3/31/12

NEO wine, music and good life

Bodegas y Viñedos Neo is, according to its musician founder friends Javier Ajenjo, José Luís Simón and Julio César Conde the “dream” since early age and who, in 1999, decided to make a wine they liked.

The first 6,000 bottles of Neo 2000, which some years later scored a rating of 95 points from wine writer R Parker, were made in a rented corner of a bodega by the very talented winemaker Isaac Fernandez Montana who is still in charge of the wines.

Selling wine on the world market is always challenging but when you receive high scores it for sure make life a little easier and the guys knows how to incorporate wine, music, lifestyle and great passion for food in a family style blend.

The bodega holds around 10 hectares of very old plantings with many of the more than 70 years of age and that boost some amazing ripe fruits that shows in the wines.

Neo the regular bottling is a wine that is made from 50-60 years old planting of Tempranillo grapes with extreme control in the vineyard and some 2000 kg per hectare out take, the wine is kept 15 months in American and French barrels.

The main wine Neo Punta Esencia is the flagship wine made from 80+ years’ old vines with very low yield of 1500 kg/hectare and the use of new French barriques for 24 months and loved by the worlds wine critics with high scores.

Bodegas Neo are now producing a wide variety of wines from around Castilla y Leon all made by the Neo design studio aimed for the modern wine drinker, Im looking forward to taste this range of 3 reds and 2 whites.
The first production of 6000 bottles are now 10 years later in the range of 500 000 bottlers annual.
You can go a long way with some money and a great idea, you rock hombres.



3/30/12

3/26/12

I have been busy

I have been so busy lately and travelling in the name of the wine, fun? Yes but very exhausting
especially when I have to be away from my family for to long.

Prowein in Germany was great fun and I did some great deals for the Swedish and Danish market that will result in great wines, www.vallegarcia.com is already in the warehouse and out to the first customers.

To meet winemakers and producers in person is always great and to understand the philosophy behind the product is crucial to a sales guy, great personalities.

I have attended the Nordic chef of the year as a judge for some days and also a Nordic chefs board meeting with great colleagues.

Looking for new wines for my market is time consuming and people around me thinks that this is just fun, they should only know J

Applying for the university is something that I could not believe would happen 6 months ago, but yes I’m heading for the WSET Diploma starting up in September, more to come about this.

I’m a busy bee and could not travel nether to vinitaly in Verona or alimentaria in Barcelona this year but I’m already planning expo in Bordeaux next year, who will come with me?

Look up http://www.mishasvineyard.com great NZ wines from wonderful people.



Cheers




3/18/12

cooking competition time

One day to go for the Nordic chef of the year competition that will be held at Foodexpo in Herning Denmark.

The Swedish chefs association are sending Martin Hansen as senior and  Pi Nghi Thanh Le as junior and wild card.

The training for this guys have been  tough with lot of challenges regarding the mystery baskets that I have put on to the test just like they will find at the competition.

All of us are prepared and ready to go, I will also be one of the judges at this event and will keep you all informed by my Twitter as @draganunic so ad me up for news.

To my US friends

Dear readers in the USA, I’m thrilled and amazed that so many of you are following my blog and that you find my life interesting to read about, I would love to hear from you all and to receive some feedback of what you want me to write about and for me to know you out there.

Please send me an e-mail on dragan@unictaste.se I would appreciate that tremendously



I’m raising my glass to you all



Dragan

3/13/12

South Africa and great wines

The winemakers in South Africa are making some absolutely great wines that in many cases are on top in the world of wines.

The problem is that the importers are focusing on bland wines without personality and identity just focusing on the lower prise range, at least here in Sweden.

People in Sweden love the S-A wines and prefer this in many cases when they are buying in systembolaget shops (monopoly crap) and this is what they thing S-A wines are all about.

The problems appear when you talk to restaurants and ask why they do not carry more of the S-A wines on the list, people are not paying for the wines in restaurants due to that they are used to lower quality wines of lower level wines, this are creating a problem in the long run when you talk about the high end wines that are just amazingly good with great value for the buck.

Here are some of my favourite that I tasted recently and I do love them all and wish some more importers will put focus on this high end wines.








3/7/12

South African Pinots are sexy




Can wine be sexy? This is a very interesting question due to that Pinot Noirs use to be called a female wine in the old days when most of the pinots came from burgundy.

