Our trip to the 'Pfalz' the previous Saturday had been enjoyable...but a couple of properties on the way home had not been possible. Both situated just 'over the border' in Rheinhessen...and I needed no excuse to make another excursion on a Saturday.
I had told my wife we would visit two properties...but the rest was to be a surprise.
We set off just after 9am...earlier than we planned...but as it turned out this was a help in getting everywhere ON TIME!
First stop was Weingut Gutzler in Gundheim...and Gerhard Gutzler had been warned I was coming. Luckily...he still had some 2007...although had to search for it. The 2007 Spätburgunder Westhofen GG was a priority...and I took some Cuvée GS 2007 as well...and on Herr Gutzler's recommendation...a bottle of Pinot Noir 2008 Barrique.
Next stop was one of the top properties for Riesling in Germany...Weingut Keller in Flörsheim-Dalsheim. I had phoned the previous day to make sure someone would be there. 'If it's not raining we will be in the vineyards'...the last day of the harvest was planned.
It was raining...and some bottles of Spätburgunder 'R' 2008 were collected. This is made from the grapes intended for the Buergel vineyard where Keller's 'top' SB comes from. I would have taken some photos but the whole yard was 'under' construction. My wife and I agreed though...the best 'washrooms' ever at a property...and the award certificates greeted you.
On the Pfalz trip my wife had kept asking us to stop when she saw apples by the roadside....but we didn't have the time. So...I had planned a surprise trip to a top apple grower...Zimmermann in Wachenheim. We arrived just before midday...and she purchased about 10 different sorts...plus some walnuts and a few bottles of oil and vinegar for salads. The first surprise was a success.....
On the way to the restaurant I had chosen...I saw the signpost Herxheim am Berg...where I had visited Weingut Pfleger the prevous week. The Pinot Noir 2007 had impressed...so...on the spur of the moment...I drove there..and luckily Roland Pfleger was around. Six bottles were purchased...and I increased my order for the 2009 Vintage.
As we had started out earlier than planned...we were still on course for the 'surprise' lunch stop.
After the last
lunch fiasco... I had planned a stop in Neuleiningen...and had reserved a table for 1pm. We arrived...perfectly on time.
The Pfalz is mostly flat...but as we saw the signs for Neuleiningen...we turned off left and started to climb a small hill....the vineyards surrounding us...and entered the small picturesque village. The restaurant Alte Prarrey is down a cobbled street...with a lovely yard and a fine view of a nearby wood. My wife did not know what to expect as it was a surprise...I expected maybe a more simple abode...but it was very up market in style...but very cosy. There was only a group of 11 occupying the restaurant and we took our table in the corner. We both were hungry and chose a starter and main course. A 'Greeting from the Kitchen' was a celery soup and some Barbary Duck. The Maitre wanted to serve me wine...but I rarely drink midday...and I was driving. We took some water...but as we were going to be eating substantially...I let myself be convinced. A small glass of whatever he recommended with the first course...which turned out to be a
Winterling Sauvignon Blanc 2009.
It partnered the Scallops perfectly...while my wife was swooning over her Goose Liver Variation.
I had checked the menu on the internet and knew they served a Lobster dish...so it was no surprise that she chose it. I decided on the Salmon...and asked the Maitre what he suggested that he had open. 'A Riesling' he answered. OK I said...but not too much acidity. He returned...and said that they had opened another bottle...that would maybe be to my liking. I saw the label and commented 'It's from that crazy property Schneider'.
Markus Schneider Riesling Nonnengarten 2007.
It was perfect..for the fish...and for me.
A trace of petroleum already...and...as a Spätlese trocken...was exactly what I wished for. I gave it 17.25 Points.
We had some coffee and a couple of Petit Fours and I browsed the wine-list...which has a few bottles with a little age...and fairly priced. We left saying we would return. Recommended...and they have rooms as well. The second surprise was also a success!
It was now just before 3 pm and the planned visit to a cafe for coffee and cake was postponed...we were full...and my wife asked which property now!. I needed no heeding...and Weingut Knipser ain't far away from here.
We arrived...and the place was buzzing with visitors...always like this on Saturday I was told. I took away some wines just released...Spätburgunder Burgweg & Kirchgarten 2007, plus bottles of Riesling Mandelpfad GG and Riesling Steinbuckel GG...both of the excellent 2009 Vintage ...and we happily headed for home.
I could do this every Saturday.....
In the restaurant the table of 11 were discussing wines etc...and one person told a story of being at a party with couples and their children. One parent said he was not impressed with a red wine he was drinking...and a child spoke up saying 'We have a good red wine at home...it's called Sangria!'