Friday, October 29, 2010

Pairs

Comparisons can be hard on the 'lesser' of the two...just because the brunette is drop-dead-gorgeous does not mean the pretty blond one is ugly! The first example is two bottles from a property in the Pfalz...where we had arrived at the property just before midday to be told by an elderly lady that everyone was at lunch. The harvest was in full flow and the polish workers who maybe started at 7am....were obviously hungrier 'earlier' than we were. Only with insisting she ask someone did I obtain some 2007 vintages.










Meßmer Spätburgunder Schlossgarten 2007 Pfalz, Germany
Already showing it's sweet fruit vintage...trace of marzipan...cinnamon...some wood but reserved...a trace of tobacco...well-balanced...pleasure now...but leave it a year or two.
Points 17.25

Meßmer St. Laurent 2007

Pfalz, Germany
Aromatic...sour ch
erries...restrained...a little one-dimensional...herby...and gentle oak. Cherry fruit again on the palate...no great length...just not getting there....
Points 16.5
So...the SB won this competition...but it costs € 24,--
and the
St.Laurent costs € 16,--.

A Smoked Salmon Salad.....









Hirsch Gaisberg Riesling 2006
Kamptal, Austria
Next up...a Riesling from Hirsch...the Gaisberg vineyard 2005 had been impressive.
With the memory of the Hirsch Heiligenstein 2006 still with me...this seemed less powerful...awkward even...pear aroma...minerals...but compared to the 'Brunette'...this pretty blond was left standing at the alter.
Points 16.75
PS....the rest of the 'blond' was tried 2 days later...surely not Botox!?...but most certainly more rounded and acceptable...knitted together and giving the 'other' woman a run for her money.

Points 17.25



Last one up...to accommodate a juicy Steak with Ratatouille.









Claus Schneider Weiler Schlipf Spätburgunder trocken CS 2007
Baden, Germany
The 'better' vintage...and the last bottle...but it has not convinced me that it is better than the 2006 version. Delicate strawberry fruit...and some soft chewy tannins....

Points 16.5

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Klumpp's Cuvée

Weingut Klumpp
Cuvée N°1 trocken 2009

Baden, Germany
How do you 'measure' how good a property is. One way is to try their basic wines...to see how talented a winemaker is. The wine should be fairly priced...and not just a quaffer...but show qualities above it's status.
When I purchased a mixed 6-pack from the property I was trying to decide on a last bottle to fill the box. Markus Klumpp almost 'insisted' I try this wine. It is a Cuvée from Lemberger, Spätburgunder & St. Laurent.




A sour cherry nose...and a delicious mouthful...fruity and juicy...lively acidity...easy drinking but showing enough complexity to please any connoisseur. It costs € 9,-- which is value...
Points 15.5
Unless a cork is old ( I then use my Butler's Friend..a twin prong cork puller) my corkscrew has always been the Screwpull.

Wine, Food, Apples & Nuts

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 1p
m. 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-lis
t...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 p
m 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.....

AMUSING
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!'

Monday, October 18, 2010

Horseradish & Wine

A recent mixed case contained an Austrian Duo.
Beer and fresh Horseradish sauce are a happy marriage as the intensity of the fresh version does not lend itself to wine. The sight of me in goggles with a peg on my nose while grating it...is unforgettable. However....the 'imitation' type...is another matter. What do you do when daughter and husband come to dinner...neither are beer drinkers...and neither am I.
So...treat the dish as you would Asian food.
We had a delightful starter of smoked Salmon, smoked Trout and some fresh 'Feldsalat' (Lamb's Lettuce)


There is no way you can make the food 'photogenic'...believe me...it tastes better than it looks.
We started with the Riesling...switched to the Grüner...then back to the Riesling







Hirsch Riesling Heiligenstein 2006
Kamptal, Austria
Wow...this is my type of Riesling. I have had Hirsch a few tiles and the style is just perfect for someone who does not want an attack of acidity hitting my stomach. Classic aroma...slight petroleum...very aromatic...exotic....citrus fruits. The mid-palate is 'schmelz'...just so smooth....creamy...with pears and apples...and a good bout of minerals. A long finish to add to it's pluses...make this a real 'goodie'
Points 17.75




