Thursday, July 31, 2008

Desert Island Fantasies

A warm evening..but I needed a red....the phone rang and rang and rang..meal constantly interrupted...but that's the name of the game in my business.The wine kept me sane

Fritz Waßmer Spätburgunder 'R' 2004

Baden, Germany









This is my style of Spätburgunder...or maybe it should be Pinot Noir..as this is SO Burgundian..we should be moving the borders of Baden over the Rhine. I have drank this a couple of times with friends..and noone has raved as I have...'different folks for different strokes'....delicate..but lovely middle fruit.....quite full, but no heavyweight...smells delicious...tast
es perfect...just goes down a treat.....desert island.....a case of this..and wait for the native girls to attack me. See what Pinot does to me!!!
Points 18

What A Difference A Year Makes

Having been a music lover for as long as I can
remember..I could probably find a song to fit
every wine situation....
Dinah Washington's 'What A Difference A Day Makes'..could apply to a few recent wines...but with this repeat drink from just about 12 months ago..it needs to be ' What A Difference A Year Makes'.










Back t
hen the wine was pleasant but showing only it's bear bones...a gawky youth...one year on..and this has developed beautifully.
Reinhold & Cornelia Schneider
Weisse Burgunder

Spätlese 'Trio' trocken 2005
Baden, Germany
A definite hint of smoky woodlands...and sweet oak..tantalising the nostrils..same cream on the palate..like a peach in a bowl of cream....the acidity wrapped around..a delightful drink...and the rest( a large glass) in the bottle..was still perfect 2 days later.
Points 16.75

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kauer's Kabinett

Name me one German wine region....
Mosel..you answer...Ok..another...Rheingau, Pfalz, Baden, Franken..maybe Ahr.....now you are struggling..(unless you are a complete wine freak). Mittelrhein would not be in there...If it is..name me one grower......see what I mean. The wines were never that great...bottled only for the masses or used for that 'sekt' stuff. The renaissance was started by Peter Jost von Hahnenhof in Bacharach...and has continued with a whole host of youngsters bringing quality to the area. One such grower is Dr. Randolf Kauer..also in Bacharach. He has vines in some of the best vineyards in Mittelrhein
The Spätlese trocken 2007 was impressive...so I was looking forward to the
Kabinett. I wrote recently about the different 'styles'..what is dry etc..but if I had to draw a yardstick..the 2 wines from Kauer are what I expect to get....from the info on the bottle.

As the Dramatics once sang.. 'WHATCHA SEE IS WHATCHA GET'!
Kauer Bacharach Wolfhöhle
Riesling Kabinett trocken 2007
Mittelrhein, Germany
Aroma of green juicy apples..touch of lime...steely...is a perfect way to describe it.
There is some banana fruit trying to force it's way through..but needs a few months to grow....the acidity is lively and racy...but not over dominant..as I said..it is what it says it is.....
Points 16.25

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Garden Delights
















Rebholz Riesling vom Buntsandstein
Spätlese trocken 2007
Pfalz, Germany
After drinking the 2003...I decided to try the other 'extreme'..the newly born 2007.
Ripe grapefruit...minerals at the back palate...slimline..up-front acidity..ripling waves on the tongue..infantile at the moment...if it turns out better than the 2003..which methinks it will..then drinking pleasure is ensured.

Points 16.25 at the moment...

As the notes are short...I thought I'd add some garden photos...the backdrop to many of the photos on the blog. It occurred to me how like wine-making a garden is. You only get out of it what you put in...cleaning & watering etc...means a groan or two once in a while..but then you sit in it..with a glass (or two) of wine..and think...isn't this great?




























