. If you like wine then it is a must to buy and try this wine; 4,5 NJP = An extraordinary good wine. Only small micro details distinguish this wine from to be a 5 points wine; 4,0 NJP = A very good wine. A wine that has almost everything that the most highly rated wines (4,5 and 5,0 NJP) should have; 3,5 NJP = A more than good wine. A wine that has both finesse and good taste and a wine that you greatly enjoy while drinking it; 3,0 NJP = A good wine that is well above average. A wine that lacks just a little to end higher up, i.e. to 3,5 NJP; 2,5 NJP = A wine that has ended up in no man's land. Close to be a good wine, but also close to be a below average wine; 2,0-1,0 NJP = A below average wine. You can drink it, but in return it provides no excitement; 0,5 NJP = A bad wine, but still if you make an effort when you drink it, it is drinkable; 0 NJP = A catastrophically bad and non-drinkable wine. It does not even suit for cooking.

Other the world wines, part 2

Meyer Family Vineyards, Pinot Noir, 2012, red dry wine, McLean Creek Road Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (31-01-2015 by Kristof Gillese) There is Pinot Noir and then there is Burgundy. I would be remiss if I did not stipulate that, to me, Burgundy is as much a frame of mind as it is a geographical location. It has been explained to me that Burgundy is as much, if not more, a sense of respecting the land, the soil, the forest, wind and rain. Natives of that oenological haven explain that to be truly Burgundian (as a winemaker) is to observe the land, listen to the vines and only then does one start to help the land produce the wine it wants to make. It is a selfless passion. The team at MFV are consummate Burgundians. This wine sings with precision and roars with passion; unfiltered – the bouquet carries layers of warm Arabic spice, musky sandalwood, oiled leather, green peppercorns, blackberry pie and raspberry-wild thyme compote. The palate carries brisk yet inviting medium raspberry/currant acid and medium ultra-fine tannin with substance to them; the flavours convey an utter symmetry to the aromas. Excellent balance, structure, concentration – this would be a bargain at $150 from Musigny and, indeed, I’ve seen wines of this calibre reach $300. Cellars well for years, drinks superbly now without any need for decanting/aerating: enjoy 2014-2020.

 

Painted Rock, Merlot, 2012, red dry wine, Skaha Lake, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (31-01-2015 by Kristof Gillese) Oh Merlot, you much-maligned grape! So in vogue in the ’80’s until consumers realized that there were other varietals. Then they turned their backs on you – shameful. Merlot can carry depth like Cabernet Sauvignon, ruggedness like Malbec, minerality like Pinot Noir and all the smoothness of a Michel Bubblé song. Yes – that’s right – in a craftsman’s hands this becomes a wine of excellence and, with chocolate, an absolute dream. Deep earthy aromas punctuated by red and black floral tones (irises, rosehips) and sticky blueberries, blackberries and Saskatoons bubbling in a pan on the stove. The young palate is tightly coiled precision; medium red currant acid plays well with full chewy/chalky tannin that crave some fat for balance. And here is the fun part! Chocolate has just the right amount of fat to balance a Merlot like this impeccably! This wine has excellent balance, structure and concentration and cellars with ease for years. Enjoy 2014-2020.

 

Jaimes Serra, Cristalino, Rosé, Brut, Cava, NV, rosé dry sparkling blend wine (60% Pinot Nior, 40% Trepat), Spain (16-12-2014 by Kristof Gillese) A stunning wine: crisp aromas of red berries (raspberries and cranberries) and clean mineral tones permeate my glass, transcended by a palate awash in fresh acid drenched in the same cranberry/raspberry flavours and always, always that distinct and utterly precise mineral focus. This rose has capacity to develop on the taste-buds for 30 seconds and longer… truly an exceptional find for the price, I admit that I have not been able to find its equal. A delight with your fish and seafood meals, it is an utter joy to consume on it is own. The first place sparkling: the stunning value of Cristalino.

