Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three Amigos

After the previous '3 Duds'.....my next drinking experience was over a couple of days with the '3 Amigos'.....
All between 20 & 30 Euros...so...equal with the Spätburgunders.
Bodegas La Tapada Bodegas 'Guitián Barrique' 2005
Valdeorras, Spain
Grape: Godella.....known as Verdelho in Madeira, Portugal......Valdeorras is the new 'secret' area for whites...clay & limestone soils..and hot, sunny summers....this spends 6 months in barriques...there is also a non-oaked version..
Medium yellow...gentle smell of new oak...enticing you to take a swill...and not being one to hang around.. I duly obliged..creme brulée..smashing opening mouthful.. someone who knows how to use barriques has been at work here..nice touch of acidity keeps the oak from dominating....2005 was a slightly hot year..so if I can find the 2004 somewhere...
Points 17.25 € 23,--

















Ossian 'Agricultury Ecológica' 2007

Castilla y León, Spain
Aroma of freshly made dough...citrus fruits took over...trace of grapefruit.....this is 100% Verdejo from old vines and it shows..and reminds me of the whites from the south of France..with maybe a touch of the Loire...perfect oak..lingering on the edge..and minerals galore...very focused..and with a fine finish. A wine for the 'experienced'
Points 17.25 € 24,--

















Bodegas Rafael Palacios 'As Sortes' 2006

Valdeorras, Spain
Back to 100% Godella...French-oaked...14% alcohol which you would never know....straw yellow with green tinges..doesn't this look very Chablis-like?.....Rafael, by the way, is the brother of L'Ermita owner Álvaro...some trivia while I take in the smell...green apples...pineapple..lemon peel...the palate shows super minerals...pears and butter...a real character wine...I even thought South Burgundy....Puligny came to mind..now that is a compliment.
Points 17.5 € 28,--

















Three excellent wines....and as some of the best whites in the world are made in France...comparison is a compliment. And...at these prices..very comparable..individual wines..for the adventurous..and all could be layed-down for a few years..they have potential to develope and open up. Not easy to find....but..worth the effort.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spätburgunder Hell

After recent posts regular readers will wonder where my love for Spätburgunder has gone. Merely coincidence..have no fear...just the way things happen..weather..food..etc.....so it was with great pleasure I accepted an invitation to a small blind tasting of my favourite grape.
A simple Weissburgunder 2008 from Schloss Schönborn and a simple Spätburgunder 2007 from the same property. Price was low I heard..so neither 'hurt' very much.....the pain would come later.
Three bottles were lined up..all covered...and one after another..the glasses were poured...and one after another...the same...construde wines....'forced' came to mind...sweet confection...the labels( very modern..they should have spent the money elsewhere) revealed all were from Schloss Schönborn.. a highly rated property for Riesling...now look Herr Schönborn..or whoever is responsible..Pinot is a terroir wine.. leave it alone...keep to your Riesling...don't try to make a wine that will please people who drank it in the bad old days..over 10 years ago..when wines like these three meant I never touched the stuff. With the first a 2005...it should have been more balanced..the second..a 2006 from Franconia..was the 'best' of the three..and 2007 is a classic vintage!!! How can you not make a good Spätburgunder... All three are priced over € 20,-- each...and for that amount I expect to give a wine at least 'Sweet 16' points...I wouldn't have given any of them even a 'Pimply 14'.....A Crusius (who knows how to handle the grape) 'Black Dog' had them hanging their necks in shame...and it's costs € 10,-- less. An 'unforgettable' tasting.....maybe it was down to me..not having tasted my beloved grape for days...The Pinot Gods were frowning on me....I'll try to do better in future...

Sherry Moments

After reading so much good press about Spanish whites..I purchases a mixed case.
Red Rioja back in the old days....wonderful...the whites were an acquired taste though..having spent time in wood...which can mean you say it is oaky..but in most cases..'woody' is more appropriate. Have things changed?
Marqués de Murrieta Capellania Blanco Reserva 2003
Rioja, Spain
Purchased after seeing a tasting note for the 2004.
Yellow with green tinges....slightly oxidised on the nose..touch of 'fino'...trace of toast..some exotic fruits...it is easy on the palate...but the woodiness is maybe holding back any fruit. Did it spend too long in the barrels?
Didn't knock me off my chair...and was a little disappointing....pleasant..no more
Points 15.5
Included in the mixed case..I had ordered various Sherries....after the above I decided to try one..and it was my choice that it smelled of Sherry!

Lustau Amontillado Medium Dry 'Los Arcos'
Spain
Lustau is probably the top Sherry producer...all styles.. top quality wines.