Strangely...the back label stated it was for a wine company in the U.S.A....Michael Skurrick Wines in New York. Was it planned for them but never made it...or did they send it back unsold? Whatever...their loss, my gain

Gritsch Grüner Veltliner
Smaragd Singerriedel 2009

Wachau, Austria
This Grüner would have pleased more alone...and maybe suffered from the Riesling quality. Already perfect to drink...the usual apricot and pepper...and a trace of almonds.
Points 17.25









A day later...another companion for some more Horseradish....
Freiherr von Gleichenstein Baron Louis
Oberrotweiler Henkenberg
Grauer Burgundy 2008

Baden, Germany
Lots of legs streaming down the glass...which readers from a previous post may find amusing. This is full-bodied...with spices and a velvety texture. Pears and some citrus fruit.
I enjoyed drinking it...but not something I would re-buy. I am still trying to LOVE Grauburgunder...I like them though.
Points 17

Friday, October 15, 2010

Top Duo

When you remember wines and how good they were...and you wait & wait for the moment to retry...until...it finally arrives...and the expectations are high of course.













­Paul ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Fürst
Spätburgunder R Centgrafenberg 2005

Franken, Germany
After trying this 2 years ago...I purchased 3 bottles. The nose seems to have faded...a touch of smoke...needed the food...filled out...spices...and traces of marzipan....then seemed to lose all it's positives when the plate was empty.
A last glass did start to produce some strawberry fruit...maybe going through a 'dumb' period. Keep an eye on this one I think....and it ain't cheap in restaurants...
€ 160,-- as fellow blogger Alex noted

Points 17.25


Fritz Becker
Sankt Paul Spätburgunder 2006

Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Pale colour with the most astonishing milk rim I think I have ever seen. Like a circle of cream. The nose is full of aromatics...and a soft creaminess...this spends time in new oak barrels...think Burgundy here..and to those who don't know..the grapes are grown 'over the border' in France....but Friedrich Becker needs no help to make great Pinot...perfume of strawberry and cherry....excellent acidity pushing the fruit upwards & onwards..a gentle tannic glove...this had been opened for 3 hours...but needed even more to develop it's nuances.
Points 17.75

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Giggle Belt Marking System

If only to prove I don't eat like a king every day...a left-over 'Schnitzel'....and some Black Forest Smoked Ham to be paired with the Austrian.
Gerhard Markowitsch
Pinot Noir Reserve 2007

Carnuntum, Austria
Now...if you have been with me for a while...you will know that I believe Pinot Noir should be sexy. Let's try to compare to the female of the sex...I am a man...if you are a woman...find your own comparison.
A really good Pinot would be like getting a glimpse of thigh...you get my drift. Well...with this one...all I have is some ankle...and not a very rounded one at that. I tried a basic version from this property...which also didn't hit me for six...and decided it was worth trying the top wine...and the vintage convinced me. Cherry colour....with a sour-fruit aroma...and a stern feel generally. A trace of sweetness popped up with a little airing...so I left it until next day. Sorry girl...you ain't for me...keep wearing the trousers...cos there is nothing for me at the moment. This is rated...which may mean it is down to styles and tastes.....I can recommend Aerobics...but at the moment
Points 16


Jakob Pfleger Pinot Noir 2007
Edition Curator

Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Ah...some knee here...this is sexy...super sweet strawberry...fine structure...one of those wines...from start to finish...what you see and smell...is what you get...very harmonious. This is an 'insider' property...and Roland Pfleger is not the type to go banging his drum. His wines are limited...and sell anyway. Delicious...and at € 15,-- a must buy....and a great label. Bravo!
Points 16.75





Matthias Gaul Spätburgunder Schloss 2006
Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
I know what you are waiting for now....what part of the leg is this one...well...let's say upper calf...although the grainy style...does not lend itself to any sexiness. That's not to say that it does not have other attributes. This is more 'Pfalz' than Pfleger's wine...and has a good dose of acidity...it is still evolving...thickened overnight...the wine...not the calf...with some smoky leathery tones.
Points 16.5


