Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Liking, Not Loving

Having heard so much about these wines...I bought 3 bottles..a previous post was the first I tried..here are the other two. Now..regular readers will know I love Pinot Noir & Spätburgunder...but my palate grew up on Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah..so I have seen and tasted most things in the last 30 years of drinking. Maybe Cabernet Franc is something I like ..but don't love. None were 'bad' wines...but as I say..it is sometimes down to styles & tastes.
Bernard Baudry Chinon
Les Granges 2007

Loire France
The basic wine from Bau
dry..is lively..with liquorice tones...and a range of wild forest berries.. easy drinking..a luncheon wine.
Points 15


Bernard Baudry Chinon
Croix Boissee 2006
Loire, France
After the Clos Guillot and the Granges I was hoping for a knockout wine to
convince me that I could start to love these wines. Liking and loving..big difference with anything we admire....dark berries on the nose..and more minerally than the others...a variety of wild smells..palate showed quite dominant acidity and dry tannins..so I left it until next day...it had broadened..and needs food now. Difficult wines to appraise when young is my thought...and as they are well-liked elsewhere..I bow to more experienced tasters of the style. This was € 19,-- and for that amount there are more wines that appeal to me.
Points 16.25

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Dancing Queen

Over the last year I have found a change in the 'other' whites grown in Germany. Chardonnay, Weissburgunder & Grauburgunder were often flabby and overblown. Recent examples seem to have a 'Riesling' style to them..they are livelier..the oak reined back...the signs are they will be a match for any top whites..anywhere.









Ökonomierat Rebholz Chardonnay
Barrique 'R'
Spätlese trocken 2007
Pfalz, Germany
Butter aroma...honeyed melons...surprisingly well-balanced..this barrique wine has the oak beautifully integrated...there is a light dancing acidity...each mouthful is a pleasure..elegant and very harmonious.. Drank this with 'Schnitzel', new potatoes and some fresh white Asparagus(I prefer green...but the market stalls had only poor quality..so white it was)..as the evening sun went down..a good Havana cigar needed accompaniment..and the Chardonnay was perfect. Same price as the PiNo.
Points 17.5

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Baudry Chinon


















Bernard Baudry Chinon
Le Clos Guillot 2007

Loire, France
100% Cabernet-Franc...Clean, vibrant red-brick colour...attractive, slightly sweet first whiff after the cork left the bottle...initial impression..juicy...real natural fruit...delicate changes of smell..most complex part of the wine.....some cassis...dark fruits...minerals...the palate is easy..tannins already soft and approachable... a touch of cream from the oak...very well made..quite lean..and a nice drink...but missing that certain something to make me sit up. Held up well next day..without any noticeable change... I guess it's down to styles and taste..as this wine is well liked. Fairly priced at € 14,--
Points 16

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

White PiNo

If there is one grape that I only need the best of....it's Weissburgunder. Am I a wine snob in this respect...not really..its just that I find the 'lesser' wines to be overblown..and they leave me wishing I hadn't ordered. The best I have had this year was the Salwey.
Hansjörg Rebholz doesn't do things by halves....everything he touches (wine I mean) turns to gold.








Ökonomierat Rebholz PiNo 'R'
Spätlese trocken 2007
Pfalz, Germany
A cuvée of Weissburgunder & Chardonnay. There is a gentle smokiness....a palate of spicy pears..fresh hay..yellow fruits..the Weissburgunder is lively..and the Chardonnay hits in with a creamy, vanilla backdrop. All in all..a lovely weighted wine...loads of character and a drink-again feeling..not always the case as I stated above. I know..I have rich tastes when it comes to the grape....but like the Salwey..this is very fairly priced at € 23,--
Points 17.25

