Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Comparitive Dead Heat

A juicy pork steak with 'Austernpilze'(oyster mushrooms) and roast potatoes..who says I never eat simple?? The meal needed Pinot (nowadays I find any excuse to drink my heart-breaker grape).















Wöhrwag Pinot Noir Trocken 2005

Württemberg, Germany
Lightish colour with pale rim; complex aromas of cherries and raspberries; cool style...delicate
fruit...reminds me of the Ahr wines grown on slate..dry but lovely juicyness..mouth-watering. Burgundian in style..and one gets the impression that the grower has a real affection for this grape.
Very good wine.
Points 17.5


With the rest of the previous evening's bottle still available(but not enough)..the perfect idea was a half-bottle.


Ziereisen Blauer Spätburgunder Selection
Rhini 2004
Baden, Germany
I had purchased 36 half-bottles..always useful..and have tried to wait 6 months between trying them..or it will be perfect when I drink the last bottle!. A few months ago I had tried the full version in a local restaurant..it was still tight...bursting to get out.This half is obviously more advanced. Medium deep..no ageing...aroma of dark berries and nice touch of oak...still thick and fairly tight..but the soft tannins are disappearing...rich and spicy fruit.
Points 17.5+

Comments.
Knowing how the Rhini 2002 is nowadays..I really must leave the 2004 alone for at least another 6 months.
Comparing the 2 styles..the Rhini from Baden was more like slices of marzipan compared to the Württemberger with it's elegant style..but there are many roads to Rome...so both were very pleasing.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Württemberg Double Pack

Do birthday present 'coupons' become invalid if they are not used before the next one arrives? Well..as mine is in March...my gift from the children for 2007 had been lying there for ages..so my eldest and partner joined us at our local favourite Bistro..Mitch.
The wines...of course..were my responsibility.I pay corkage..and everyone is happy.

Norfolk Rise Sauvignon Blanc 2007
South Australia, Australia

Mouth watering freshness, spicy, usual gooseberry and some passion fruit and a crisp citrus finish. A good companion to accompany the fresh salads they serve..with excellent dressings.
Points 14.5


I had recently received a mixed case of German reds (now there is a surprise..yet another one!) but this time I was 'invading' Württemberg. The state of Baden-Württemberg is a massive area..the wines of Baden much better known..but there have been some positive press reviews..so your dedicated drinker decided to investigate.

The Dautel vineyard was founded in 1978 and is situated in the heart of Württemberg between Hellbronn and Stuttgart in the village of Bönnigheim.

Dautel Spätburgunder S **** 2005
Württemberg, Germany
The 'S' stands for Selection..both grapes and oak barrels being specially chosen.
Not too deep, almost pale; fine bouquet of crushed strawberries...some smoke..and a little burnt aroma; medium full mouthful..lies nicely on the palate..fair fruit..
but with a dryness that suggests the oak has been overdone.... I enjoyed it..but doubt if it will improve anymore..and the dryness lost it a point.
Points 16





Dautel Kreation Red **** 2005
Württemberg, Germany

A cuvée from Lemberger, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep dark colour..very concentrated; sweet berry was the first impression..thick slices of blackberries with a slight creamy smell; on the palate the fruit still dominant with the oak as back-up..and some dry tannins holding it all together. Very good and will certainly soften up over 5 years.

Points 17+






Summing up....both enjoyable..with the smell topping the taste...
Negative..both cost 25 Euros ($ 37)..which for the Pinot was too high..the Kreation may represent better value with bottle age.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Britney Bolognese

Don't you just like surprises.
I had ordered a mixed case from this grower..
and had been generally disapointment with
all of them..especially after the hype
and the prizes they had won.
It was more in
desperation that I decided to try the
'final' bottle of the six...

Spaghetti Bolognese can be like 'Britney Spears'...
a
difficult companion at the best of times.
I was going
to leave the bottle for a few years...
but fate took my hand..
I'd better stop here..this is getting to poetic.