 

Chardonnay, Fort Berens Estate Winery, 2013, white dry wine, British Columbia, Canada (07-12-2014 by Kristof Gillese) Unique! I tried my best to compare this to other regions… tried to put this wine into the same box as someone/somewhere else, and fell short. This Chardonnay simply doesn’t taste like Chardie (as they say in Australia) from anywhere else: the reserved aromas of young pineapple/Amalfi-coast lemons could make me think of a cool California region (Central Coast AVA maybe) or Chile, but the palate is led by a fierce chalky minerality… Chablis right? Or at least Petit Chablis for this price. But then there are more flavours that come in; hints of honeydew and ripe cantaloupe, grilled pineapple with it’s sugary-goodness burning to the barbeque and apricots soaking in juice. Impressive levels of balance, structure and balance for such a young winery/vines. Food pairing: oysters. oysters and more oysters. Don’t like oysters? Anything from the sea is going to love the strength of this salty-mineral palate. Coquilles-St-Jacques a natural, this recipe comes from a mentor and guru to me (though he’s unaware of the fact): Anthony Bourdain.

 

Pinot Noir, Fort Berens Estate Winery, 2012, red dry wine, British Columbia, Canada (07-12-2014 by Kristof Gillese) Rich layers of aromas blend ripe raspberry tea with wet sage leaves, tight minerals, dark cocoa and old leather. The palate is precise: utterly focused on bright/lean/full cranberry-raspberry-red currant acid and a medium/fine-yet-grippy tannin structure. The flavours are much the same as the nose, though slightly simpler; most of the focus being on the brightness of fresh young red berries and that keen mineral backbone holding it together. Very good structure, balance and the concentration is excellent. If I had to compare this, I would say it’s much like the great examples of Gamay Noir from places like Morgon or Fleurie in northern Beaujolais when they gather some age and become so like Pinot Noir that many sommeliers can’t tell them apart. Food pairing: the pizza-purists in the audience will shudder when I say duck pizza with sautéed watercress, garlic jam and Sbrinz cheese. The watercress will emphasize the herbal tones, the garlic brings out earthiness, the duck is just beautiful, seriously though a bit of fat in the food will make this wine happy. I prefer this over most of the Parmegiano family and when you try it you’ll understand why.

 

Cabernet Franc, Fort Berens Estate Winery, 2012, red dry wine, British Columbia, Canada (07-12-2014 by Kristof Gillese) I was charmed by the “friendliness” of the perky red berry aromas; melding with that Fort Beren’s sea salt-mineral-undertone much like one of my favourite treats: Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt. The palate carries brisk red currant acid and the same fine yet chewy tannin structure. Very good balance, structure and concentration of flavours which carry those same currant/young raspberry/raspberry tea flavours with a deliciously savoury backdrop. Food pairing: call me crazy but as soon as I tasted this I thought: Jerk Turkey! If you’re not familiar with “Jerk” then please follow the link and prepare your taste-buds for a whirlwind adventure in spice and flavour! A very good representative for Lillooet winemaking and Cabernet Franc, this young wine will not develop appreciably and is best enjoyed 2014-2017.

 

Akiyoshi, Sauvignon Blanc, Musque Clone, 2013, white dry wine, Lodi AVA, California, USA (30-11-2014 by Kristof Gillese) Even after a few years of sommelier education and penning hundreds of articles, I was stumped when I read “Musque Clone” scrawled with such dominance on David Akiyoshi’s label. What was “Musque” and why was it so damned important? It turns out that “Musque” is perhaps more important (and controversial) then I could have expected: in general it refers to a “musky” quality that can result from genetic variation/development in a grape varietal. What does this mean in real terms? Well gewürztraminer is actually a “Musque clone” of Traminer which is, for all intents and purposes, a dying varietal. So is gewürztraminer it’s own varietal or is it a “Musque clone”? Who should decide and how should it be labelled? Well in this instance, second generation winemaker David decided that what was in the bottle was Sauvignon Blanc first and foremost, Musque-clone second. I concur! Whilst the perfumed bouquet offers a bounty of heady floral tones, warm exotic fruit compote and hints of Arabic spice straight from the Sook, the palate of this wine is pure Sauvignon Blanc;  unadorned full citrus acid almost Pinot Grigio-like in intensity but with a balance and concentration of peripheral tones (white tea, young mango, kumquat, green apple) that turns this into a chef’s dream… the 80’s classic dish: “Neptune” comes to mind immediately: picture a filet of fresh white fish (pike for those on the Prairies, Red Snapper for the West Coast and cod on the East. Pan-sear the fish and top it with crab-meat mixed with scallops and perhaps rough chopped prawns, then a few pieces of young asparagus, then Hollandaise sauce. Now – wait for it – scorch or brulée that sauce with a chef’s torch for just a moment… Neptune: over-the-top richness to play off the exuberance of this consummate wine!

 

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