Monday, April 20, 2009

Never Ending Umbrian

And if there was still some wine in the bottle..it would still be changing....
The above sentence would be a fitting ending to the notes on this wine.
Sagrantino is an Italian grape variety that is pretty much exclusive to the Umbria region in Italy.
It is grown primarily in the village of Montefalco and its surrounding areas, with only 250 acres dedicated to the grape in the hands of about 25 producers. The wine is not widely known outside of Italy, even though it was granted DOCG status in 1991. It was once used for dessert wines for many years, the grape being dried in the passito style, much like a Recioto di Valpolicella. At some point, the wines were made in a dry style, and that is how they are primarily produced today.
Colpetrone Sagrantino di Montefalco 2001
Umbria, Italy
Inky purple colour...intense nose of plums..coffee aroma....dusty black fruits..cinnamon...kept reminding me of a Pedro Ximenez Sherry...gritty but ripe tannins on the palate..and notes of bitter dried cherry..and a good dollop of plummy fruit make this a mouthful that makes you sit up...there is some light oak...this appealed on opening..then seemed to dry a little..and craved for food...the bottle was closed (half full)..and next evening given a second try...at first..the same feeling as I had left it..but with airing..and some good food..this really widened..seemed more relaxed with itself....Umbrian wines are always reliable..and this was one of the best. Try it with a steak or Spare-Ribs..with a big decant...
Points 17.25

Saturday, April 18, 2009

No Risk, No Fun

In a perfect romantic world...there is always a happy ending. Also..what springs to mind..is a saying used in many TV show..'No Risk, No Fun'. Well..your blogger took a risk...there wasn't much fun..and definitely no happy ending. Boo Hoo!











Eric Morin Chiroubles Tradition 1999

Beaujolais, France

Medium deep color..but slightly milky..which many Beaujolais are...burnt aroma...try a
gain..burnt aroma..oh..come on..there must be something there...nope..burnt aroma. Pleasant mouthful as regards weight..but dry tannins..and a fresh acidity..which would be fine 5 years ago..but this is pretty fruitless. The blurb from the merchant...
ein ganz großer Burgunder!
- lassen Sie sich von diesem reinsortigen Gamay überraschen - Sie werden es nicht bereuen!
dieser Cru du Beaujolais ist Morins' Meisterwerk: mit einem Hauch von Schokolade
reift 12 Monate in kleinen Barriques, die pro Jahr zu 1/3 erneuert werden
Rebsorte: 100 % Gamay €14,--

which roughly means..a very good Burgundy..you will not regret it. Shall I sue?....when did he write that?.. agreed..the price should have warned me...

Points 14

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Top Slider From Schneider

What to drink on Easter Sunday??...and no..I didn't have eggs with it!
After tasting the two previous wines..the mixed case direct from the property contained the top wine. This costs € 20,-- and I'll order some more....it's that good for the price.













Claus Schneider Pinot Noir trocken Barrique
Weiler Schlipf 2005
Baden, Germany

Some wines wait for you to poke your nose into the glass..this aroma leapt from the bottle...it gets me going when I have this type of wine....will it taste the same..will it have a long finish..will I grow old to drink my wine cellar empty?...all these questions (except the last one) spring to mind. At first..a slightly burnt aroma took over..but that was saying..this is not a simple wine..there is more to me. Beautiful Pinot smell..very Burgundian...medium sweet ripe fruit...the palate shows a lovely weight..slight prickle of soft tannins..like a sandpapered strawberry...I could gulp this if I were not a wine-lover...and the finish is medium long...what can I say..maybe the best wine in this price range I have tasted this year....if you want any....get in the queue..or ask me nicely and I might send you a bottle!

