699 Swedish krona (about £65/$100) for 25 cl of the 2007
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Yes, you read that correctly. Here is a glorious sweet wine
from Sweden of all places. We all know that one of the more beneficial effects of
climate change is that the world of wine is expanding. The next, seventh, edition of The World Atlas of Wine will
be published in early October (see A steal of an
iBook). I do seriously wonder whether we will have a special section
devoted to Scandinavia or at least far-northern Europe in the eighth edition to
take account of the vineyards burgeoning in Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden
and even Norway.
This golden treasure, sold in small, tapered bottles, is made about 50 km west of
Stockholm on the Blaxsta vineyard that is rather charmingly measured in the number
of vines it grows (about 5,500) rather than by area. The winemaker spent some
time in Canada, where Vidal is widely grown for Icewine and very successfully
too. Although it is not a 100% vinifera variety, Vidal has no off-putting odour - unlike,
say, the Concord grapes that are so widely grown in the US for grape juice and
jelly. And, thanks to its winter-hardiness, Vidal is particularly well adapted to
Icewine production. The fruit is generally bright and pure and a good foil for
the naturally high acidity of Icewine.
Actually this one, by now four years old, is a bit richer and broader than
most Canadian Vidal Icewines and has that tarte Tatin juice quality with a hint
of burnt toast, appetisingly offset by the refreshing acidity. I should imagine
that, at nearly 60 degrees north, acidity is not something they are ever short
of at Blaxsta. Blaxsta is one of those outfits with a restaurant, accommodation
and conference facilities according to its website, which also points out
helpfully that it is just a hop and a skip from the airport that Ryanair deem to be Stockholm.
I'm afraid this wine is not exactly widely available -
although Blaxsta's website is still advertising their 2008s, which presumably
have not sold as readily as they might...? Or perhaps they just haven't updated the site in a while. And the Swedish wine monopoly Systembolaget is listing quarter-litres of the 2007 at the exorbitant price stated above. I'm really including it not because I expect you to go out in droves to buy this expensive curiosity but merely to draw your attention to the fact that this little-known corner of the wine world can produce delicious wine.
I was given a taste of the 2009, which has won an award or two, by Swedish wine writer Erica
Landin, who visited London last month with a clutch of Swedish bottles. Purple
Pagers can read my tasting notes on the others by putting Sweden in the search
box of our tasting
notes search, which now ranges over nearly 90,000 wine reviews. (However did that happen?)
Blaxsta now have a representative in London E1: Lisa Amnegård on +44 (0) 7925 785859.
The photograph from their website was taken by Jan Lindblad
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