Thursday, May 05, 2016

No Riesling from Volker

As promised...the next meeting...and Volker had been reading the blog.
He offered to open proceeding...bottle screw cap...and most definitely not a Riesling.
Sauvignon Blanc?...there was some lychees in there...a crazy Sylvaner?...we finally ended up with a Chardonnay. What a beauty...

Friedrich Becker Chardonnay Minéral 2010
Pfalz, Germany

Becker reds I know...but...and I miss very little...I had missed this white.
Rich and creamy on the nose...and it does what it says on the offers you super minerals. This was probably a little fat in it's youth...but now there is a complete balance. Still some oak on the palate...but so lovely with it...a crowd-pleaser...a wine-freak pleaser. I could have stayed with this all evening.
Points 17.5

Robert tends towards northern Spain / southern France.

Chêne Bleu Aliot 2012
Vaucluse, Rhione, France

60% Roussanne, 35% Grenache Blanc, 5% Marsanne and some Viognier maybe...but that would mean my maths are not good.
White peach, honey, spicy. Volker craved for seafood with it...non available.
Quite rich on the palate with some ginger...and as always from Monsieur Robert...a wine to test you...just it's bad luck to have followed Mr. Becker
Points 16.75

Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2003
Rhone, France

Old style...roasted meat instantly out of the glass. Colour would not have helped the guys guess the age. Red fruit and the spicy dark plum of classic Pape.
Points 17.5

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Drink The Wine, Not The Bottle

Late post on our last meeting early April...but as the next one is due...I had better pull my finger out.
Volker always brings a white...and a Riesling...and it is good to have some stability in our monthly meeting. Robert on the other hand always produces some rarity and it takes us a while to nail it down.
Dönnhoff Hermannnshöhle Riesling GG 2014
Nahne, Germany
To be honest...this too young...and was showing its best an hour later as it warmed. I find Dönnhoff's. wines tend to some restsüsse...and in their youth are a little unbalanced. Negatives by side...this was an aggreeable starter.

Alfredo Arribas Trossos Tros Blanc 2013
Montsant, Spain

Robert always brings something not readily available...usually from Spain...and he was recently in the area. After we guessed North made the grape guess easier...Grenache Blanc...and he told us the vines were up to 80 years old. I can usually taste the aged ones...and this threw up some creamy fruit. Ripe peaches and with pleanty of depth. Very interesting. you know...our meeetings are great fun as we have to guess what is hidden inside the covered wine.
I had been asked to bring a red...and anyone who has been around wine over the last 20 years will know the bottle size from Au Bon Climat. The punt at the bottom is a finger long. The kitchen foil would have been a waste of time. My two friends should work for their success as I have to with their wines.

My red needed a decant...which it got a couple of hours was decanted into an empty white wine bottle from Austria with a screwcap!!!

This bottle got the kitchen foil...and I was ready to go.
Whenever you are asked to guess look for all the help you can get...and I guess Volker and Robert eyed what was before them.

They guessed Pinot Noir...and in the normal bottle would have said 'New World' Au Bon Climat.

Now...what do you think happnened? They went all over the world!

When they finally ended up in Santa Barbara County...I nodded. 'But the only wine we know like that is Au Bon Climat...and there are no slim bottles with screwtop'

Did I say there was. My giggles had started by now and I revealed the label. sides were hurting. They love me for my humour...and even when we said goodnight...I could still not stop smiling. In the middle of the night I let out a roar.

The wine...well...showing some age... Meaty...eucalytus...still soft biting tannins...

What awaits me in our future tastings?. I will be on my toes!

The REAL Bottle
The FALSE Bottle

Monday, March 28, 2016

Great Red Wine

These meetings we really look forword to. Once a month and you bring something special or interesting.
As I knew the others would be bringing white I spent a long time in my celler for something to 'knock 'em out'.
Robert and Volker arrived at our usual haunt Schaab Louis...and the first cork was popped.

Roagna Solea 2013
Langhe, Italy
I was first to try to guess...and instantly said Chardonnay. A nod came...but then an answer saying there was more. What is the other? We went through as many white grapes as we knew...and only as an afterthought said Nebbiolo. Robert does like to make it difficult for us. This is like a Blanc de Noir.
Apricots, peaches, flowers and light honey in a round, supple style.
Points 16.5

Volker had sent me a wine list from a local restaurant in Nierstein.
It was endless...although there only seems to be 1 or 2 bottles of every wine.
The vintages are 10 - 20 years old...and the prices very attractive.
His wine this evening had been selected and purchased.

St. Antony Pettental Riesling 2003
Rheinhessen, Germany
Clear petroleum...ripe Riesling.. I guessed 2003...although not through negativity of the hot vintage. This was just perfect. Good winemakers make good wine in difficult years.
Volker had brought along a newer vintage...2013 if I remember...but the style has changed...oak is dominant. If it not broken...why mend it...seemed the perfect phrase.
The 2003 gets
Points 17.5 from me.