Refresh page to see the snail

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Good Diel

Schlossgut Diel Cuvée Caroline
Spätburgunder 2005
Nahe, Germany

Armin's daughter..Caroline Diel...learned some of her trade at Romanèe Conti...not bad eh?...and this wine has hand and foot...hand-picked grapes..and Caroline claims to have 'trodden' the grapes..can't a girl find anything else to do on a Saturday night?The talented cellarmaster is Christoph J. Friedrich..and together the Vineyard Diel is one of the top in the Nahe...and for red wines..THE top.
This is an evolving wine..and with wines that appeal to me..I can always find something different..easy to make notes really..smokey nose with very ripe fruit sprang from the glass...some cherries...the oak(60% new barrels)....is nicely integrated...marzipan..the palate gives a dry style..but with sweet spices..soft chalky tannins...it seems light one moment..but then it shows it's weight..as I said..evolving...quite racy..minerals appear and the acidity begging you to take another sip...very Burgundian..but that is obvious why...keep on treading Miss Diel..this is gonna be a winner..tis now..

Points 17.75
PS..the punt..bottom of the bottle..has an index-finger deep hole into the bottle...Au Bon Climat bottles are nothing compared...



Best Riesling 2007

From nowt comes nowt..as they say in parts of North England...from nothing comes nothing elsewhere maybe...basically...you only get out what you put in!
I read quite a few wine magazines...and all have their regular tastings.The secret is..when a wine has made a top spot..search and find AT ONCE..or you may never know how it was.
By the time most magazines are on the market..some of the wines are sold out. My success at finding these wines has been about 50%.
'Weinwelt' is a very good German magazine...and regularly have tastings on various parts of Germany. So it was that the latest one was on Rieslings 2007. They had tried over 1500...and the wine below came out on top. I managed to find 3 bottles...at € 14 each.

Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan
Auf der Mauer Riesling 2007
Pfalz, Germany
Day 1
Riesling and Minerals go together like Sausage and Mash...and this one is packed full at the moment..but awkward..no real harmony..after tasting it ..the marking of 93 points seemed too high.....that's about 18 in my language....!!!....I don't doubt it was the best of the wines tasted...but on checking the others..none was above €15..and some of the wines I have tried recently were not in their choices....so...pop the cork in..try in vain..to find something next day.
Points 16.25
Day 2
A meal of light curry in coconut milk....give it a chance again...wow...what a change..full aroma of yellow fruits...broad structure developed..layers of fruit on the palate..lovely weight...but keeping it's dry mineral style...some honey..slightly creamy..very good finish..absolutely delicious with the food..and had the bottle been FULL..I would have tried to finish it. A two day wine..maybe even a three day one..as Lyle found out...
Points 17.5
Strangely..the Hirsch Gaisberg Riesling from the previous post...was poor the next day...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hidden Treasure & Petroleum Delight

A garden party...with lots of good food and pleasant company. The host, Volker, had a good dry Riesling on offer..screw cap..ideal..no need to keep pulling corks. I got my wine glass..and he appeared with 'another' bottle...which had to be hidden from the guzzlers.(smile)...so it was placed beneath the other bottles in a tub of iced water. I managed to drink about two-thirds before our fellow wine-lover, Robert, knowing I would be on something better, 'found' the hidden treasure and finished it off!

Konrad Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Marborough, New Zealand
A bouquet of lime citrus..bright and fresh...palate the same..but no exaggerated gooseberries...softer..some creaminess..not as dry as most......pleasant drinking for a secretive treasure.
Points 15.5

And so the next day.....
Hirsch Gaisberg Riesling 2005
Kamptal, Austria
With petrol so expensive..my visits to the filling stations are not maybe as often as before..I sniff as I fill the tank..petroleum junkie!!
Yellow-gold colour...smokey-flintstone tones...then an excellent elegant petroleum aroma..wow..and the wine still so young...the first sip confirms what I had hoped for..this is classy Riesling...spices..mineral fragrance..medium
bodied...but the wine is 'dry'..as I like it...crunchy maybe describes it better...I read that it was too young...well...I'd drink this daily...but it will age beautifully....buy a couple of bottles..and lay it down for as long as you can resist.
Points 17.75 +

