Thursday, December 24, 2009

And On The Third Day...

And on the third day.......here some notes on two whites..very different in style....

Day 1
Bertrand Darviot Meursault
Château de la Velle 2007

Burgundy, France
I used to drink lots of Meursault...about 20 years ago when it seemed readily available. It was my favourite white Burgundy. It seems to have disappeared (into cellars of rich new wine lovers) or maybe the French don't let us have it anymore. I remember some Coche-Dory that was unforgettable. A recent Decanter article stating that the 2007 vintage was to bee's knees (a saying my mum uses to say the best).. I tried to find some..and this bottle was found.


Green tinges...steely...the usual nuttiness..very approachable..and with some citrus..good..but didn't exactly have me running back for more.
Points 16.25

Day 2
Franz Prager
Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten 2007
Wachau, Austria
Mmmmmmm...this is good...classic GV in that it is slap-bang in the middle as styles go. Spicy, minerally..and a touch of ripe banana sweetness...cream and crackle...loads of white pepper feel to this one..and a fine finish.
Points 17.5







Day 3
Tried the remains of the Meursault again...and found some nuances that I had missed...and thought maybe Points 16.5.
I then tried the rest of the Grüner Veltliner and the poor Meursault got blown away!

Not Too Sauer Please

When it is snowing outside...and very cold...a German traditional dish (the French also have a version) is ideal...Sauerkraut! Now...most people take a step back....but after 35 years in Germany...there is not much I don't eat. I like it when served with liver and blood 'würst' (sausage to you!). The ideal liquid companion..is a Riesling. I like my Sauerkraut not TOO sauer...and my Riesling also not TOO sour. What better than a Grosse Gewächs from the recently released 2008 vintage.






Schäfer Fröhlich
Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg
Riesling 2008
Nahe, Germany
The intense nose throws up ripe pears...this is racy but also correctly balanced...even at this age it never falls behind..surprisingly forward...heaps of minerals..flinty...with an underlying creaminess...a salty touch throughout...the Sauerkraut thanked it. If you have a bottle of this....leave it another year maybe....and order a plate of the above....
Points 17.25

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Pre-Xmas Mix

Markus Schneider Steinsatz 2007
Pfalz, Germany
Markus Schneider is like a mad professor....trying all sorts..not afraid to experiment. Well..if you don't try...you won't succeed. This is a Cuvée of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and St Laurent..which are from an old Vineyard 'Steinsatz'..which comprises of different soils.
Wow...this is soft at first...OK...a softy to please me...as I expected more spice...but hey....Jekell & Hyde....cos after 30 minutes it shows it's hairy chest...cassis...the power and spices appear...and 2 days later...no deterioration...enticing 'spaß' aroma...thick dark berries...I had forgotten that I had tried the 2005 this year...which had impressed...and this is no different.
Points 17.5

Emmerich Knoll Ried Loibenberg
Grüner Veltliner Smaragd 2007
Wachau, Austria
Walnuts...which is not so strange..as the oiliness found in many GV's is present here...but never overdone...this gives you freshness...rich nuttiness..next day it went very well with some Sashimi. Complexity and the finish sits nicely for 30 seconds...
Points 17.25


Invited to friend's house for dinner......Xmas decorations already lit...












Johner Gladstone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
Wairarapa, New Zealand
Yes, this wine is made by the famous wine producing Johner family from Baden in Germany. They felt the conditions on the southern tip of North Island were ideal for producing excellent Pinot Noir.
Earthiness...dry cherry...good weight...filled out and showed brambly fruit...cloves..needs time maybe...
Points 15.5
I had taken along Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2005...which was, as always, wonderful...and with some still in the glass..a raspberry cake was served. Amazingly..the pairing was perfect!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Four Drinkers, Four Wines

Our pre-Xmas meeting..the regulars..Robert, Volker & Axel..at our local Bistro. To be honest...I couldn't make up my mind what wines to take...very last minute...but thankfully...all pleased. Notes are sparse as the banter was, as always, tops...and I forgot to write anything at times.
Fritz Waßmer Syrah
trocken Barrique 2005
Baden, Germany
Good colour...meaty, funky nose...and surprisingly..there is a fresh acidity...after a couple of 'hot' Spätburgunder from this property I had fears...this had spices and was a good example of a grape that is becoming more popular in German vineyards.
Points 17







Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieux Télégraphe 2005
Rhone, France
Quite complex...aromatic aroma..slightly wild....doesn't leap from the glass...just entices you..and the palate continues with the composed sweet fruit...liquorice..marzipan..ripe tannins...this has very good balance..and with time could be a top wine.
Points 17.5








Óscar Tobía Reserva 2004
Rioja, Spain
We had tasted this on a previous meeting...Robert had forgotten...and was not as impressed this time ..which could be down to the wines tasted alongside. I still find this a very well-made new Rioja.......intense minerals...sour cherries and plums...a trace of the oak.....fills the mouth..roasted tones...this is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Otras and spends 21 months in French and Hungarian oak...
Points 16.5





Fritz Waßmer Spätburgunder 'R'
trocken Barrique 2004
Baden, Germany
This bottle has been pulled and then pushed back into the rack a few times.
Finally I decided tonight was the time...and I remember Volker had been impressed by it.
Pale-rimmed...VERY French in style...if I had tasted blind..I would have chosen Burgundy. Lovely strawberry nose... On the palate much more to enjoy...really lovely mouthful of ripe fruit..silky & 'sweetish' as all good Pinots 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.
Points 17.75

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Solo Comparative Tasting Of The Greens

In the early days of drinking whites...the taste of oak appealed....it's a young drinker's thing I guess...but over the years I grew to dislike the oaked Chardonnay....
Riesling I love when the acidity is not too dominant...difficult to please aren't I?...
So maybe the wine gods were thinking of me when they produced a grape called Grüner Veltliner....
Young or old.. I love the style...particularly the mid to top range..and when young..the acidity is reserved...and with age...there is rarely a lip smacking fruit bomb. They are perfect for my tastes..and I am slowly working my way through a whole bunch...
How do you do a comparative tasting if you are drinking alone (not 'alone' alone..my wife is there...but 'alone' as in the only one drinking..is that clear?). Well..you could open all three bottles you have chosen...drink them empty..remembering to call the hospital in advance of your intentions. Second choice..the same..but refrain from overdoing it (my usual limit is 0.5 litre unless I am out with friends for a meal over 3-4 hours). Third is how I like to do it..especially with whites. Open the first of your choice...leave the rest until the next day to see how it has developed with the second bottle awaiting. Third day the same proceedure as before....which leaves you a small amount on the fourth day..which may be needed to add to some sauce if your wife is so inclined. And so it was that I compared 3 Smargad 2004's.

Leo Alzinger Grüner Veltliner
Loibner Steinertal Smaragd 2004
Wachau, Austria
The first impression....tropical fruit with a delicate cream..enticing smell..silky flavoured..the acidity is low due to the vintage...but it still lifts the wine to make you go back for more..'take me again' it says....there is a citrus layer...this is a lighter style for a Smaragd..and just about perfect at 5 years old.
Points 17.25 € 22,--





Emmerich Knoll Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Ried Loibenberg 2004
Wachau, Austria
When viewing what's in the glass with GV's..90% of the time I could write...'colour..yellow-green'..well..this is a light yellow gold..and it takes a while to show off it's smelly side..the palate is more rounded...the impression of the whole is of greengage plums...some spices pepping it up..and the 2004 less acidity feel....
Points 17 € 23,--





Franz Prager Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten 2004
Wachau, Austria
This is more Grapefruit than most...you could think this was Sauvignon Blanc...and the acidity more dominant than the previous two..very steely and grassy...and minerals to the fore...
Points 16.75 € 25,--








So..who won?..well..me..as a drinker....and the three just about covered most styles...The Alzinger I thought very good as the balance was perfect.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Schlipf Sliding Again

I 'discovered' this property a year ago...and was very impressed with the 2005 /2006 wines I tasted....so it was great to see the new sortiment being given high praise by Gault Millau. I told a few friends I would be ordering some 2007's and they took my advice and added to my list..and a LARGE package arrived recently.....I await their thanks(hopefully)...
Claus Schneider Weiler Schlipf
Spätburgunder trocken 2007

Baden, Germany

This is the basic 'schlipf'.....it costs € 8,-- and is just perfect if you want to slurp but also require some class in your glass....this would please everyone at at Barbecue...

