Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Wine & Backache

Klumpp Cuvee M 2005
Baden, Germany
One of the most northerly points of the Baden wine area is Bruchsal.
The Weingut belongs to a minority of about one per cent of vineyards in Germany that grow organic wine.
This cuvee is from had picked grapes..15% juice extracted..left on the 'Most' for 3 weeks. The vines are aged....and the mix comprises of 1/3 each of Cabernet, St. Laurent and Spätburgunder.
Deep ruby red...dusty cherry aroma...at first a soft opening..but with airing the firm tannins poked their head up and said...bite me now or leave me a while. Well..not one to shrink before chewing a wine..I continued...fine acidity leaves this nicely balanced on the palate....plenty of juiciness..the Cabernet starts to dominate with blackcurrant fruit. Some vanilla is in there..this spends 12 months in oak...but Mr T...keeps it back...smokey vegetable notes...big decant now..or try again in a couple of years.
Points 17.25...interesting to see how this develops.
Nice bottle..but the wide top of the neck meant no Screwpull..just the old-fashioned Vine Corkscrew...good for my back!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bill Baker

I have been drinking wine for over 30 years..and in the early days I dealt with the wine trade in England. My search for older vintages lead me to a couple of merchants..one being Reid Wines...a few miles south of Bristol, England. I had lived in Bristol before I moved to Germany...so I was back there a couple of times a year. I usually ordered the wines...then picked them on my visits (I drove over). Co-owner was a guy called Bill Baker. Now..when whoever made us all..decided to build Bill..he didn't cut corners..and the end product was a one-off! I hadn't spoken to him in a while now...as I rarely get over to England..and the postage makes the wines too expensive. It was only recently that I found out he had passed away in January 2008. Now..before you think this is going to be a sad post. Forget it. Bill Baker probably never knew the meaning. After finding the Telegraph obituary report....I smiled as I read about him taking a few cases of vintage wines with him when he traveled abroad. I once arranged to meet him at a top restaurant in Bristol who he supplied wines to. I waited at the bar with my glass of something. Bill 'rolled' in. As I mentioned..he was large..but carried it well. Talking about carried..he was carrying a picnic basket...We sat at the table and he opened it...to reveal 5 bottles!! Now I remember..at least I think I did..only drinking one...where the other 4 went to...we can only summise. Reid Wines was in the picturesque village of Hallatrow...in an old converted Mill. If I called and said I wanted to come over..the answer was..'be here at 11.30 for lunch'. On arriving...a table outside by the stream..some old oddity of a half-bottle as an apéritif..with some paté de Foie Gras..then a decent red. Another memory..which I should try to forget...was driving a few miles (a few more that it should have been)..meeting him for dinner...and returning by car along misty country roads...would never do it nowadays...ah..the recklessness of youth! Another memory is of joining him at the top country house 'Gidleigh Park'..for some memorable wines. He once visited me in Germany. We had a guest room..and a normal size bed. He managed. He asked if he could use the bath...don't ask me!! My wife cooked us dinner...and 'bonvivant' was had by all. He was 'expressive' about wine and people...and said if a wine was crap. He maybe annoyed a few..I never had a problem with him...oh yes I did...trying to keep up with him. On one visit he told me about a regular meet of all local merchants...once a month I think..where each one took along something special. He kindly invited me along..a privilege..and the rest of the group accepted the 'extra' visitor. Great wines...although my memory goes back to a whisky..which I never drink...it was a malt..about 40 years old..and as near to a great Cognac as you can get. The wine trade is full of 'odd' characters...it must be the liquid. Bill Baker was the last of a long gone style of merchant/gourmet/imbibber..call it what you like. They don't make 'em like that any more. The materials are no longer available!
Telegraph report here
Enjoy the video with Jancis Robinson

video

Crusius's Girls

Dr. Crusius owns some of the best plots
on the Nahe. Riesling is his forté.
Less than 10 % grown are red grapes.
His style of red is fuller than most
seen in Germany.




















