Thursday, November 27, 2008

Domaine Dream Wines












The Domaine Mechtildshausen is situated near Wiesbaden close to the U.S. army base and is a state owned farm growing it's own organic products. They even have Charolais cows.... The photos show the beautiful gardens..there is also a bakery.. a butcher..a supermarket..
a cafe..a bistro..and the restaurant.
It was a Wednesday and the place was full.....
Now..the wines....
I have a saying..from nothing comes nothing!!!!
If I walked into a restaurant as a group of 5..and asked for the wine-list..you would not hear from me for an hour. Funny looks from other guests..and a grumpy wife.
So..if the internet has no information..and the restaurant is nearby....I visit well in advance to choose the wines. Makes me much-loved with everybody!
The Domaine has a wine-list to die for.....but don't tell anybody..this is between you & I.
There is an extensive Burgundy list...but why wander away from home..German reds interested me..











Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Kaisersteinfels
Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2002
Rheingau, Germany
Sleek and silky....some peach tones...lost most of it's baby fat..and the spicy grip keeping this at attention. Elegant and perfect right now..some petroleum...aged Riesling is a dream
Points 16.75
















Köhler-Ruprecht Philippi Pinot Noir RR 1999
Pfalz, Germany
Deep colour...yes...at this age..no typical Pinot here...
Dark cherries and red fruits..spices...very concentrated..with a biting tannin that adds to it's charm. Port and liquorice came to mind...reminded me of a Grand Cru from the Côte de Nuits..so much depth..a touch of smoke...14% alcohol on the label...a southern hemisphere wine would be a head-banger..but this retains an elegance...long finish...and an hour in glass finally showed it's softer side. Very good indeed
Points 18

















Paul Fürst Frühburgunder Auslese R 1997

Franken, Germany
Frühburgunder is an early-ripening mutation of Pinot Noir.
Compared to the above wine...much lighter..although no way pale..a little reserved at first...but enticing red berry fruit...ripe sweetness some tobacco..marzipan...elegant compared to the Philippi...more juicy..beautifully structured and a good long finish.
Points 17.75

















Heyl zu Herrnsheim Pettental Riesling Auslese 1999

Rheinhessen, Germany
Lovely nose...honey-toned...fine weight in the mouth...the usual mineral notes...racy..exotic fruits.
A lovely half-bottle to finish off a great flight of wines ( I told you I would be loved)
Points 17

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Paris Aftermath

Life has it's ups and downs..in the last 10 days..a bereavement in the family and a pleasant business trip to Paris. A city with a certain style..and a memory of a restaurant where we had dinner..with a bagful of oysters in ice..lying on the street..and the chef regularly collecting a few and opening them for eager customers.....the place had an open front..with street heaters for warmth..so smokers could enjoy an evening drink..all very French..the German health office would have gone gray if it happened here.
Back home.....and off to Spain for this one...






Mauro 2005
Tudelo de Duero,
Castilly y Léon, Spain

Deep purple....georgeous thick black fruit on the nose...dark wood..touch of sweeet oak..some mocha and coffee..the palate shows more rich sweet oak traces..with a back palate of approachable tannins..doesn't lay heavy on the tongue....rather a dancer than a stomper I thought....but the 14.5 % hit me later...share it..not a one-man bottle..at least..not in one evening.
Points 17.5

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sausages & Sour Cherries

If you like/love sausages..Germany is the place to live....all-sorts here...and all very good indeed...my youth in England only had an odd sausage...not of very good quality...and to prove I love 'down to earth' food..throw a couple in the pan with lightly roasted potatoes..and I'll be your friend for life!

















Umathum St.Laurent vom Stein 2001

Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria
Medium red...'legs' to die for...intense aroma of what reminded me of lightly roasted meat..some dark plums...palate shows a sour red cherry flavour...herbs..tannin there but no way obtrusive...and the firm acidity keeping this fresh and lively..more finesse than power..Parker would hate it..this spends 18 months in 100% new oak..and is only released after 12 months in the bottle...
Points 17.25

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Glass Of Bierzo Por Favor

A vineyard started in 1998 by Alvaro Palacios...steep hillside..back-breaking...100% Mencia..a grape that 'belongs' to Bierzo.
Descendientes de J. Palacios