In the 60's....a young man's aim was the 'Giggle Belt'. What was that you ask?
Ladies look away please...
Well....after putting your hand on a girl's knee...and working your way northwards...if you had no rejection...you had reached the 'Giggle Belt'....and it meant you were laughing!...or at least smiling with satisfaction. Anyone got a spare Romannée-Conti...now that is a Giggle Belt wine!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Trip To The Pfalz

The trip had been planned three weeks ago...but 2 Saturdays running....bad weather.Nothing worse that driving through a vineyard area with the drizzle and mist spoiling your view.
Finally...a beautiful 'Indian Summer' day....and along with my wife, her brother and his wife , we set off for Rheinland-Pfalz.



I was planning to visit some 'lesser known' properties...and the first stop was in Grünstadt-Asselheim at Weingut Matthias Gaul.


A charming courtyard...and a warm welcome from Werner Gaul.
The current vintage for their Spätburgunder Schloss is 2006....so it was purchased along with a bottle of the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Barrique.

Next stop was Wageck-Pfaffmann in Bissersheim..the flag was flying...but no Spätburgunder available...all sold out at the moment.





I had called the next property Weingut Jakob Pfleger a few days in advance and Roland Pfleger told me to call his mobile if he wasn't around. He was not around...and his mobile did not react.

Next on the list...Joachim Hollerith in Hambach....son Jonathan was in the vineyard....harvest in full swing...call later he said.
What now?....change of plan....and we set off to the south arriving at Bürrweiler just after midday at the property of Weingut Messmer.
The lady who served us knew nothing about the wines...and only when I asked for some 2007 did she inquire...and the journey was made worthwhile.
The vineyard workers from Poland had just finished their lunch...and...red-faced...they made their way back to the hard labour.
2007 Spätburgunder Schlossgarten & 2007 St. Laurent found their way into the back of the car.





I had made a list of 6 lunch-stops...it would depend where we were. At 1pm we were near Neustadt...and the Bistro-Restaurant Mundus Vini had been praised in Feinschmecker.
I ordered the Tapas Variation...which was quite good...the other 3 decided on some Tagliatella with Shrimps. The pasta was re-warmed...and the shrimps tasted of fridge.
The Bistro had a selection of wines you could buy. They had a bottle of Hollerith Maximus 2005.
I called Hollerith again...but Jonathan said they would be in the vineyards until 3 pm...and that would have put us behind schedule. I asked him about the Maximus...he said...buy it...we don't have it anymore!
Another one hits the back seat.

It was now 2pm.
Next destination Hensel in Bad Dürkheim
After 45 years without one...I have got used to using my Sat-Nav in the new car when searching for difficult to find properties. With a delay of 30 minutes!!!...we arrived at Hensel. We said to the young man who greeted us that the Navigation System couldn't find the address..and he told us that Porsche Cayenne didn't have the address in their system. The property owner had a Mercedes...same problem...not is his system either (not really the same though...he knows where his property is).
The 2008 Merlot Höhenflug, 2008 Cuvée Höhenflug and 2008 Spätburgunder Höhenflug were purchased.



After lunch I had phoned Roland Pfleger again and said we would be there in Herxheim am Berg at 3pm but by the time we arrived it was 3.30...luckily he was at home. A warm welcome and a smile of a man who knows what's good for him...his wines.
He asked how I knew about him and I mentioned a recenty article in Weinwelt. I was interested in the 'R'. 'I can let you have one bottle of the 2007 and one bottle of the 2008...and if you want some 2009 you can order it now'
Fair enough...deal done...and three bottles of the 2009 ordered....this time next year they should be in my cellar. He said I should try the 'basic' Pinot Noir 2007 and a couple of bottles made their way into the boot.








Almost 4 pm...and the visit on the way back to Keller in Rheinhessen was no longer possible....
The day ended with us parking the car at home and walking round the corner to a local eatery. The food was better than at midday....and I could finally drink a couple of glasses of wine.

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