Twins?....not quite....one is what she shows...from start to finish..the other developes a butt...a Jennifer Lopez wine if you like.
First up was Jenny.
Dr.Crusius Traiser
Spätburgunder trocken 2007

Nahe, Germany
Reserved nose...but this is a € 10,-- wine...so let's see if she has more to offer..delicate fruit..more strawberry than cherry...not bad up to now..and nicely weighted..goes well with the pizza...enough fruit...then..BAM!!!..a back palate finish...reminded me of the old Riojas with their vanilla kick. The 14% has set in..and you get a big butted, ripe, good feeling style. Dr Crusius has made an attractive well-priced wine here.
Points 16.25



Next day....the other sibling...same father..different mother. She was a slender girl.
Dr.Crusius Traiser
Frühburgunder trocken 2007

Nahe, Germany
Clear cherry..a little more refined up-front...delicate..but still not shy...more juicy than Miss Lopez..
hardly any tannin....13.5 %...again..easy drinking everyday wine with interest for all.
Points 16

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ruwer Riesling

The Weingut has been run by Peter Geißen since the end of the 70's..the vineyard Karlsmühle is situated on the Ruwer. This has a medal sticker...which usually says nothing unless you know what the competition was.

Karlsmühle Peter Geißen
Riesling Kabinett trocken 2007
Mosel, Germany
Sweet grapefruit?...fresh and fruity..on the palate there is Grapefruit and Lychees..so my nose is not deceiving me...chosen from the most yellow grapes...delicate.....dry...but a slight back palate sweetness...perfect for me...my stomach churnes if it whiffs too much acidity.... At € 10,-- very good value....and I bought 6 bottles cos my wife liked it as well.
Points 16

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Classy Pee

Why does a wine not sell?.....new to the market, not enough PR...confusing label...grape is 'out'? Well..whatever is was here....meant 8 bottles became bin-ends..so I was a happy benefactor. It's not new! PR....again, not the case! Confusing label..can't be that..it's all there! so..is the grape out? Or maybe with all the mass available..no-one wants to pay that little more. This is not your 'gooseberry/cat's pee' type of Sauvignon Blanc. That's like compering your local Pizza take-away to a top Italian Restaurant.
Vie di Romans Piere 2005
Friaul, Italy

Made from 100% mostly-clone Sauvignon Blanc...this shows a slightly spritzy nose..minerals and steel...and I would give it 16.5 at this point..so maybe that is a reason for few buyers. I know it is not always possible to know what you will drink tomorrow...but try this..open it up..try a glass..then pop it back somewhere cool..and open it again next day. You'll wish you had bought the 8 bottles now! This fills out..classy..excellent balance...a great middle-weight that lies like a small diamond on your palate..bananas....sweet apples..and a long finish. Give this a chance to strutt it's stuff...and it will reward you with.....................................
Points 17.5

I still have one bottle of the 2004...which I will do with as I advise above.

PS....Don't mix 'em up...the other SB..'Vieris'.... from this grower...is more oak dominated..altho..I believe he now gives the 'Piere' a small dose...but you hardly notice it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chateau Canada

Popped into my local wine merchant....to buy a few odd bottles to try. Robert is the owner of the 'Hanglage'. I told him I was trying to wean myself off Spätburgunder...so that the Blog readers could see how I deal with 'others'. We discussed a few wines..then, as an afterthought, he produced the 3 wines from Crusius....which I bought. Hey...I did try..blame Robert!!! I also purchased 3 others..as you can see in the photo. As he packed the wines away....and as I had mentioned some Canadian readers of the blog..he produced a wine....which I almost bought..until I heard the price. Osoyoos Larose 2003
Okanagan Valley

British Columbia
CANADA!!!!!!
A Bordeaux blend.....tell me it is a world beater and I may go back for it.

Christmas Ain't That Bad!

Don't you just love Xmas. Ignore my previous posts..
I just got a few parcels of wine from people we do business with. Hey....even Scrooge lightened up later in the story by Dickens!. The fame of being a blogger (or more likely the hints dropped in general conversation) means I now no longer get 'send – on – presents' (you've all done it....given your present to someone else)...no...now I get wine. Merry Xmas!
I decided to open this bottle of white with some fish..OK...it's a present for Xmas...and it's not here yet..BUT..if I can get festive cards at the end of November..then I am allowed to drink my wine 10 days before.
Mirone Viura Muscat 2007
Campo de Borja, Spain
Synthetic closure. In the glass it looked silky and polished.
Muscat can be dominant..but with the mix only 7%...the rest being Viura..we should be safe. Following on from the appearance..this has a silky texture...easy drinking...basically dry...but could be drank by the 'wanna-be-a-dry-wine-drinker'..with the Muscat kicking in as the wine opened. Ripe tropical fruit dominates..and this would go down with every guest at Christmas...which solves Joe's problem.
Points 15

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Expensive Lady

Does wine have gender..course it does!!
Pinot is feminine..SHE is voluptuous..shows her curves.....smells sexy.

