Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Power of Zelt

Zelt Laumersheimer Kirschgarten
Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken 2009
Pfalz, Germany
Took this along to a local eatery and popped the cork...and an hour later...poured a glass. A little bit shocked...cos if you
expect a gentle Pinot then you are going to have to wait. Loads of dark red fruit...intense...brooding even. The Weingut is across the way from the top property Knipser...and is a tip for anyone looking for real value. It remiinded me more of Knipser's Cabernet's than a sultry Pinot. I tried the Großkarlbacher Burgweg Spätburgunder 2008 in May this year...which was very drinkable...but this is a step upwards...and at € 23,-- there is a lot of wine here. Ripe cherries...fine but still firm tannins...quite complex...and has potential
Points 17
....but give it time

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leftovers and Favourite Grapes












Over a couple of days I have been eating the Xmas leftovers...still delicious.
As the year closes...I can only reiterate...my favourite white grape is Grüner Veltliner...and my favourite red...wait for it...yes...you guessed...Pinot Noir.

Emmerich Knoll Smaragd Schütt
Grüner Veltliner 2009

Wachau, Austria
For a Knoll...this is layed-back...I always expect a voluptuous wine. H
erby and some tobacco on the nose...yellow fruits...glossy on the palate...velvety... already approchable....
Points 17.25











H.J. Kreuzberg Spätburgunder
Ahrweiler
Silberberg GG 2009
Ahr, Germany

The 'first division' group of properties in the Ahr are Adeneuer, Deutzerhof, Meyer-Näkel and Stodden. The 'second division' probably comprises Burggarten, Nelles and Kreuzberg.
There are a few more that could make a name for themselves....but unlike Baden & Pfalz...there seems to be very few 'finds' in this area. Surely in one of the best red wine areas in Germany there should be a whole host of new growers making a name for themselves. We will see... This is practically a 100% red wine property...with Spätburgunder comprising of 70%...and Ludwig Kreuzberg is improving year by year. Heading for the first division maybe. They have plots in Neuenahrer Schieferlay und Sonnenberg, Ahrweiler Silberberg und Dernauer Pfarrwingert. The 2009 vintage promises to maybe even surpass 2004 & 2006...so I was excited about trying this GG...albeit very young. Hoppla...as I caught the first whiff...a bit special. New oak...creamy...ripe forest fruit, cherry...tannins firm but approachable. Very good. After an hour the wine closed up...showing it's youth...so...best tip for anyone here...pop in the cork...and try next evening. Twenty-four hours later...out with the cork and it all started over again... but now the palate was rounder...quite thick cherry fruit with a minerality that made a package to enjoy. I like this...and will try to keep the other bottle hidden...very enticing though.
Points 17.75

Monday, December 26, 2011

Magic Magnum

The Germans celebrate Christmas Eve...and this year...my wife had offered to prepare the evening's delights...and our daughters offered to help.
I had purchased the planned red from Ebay...hoping that a Magnum would still be drinkable after 12 years. How to be sure?...just call the property. Werner Näkel's daughter, Meike, answered and informed me the wine would be just perfect in the Magnum. Extra information was that the Magnums were hand-written back then. Not nowadays as they would probably get wrist sprains as this is one of the top properties in Germany and sell all over the world.




Meyer-Näkel Spätburgunder S
Magnum 1999

Ahr, Germany
Light colour....and a mature brown rim. Soft burnt smoke on the nose...this is a beautiful aged Pinot...with some pepper. Smell of forest undergrowth...just perfect on the palate...nice layer of mature strawberry fruit...and
a touch of age...which the magnum carries well...a bottle may have been too late!
Points 17.5

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Old Wines

A few days before Christmas and Volker, Robert and myself met up to try Volker's cooking....but also some hopefully 'great' wines.
I had thought about some aged Brunello di Montalcino and also some top Pinot Noir....but decided to raid the older part of the cellar.