Points 18

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Schneider's Sliders


















The estate owned by Claus and Susanne Schneider is located in the town of Weil am Rhein (Markgräflerland area).
The ancestors of the family have been involved in wine production since 1425. Claus Schneider studied viticulture and winemaking at the college in Weinsberg , and took over the estate from his parents after his graduation in 1982. His wife Susanne comes from a long line of wine producers and coopers in Haltingen, and was the Baden wine queen in 1979. The vineyard area totals eight hectares, of which two hectares are in the Haltinger Stiege site and six hectares in the Weiler Schlipf the most south-westerly single vineyard site in Germany. This site is in danger of disappearing, the soil consists of impermeable sandstone slabs covered by a layer of limestone and clay, and this steep slope is slowly sliding (in local dialect: „schlipft”) down. Varieties planted are Spätburgunder(40%), Gutedel (30%), Pinot Blanc(Weisssburgunder)(12%), Grauburgunder (10%), Chardonnay (5%) and 3% other varieties.
Gault Millau have given him 3 bunches of grapes this year..and the property is a rising star.
So..I decided to try a white....the Pinot Blanc at € 12,-- and a Spätburgunder at € 14,--
Both proved..yet again..in Germany there is great value in this price range. Only problem for those abroad is..they never make it over the waters.
Claus Schneider Pinot Blanc CS trocken
Weiler Schlipf 2007
Baden, Germany
Like the red..you get the impression..serious wine for the price...loads of minerals dancing over a lovely semi-sweet pear fruit...drinking well now..but enough going on to take it a few miles down the road
Points 17








Claus Schneider Spätburgunder *** CS trocken
Weiler Schlipf 2006
Baden, Germany
Brick red...sweet dry cherries?...yep..my first thought...there is ripe fruit..but a mineral touch...then strawberry fruit covers the palate...fine balance..and a fairly serious wine for the price.
Points 17

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Shattering Experience

Nothing new here....at some time in our wine-drinking lives..we purchase a certain number of 'good' wine glasses. Those in question here were a family of 12 I think....about 20 years ago....and back then were 'pricey'. Well....up until the Hermitage entering this one's gaping mouth..the family were down to three!..now it is two...which seems a nice coincidence..as I now only have two bottles of the 1978 Hermitage left...shall I risk the same style glass when I open another bottle?...anyway..a flick of the wrist when describing something..and the glass fell against the decanter..and was on it's way to the great glassery in the sky. There are positives in all negatives....the glass had already been emptied...the Hermitage was gone to a better place..a few spots on the tablecloth were all that remained.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Lumberjack & His Hermitage

Food at home..my wife prepared some tasty food..Volker & Robert came round. Volker brought along the white.......














Chateau Tuilerie Eole Blanc 2007

Costières-de-Nîmes, Languedoc, France
A cuvee of 40% Rolle, 20% Viognier, 10% Grenache Blanc..with Rousanne, Marsanne & Clairette making up the rest...grown on sandstone soil..only 4000 bottles were produced..so there will be 3999 that can be enjoyed as much as I did. Fresh sparkling colour..green tinges...a wild aroma...you can feel the countryside...reserved nutty bouquet...and some citrus fruit...but it's the taste that wins it points...it fairly explodes onto the palate..loads of minerals bouncing about..and an intense creaminess..and a good long finish..you gotta go back for more....excellent wine.
Points 17.75

Both reds decanted 2 hours before drinking













Jamet Côte-Rôtie 1988
Rhône, France
Firm cork...medium deep colour with brown rim..mature...an intense nose..with some leather and barnyard...not for 'new' wine drinkers...but the old school loved this....would the taste match....well..at first it showed dry..the tannins are dry..but with food is showed well....softening the acidity...this was probably at it's peak about 3 years ago..but still interesting....so the last bottle I have needs drinking soon..
Points 17.25





Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1978
Rhône, France
Cork disintegrated...essential to decant whether you wanted to or not...milky colour...an instant smell of mushrooms..pepper..medicinal aroma..grilled meats..still very complex.....tobacco....very ripe fruit integrated in bed of ripe tannins.....no sign of breaking up...a wild, minerally feel....spices and dried cherries..this could age another 10 years...the way it evolved in the glass suggests a longer decant next time......I still have 2 more bottles...BUT..also 3 half-bottles..which need drinking. Parker gave this 100 points......now....I have drunk the 1961..which was worth that..this falls a little behind...but then again...the decanter was emptied..and maybe it would have improved even more..I'll let you know when I open the next bottle...
Points 18.75

My wife buys me shirts...and this was a first-time-of wearing. Monty Python's Lumberjack song came to mind...with a slight change of lyrics..
''I'm A Lumberjack and I'm all right...I work all day and I drink at night''....