Points 15









The next one in line
Claus Schneider Weiler Schlipf
Spätburgunder trocken CS 2007

Bade
n, Germany
It costs € 10,-- and is very good...not because of the price..but the quality...
Serve this at a barbecue and your wine loving friend will whisper to you that you shouldn't be serving expensive wines to the beer drinkers....this tastes twice the price it is. Earthy cherries leap from the glass...the palate shows a soft, quite concentrated, layer of the cherry fruit. The acidity lifts the fruit...some oak..some spice...this holds your attention....
Points 16.5



Claus Schneider Weiler Schlipf
Spätburgunder trocken *** CS 2007

Baden, Germany
The 2006 had impressed....this is very much the '2007 Style' ...soft and easy on the palate..it surprised me how forward it was....will try it again soon....the evening meal was interrupted...
Points 16.75

PS...The last photo..the new Decanter magazine arrived...now..I complain about Christmas being celebrated in November..this January edition arrived through my letterbox on the 4th December!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Buchholz 2

A second visit to this highly rated restaurant..Buchholz....the four of us enjoying a fine evening.... Short notes on the 2 wines....the other 3 enjoyed the food...as did I...but I am still waiting to be wowed here...and a small potato addition to the main course would be a plus.
Philipp Kuhn Chardonnay 2008
Pfalz, Germany

This used to be the 'Mandelpfad'.I smelled pear...our guest thought kiwi fruit..fresh acidity of youth..plenty of minerals here..and the fruit filled out with a swirl or two..good structure...leave it a year...

Points 16.25











Meyer-Näkel Walporzheimer Kräuterberg Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs 2006 Ahr, Germany
After trying the Pfarrwingert on my last visit...this seemed to be more backward...a wild style..dry earth fruit...this spends 16 months in 70% new oak...it had been decanted on the advice of the waiter...sometimes with young wines it can be advisable to open and drink...a dry smoke feel..some hidden layers of marzipan...better with food at the moment...the tannins and structure suggest this will see better days in 3-4 years.
Points 17.5

Some photos of the food for all the foodies...






















































Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tongue Tickling Green

Grüner Veltliner ages...no doubting that...but the wine below is just so right now....
Leo Alzinger Gruner Veltliner
Smaragd Mühlpoint 2007
Wachau, Austria
Light yellow with green tinges...a smell of ripe apples..some nuttiness...and a touch of cheese...the palate gives you tongue tickling minerals...a healthy acidity wraps the pear and apple fruit ...this has a slate feeling..and the usual white pepper...and as always...with a day's airing..continues to please.
I have to give this the same total as it costs in Euros....excellent value
Points 16.75

Friday, November 27, 2009

Greens Are Good For You

As a child my mum told me to eat my 'greens'(vegetables)...so I would grow up strong.
It is the fluid 'greens' that interest me nowadays....
Old and new......the first of about 15 GV's I have purchased....they age...no doubting that...

F. X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner
Smaragd Kellerberg 2003
Wachau, Austria
Elegant smokey aroma...pears..the palate is RICH...creamy texture....and the alcohol is very noticeable(14%)...2003 was a HOTTY....I drank half then had to leave it...sometimes you like this..then it is a sip too much...next day...first sip..has this toned-down?...think so..then it hits you again...the love-hate relationship of this one makes it difficult to appraise..is it the vintage?..or the 'intense' Pichler style?.... I have a 2002 to try....which may be better balanced...
Points 16.75



Schloss Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner Kammerner Lamm 2007
Kamptal, Austria
Steely...yes....white pepper tones....pears...some wood showing...but the balance is very good..and the fruit is popping it's head up...just starting to show itself in a very good light....next day...it had filled out..the GV sweetness..green minerals(I know it's not true...but it just feels like they are green)...taste of sweet pineapple...silky....
Points 17

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spontinuety!!!

Spontinuety brings rewards.....4.30 pm...a call from friend Volker...he was alone and was going to our local eatery....did I fancy joining him...the thought of two good bottles, some fine food and friendly banter made me say yes..so he brought the white...and I drew the red out of my cellar.
Dilectum 2007
Rueda, Spain
This is 100% Verdejo...a barrique wine ..8 months in total...the nose is a touch grassy and some smoke...vanilla is noticeable...has a 'slabby' feel...but with nice acidity..some minerals..and a well-balanced easy-to-drink example...
Points 16.5



Friedrich Becker
Kammerberg Spätburgunder G.G. 2006

Pfalz, Germany
'Jump in and drown aroma'..truffles...spices...adorable..trace of cherries.....just so much cream and charm...no tannins...can it age?...will it get the chance?....I doubt it...a touch finer than the Sankt Paul...some would say that € 45,-- for a German red wine is too high..they should wash their mouth out with soap and water...the same quality in France would cost twice as much. Bravo Herr Becker!
Points 18

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Black Is Black

The title reminded me of this 60's classic....back when people could sing and there was a melody! Los Bravos.