OK..back to the wine
Maibachfarm Dernauer Schieferlay
Spätburgunder 2006
Ahr, Germany
Smoke and dark cherries on the nose...no aggressiveness I had noted in the other wines....sweet opening mouthfull..nicely structured...soft and delicate..went down well..flowery style with a well-balanced bench of fruit.
Very good..and complimented 'Britney' as well as could be expected.
Points 16.5

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Simple Fare

This Domaine is in Fuissé..but the Chardonnay here (actually written on the back label) is from a village near Meursault. The vines are up to 60 years old.
Robert Denogent Bourgogne Blanc
Ultime Vieilles Vignes 2004
Murgey de Limozen,
Mâconnais,
Burgundy, France
How best to describe this..first impression..plainly dressed girl with a heart of gold.

Some butter and cream on the nose...cool and elegant..a little layed back..but the flavour shows it's 'heart'...concentrated old vines...and not a wine you can drink and chat with..you need to work with it...exotic fruits...minerally..and a slight 'spritz'
at the finish.
Points 16
Liver with brown mushrooms in a white wine sauce and some pasta..simple fare that is delicious..as are many simple things in life.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pinot Cup Winner

Every Good Wine Needs A Story.
Each year in November..the German magazine 'Wein Gourmet' hold a tasting called Pinot Cup....with entries from Switzerland, Austria and Germany. By the time the results appear in the magazine..the top wines have sold out!!!! My guess is the tasters themselves get first bite of the cherry (or in this case..first slurp
of the wine)..and all the readers get...are the results. I try to get pre-print results..and in December 2006 found that today's wine has won first place. I contacted the vineyard..Herr Schmitt answered..and I told him they called me Mr Pinot and I would like some of his wine. 'How many bottles' he asked? Twelve was my answer..which was followed by a chuckle..'you can have two'...I suppose this was some sort of victory..as it was the first time I have managed to get anything following these tastings. I also purchased 12 bottles of his '2nd' wine..a Spätburgunder and Domina cuvee and whenever I tried this over the last year..I was reminded of the Pinot Cup and my two bottles of „S“.

When do you drink jewels?...wait forever ?..
Forever is only a corkscrew away.
Roast chicken with chicken liver filling
and red cabbage cried out for a

Pinot/Spätburgunder...and after pulling and pushing the bottle back and to in the cellar..I hurriedly opened it (in case I changed my mind again)...............
and sat back to 'Run with a Winner'
Schmitts Kinder
Randersackerer Sonnenstuhl

Spätburgunder trocken „S“ 2004
Franken, Germany
Gorgeous perfumed aroma...fine...elegant ...cherries..persistant...very seductive..medium full velvety mouthful...so much charm..liquid marzipan with a juicyness to set the taste buds off...and a long finish. I only managed 2/3 of the bottle and placed it in the fridge until the next evening..it was just as good without losing any of it's faculties. If only Herr Schmitt had let me have more.

Points 18.5

Monday, January 14, 2008

Radio Rioja

Every two weeks on Sunday evening
I have my Vintage Soul Radio Show
which I have been doing for
over 10 years now....
another 'hobby' of mine..Soul Music.
I finish at 7pm and then it's back home
for a meal and a glass or two of wine.

I had opened the bottle at 5pm and left
it to breath (was the recommendation).



When I first 'found' Rioja wines in the 70's..they were full of soft oaky fruit..the Reservas were superb...then came a bad period...Spain is back on track nowadays..
but Rioja Reservas worry me at times..and I generally prefer the crianzas which spend less time in oak..and are a better balanced proposition.
Dinastía Vivanco Reserva 1998

Rioja, Spain
A blend of Tempranillo and Graciano aged in French oak.
Cherry red colour.....some tobacco on the nose...no vanilla or sweet oak...
On the palate rather dry..and dusty fruit..and acidity...not sure which way to go was my impression..needs food. Too many years in oak can produce wines like this...not a bad wine..but not a pleaser to return to.

Points 15.5

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Corked Memories

As the blog is called 'Wine Notes and Memories'.. I had planned to post this memory over the next few weeks. That it's appearing now is due to a post from fellow blogger Joe who's guest blogger had a corked Magnum of Chateau La Gaffeliere 1996.
Back in 1991 I was on my way back from Portugal by car...with my brother-in-law Axel. We drove as far as we could the first day through Spain..and as always..planned to 'dawdle' in France. We arrived at our first stop in the
Rhône in the village Rasteau...Restaurant Bellerive. It was quite late..so no real time to browse the wine-list. I asked the sommelier to recommend a white wine ( Axel does not drink..so I choose a white in these circumstances to go with the whole menu). I can't remember what it was..but on opening it was obvious that it had a fault...caused by the cork. I checked the wine-list quickly and chose a white Pape which was brought to the table without any questions asked ( you have to be 'positive' in these situations or the waiter may find excuses).