Petalos Mencia 2006

Bierzo, Spain

Purple coloured...red cherry aroma..mineral notes...burnt smoke..plenty of power but never heavy..this wine has a reserved sweetness (spends 4 months in small oak barrels)...tannins must be there..but hardly noticeable with the ripe fruit..dark spices
developed...worlds apart from the old style Rioja tasted a day before...perfect restaurant wine..holds up in glass and bottle...and would please every customer.
Points 16.75
PS...click on the photo..impressive..if I do say so myself

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken and 904


















A wine full of memories....been around for ages....would they change their style when all the new wave wines came along?...No Chance!!...same old traditional wines.
Heard that a wine magazine in Germany gave this 19 points...hmmmm that's almost 105 Parker points!
La Rioja Alta
Gran Reserva 904 1995

Rioja, Spain
Quite deep with some brown at rim...the 904 was always a Bordeaux fan...and this has cedar, tobacco..more Havana than any other..truffle tones..leather....trace of sweetness from the oak...smoky Tempranillo...lively on the palate..almost a sour-like acidity..not unattractive..a wine from a time-gone-by in style...quite complex..only down side..I just feel that it is drying out..one of the minuses of wines spent long in wood. Nowhere near 19 points..but worth
Points 17.25
perfect with the 'pollo'..that's chicken to you in Spanish

Friday, November 07, 2008

Old Amigos

I first came across this wine in the mid-90's..travelling back from Portugal through Spain and stopping at a very fine restaurant..where they had a decent wine-list. This was recommended..and warily..I accepted. Back then..Spanish whites were thin and without character..or heavily oaked Riojas. I remember how good it was...so after a few years..here we are again..old amigos.
Chivite Coleccion 125 Anniversario Blanco 2005
Navarra, Spain
Yellow..some green tinges...sweet pineapple aroma...creamy but crisp...meaning..not overdone..
this is 100% Chardonnay and a dead ringer for a good Burgundy...it spends 10 months in French oak. That crispness is citrus like...then a toastiness..and the oak hits the back palate..not the lips.. I hate licking away the oak...it's dry smokiness made me think of a good cigar...liquid Havana. Not cheap...but then again..neither is Burgundy.
Points 17.5..more info on the back label....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Royal Favourite

Chardonnay, Riesling....the choice is extensive and varied.....then there is Pinot Blanc, Viognier and a whole lot more. How about a Treixadura? Now..I enjoy the whites of the Languedoc..and this Spanish wine reminds me in style of those delicious alternatives.
Emilio Rojo Blanco 2005
Ribeiro, Spain
Only 5000 bottles are produced...800 to Germany, the same to Switzerland.. a few make it to the U.S.A.... the rest stays in Spain in top Spanish restaurants and the Royal family get a few bottles through the back door!
As mentioned..Treixadura..55%...Loureiro 15%..Lado 10%...Albarino 10% & Torrontés 10%.
The first impression is of steel...as in soft metal..the vineyard lies on granite soils..minerals abound..wrapped in a soft glove..it spends only 2 months in oak...a gentle explosion reveals melons...the flavour is lemony...and complex...this needs airing..and the rest drank a day later showed it. A decant about 5 hours before drinking would give it a real chance to show..it is a complicated wine compared to many other 'up-front' wines on offer....worth looking for if you like something more than 'obvious' fruit and oak. Give King Carlos a phone call..maybe he'll let you have a bottle.
Points 17 and a Royal snip at €20....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Treat

October 31st..is Halloween...now..I get on my soap box here.....it originated in Ireland..and was taken to the U.S.A....where they have celebrated it for ages. A few years ago..the German media people got hold of it..well..it is a long time between Easter and Xmas..and they need a reason to sell more to kids. So..what happens..children of all religions appear at our window....some of Muslem belief..and they are not allowed to eat everything that is in chocolate nowadays....so my wife has to make sure the ingredients are right....somehow..it all seems to be changing....the kids love it..and the bosses rake it in...but the whole thing jars with me. After a 'scary' ring of the bell...the treats were shared out...and we decided on the spur of the moment to go to our local Bistro...a quick visit to my cellar to get a bottle..and Stan Laurel's mask seemed an appropriate partner for the photo.

Zehntner Luckert Spätburgunder *** 2004
Auslese trocken

Franken, Germany

Cool style....
gentle spicy SB....soft crushed cherries...creamy nose and on the palate..but held back ..this is 'trocken' remember..quite 'thick'..without overdoing it..very refined and well made in the Franconian style. Went very well with the Lamb in Rucola(Rocket) - Pesto crust.
Points 17.5

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