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dönnhoff's Bridge

A lady walks into a shoe shop..and asks for shoes in 2 sizes smaller than would fit her foot. After trying to convince the lady she has a larger size..the sales assistant finally decided to erase the correct size of a shoe that would fit..and entered the size the customer wanted. Everyone was happy...
The story is a good example of the different Riesling wines on offer. After trying many Riesling wines from the very good vintage of 2007..be they the simple version, a Kabinett trocken, Spätlese trocken..and the rest...it really boils down to what the individual wants. My guess is..that many drinkers say they like 'dry' wines..but in fact prefer a 'medium dry'...
Well..you can get that if you know the vineyard/grower's style. All the wines I have tasted have been of good to very good quality....but each was a 'surprise'..Some expected dry wines were veering towards sweetish..and visa versa....it seems some growers are changing the 'shoe size'..to please a certain type of customer..again though.....everybody is happy!.
Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese 2007
Nahe, Germany
A vineyard dominated by grey slate....9% alcohol..amazing really..with all the flavour..
Complex aromas....fruit and flowery noted...minerals integrated into creamy texture..certainly a very fine wine...only thing that stopped me going over the top..the slightly cloying Restsüße on the lips....
no doubt it will lose it with time...a wine to share at the moment...

Points 16.5 ++

Ripe Gigondas

Domaine Brusset Gigondas Les Hauts de Montmirail 1998
Rhone, France
60% Granache..25% Mouvedre..15% Syrah...
Funky nose....needed some wrist shaking...then funkyless....still with a deep colour..no ageing...herbal nose..lots of minerals...no rough edges...this was a massive vintage..but all that has dissolved with age...a ripe Rhöne..but I missed that bite of youth that attracts me to this area.
Points 15.5

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy-Go-Lucky Surprise

A planned surprise for my wife....a trip to Mainz..a movie..and a meal later.

We saw 'Happy-Go-Lucky'...a wonderful British film...very amusing..with only a touch of life's problems. A change to many films lately of violence and hate.
The meal was at a winebar/restaurant 'Gusto'

The food was good..and they serve a variety of wines by the glass.
Only short notes as it was my wife's day.


Feudi di San Gregorio Sannio Falanghina 2006
Campania. Italy
Elegant, aromas of apple and banana..almonds...soft nuts...citrus acidity...very good opener

Points 16.25





Giulin Barbera del Monferrato 2006
Piedmont, Italy
Aromas of cherry..soft tannins..good food wine...some plums at the finish

Points 16.25



Barbaresco Basarin 2004
Piedmot, Italy
Very fine Barbaresco...nose quite intense...cherries and plums...some violets...tannins only part of the wine....drinking well now
Points 17.25


Siepi 2003
Tuscany, Italy
Fuller flavour...juicy...blackcurrant..dry but silky...dark chocolate
Points 17.25

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rainbow Wine

Unsettled weather recently...but every dark side has a bright one...see the rainbow... As the clouds cleared..a chance to sit outside again..and to try an old favourite.

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2006 California, U.S.A.
This was one of the first California Chardonnay I enjoyed.. all that overoaked stuff years ago...like licking a vanilla stick.
Others have since followed..thank heavens...
It is more French in style than Cali..which is why I like it.
This sees less than 20% new oak....some honey..very elegant..stylish..touch of lemon and lime on the palate....brilliant acidity..which just bites into the creamy texture...if only all Chardonnays had this style...lovely now..but from experience..this will age...

A perfect match for a rainbow.
Points 17.75

A Fiery Sicilian

Nero d'Avola is Sicily's most popular red grape, used in the region's bestselling varietal wine. Until the 1980s, commercial use of Nero d'Avola was dedicated almost exclusively to fortifying weaker reds in France and northern Italy. In the past Nero d'Avola, like other Sicilian reds, was often syrupy, with an alcohol content reaching eighteen percent....too strong for table wines. The name, which literally means "Avola Black," is a good description.


















New viticulture techniques and night harvesting...placing the grapes in cooled vats to present premature fermentation-- have been used by a few vintners to retain flavor without producing an overpowering wine. The result is often compared to Syrah.