The next day we 'slowly' drove around the vineyards and then set off to stop number two in Bourg-en-Bresse in Burgundy. Checking the wine-list I found a white Hermitage from Chave from a fine vintage and was really excited as it was nicely priced. The bottle arrived and was opened. Now Hermitage Blanc can be an acquired taste so I gave it a chance.. and accepted the wine..I then spent 30 minutes swirling and praying..but neither helped..the wine had 'cork'. I called 'madame' and explained and she 'reluctantly' agreed to take it back. As the meal was arriving I had to quickly order another wine...but the promise of a great evening's drinking remained empty.

My brother-in law had quirmed the first evening..he half-disapeared under the table on the second..but he knows I know my wines...so didn't disown me.
The third day we hardly drove at all and ended up at Greuze in Tournus...a restaurant I had visited before..and I always took
the menu..as the elderly owner has had plenty of practice with it and 'a la carte' could be disappointing. He had a good selection of half bottles..so I decided on a half of white Burgundy... Chassagne-Montracht Les Ruchottes Domaine Ramonet 1988 and a half of red burgundy.I knew the waiter..and as I ordered I asked him if both bottles were in fine condition..explaining my previous two days to him. Both excellent choices Monsieur..he replied. The white arrived ..was opened.. I smelled..and my twitching nose told my relation that all was not well..he went ashen. Sorry Axel..but it is corked. The sommelier tried the wine..and agreed..a corked wine. He quickly returned with another one..which was perfect...Points 17 and I noted room for improvement.
Needless to say.. the red Beaune 1er Cru Faiveley 1957..was perfect and I gave it
Points 17.5..no sign of age..

I suppose when you have been drinking wine for 30 years you are going to get your fair (or unfair) share of bad or corked bottles...but 3 in 3 days was testing my resolve.
Maybe Joe and his guest have days like these ahead of them..I hope not.

Two Thoughts From Franken

The article that appeared in the local paper..which many also found on the internet..and the blog.....means..people say...especially business contacts.. 'never knew you were a wine expert..we can't just give you a 'bottle' anymore'. Anyone in business will know what I mean..you receive some real 'rubbish' at times...it's not the amount it costs..just a little more thought could go into it. One contact gave me a bottle of Sekt (German Sparkling Wine) for Xmas 2006..not my style anyway..but this particular bottle was disgusting!..After one of the staff read about my 'hobby'..and we were chatting...I said..'Honestly..tell your boss..don't give me anything at all..rather than the same again'..well..you gotta laugh..by Xmas Eve 2007 I had not received anything..that's fine..no big deal..but I needed a special calender so asked the staff member if they still had one..he asked if I had received the wine yet..I told him no..as I thought my words had struck home...well..it turns out it was just forgetfulness as the company had moved premises and the usual chaos attached had meant no pressie for lil ol' me. So..I received my delayed gift..and with a visit of 2 friends who are not wine people at all and would be happy with 'a wine'...I decided to open them both.
The Winzergenossenschaft has recently been awarded 'Best Co-op of the Year 2007' in Germany and have a large range of wines.

Franken is the home of the Bocksbeutel bottle.
Both bottles with glass closure.

Franconia Silvaner
Nordheimer Vögelheim 2006
Franken, Germany
Not a grape I would choose anywhere..but Franken is noted for making fine wines with this type...Pale colour...some spices and fine middle fruit..and good length for this 'basic' wine from the vineyard.
Points 15





Franconia Spätburgunder
Nordheimer Vögelheim 2006
Franken, Germany
Purple rim..red cherry nose..young rustical fruit...lively and chunky...
quaffing wine for a garden party.
Points 14






Neither would have me rushing to re-buy...but good for the price range..and I enjoyed them more knowing some thought had gone into the choice.


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