Cabernet Sauvignon..well..HE is for you girls...
Syrah..don't let's go there!
Joking aside....this young lady tonight has a story behind her...
The Pinot Cup is held every year at the end of November. By the time the winners reach the press in January..the wines are long gone. However..your dedicated blogger has always managed to get odd bottles.
The secret...type in 'Pinot Cup' in early December..and then call the merchant listing it.
In 2006 I managed to get some Schmitts Kinder 2004....but in 2007..no luck.
In this case..the only one showing the wine was in Switzerland..which figures as the wine is Swiss.
French Switzerland to be exact (there are also areas speaking Italian and German). Cost of a bottle 22,-- Euros. An email was sent and a reply received..post and packaging worked out at 10,-- Euros per bottle.. Payment was made and I waited. Now..this girl isn't at fault here...can't blame her...the package arrived and the postman asked for 20 Euros for the 3 bottle package...!!!!.customs tax!!!..oops..yes..Switzerland is not in the European Community(things change in January with some sort of treaty being signed..but the wine would have gone by then). Oh well...almost 7 Euros on top of the price.....but it had won first prize at the tasting...so 39,-- Euros....
Was it worth it?...well....short answer..maybe not...but let's continue with the lady's adventure.
My wife, brother-in-law and myself out for the evening at a favourite haunt...I can take my own wine..and pay the corkage (you see how this gal is getting more expensive as we go on...but then again...we men should know this)...as I was the lone wine drinker..a Pinot was a must with a varied mix of food. I started out with grilled squid, and I tried my wife's beef carpaccio with white truffle(we tend to share out food at our table). Next course was pasta with white truffles( was a theme for the evening..which had me beaming)..my wife some delicious warm goose livers. The 3rd course was the house speciality..Duck with dates and figs...as always...delicious..my wife satisfied herself with some lobster. Where am I going here?..other than making your mouth water...well....could the wine combat all that lot?
Well.. she was sparsely dressed..our Swiss Maid..the small label..short and sweet..and she spent her youth in 500 liter oak barrels....
Wegelin Malanser Blauburgunder Reserva 2006
Graubünden, Switzerland
Opening she showed a fresh crushed cherry aroma...and the slightly reserved style I find in Swiss wines..a little more 'oomph' would be a plus (Gantenbein is a great example)..the weight is where she let herself down with the food (skinny birds never appealed to me)...slightly bitter fruit...but slipped down easily...the owner of the restaurant managed to get a small glass..the rest I divulged over 4 hours at the table (good food needs time)..and only at the end did Miss Swiss 2006 show her better sides....trace of marzipan and almonds....
Review....this girl needed to be alone with me....and then she would have pointed higher..maybe she still will...2 of her sisters are lying in my cellar .Oh yes...and they will be a little cheaper..I forgot to mention the corkage on the wine. She was one expensive Madame!
Points 17

Friday, December 12, 2008

Screwing Good Wines

Our regular meet at the Bistro..but only two of us this time...so each of us bought a bottle.
I had spent the whole day thinking what I should take....wanting to maybe choose a Spätburgunder..but thinking..you are getting boring Barry...Luckily, I was on my bike and peddling the route when I started to waver again...so...the Shafer it was. I had been torn between the 1991 and the 1992..but had decided on the latter. Into the Bistro..quick cover-up before Volker arrived..and then open the bottle. I had taken 3 tools with me. The old fashioned 'pull it till your back hurts' corkscrew, the modern screwpull, and the recently discussed 'butler's friend'. The screwpull entered the top of the cork..and was at once rejected..so..rather than spend the night with back-ache..James the Butler was called upon. He spread his legs..and entered the bottle...a shake of the left and a shake of the right..and a push gently downwards..when in..start the music (I'm getting carried away here)..and a few waggles...and there she was...a long one..slightly moist. A quick whiff..and then sit back and wait to see what Volker had brought.