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hard Chard


















What finer sight on a warm spring evening..the new flowers streching their necks.. a yellow bottle of yellow liquid..and the
evening sun going down..fill the glass..admire it..smell it..taste it...perfect...
Ziereisen Hard Chardonnay trocken 2006

Baden, Germany

Yellow gold..which you can see...light fluffy oak..restrained.....thank goodness...dry as opposed to lip-smacking...notes of honey and vanilla...minerals.....onto the palate..a definite trace of lemon..which gives you an idea of the style..tropical but citrusy...ripe fruit..quite full
without ever feeling that way..and a fine finish asking you to try again...untypical compared to many of the Chardonnays planted in Baden. This is the future...
Points 16.75

A Pfälzer Terroir 2

Of all the area producing Spätburgunder in Germany..the Pfalz is the one showing more earthiness..terroir....and compared to other styles..even austere at times. I once wrote 'Pinot Noir for Bordeaux Lovers'..and this still holds true. Dr Heinz Wehrheim is over 80..who says wine is bad for you? His son, Karl-Heinz, has been running the business since 1990and is also involved in a project called 'Fünf Freunde'(Five Friends)..comprising of various growers.
Dr. Wehrheim Birkweiler Kastanienbusch Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs 2005
Pfalz, Germany




Intense, characterful aroma...stern..and serious..smell of undergrowth...the juicyness is to the forefront..lively acidity and the packed fruit only as background at the moment. This reminded me of dried cherries...and the wine is trying to show well..methinks this needs a few years though...robust tannins will see to that..not as much sweet-fruit from the Pinot.....
Points 16.75

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Deep South of Germany

Situated way down south..almost in Switzerland..is the property of Ziereisen. Still classed as Baden though... Hanspeter Ziereisen hit the headlines with a Spätburgunder Rhini 2002 (one still left in my cellar). It won a prize....and he's gone on from there. Never afraid to experiment...there is a Syrah, a Chardonnay (soon to be tried)..Weiss & Grau-Burgunder, Gutedel, even a mix of Spätburgunder & Syrah..you get the picture? His Spätburgunder are given names like the aforementioned Rhini..as well as Schulen..and this one 'Tschuppen'.





Ziereisen Spätburgunder 'Tschuppen' 2006
Baden, Germany
Pale colour with watery rim..this is unfiltered......sour cherry aroma...and a lively acidity....it sounds light & fluffy..but there is body here..it spends 12 months in used oak....gobs of ripe sweet fruit...this is a € 12,-- wine....and is amazing value.... a terroir wine..and it will develop....

Points 16.25

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Flowery Beaujolais & A Stiff Pizza

Name the 9 Villages wines of Beaujolais..always a good one to get any wine freak worked up. As you know (course you do...)..the best Beaujolais don't have the word on the labels..
There are maybe 3 styles..those that need, like big brother Burgundy, time in the bottle...then there is the 'wild stuff'..untypical and for the adventurer..and finally...the juicy ones..like our example here....
Domaine du Vissoux Fleurie Poncié 2008
Beaujolais, France
Tart & slightly bitter at first...but it grew and filled out nicely after 20 minutes...lovely juicy Gamay..flowers...oops..course it should do..with that name...quite full..no great length..but that's not the style..I had a freshly made Pizza with it....the real stuff..with a Viagra stiffness...not those gigantic ones that hang..seen in all the US movies...I have a question here..if the pizza is delivered and is then eaten..it is cold...a terrible thought..cold pizza!...anyway..where was I?..ah yes..Beaujolais..room temperature...but would be nice cooled...(it is getting warmer..and my thoughts are wandering to sitting outside and slurping)...and this has a gentle soft sweetness...and goes down better than a cold pizza!
Points 16.25

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