Azienda Dô Zenner 'Terra delle Sirene' Nero d'Avola 2005
Sicily, Italy
Nine times out of ten..I decide what I will drink a couple of hours beforehand...24 hours is only ever the 'norm'..when I know guests are coming. And anyway..what better way to get to know a wine..than to watch it develope.
Such was the case here.....
Deep colour...touch of iron on the nose..which quickly disappeared..but was a sign of the state of the wine...brittle tannins..fiery..some exotic spices...trace of marzipan...quite hard work..
Close the bottle..same cork..on it's side..the rest..next day.
Calmed down..berry fruit..still peppery on the tongue..but showing some coolness now..quite complex...good long finish.
Points 16.5

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rebholz Ripe Riesling

Rebholz Riesling vom Buntsandstein Spätlese trocken 2003
Pfalz, Germany

Yellow-gold colour...the vintage was HOT...so to find a wine with this cool style...minerals galore..and a trace of petroleum...some lime..steeliness..this wine reminded of the Trimbach style from Alsace....very good for the vintage and a wine I will look for again in a 'better' vintage...
Rebholz wines need time..and to stop you and I drinking TOO early..he releases them later...
Points 17.25




Saturday, July 05, 2008

Graubünden Duo

One down..two to go...the trio of Swiss wines from Irene Grünenfelder.
The basic Pinot had been enjoyable.
It's no Solarium in Graubünden. The year starts with minus 16° and until the middle of February there is snow. Then in Spring...if the birds and animals...sunshine and hail storms... havn't ruined anything..the 'Föhn' arrives..the warm winds..and blows away the moisture and ripens the grapes.
Weingut Grünenfelder Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Jenins, Graubünden, Switzerland
Elegant..with a fresh bouquet..a reserved style..no overdone 'urinimus pussymus'....and the gooseberry acceptable...elderflowers also...medium weighted...good intensity.
Points 16.5















Weingut Grünenfelder Pinot Noir 'Eichholz' 2006
Jenins, Graubünden, Switzerland
A potpurri of cream, soft cassis and ripe fruit. Cool style..again..the feminine touch noticable...quite deep..and a good long finish.
Well structured wine.This has won prizes..as have previous vintages..and one can see why.
Points 17.25


















Plus: Both very well made wines....enjoyable and interesting.

Minus: same as always...depending on the quality...the Swiss prices are usually 5-10 Euros more than a comparable wine from elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Warning For Wine Bloggers!


Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

She got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my wine.

She's such a bitch.....

Horses For Courses

Fresh horseradish sauce..in winter..is not for the faint-hearted. You don't make small-talk when eating it...or you'll end up gasping. A beer is the only solution.
In the summer months..my wife 'fakes' it...makes a sauce and adds the sachet of grated horseradish. As it is milder..I came up with the idea that if a Riesling is ideal for Asian..why not this?. I ain't crazy you know..and it works.

















Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst

Riesling Kabinett 2007
Mosel, Germany
I am not an apple eater...but liquid apples are fine. Like a ripe apple with pleasant juicy acidity and some exotic fruits. It worked wonderfully with the meal..very gulpable..only 8% alcohol...if I had tasted this blind..I would have guessed more..but
after 2/3 bottle..it seems to cloy a little...it's a wine that many would take to..but for a Kabinett ...it contradicts itself just a little....no 'trocken' on the label...so maybe I am doing it an injustice.
Points 15.5 € 11.50
Years ago....all German labels looked like this one....

The following evening..the rest of the Horse stuff..see...I don't get special treatment..leftovers..mind you..always excellent ones..
After the 'sweetie'..I looked for something 'dryer'.....

















Rainer
Schnaitmann Riesling ** trocken 2007
Württemberg, Germany
Young grower...1997 was his first vintage...
Racy style....short at first..but filled out with ai
ring...peachy tones...STAYS trocken throughout...the acidity poking at your tongue...this has 12.5% alcohol..again..blind tasting it..I would not have known. Lots of minerals..I sat out until late...only a few drops left...
Points 1
6 € 11.50
Since I started out tasting these 2007 Rieslings..it has been an eye-opener...so many styles....intriguing to say the least.

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