Thursday, November 29, 2007
He lets the quality of the vines speak and the wine is given as little 'help' as necessary.
The old saying' a little is more' is a perfect description.
Those eagle-eyed will note a Xmas card as background to the bottle on the right..IT'S NOVEMBER!!!!!!! signed..Scrooge.
Jürgen von der Mark Pinot Noir 2005
Lied an den Mond
Bad Bellingen, Baden Germany
Pale colour; wild strawberry nose, very aromatic; medium bodied, lovely mouthful, soft, velvety and fine with just a nudge of oak, very elegant..this dances on the tongue..and the music is Mozart ..not Wagner.
Even drinking it with the ice weather outside..you can imagine cooling this in summer..get out the Bar-B-Q....oh man.. I'm dreaming already and winter has only just started!
Times have changed...over recent years the drunks etc.have been told they are not welcome..and the wine ain't bad nowadays.
Miguel Gelabert Chardonnay2004
Fermented in new French oak casks and matured for 6 months.
Reserved oak nose..some vanilla and smoke..an excellent balance in the mouth..oak held in place by the natural fruit..never feels heavy...citrus and tropical fruits..some butter and cream. This is really delicious and a pleasure to go back to..very good next day as well. The price is maybe hefty (30 Euros = $ 44) and at times I said..not a re-buy..then you taste again..and maybe it is worth an odd bottle again.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
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.
In my desperate search to re-live a 'Meursault Moment' I purchased this one recently..I was a little cautious..12 years old...I shouldn't have listened to that devil on my shoulder.
Meursault Blagny 1995
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).
Monday, November 19, 2007
I've been to the Chateau in Cheval Blanc...
and when I drink these wines..it is somehow
a little special.
Well..on our recent trip to the Black Forest..we walked the vineyards in Waldulm...Karl Hodapp has some vines behind his Gasthouse and we inspected the grapes (albeit the 2007 vintage)
He kindly gave me a bottle of his 2005...50cl to be exact...as a present. (Why aren't there more wines in this size..perfect for one person)
Barrique Trocken (Spätburgunder)
Selection Karl Hodapp
Fresh Pinot with a strong berry aroma..some cherries; soft tannins in marriage with the
PS....one point less than the Yakka Jack...but a wine I would enjoy at any time..as I said..it's down to tastes and styles
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Well then, stop moaning. Is it thin, weak, watery?
No..No..none of that..it's just.......
Has it been highly rated?..
Oh yes..Parker probably gave it 92....James Halliday gave it 94..
Well....they can't be wrong..
It's not all about right and wrong..it's about personal taste and style.
Tell us more about this wine then...
Well...it's a blend of 73% Cabernet Franc and 27% Sangiovese....and has a French nose and an Italian body..
Charles de Gaulle and Sophia Loren you mean...
NO!...my choice would be Sophie Marceau and Claudia Cardinale...but let's
get back to wine...
The Islander Estate
Yakka Jack 2004
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
This winery is on Kangaroo Island and is owned by Frenchman Jacques Lurton.
The first whiff is the Cabernet Franc..cedary oak;
as you work your way to the body..the Sangiovese takes over...velvety and smooth, some chocolate..returning to the nose..the Sangiovese is showing now..no sign of Monsieur de Gaulle anymore. Ripe fruits throughout..and I would have prefered the Cabernet to have remained more dominant( I believe they are increasing the amount for the 2005 vintage)
BUT..the old story for me..1 or 2 glasses..then I need a break..
I drank it over 2 days( it held up without any problems)..
would I buy it?..no...a one night stand..unless Sophie really begs me to...
PS.. I bought 4 bottles from this vineyard..
and started with the top wine..
the others are..
Bark Hut Road 2003
Majestic Plough 2004
Wally White 2005
I'll try not to moan.......
Friday, November 16, 2007
Norm Doole, Drew Dowie and Leigh Gilligan are behind it all.It's rather like neighbours asking each other for some milk or sugar for the coffee..as they forgot to get it at the shops..They'll take and mix to make it work..and it does...the range is interesting..vibrant...and with potential...it is still early days yet..and you get the feeling there is more to come.
Dowie Doole Merlot 2004...................Dowie Doole Shiraz 2004
Also available were the 2 wines that accompanied the meal
I was asked to sit next to Drew Dowie
( because I speaka da lingo?....
or because of my wine experience?..
or maybe just because only the 2 of us understand Cricket?)
He is charming, talkative, down to earth..and it was a splendid evening.
The three course meal was accompanied by the Chenin Blanc 2006 and the Hooley Dooley Red 2004.
Dowie Doole Hooley Dooley 2004
Dowie Doole Chenin Blanc 2006
The grapes are from 70 year-old vines.
Pale straw in colour.
Cut grass, some apple and pears on the nose.
The palate shows tropical fruits and melon
with excellent balance and length.
The guys have come up with a fun easy drinking not too serious red blend that is just right. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Petit Verdot ( last 2 minimal) and is well oaked making it very drinkable. An aromatic nose dominated by ripe plums & cherries.. some spice and toasted oak. Again..on the palate..plums with chocolate and spice, well integrated oak and soft tannins.
The highlight of the evening was the Syrah Reserve 2004
Dowie Doole Shiraz Reserve 2004
Opaque black crimson colour with black crimson hue.