Friedrich Becker Pinot Noir 2009
Pfalz, Germany
The absolute top wine from Becker. 'Tafelwein' he used to call it. The grapes grow over the border in France. This has been slumbering in the celler a couple of years...bought when it was 'cheaper'. Price is relative!
Newer vintages cost € 120,-- but if they are like this then they are worth every penny / cent! 
Toasty oak...dive in and enjoy. Pure Pinot fruit...and to me...the oak is just perfect. Traces of cherries and milk chocolate. Great mouthful and a lingering aftertaste.
The guys...who mark out of 100...gave it 97/98...praise indeed from these experts.
I don't give 19 to often...but this wine just threatened me with every sip.
Points 19
The guys asked me about our last meeting... I had not posted anything.
Time, health, holiday...was my excuse.
What I do remember was the wine I had brought along. 
Patience is a virtue...and my wine for the evening had been in the cellar 20 years.
However...patience seemed to leave me on this evening...I just could not wait to try it...and had not taken notes on the two wines offered by my buddies.
Chateau Lynch-Bages 1989
Pauillac, France

The trouble was...I had opened it 4 hours previously...and sniffed to check. That sniff made me impatient. patience in leaving this bottle in the celler had repaid me.
Deep ruby colour. Nose a touch of eucalyptus, cedar, black fruits, the usual cigar box and lead pencils. The palate just knocks you out. Loads of have refrain from taking big gulps. Super balance. Top top wine.

Points 19.5

Thursday, February 25, 2016

England, Mum, Niece, Son but no Sun

About this time every year I travel to visit my mum and my niece.
Sunday was packing day...more than enough clothes as the weather could be any type in England.
A case of wine...just enough room for the driver. 

Monday 25 January 2016
Left home at 9.30 and in Holland had some pleasant weather 
which stayed until I reached Rotterdam.
Smaller ship than normal...but same food in the Brasserie. 
A glass of Riesling and an early night. Storm...force gale 8...
which you notice more on a smaller ship.

Tuesday 26 January 2016
Had arrived at midday...and was greeted by a happy mum. Unpacked and rested.
As we sat down at the table in the Twelve restaurant my body was still racing. 
A racy riesling had been carried over and we chose the food. 

Soup for my mum and the madras cured salmon for me. 

It was light and delicious and the wine grew to love it as well. 
My mother chose the barbecued pork...which her elderly hands had 
difficulty with so I cut it up into small pieces. I opted for Mr Johnsons Duck...
he being of a farm that rears them. 
Tasty and by this time the riesling had opened and filled out. 
Alzinger Höhereck Smaragd Riesling 2011
Wachau, Austria
Delicate at first and a touch withdrawn...and the special glasses owner Caroline 
had got for us really enhanced the more thick rims.
It was really special to take every sip as it developed into perfection. 
Mum even took a second glass!
Points 17.5

Wednesday 27 January 2016
Went for a massage to loosen the muscles from the drive...
My niece Nathalie wanted to take us out for lunch...and we had pie and chips at a local cafe...
then back to mum's place...with Nathalies dog Pepe. 

She left at 5pm...
and we still had no plan for dinner so we ended up at 12 again. 
No pain...mum went for the soup and cod loin...
I had the corned beef salad and then the Rösti....both courses ' suggested' 
to the waitress along with both surprises when they arrived.

Hirsch Grüner Veltliner 2011
Kamptal, Austria
A touch unbalanced after the unscrew...the fatness of the grape slightly dominant. 
Needed food and was fine for us both...just the memory of yesterday with the Riesling...
Points 16.5

Thursday 28 January 2016
A light lunch at the Euston Hotel...and a lazy sleepy afternoon. 
Having no chores or appointments...causes the body to worry after months of asking...
Out know where...with Mum and Nathalie...and took along Pichlers M. 
Scotch Eggs and the Chicken.
F.X. Pichler Smaragd M 2005
Wachau, Austria
I havead this a couple of times(lucky me) alluring at this age.
Points 17.25

Friday 29 January 2016
Busy evening at the Twelve.
Changed our normal table as there were 'loud' children nearby. Loud meaning...
their parents just let them roam. I know from my family and let them roam
now...only yourself to blame later.
Mushrooms for starter and then the Bowland Beef
Wine had not travelled with me...but I had contacted a merchant in Cambridge
for a mixed case of this property
Pewsey Vale The Contours Riesling 2003
Eden Valley, Australia
Need to try this again at home...seemed to be needing a few years still. 
Points 16.75

Saturday 30 January 2016
Bought a racing paper and watched the horses on tv...had 3 winners and was up on the day.
We decided to stay in so it was fish and chips from Seniors 'Chippy' and a bottle of
German beer from the local supermarket

Sunday 31 January 2016
We wandered across the square with a bottle of Hirztberger.
They had a Sunday menu which we chose as the choices we had not had as yet.

The goats cheese with beetroot and then the grilled Salmon.

Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Singerriedel 2007Wachau, Austria
This seemed a little fat...maybe needed more airing...cos itdid not stir the soul in me.
Points 17

Monday 1 February 2016
Out to a light lunch at the Shard Pub...down by the river...where we spread my 
brother's ashes 6 years ago. With the wind gusting...I helped my mum down the few steps 
to the pub...and she was shouting...'I can't see', I can't see! 
I turned to look at her and the cape she was wearing had blown over her head. So funny.
In the evening we went to the local Italian...Mimmos...and took the first red of the holiday. 
The starter of Black Pudding was a touch too much but mum finished it off. 
Nathalie and I were laughing because she had already had her Prawn with Melons. 
A shared Pizza Marinara went nicely with soft Pinot Noir.
Schneider Weiler Schlipf Pinot Noir *** 2009 
Baden, Germany
Schneider makes such attactive Pinots...young or old...the balance is always perfect.
Just a trace of strwaberry fruit...and a nice maturity.
Points 17 

The jovial waiter made for a nice evening. The wind was strong outside...
Storm Henry they are calling it.

Tuesday 2 February 2016
For some reason...could not sleep from 6am...and eventually gave up. 
We set off for Lytham and had a light lunch at a cafe called 'Fancy That'...
homemade Quiche with fresh salad...and then a piece of cake...
with the amusing name of Lemon Drizzle.

My wanted to buy her we went to the perfum shop.
As she enetered the assistant asked if she could help. 
Mum said she wanted her favourite perfume...which is Boucheron...but she said Bergerac.
The assistant looked at me...and was going to ask...but I beat her to it...
yes I said..he is a detective..mum means Bouscheron! So funny.
Twelve again...
Pigs head...which sounds worse than it is.
Alzinger Boibenberg Smaragd Riesling 2012
Wachau, Austria
More acidity than expected...needs a year.
Points 16.5

Wednesday 3 February 2016
Shopping with my niece...lunch at the New Penny....
And our favourite Thai had opened after the staff is in Cleveleys...called Thai Delicious.
The food had changed....the sauces seemed thicker...the wine much better.

F.X. Pichler Dürnsteiner Kellerberg Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 2009Wachau, Austria
Perfect...if only the food had been. There is gloss and spice to this...
Points 17.5

Thursday 4 February 2016
Nowhere we wanted to 'risk' so back to our regular haunt. 
The artichokes were a nice taster...and the lamb carre medium rare as ordered. 

Finally...I opened a Chardonnay. Kollwentz Chardonnay Taschler 2011
Burgenland, Austria
No overoaked version...headlng for streamlined...
but still asking for a few jogging years to round the hips.
A touch fat still...this always is compared to it's sister Gloria.
Points 16.75

Friday 5 February 2016
Treated myself to a massage to relax the shoulders.
We are out tonight with Nathalie and her boyfriend Adam.
Nelles Spätburgunder B52 2009
Ahr, Germany
About time for a red...and Nelles B52 never disappoints...
with it's silky palate and soft tannins...Nathalie even came back for a second glass.
Points 17

Saturday 6 February 2016
My football team...Manchester City play the league leaders at lunchtime....
so it is down to the local pub to watch on the big screen. 
They a team who could be champions. 
After the poor Thai a few days ago a takeaway from the Mews was collected...
Sea Bass in Red Curry. Maybe it is me...but we did not become friends. 
Even the Bavarian Beer failed to please tonight. Early to bed and forget the day!

Sunday 7 February 2016
Some sun and WIND. We drove to the Shard pub down by the river for lunch...
Lancashire Hotpot and Beef Suet Pudding....very British. 

Watching to two ladies clinging to each other in the wind on the way to the car was. So funny.

The view from my mum's apartment is a windmill...and it was brighter today.
A rest in the afternoon...some packing and a last date at the twelve with Nathalie and Adam.

A couple of new being a goat's cheese tart...
and I ended up with beef and Yorkshire Pudding as my mum 'stole' my Rösti.

A recent favourite Hirsch's Riesling 2011 completed the pleasures. 
I asked to pay and owner Caroline said as we had been so often...9 visits in all...
only 2 meals would be charged. Nice touch!

Monday 8 February 2016
Had done most of my package had breakfast and said goodbye to Mum.
I had contacted an old school friend...and stopped over for lunch to see Kevin and his wife Erica. 

From their cottage to Hull is 2 hours...and I arrived just after 16.00. 
No wait to get on the ship as I book priority( means I get off first next day). 
I had bought some food at a motorway supermarket as I always eat in the cabin on the way home. 
No way I am going to eat the ship's food twice in 2 weeks. 
Early night as we lose an hour from England to Mainland Europe. 
Finished the tasty food and captain informed us that it would blow force gale 9 in the night. 
I managed to get a couple of hours before it started.
Tuesday 9 February 2016
Somehow got enough sleepand had time to eat a bowl of porridge for breakfast. 
Left the ship at 9.30 and was home 5 hours later. 
Terrible weather though on the way back. 
Rain and aqua planning...but made it.

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