With both bottles covered-up...what to drink first..but we decided on experience that his was the opener. Grilled octopus was our starter...and the wine red...well I could only hope for..yes...!!! a Spätburgunder. Now..all that worrying e
arlier that I would get the 'shakes' if I didn't get my SB Booster...you fool Barry.
Karlsmühle Peter Geißen
Lorenzhöfer Spätburgunder 2005
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
First smell..German..and a taste...2005...nothing difficult yet..'just guess the area' said Volker.
OK...do it backwards...say what it isn't..Not Baden, Not Franken, Not Ahr, Rheingau & Pfalz..nope.
Not Rheinhessen?..Shake of the head...hmmm..then in despair I casually said..'don't tell me it's the Mosel'...answer....'yep..Ruwer'...wow..this is a first. Volker had been there recently..it is near to Trier..and in a small 'Gasthaus' had tried the local red and had been impressed...and to rights...a cherry nose..this has a soft gentle sweetness..serious enough..but also gulpable..slight burnt edge on the palate..keeping the fruit interesting...very juicy. The 2005 vintage was obviously perfect for this wine..Volker mentioned he had tried the 2003 which was not as good. A lovely surprise..and a must-buy..but you'll never find it.
Points 16.5
I was recently chatting to a wine writer and saying how, if the climate changes continued, as some point reds will take over the Mosel. I doubt it completely..but you never know...

OK..my turn now....
I had ordered lamb...aged Cabernet is a PERFECT match...
Shafer Hillside Select
Cabernet Sauvignon 1992

Stag's Leap, California, U.S.A.











An opaque dark color, minty after
opening..but an hour later this showed soft leather, cigar-box smells and a complex nose of minerals, some chocolate... silky, constantly changing with each sip. A 'living wine'..which I love.. still beautifully poised...tannins almost away with the fairies...but this has another 10 years of life in it. Very good
Points 18

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pinot Cuvee

As stated previously..Xmas is 3 days for me...not from the end of November until the middle of January(when our tree is cut down to size). I was out shopping on Saturday..and the Christmas market was opened..I fought my way through it..and came across a vendor selling books and wine. I saw the label Künstler...and stopped to investigate. Strangely...about 7 years ago..again at a Xmas market..I tasted my first red from this grower..it was a 1999...and I thought then..if the reds in Germany can produce this quality..then I will be a happy bunny. Well..I am...so..back to the vendor...the bottle was a 2005 and was going at 20% less.





Künstler Hochheimer Reichestal Spätburgunder 'R' 2005
Rheingau, Germany

Medium deep with a pale edge..strawberry fool aroma..real 'sweet' fruit..confiture..and to be honset..over intense for me. The 2005 vintage softened many a big wine in it's youth..here....a more restrained vintage would have been adaptable for this wine. Less jam & more toast.
Points 16











Markowitsch Pinot Noir 2005
Carnuntum, Austria
This is the basic wine from this vineyard...so will look out for the 'Reserve'
This is probably as different again to the above...trace of mushroom on the
nose..'piquant' Pinot...very brambly...dry tannins...medium weight.
Points 16

You know what...these two should have gotten together in a decanter..methinks a cuvee would show better

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Highways and Byways

The highways and byways of life....imagine traveling the long road..with no temptations..no changes...just a straight ahead path...safe & sound..boring eh?
The first wine reminded me of this.
Islander Estate Vineyards Majestic Plough Malbec 2005
Kangaroo Island, Australia

Another Frenchman involved here...he has experience with the grape from his time in Argentina...Deep colour..grainy, dusty tannins, full-bodied...(Yawn)....
plush on the palate....and.....and......yes..and..boring. Many will like it I guess...
Points 16
Ellwanger Hebsacker Lichtenberg Spätburgunder trocken 2005
Erstes Gewächs

Württemberg, Germany

Temptress to the left..Lottery win to the right....lots going on here...classy crushed cherries.. gentle burnt aroma..elegant...and the first sip convinces me..this is very good indeed..medium weighted..lots of juice makes it readily drinkable now..reminds me of a good St.Emilion.. and there is a soft core of tannins.
Points 17.25
AND
Xmas is coming..my wife is a fan...
and the candles make a good background for wines.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pur Pur Taste

I am a fan of the Württenberger wines..with their mix of Spätburgunder and Lembacher...this reminds me in style of those wines..this one is 20 % Dunkelfelder & 80% Spätburgunder.

















Peter Jakob Kühn PurPur 2005

Rheingau, Germany
Lovely perfumed nose..delicate..spring flowers, blackcurrants...this spends 12 months in oak....intense juicyness..nougat..real nice balance here..tannins merely stroke the fruit...don't share this wine....it is easily emptied.....only kidding...I'd share a small glass.
Points 17.25

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP