Dryck is Swedish for drink (the noun, not the verb) – a suitable, however uninnovative name for the new wine bar in town. But regardless of its mass market appearance, Dryck is actually quite a likable little place with ambitions of becoming a core hangout for the winecurious. They are serious about the fermented fruit, while at the same time keeping a laid back appearance.
November is a dark month. Here in Sweden the sun rises around 9am and starts setting already at 3pm. During the darkest time of the year, there is only around five to four hours of daylight during the day. It’s dark when you head to the office and dark again when you are finished with work. Not to mention the cold wind and rain that is characteristic for NOvember in the Nordics. Without good wine, this would be a very depressing time of the year.
This week was not much different than many others. Perhaps we had a tad more bad luck with out business than we usually do. Firstly, our Port-wines never arrived to their final destination. The parcel company had sent them to Poland by mistake. Poland (!!), how is it even possible to mistake that with Sweden? After some heated email conversations, the wines were eventually returned to Portugal. The packages were severely damaged as well as a few bottles of white port nicked. This was very disappointing of course, but it happens in our line of business (transporting fragile goods). Luckily the parcel company was very responsive regarding our complaints and promised to compensate us for the damaged wines (they exceeded our expectations). However, even though we will not incur monetary loss, the Ports must wait to be sold another day. We also had an issue with our deliveries from Denmark to Sweden (what kind of truck-curse has been bestowed upon me?). However, that was solved within a few hours and caused no further harm.
Otherwise we did some nice wining and dining this week. We headed out to Djurets Backficka on Friday. Djuret is a restaurant in the old town, that specializes in one animal at a time. Basically everything that they have on the menu comes from the same species. There is this kind of nose to tail idea behind it, but the cuisine is quite classical. No weird shit. A backficka is the no-reservations side of a restaurant, usually the bar or other separate more casual space in the restaurant.
On Saturday we tasted some wines: Larmandier-Bernier Lattitude Champagne, Bonnaire 2005 Blanc de Blancs and one of our last bottles of the Francoise Bedel Cuvee Robert Winer 1996. The Bonnaire 2005 having spent a few years in our cellar had significantly improved (already). I think we bought a few cases of this due to Richard Julin giving it a very inspiring forecast (96/100). We did not drink all of these ourselves, we had some help. After the tasting we went for some nice refreshing beers at the Brewdog bar close to Friedhemsplan. I must say a nice lager after all of that semi-acidic champagne tasted really nice. Somehow even healing. Brewdog also has some light and non-alcoholic beers, so one could enjoy the drinks without adding more kilometers on the Sunday hangover. It wasn’t that bad, but I am dead tired.
The coming week will be our last whole week in Sweden in 2015. On the 9th of December we hop on a plane to Bangkok to start our winter vacation. Oh my God I am looking forward to it. Five weeks in Asia will of course mean some wine-deprived weeks again. Last year it was not until we made it to Singapore that we actually were able to have some nice (decent) wine. This year I expect nothing to have changed. So beer and cocktails it is this Christmas.
It will be a tough week at work. However, I do hope that I have energy and inspiration to write some interesting stuff about wine. Perhaps it is time for some more restaurant reviews this week..
Today I am reviewing something very special, one of the older wines that we have in our relatively young cellar. Francoise Bedel has for a long time been one of my favorite producers. I have written several times that her wines are the reason I got all excited about grower champagnes. Since 1982 Marie-Louise Bedel has been curious about bio-dynamic methods for producing Champagne. The evolution of her vineyards began in 1996 and by 1999, all 7 hectares of land were introduced to bio-dynamic viticulture and on their way to be certified by ECOCERT SAS.
After tasting a few of Bedels entry level champagnes, and loving them, we came across and opportunity to buy a case of the Cuvée Robert Winer -96 through a British distributor, Henry George Wines. For a price of around 50€ a bottle (with the 2014 EUR/GBP exchange rate) it felt like a steal, and after tasting one bottle, we were convinced it was worth the investment. We recently opened another bottle to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and made some notes to share with you on the blog.
The Cuvée is a heavy on Pinot Meunieur (88%) with a hint of Pinot Noir (6%) and Chardonnay (6%). The dosage is ~8g/l which is an average for a dry champagne. The wine has a mature, gold and amber color and the bubbles are small but lively. You can see that the wine has age. The nose has strong notes of brioche and dried candied fruit and an underlying mineral freshness. The taste is mature with light notes of burned butter. The wine develops even more toasty and nutty flavors when it has a chance to breathe. It is worth the wait and the price of some bubbles to discover the full potential of this wine. I can imagine this champagne being a good pairing with some meatier seafood, like crab and lobster or some white meats. We had it with some nice french cheeses and truffled cold cuts (omnomnom).
All in all I give it a 4 (out of 5) for quality and a 4.5 for value for money (at least when the price is around 50€). After some googling, I can see that we really made a bargain, as the average price today for the -96 is around 120€. Must send Henry George wines a thank you note as they arranged this case specifically for us directly from the producer herself. This vintage is peaking now, so don’t skip an opportunity to try this wine before it has passed its prime.