Now days when this exiting grape are grown all around the globe with different characters and result my answer is YES, these wines are a sexy, velvety curvy woman in high heels with a bite to it, and I do love most of them J

I just tasted some of the best South African Pinots and I must admit that this style suits me perfectly with broad and bold flavours and the pure identity of the grape, here are my best picks of the tasting.
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak PN
Chamonix Pinot Noir reserve
Paul Cluver PN
Creation PN
Hamilton Russell PN
Vriesenhof PN
Newton Johnson Family Vineyard PN
Catherine Marshall eleven barrel reserve PN and my favourite wine of the day






3/6/12

Prowein day two with great people

The second day at the wine fair was just amazing and I’m really happy to announce that I signed some great producers to Scandinavia and that I have chosen the first four wines that will have the “Special sommelier selection by Dragan Unic” on the bottle.

The new wines that will future in the range of wines on the list are the  boldly and gutsy and delicious wines from Pago De Vallegarcía outside Toledo in Spain and are considered to be among the top 30 vineries from Spain, you are in for a big surprise, check it out here http://www.vallegarcia.com

I can tell you that the best sweet wines are made by Mr Savic at the house of Bodrem in Croatia, this guy are making nine different sweet wines of the best quality that I have ever tasted and all are grape individual and all of them taste differently, no wonder that Decanter are giving him the highest scores for the last four years, check it out here http://www.bodren.hr

Florentina Casao Ariano is the forth generation in a winemaking family descendant from Italy many years ago and are now making some very special and exceptional wines in Uruguay from many different grape varieties but focusing on the Tannat grape of highest possible quality, the wine people will be surprised again J and you can read more here http://www.arianohermanos.com

California wines will come from three small producers of great quality but I have not finalized the range yet, will do this in the next few weeks and I’m truly looking forward to this extravaganza tasting again.

Catherine Marshall is making some fantastic wines in South Africa and will be the new partner in Sweden and Denmark with her range of silky, sexy and delicious wines. I will introduce her to you later but you can read more about her here in the meantime  http://www.cmwines.co.za

I will sign another Croatian young and talented winemaker but he does not know it yet J the quality that he gets out of his fruit is mind blowing and you will love him and enjoy his company, more to come.

That’s it for now with some pictures.







3/5/12

Prowein, first day in paradise

First day at Prowein was very hectic as expected; I was aiming for the unusual wines from special countries and found some very good wines and some not as well.

I was surprised of the quality from some producers in Uruguay, great wines that can easily mach any great wines from more known European producers and I welcome them to Sweden in a few weeks.

Brazil was to me none existing even that they have a huge production in the country but I could not find anything that was good enough for me, but I did try many.

An great friend with fantastic wines from Spain is on the way here as well, 96 RP and among the 20 best wines in Spain (in the price range) watch out AALTO.

Croatia with the winemaker Bruno Trapan totally blow me away with his wines, fabulous with great storytelling is also on the way to the cold north J

Another Croatian producer and the only one specializing in sweet wine was outstanding and highly awarded in Decanter, ohh I just love the sweet wines this guy is making.

Slovenia are historically making great white wines and the group of three young guys are producing the most beautiful wines from Maribor area, I tried some older Riesling that they have and I was amazed.

The best Pinot Noirs from South Africa is always a very special treat and I tried many of the best here today a truly world class experience, Cathy Marshall I miss yours.


More to come tomorrow from a guy who loves his job.

3/2/12

Prowein and Yummy wines

Its time for this years big wine fair Prowein in Germany with thousands of producers and million bottles of wine to be pored for four days.

I will be focusing on new wine producing countries to see how the potential are, I’m curious of the less known places and I do believe in diversity when it comes to wine.

What do you think of Uruguay, Brazil, Moldavia, Azerbaijan, India among others and not to mention the other Russian former republics that have been making wine for centaury’s.

I don’t have any limitations when it comes to wine and I love to discover less known grapes and regions, look at Sweden for instance! Who could believe that there will be vines growing up here twenty years ago??

Or England for that matter who is giving Champagne a real battle for the money.

Before I leave tomorrow I will conduct a big tasty, juicy Toro wine tasting that I have been looking forward to for months.



I will be back.