Tawny gold colour..medium dry could be medium sweet...very intense smell of caramel and nuts..plums if you want a fruit...

a 'real' mouthful....I was going to try to divulge a few glasses...forget it..a glass with a few 'nibbles'...and another after the meal..more than adequate unless you want your head thumping. I had some Wasabi nuts..where it again came into it's element.....I know I have stated I would like to try Sherry through a whole meal...but not sure other than the above suggestions..how I would pair it with fish etc...
Points 16.5

A light wine between the Sherry was
Abadal Picapoll 2007
Pla de Bages, Spain
Lively, slightly sparkly( you know what I mean)..effervescent (that's better)...bitter notes...decent low-priced summer wine.
Points 15.5

Amusing closing note:
Any white wine left in a bottle..is in the fridge downstairs in the cellar. Should my wife have a rare urge to drink a glass..she opens the fridge..and usually finds something. So it was with the Abadal..BUT...thinking the darker bottle was also white..and not taking a closer look..she took a glass..and considered it oxidized (which a Sherry is)..and threw the glass full of dark liquid away. When I decided I could try another glass of the Amontillado.I thought it had evaporated....and asked if she had used it to cook (knowing she does not like to drink Sherry)..on hearing.. I burst out laughing....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Schmitt and his Kids


















A couple of years ago..after reading about the winner of the Pinot Cup..Randersackerer Sonnenstuhl Spätburgunder trocken „S“ 2004..I called this vineyard...and managed to get two of the winning wine. One bottle has been gulped..but I am digressing...anyway.. after showing my disappointment with the meagre amount I could buy..the grower offered me this wine...so I bought 12 bottles!!!...I tried a couple..very nice..and gave a few away as presents.....now I am down to three..and standing in the cellar not knowing what to drink( it is only me that does this isn't it?).. I decided to see how it had developed
Schmitt's Kinder Domina & Spatburgunder 2005 Franconia, Germany
Shiny, ruby red...soft earthy forest berry aroma..the Domina..which is a cross between the Portugiser & Spätburgunder...with mediterranian character...gentle sweet fruit..typical Franconian..surprisingly complex...and the last two bottles will not be given away....leave another two years until the next time I stand in the cellar..lost for choice.
Points 16.5

Good Bosch

Bought two bottles of this..the first was a bad day for me..or a bad day for the wine...according to some 'experts'..there are bad 'star' days....where a wine will not be up to it..and could be better 3 days later..on a good 'star' day...but checking their lists..I would only be certain one day in seven....I'll take the risks.
















Glen Carlou Syrah 2004

Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is aged 12 months in French & U.S.A. oak....quite deep, violet colour..black fruits, choloate, plums, exotic spices...a layed-back Syrah..not New World, not Old World..only slightly 'funky' on the palate...ripe fruit..soft tannins...easy finish. Enjoyable.
Points 16.5

Friday, May 22, 2009

White, Gold & Cream

From Gooseberry Fruit to Golden Cream. Three whites over a couple of day....so different in styles...and colour!!!


















Tokara White 2007
Stellenbosch, South Africa
A cuvee of 85 % Sauvignon Blanc & 15 % Semillion. Nine months in French Oak.
Of all the grapes in the world..for me the Sauvignon Blanc is the most diverse. From Cat's Pee..through Grapefruit...to a classic steeliness when done in my style. This is just about the right side of wrong for my palate. Medium yellow with green tinges...enticing herbs..wild grass..back of the nose tingle..gentle mouth-watering juice...almost overdone but the Semillon kicks in to keep me happy. Maybe a year or two would convince me even more...
Points 16.25




















Librandi Efeso Mantonoco Val di Neto 2002
Calabria, Italy

Made from 100% Mantonico...a rare grape I have never knowingly tried..maybe Joe tried it in his search for obscure grapes. The wine ferments in stainless steel and then goes through a malolactic fermentation in both old & new French oak.
Wow...forget yellow...this is GOLD...intense honeyed aroma..and some exotic fruits..touch of 'Sherry'....but after that colour you start to worry what awaits on the palate...quite rich but no heavyweight..surprisingly fresh and crisp...ripe nuts..and a delicious creamy finish. Next day...still changing constantly..but the 'oxidised' smell was maybe a touch too dominant.
Points 16.5



















Chateau Tuilerie Eole Blanc 2007
Costières-
de-Nîmes, Languedoc, France
Something I have had before...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..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

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Never Ending Pleasure....

Our twice yearly pilgrimage to 'Rebstock' in Kappelrodeck-Waldulm
Tuesday 5th May 2009
Something I knew to start off the holiday...drank last time we were here..and only 2 bottles were left in the cellar...
R & C Schneider Spätburgunder 2005
'Parzelle Schönenberg'
Baden, Germany
Developing nicely....with the soft charm of the 2005's
Points 18
I have heard the 2006 is even better..but been unable to find it..however..Karl Hodapp..owner of 'Rebstock' has purchased the 2007..next time....
Food was slices of Roast Duck....











Wednesday 6th May 2009
Next day was a difficult one...as our business back home followed me..I spent part of the day in the vineyards talking to Africa and Paris...and the evening meal was interrupted.
The wine chosen in a Bocksbeutel bottle..which you may think belongs only to Franken..but had been used in Baden since the 18th Century
Schloss Neuweier Riesling Goldenes Loch Spätlese trocken 2007
Baden, Germany





Pale yellow with green tinges..delicate..citrus & peach tones...smooth...and maybe a touch too much.. I would have enjoyed a little spicy bite..but very well made.

