Monday, March 26, 2012

Aber, der Wein ist gut!

A restaurant nearby, La Villa, had a new owner and chef...so we decided to try it out.
He has previously had a one-star restaurant in Bad Homburg...so our hopes were high.
I called about taking a bottle of red...no problem...and I had planned we would drink a white from their list. A visit the day before...only one of two whites of interest...but as it turned out...I made the right choice.


Years ago...a German actor...Walter Sedlmayr...did some documentaries about European countries he visited. The one about Britain contained lots of negatives when it came to places to eat and the food. His last comment after every report was...
'Aber, der Tee ist gut!...But, the tea is good!'


Each dish on the menu is 3 products...which can work...but if you were offered 3 girls...a Redhead, a Brunette and a Blonde...wouldn't you want more details before agreeing to go out with them? It seems to be a trend...so we may have to live with it.



The 'greeting' from the kitchen had pleased....






The first courses were
Matjes, Apfel, Rote Beete
Garnelen, Knuspermantel, Erdnuss
The latter was OK...but no flair or refinement...just OK




Aber, der Wein war gut! But, the wine was good!

The next courses faired much better...
Kalbsbacke, Sellerie, Radischen
Sepia, Linguini, Paprika





The main courses....
Adlerfisch, Graupen, Fenchel
Stubenkücken, Mais, Knöpfle
A little more finesse please...fine if you are popping into a local Bistro...but they are supposed to be more upmarket in their offerings...


Aber, der Wein war gut! But, the wine was good!


and so to the wines....
Huber is THE top man in Germany...particularly the reds...and as the bottle was brought to the table..I thought the waiter had the wrong one. The bottle certainly makes you sit up...a darkish colour seemed to be inside...and the label was not the usual one for the property. But it was the one I ordered...Huber has produced a very striking bottle here...ideal for restaurants...this cost € 58,-- in the restaurant

Huber Weißburgunder/Freisamer
Malterer Cuvée 2009

Baden, Germany
Instant appeal..yellow apple and honey melon on the nose...and a nice dash of vanilla. Would it be too fat?...no way...a lively acidity in there...and mineral backbone. This is very good...and worth buying for home consume.
Points 17
I checked bill when we got home...they had only charged us € 37,--....but read on regarding corkage.






The red was a birthday present from my secretary / assistant...I must be a decent boss!
Bergström Pinot Noir
Bergström Vineyard 2006

Oregon, U.S.A.
Dark fruit aroma...aged cassis fruit...savoury & ripe...dark caramel...wild mushroom...this is
a brooding but ripe Pinot...
Points 17
and...they charged € 15,-- corkage...which I thought a touch high as their wine list is no great shakes...but the wine god shines on it's flock at times...the Huber was a snip!

Yes...as I said..the Wine Was Good!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Route 66

Down the long highway of life I finally reached 'Route 66' on March 20th.
As one German singer sang ' at 66 years-old...life begins'!
Great. I'll get quicker at soccer every Sunday and score hat-tricks at will!






To celebrate I ordered a table at our local Bistro...we were nine people...6 of whom were wine-drinkers. I had planned some good wines...not needing much discussion as it would be a little loud when my 3 daughter get together.


Tuesday morning....
8am...good friend Volker and wife called. Throat infection...can't come.
9am...Daughter and Husband Jochen called...stomach problems.
Our other daughter had a dentist appointment and called early afternoon to say she also had a stomach problem.
A change of the planned wines....only Robert and myself who partake of the grape...so I decided we would just drink, enjoy and not make notes.
Two wines that have impressed recently....
Erwin Sabathi
Limited 111 Sauvignon Blanc 2008

South Styria
It was wonderful....and purchased under € 30,-- Find me a better Sauvignon Blanc than this.
Robert, who does not freely give high marks...awarded this wine 18.25
Points 18








Joachim Hollerith
Maximus Pinot Noir 2008

Pfalz, Germany
As good as the bottle tasted a month ago...with the soft marzipan feel to is...and grainy tannins
Points 17.5

After the dropping of all the guests like flies...the table of 4 enjoyed a fine evening.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wine Moments

Back in the late 70's/early 80's the place to go for something special to eat...was Back then everybody ate Shrimp Cocktail followed by Steak au Poivre whenever they were out to eat something above the average. Mövenpick was a Swiss concern and they served lots of Rösti (fried grated potatoes) and Kalbs Geschnetzeltes(slices of veal in a cream sauce. It was not easy for me to order around the time as it was early in my learning of the German language. They also had a very good wine-list...and I remember well buying the odd bottle of La Tache 1972 every time I had enough Deutsch Marks. It cost 70 of them and was gorgeous. The restaurant chain has long disappeared in Germany...although they still offer wines online. It has been a while...but my wife decided to repeat one of our memories...and she added Shiitake Mushrooms to the mix.
Searching the cellar for a soft red...my eyes lighted on the 2007 from the Weingut Erwin Kopp...and it seemed to be that it was right to drink it. A few days ago I had an email from Karl Hodapp...Rebstock in Waldulm...informing me that Herr Kopp had passed away recently. We had both visited the property about 18 months ago and I had purchased this bottle. Erwin Kopp had been a delightful host...even giving my a bottle of his Sparkling wine to try. He certainly seemed in the best of health. Sad to hear the sad news.
Weingut Ewald Kopp
Spätburgunder trocken 'R' 2007
Baden, Germany