The Luckerts believe in tradition...but they don't belong to the Franken Wine Authority...they choose their own way...and that is shown by this wine. Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot...not the norm for this area...
Weingut Zehnthof Luckert
Grand Noir *** Tafelwein 2005
Franken, Germany
I suppose the name should have pre-warned me..I just pesumed it was a name......but the colour was inky black..opaque! The aroma gives an impression of coolness..minerals..hidden spices...and on the palate pretty much the same.....if you are drinking this now...down it quickly with friends..because it grew more aggressive with airing..and next day became a real 'biter'..the depth and tannins telling you not to touch him too early. No chance of that...the wine is sold out! A rarity indeed....
Points 17.5

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Patron Saint For Burgers?

When you talk about Hamburgers...you would normally think of the chains that offer the product....and occasionally my wife and I sneak in the back door to indulge...just don't quote me on this information! This post is more about my wife's version....which can't be eaten with the hands...well..it could be..but you would end up looking like a blood-splattered corpse...knife and fork needed..best beef...fresh ingredients...yummy...I ate 2 ..and they are LARGE.



Vincent Paris St. Joseph 2007

Rhône, France
The wine was full of dark red fruit, meaty...sour cherries...tannins are reserved... a perfect Burger wine....I have seen this rated at 90 Points and more...hang on..it is very nice..and maybe a little saintly...and reasonably priced...but worth only
Points 16

Ellwanger Hits The Spot

The most memorable wines don't have to necessary be blockbusters...or even the top wines of any vineyard...sometimes it is the simple moment when you catch the wine just as it is so appealing.
Jürgen Ellwanger
Spätburgunder trocken 2001

Württemberg, Germany
After the very good Drautz-Able 2001 tasted recently..the sight of another from the vintage...same area...it hardly seemed a risk. The last bottle on the merchant's list I was told...pity..Ellwanger is one of the top 5 in the area.



On opening and sniffing..it shows a dryness...worry, worry...but the moment it hits the palate you know you have been saved. Actually..the back palate to be exact...lovely sweet fruit..no oak..it has all but gone..and you have the dry style..typically of Württemberg...I do like their wines...destined to remain in Germany though....this has a natural feel...here is good winemaking...spices and a touch of dry cherry...perfect now this one...a Pinot for Bordeaux drinkers....
Points 17.25

Friday, November 13, 2009

Restaurant Fully Booked

On a forum someone was asking for advice on German cuisine and wines. Easy...Cuisine..my wife Eva...and the Wines...me!
But don't tell him that..or I'll get requests for table reservations.
Here are two evening's enjoyments...










A starter of Feldsalat (in case you missed a previous post..Lamb's lettuce)...with a beetroot and shrimp topping...
followed by Steak au Poivre...with a milder creamier sauce to accommodate the wine.

Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley
Pinot Noir 'Knox Alexander' 2002
California, U.S.A.
I am a big fan of Jim Clenenden's wines...and purchase the new vintages as they are on offer. I leave a few in the cellar..but I seldom see an older vintage on offer.
Why was this still available..was it too old......would it have been cellared well...was the vintage the reason for it's availability (this all sounds like a Mickey Spillane thriller)
The short answer...the vintage maybe and the age...the nose seems flatter...lost it's pfiff...red berries..but quite earthy...drying....less Burgundian than most of this property...still a good drink....but needs selling....and I had helped buying this bottle.
Points 16.25

A juicy cutlet..alongside layered potato slices with chilis... from the oven...
Schlossgut Diel Cuvée
Caroline Spätburgunder 2006

Nahe, Germany
The 2005 was super...is still super...it was a top vintage on the Nahe. The 2006 is rated as a moderate year....so how did Diel deal with it? Well...the nose was lively ..cherries and a touch of strawberry..and the acidity gives it a lip-smacking feel.....the oak showed more next day...and the tannins dominated...and the style is dryer...but back to the first impression. It does not have that voluptuous feel to it....methinks the style has changed a touch...maybe aiming for a longer living wine....2006 seems a little disjointed....look forward to the 2007.
Points 17

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