F.X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner M 2000
Wachau, Austria
Rich, power...no sign of any downhill turn...the 'M' is always built to last. This had me thinking dry d'Yquem. Strong smell of honey...rich and intense...perfect balance....amazing for it's age...slight touch of boytritis.
Points 18













Chateau Trotanoy 1978
Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Of all the wines I chose...this had me worrying that it would not stand up and be counted after 30 years. I have opened a few vintages over the years and Volker is a big fan. He had no dea what was in the decanter...but was saying 'Merlot' and 'Bordeaux'. Still deep red...farmyard nose...meaty...earthy...holding up very well and a delightful old Bordeaux.
Points 17.5 although Volker rated it higher











Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1978
Rhone, France
Ah....Mr. Parker...rated this with 100 points. I had given it 7 hours in the decanter. This is still full of blood, smoked meat...loads of herbs. The palate is still firm and there is no danger that this is anywhere near it's end.
It was not the blockbuster one would expect...and although the bottle has been in my cellar 30 years...there could be bottle variation. Certainly very good.
Points 17.75






Fonseca Vintage Port 1977
Douro, Portugal
Quite light surprisingly...and a reserved nose. Strawberry fruit....and some chocolate. Not a big port but nice finish to the evening.
Points 17.25

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Christmas Scrooge

Ah...Christmas...what used to be 2 days has become almost 2 months. All the stress...the buying of food in case of an emergency...like the Third World War or a famine! Well...if one of those does happen...then my cellar is full as well...and we could live through the winter. Joking aside....or am I?...my wife still wants to buy me something...and what do you buy someone who is only happy when he gets a good bottle?....you buy wine of course. Influenced by our local merchant....these are the 5 which proudly stand in front of the tree (another stress with 200 lights and 150 balls). They will lie themselves down in my cellar after the Xmas evening celebrations are over and wait for the owner to pop the corks in the future. I guess Christmas ain't so bad after all....the liquids swung it for me. Merry Christmas from Scrooge...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Recommendations from the Pfalz

Two properties practically unknown...not only all over the world...but in Germany as well
Jakob Pfleger Pinot Noir 2009
Edition Curator

Pfalz, Germany

A property that is not mentioned in Gault Millau...which is down to the politics that pops it's head up regarding mass tastings. Eichelmann rate it highly though.
Roland Pfleger is a Pinot Noir man...he knows how to entice you with his style of wine. The 2007 version has been regularly drank over the last year... and I had ordered this vintage on my visit to the property a year ago. Six bottles of this...and 6 of the top wine 'R'****'. Cream pure on the nose...cool fruit....ripe fruit as well...this is another sexy vintage for Spätburgunder. A gentle bite...perfect balance...and a snip at € 16,--. The top wine must be pretty special methinks...
Points 17



Joachim Hollerith Maikammer Heiligenberg Maximus Pinot Noir 2008
Pfalz, Germany
The property is in Neustadt / Hambach. Joachim Hollerith returned to Germany in 1999 after 20 years learning his 'trade' in Virginia / U.S.A. His son Jonathan has taken over the reins since 2006.
Maximus contains grapes from the vineyards in Heiligenberg in Maikammer. The recently tried 2007 had reminded me to ask when the 2009 would be available. In the Spring of 2012 was the answer...but they had the 2008. As I think the vintage is underrated I had no hesitation in ordering and no hesitation in opening a bottle with some friends. It knocked them out... they were very impressed. Whereas the previous vintage was all ripe and upfront...this is more typical...a touch reserved in comparison. Roasted aromas...prickly cream...expansive...liquorice...marzipan...and fine grip. Like it now...or love it in a couple of years. Priced has remained to same since the first vintage of 2005...€ 25,--
Points 17.75



Friday, December 16, 2011

Worlds Apart...A Tale of Two Chardonnays

Worlds apart...in distance and in style.
A Tale Of Two Chardonnays
.
The first...a wine I 'discovered' about 6 months ago. Ordered it after reading high praise in a Decanter tasting...and willing to try the 'new' Australia...it has taken that long for the wine to come from Australia via Belgium to Germany. Left to 'relax' after that trip...it needed to be tried to see how good it really is.
Bird In Hand Nest Egg Chardonnay 2008
Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Smokey oak...a real old fashioned Chardonnay smell...nu
tty. The palate shows a creamy texture...very crème brûlée...with some refreshing minerality. Drinking over two days..the oak is fairly dominant on the lips...and needs a year or two to integrate. Potential...
Points 17.5








Very little white Austrian in the cellar...after a warm Autumn...so I needed to replenish. Lots of Grüner Veltliner...and this Chardonnay. As different again as two wines could be...
Johann Topf Strasser Chardonnay
Ried Hasel 2008

Kamptal, Austria

Minerals dominate here...the grape is masked at first but slowly developed. Exotic fruit...and compared to the Aussie...a reserved vanilla aroma. Green apple flavour...this begs you to leave this a year or two...but for different reasons again to the above...zippy acidity this time.
Points 17





My wife makes the best Hamburgers...
Impossible to eat with the hands though...

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