This smells and tastes of forest fruits...wild strawberries...the fruit is vibrant...instantly appealing...no hard work needed here. Ewald Kopp learned his trade at the top property in Baden...Huber. Ewald Kopp has his own 'style'...one you could pick out in the dark. He will be missed.
Points 17.25









Saturday late morning and the sun was with us. Sat out in the square...read the paper...drank my coffee. The first 'event' of the season...was a Spanish group...Hispanos...the singer is also a good cook! With the enjoyable concert still in my mind...I decided on Sunday evening to open a Spanish wine...




Roda Reserve 2004
Rioja, Spain
I remember this showing better a couple of years ago...and as 2004 was a top vintage.
Maybe it needed a touch of the Hispanos to show better. Musky red cherry, tobacco, pencil shavings, some plums...but this bottle was not forthcoming.
Points 16

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wines To Please A Wine Lover

A selection of wines tried and tasted over the past 2 weeks...ah...it's a hard life ...I know!

First up...two goodies from New Zealand
Peregrine Pinot Noir 2010
Central Otego, New Zealand
Spices, dark cherries, blackcurrant fruit....quite firm...but potential....earth and plums.
Points 17.5













Chard Farm Mata-au 2009
Central Otego, New Zealand
Lovely sweet fruit...fresh and lively...caramel...cherry fruit on the palate.
Points 17.5












I had purchased a bottle of the Stonier Chardonnay 2009...which was a touch too oaky for me....
but the Pinot Noir 2009 was more to my liking.
Stonier Pinot Noir 2009
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
This was lively with wild e
arthy character...spices...tart raspberries...juicy plums...good length...and good value...and only 13%.
Points 17












A mature Sauvignon Blanc next...
Erwin Sabathi Sauvignon Blanc
Merveilleux 2005

South Styria, Austria
RIPE....but missing any verve by now...would not refuse it...but the minerals and bounce that the wines have when young were all but gone. A warning not to keep them too long.
Points 16











Schubert Block B
Pinot Noir 2009

Martinborough, New Zealand
After the 2008 Marion's Vineyard I tried while in the UK...I found a source in Germany selling the wine at €23,-- I bit their hand off...and also ordered this one at € 30,-- and was rewarded with this little gem. A juicy Pinot...with cinnamon and dark cherry fruit...rich fruit...and silky tannins. My style of Miss Noir...and super next day as well. A great house-wine!!!!
Points 17.75








Velich Chardonnay
Tiglat 2009

Burgenland, Austria
You know you have something special instantly. This is how Chardonnay should be made. A ride on a wild horse over a cactus prairie!!! Great aromatics...and spiky minerality...dried orange peel...caramel...hazelnuts...with a decent amount of butter to heal the wounds from all that cactus!
Great stuff.
Points 17.5...and with potential.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Indian Twins

Talking over the last few months to a few Pakistan and Indian contacts...in their homeland...they either drink whiskey, a beer....or a sickly sweet wine with their food. Agreed...it is hot there...and a vindaloo curry would kill any wine. With nowhere to go on a Sunday evening we booked into our local 'Indian' restaurant...although the staff are primarily from Pakistan. I know the owner...and he knows my affection for good wine and that I like to bring a bottle. No problem...and he does not even charge corkage...very friendly...the whole restaurant...as is the atmosphere.
I ordered a Veal Madras Curry...nicely spicy...and ready to compete with what you throw at it.
Skoff Obegg
Sauvignon Blanc 2007

South Styria, Austria
Delightful flowery aromas...peaches and lychees...creamy texture with excellent minerals which was perfect with the food. Nutty tones...never wavering...what the curry gave...it gave back. Perfect match.
Points 17.5






The left-over food was taken home...and the next evening...the same 'mix' was tried again.

Tschermonegg Oberglanzberg
Sauvignon Blanc 2007

South Styria, Austria
To be honest...this smelled more Grüner Veltliner...and was a touch 'fatter' than the previous wine. Exotic nose...elderberries...tobacco...a touch burnt smoke...quite full...but not a 'boaster'...a wine to mooch over...if inclined...but it had to be on it's toes to not be over-whelmed by the food.
Points 17.5




So...twin Austrians...both equal in points...with the Skoff probably better when asked to bite into the spicy curry...but the Tschermonegg appealed with it's softer charm.

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