Points 16.5
Fish was a 'Steinbeisser'

Thursday 7th May 2009
The hottest day yet..and the morning spent with Herr Hodapp viewing a new 'terraced' vineyard..not the norm for the area...then a visit to the Cooperative cellar in Waldulm to meet cellarmaster Herr Laible. He kindly presented Herr Hodapp & myself with recently bottled Waldulmer Pfarrberg Spätburgunder Auslese trocken Barrique 2007........then in the afternoon a 2-hour stroll through the vineyards with my wife..and dinner outside on the wonderful terrace.
Huber Spätburgunder 'R' Wildenstein 2005
Baden, Germany
Tasted this a year ago when it was bulging but not bursting..12 months on and it is opening...clear ruby-red..packed with minerals and with layers of ripe red fruit..the magic marzipan feel...this will be a yearly 'must' drink..maybe half-yearly if I over-indulge.
Points 18.25
Friday 8th May 2009
Slept long..and missed the breakfast buffet...got a call...did we want breakfast in bed...
Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2007
Fläsch, Switzerland
I first found 'Gantenbein' in this restaurant..it was the 2004 and I was so impressed I searched out the 2005 for my cellar. Karl Hodapp has it on his list..but a visit to his winecellar meant I caught a glimpse of a planned addition to the wine-list..the 2007 vintage
Quite deep colour...very reserved aroma..still quite closed...plenty of acidity masking soft tannins...I know it was infantile..but nosey wine imbibers are commonplace..
Points 17.5 but more to come...

Saturday 9th May 2009
My wife was not feeling great...and I decided to eat on our balcony....
Simple food..Veal Schnitzel & Pommes Frites..and a half-bottle of white.
My wife felt well enough to steal a few 'Chips/Fries'



Bercher Feuerberg Weissburgunder Grosses Gewächs Spätlese trocken 2007

Baden, Germany
A hefty 14%..but not that noticable..one-dimensional at first..but opened and filled out with 'balcony' airing...sweet apple..lively acidity..cream and spices....very ripe fruit...
Points 16.75
Sunday 10th May 2009
Afternoon watching the local soccer team win 6-0....
Decided on a Bordeaux from the extensive choice of the Vintage 2000
Chateau Carruades de Lafite 2000
Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Deep...very deep..colour..gentle soft cassis nose..but surprisingly lots of acidity.. I expected more charm and it certainly benefited from airing....earthy style so typical of Pauillac...a long future....but not showing at it's best at the moment.
Points 17
I sent a glass into the kitchen to Herr Hodapp.....
As I finished the bottle..I was asked if I could manage a glass of a Spätburgunder just given as a present from a grower....I guess I could squeeze a drop more through the lips


Stigler Freiburg Schlossberg Grosses Gewächs Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken 2003
Baden, Germany
The Freiburger Schlossberg is a lesser known GG in Baden...Stigler being only one of three owners.
A one-off style...never had a Stigler before...but this is really an individual...pale colour...mature..and the bouquet was more dark fruit than typical Pinot...blackberry and blueberry...
I would have loved to have had more of this...but I needed to be fit for our return journey next morning..
Points 17.5


I had DVD'd a football match....but was told the result by mistake....and as my team had lost 2-0...I was placated with 2 Petits Fours....

Monday, May 04, 2009

Pasta & Pinot

Last post before our trip to the Black Forest.
A delicious 2 coloured Tortelloni dish (red filled with Basil, white with Pumpkin) with Bolognese Sauce and a delicate Gorgonzola Sauce(not the blue style..that gives off a bitter taste..buy the 90% white version)
Ziereisen Spätburgunder
Rhini 2006

Baden, Germany

Instantly appealing aroma..intense strawberry.....on the palate quite complex..minerals and terroir...spicy edge..powerful fruit...it closed with airing..but next day had filled out again...
Enjoyable now..but with potential to age 10 years....
Points 17.5

Friday, May 01, 2009

Rebholz Riesling

I needed a break from work....just relax, eat & drink..so Volker & myself were off to our local Bistro. I took along 2 bottles......we chose as starters fresh Octopus and Squid from the grill.. which, when fresh..is absolutely delicious. I covered up the wines....Volker has to work for his supper...
Ökonomierat Rebholz von Muschelkalk
Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2007
Pfalz, Germany

From the moment you see it..you can feel the goodness....some wines you just know can't fail... this style of Riesling (Spätlese trocken) is where I am....not being a great lover of stomach-churning adidity at my age. On the nose there is peach and some apple...cool and silky on the palate...perfect fruit and very delicate acidity. Classy & elegant. Fellow blogger Lyle raved about this and I can only agree.....no chance of it deteriorating on day two..the bottled emptied easily.
Points 17.5
The red I had taken along was the Schneider Pinot Noir. Volker thought I had marked high...but as the bottle emptied and the class of the wine showed...he slowly agreed with me.
This a a benchmark wine at € 20,--

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