Grosses Gewächs....the following year
was the first year he could use the description.
Spätburgunder 2003 JS Auslese *** trocken
Nelles Heimersheimer Landskrone
"Grosses Gewächs" trocken
The striking bold labels are emblazoned with the date of the birth of the winery (1479). The B52 is the top wine..with a gold capsule...which this bottle had..but there was no sign of the B52 figures.
Medium deep with browning rim; sweet strawberries, wild fruits..slightly burnt aroma...which seems to be consistant with Ahr wines; first impression on tasting..some liquorice, concentrated rich attack..The Landskrone vineyard at the eastern end of the Ahr Valley – has steep slate soils warmed up in the sun, storing heat which is released during the night, making some of the wines carry quite a punch! With the vintage being one of the best for the grape in Germany...this is quite full..with ripe fruit..and showed it's fullness by being just as good when tasted a day later.
The 18 point mark is, for me, a bit special..it almost made it...
This year we had platters of Smoked Salmon,
Shrimps, Bean Salad, Tello Tonnato,
Marinated Prawns and a Paprika Terrine.
Enough to feed a regiment..
(I think my wife worked in an elite canteen
in an earlier life..maybe around the time of
Oliver Twist..he was always asking for more)
To ensure a smoothness from starter to main course (Veal Steaks and Pasta) with the wines..
I chose the Islander White..followed by
Fritz Wassmer's Spätburgunder
Rotwein 'R' 2004 and finished with the
Solanera Bodegas Castano 2004.
The reds I have tried before so I'll just note the white...
The Islander Estate
Wally White Semillon/Viognier 2005
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
With the diverse food..I always like to have a slightly exotic wine and the Viognier on the label decided me. Then I checked..only 5%...the rest being Semillon..Screwcap off..first smell..really delicious..smokey, new oak.
This is a cool climate wine..so no Aussie Headbasher here..some elegance and the acidity keeps it lively and crsip..and the Viognier kept it a perfect match for the food.
James Halliday..well-known wine critic...gave this 94/100...
I wouldn't go as far as that but
PS..the Wassmer went perfectly with the smoked salmon....
Continuing my search for Spätburgunder from the Ahr...I purchased a case of top-end wines from the 2003 & 2004 vintages...all 'Grosses Gewächs'(First Growths)..
Looking forward over the next 2 weeks to tasting these (hopefully) gems.
In an English run restaurant...which had an adventurous wine-list for the period..I first drank an Esporão wine..and was instantly impressed....so..I was pleased to get hold of the following bottle...
Esporão Reserva 1999
Herdade do Esporão
Reguenos de Monsaraz
Medium deep colour; instant rich nose..some spices and herbs and a touch of oak to rein in the masculine style of Portugal. After 30 minutes in the glass..the components knitted together nicely and gave a flavoursome wine with good fruit..tannins a little robust...but try it with a veal steak (as I did)..and it is perfect.
Can't remember the turbanned gent
being on the label...maybe he
was the genie in the bottle..
The first one was
Bachemer Karlskoff 2006
and the next day
Dernauer Hardtberg 2006
I could not separate them tasting-note wise...both closed, very rustical in style...with tannins masking any attractiveness that may or may not appear in the future.Both in a cocoon stage.. there are moments when you think you find something..plummy fruit..strawberries...
Points 15 for both
After the disappointment of the 2006's I decided to open a 2005 next..
Neuenahrer Sonnenberg 2005
This was much better...pale colour..soft gentle oaky nose..strange..but this reminded me of a Bordeaux...St.Emilion...nice easy mouthful.. a completely different style. Whereas the previous two were like heavy footed bouncers..this was the slim go-go girl
Ahrweiler Usulinengarten 2005
Again..very rustical in style..quite decent fruit..but not enticing..I need more from my Spätburgunder
There is no doubting these wines have their own style..it's just not mine...
They may develope late..I can only guess.
They all won Gold Medals at tastings..but it's down to styles and tastes
The other 2 bottles I will hold on to..maybe get a surprise...
Esculle de Solabal 2004
Ruby red with a dark core; very good nose of blackberries and forest fruits..reserved oak...some honey; concentrated flavour, although 14.5% alcohol..this is so well balanced and no heavyweight in the mouth..oak again integrated in firm soft tannins..a little masculine at the moment...some cassis and eucalyptus..good long finish...still youthful but can be drunk...methinks this will develope..and maybe be worth a point more in 5-10 years.
Spice Route Malabar 2003
Malmesbury, South Africa
The blend varies from vintage to vintage..
this one is 72% Shiraz, 11% Pinotage,
11% Mourvedre, 4.5% Grenache, 0.5% Viognier
(which to me makes only 99%...
did the vineyard dog add the rest?)
Deep crimson red; very attractive nose of ripe plums, some marzipan, spices and a 'freshness' that begs you to go back to it; upfront fruit...quite rich with healthy acidity.My fears on another 'South African Bulldog' proved ungrounded.. this is a fine example of how South Africa is maybe now getting it right at the premium level.
Yellow gold colour...sherry aroma, oxidated nose...medium-full body...
balanced, this is quite rich..
but should have been drunk a few years ago
if you are a 'nose' man(or woman).