Super nose...ripe plums and marzipan...
herbs..and oak.The palate shows
mouthfilling flavours of liquorice, white pepper,
spices and vanilla. The tannins are soft and 'sweet'.
Perfect balance..not OVERFAT as many Aussies are...
this is a pleasure now...how long will it age?..
well..7-10 years with ease.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
annual Künstler tasting in Hochheim..he has recently moved premises..now in a large villa...very posh..
There is always a guest 'vigneron'..
and this year it was Knipser..Rheinland-Pfalz.
We waded though Künstler's Rieslings..
for me mouth-puckering at times
(Volker is a better taster of these babies)..
whether they will be worth the prices he now charges..we will have to wait and see.
Knipser's selections were mainly Vintage 2004.
and I was not overly impressed. In the middle of all the wines..one had stood out for us both ( was it the alcohol..or were our taste-buds still intact?).
We split a 6 pack...and left.
Recently Volker asked me..if I had ever gotten some Knipser wine for him
(DOH!!..his memory is going). I said we had purchased at the tasting.
So..a couple of days after this conversation..my wife prepared
some Sauerkraut and Liver Sausage at home..and a Riesling was required.
Knipser Riesling Auslese Trocken Halbstück 2003
This spends it's infancy in 600
Liter 10-Year-Old Oak Barrels.
Citrus fruit aromas, melons and peaches, AND..petroleum!!
( I'm often seen down the local petrol station..inhaling)
Ripe fruit, very clear definition, full, again citrus acidity
but the fruit (Restsüße) just wraps it up to present a
super Riesling...minerals and spices and a long finish
make this a bargain ( about 15 Euros if I remember)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
It is trickier to grow than it's big brother..and you probably won't find it outside of Germany..
only 130 hectares are grown.
J.J. Adeneuer Frühburgunder 2006
Pale rimmed..no denying it's what it is..
Family Pinot..this is good stuff..
sweet(as opposed to mouth puckering),
full, velvety............tannin..forget it..
this is 100% juicy fruit..but more than a 'gulper'.
Take this seriously..lots of harmony, some
liquorice appeared..it is said these wines can age 6-8 years..and I can believe it..only trouble is..
this was the 5th bottle of a 6er pack!..
You know how it is..you go into the cellar..
something with pasta...or a cold platter....
and the long bottle is more visible than others..
anyway..that's my excuse.
As we near the end of 2007...this vineyard was
tops for price-quality..all 4 of the wines I drank
were excellent in their price range.
Here the other notes
J.J. Adeneuer No1 Spätburgunder 2005
J.J.Adeneuer Spätburgunder 2006
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
years & years & years ago...
Torres was new to us then..
and had (still has) a great range.
It has been a while since I
tasted the Flagship wine.
Torres Mas La Plana 1998
Penedés , Spain
Quite dark in colour; spicy oak..
with some vanilla; complex and balanced,
brimming with black berry fruits
Big tannic palate, but with fine
sweet cassis fruit.
Decant this as it still showed well the next day.
Will go on improving..3-5 years.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Riesling Spätlese trocken 1999,
Rheinland Pfalz, Germany
Drank over 2 days..firstly with some
Smoked Salmon sandwiches..
then a day later with Sauerkraut.
Clear classic nose..trace of petroleum
on the second day..but not too forthcoming...
what you do get are some peaches;
soft spices on the palate...
this is where the wine gets plus points..
just so finely weighted...
a real pleasure... at it's peak now...
acidity integrated into the fruit.
I wavered between 2 scores..so decided on
Friday, November 09, 2007
Clean fresh aroma of cherries..
plenty of finesse..tobacco...similar flavour..well-balanced..very well
made and like any good wine...
consistant from start to finish.
So why not more...this is supposed to be THE top Swiss Pinot. Well...give me Gantenbein anytime.
This wine is not cheap..and for
a third of the price I could buy
one of the new-wave Spanish wines
(which it reminded me of).
I have stated previously.. I like my Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder to be 'Burgundian' in style...
the Austrians have their own style..
and in this case..this Swiss winemaker
and I are not completely compatible.
His St. Joseph Rouge, is made entirely from Syrah, and vinified into three separate cuvees:
"Les Pierres Seches", "Cuvee Prestige L'Amarybelle" and "Les Serines".
About 25,000 bottles of the "Pierres Seches" are produced yearly
'Pierres Seches' 2001,
Monday, November 05, 2007
Radio Show due to technical difficulties...so some form of compensation was needed...and after much thought I decided on one of the bottles I had purchased while in Baden.
Weingut Wassmer Spätburgunder
Rotwein 'R' 2004
Decided to purchase this after reading that 'Gault Millau' had voted Fritz Wassmer as 'Find Of The Year 2005'
Pale-rimmed (boring I know..but most are). VERY French in style...if I had tasted blind..I would have chosen Burgundy. Lovely strawberry nose..still reserved and should develope. On the palate much more to enjoy...really lovely mouthful of ripe fruit..silky & 'sweetish' as all good Pinot's are..but of course dry..just about the right weight—held beautifully as you roll it around...and the finish was long and capped a really good glass of my favourite grape. This is the first 2004 that I have raved about...and I have no choice but to give it
Checking out more about Herr Wassmer..he spent a long time in Burgundy learning about the grape..and had gotten to know someone who had worked with Domaine Romanee-Conti...so my first impression was about right..and he most definitely has a winner here.