Friday, July 26, 2013

Miss Oleander 2013


Two examples of Austria's finest...both quality...but worlds apart in style and developement.
Both tried out in the garden...with my 'Wonder Oleander Bush'. 'He'...or maybe 'she'...had spent the winter indoors...but was naked to the bone four weeks ago...and after that last comment...'she' it is!
I have nutured her...bathed her...and now she is repaying me.
First up...
Willi Bründlmayer Riesling
Lyra Zöbinger Heiligenstein 2010
Kamptal, Austria

Still very austere...the sunshine wanted me to try a Riesling...and I risked this one. Old vines...fairly high acidity...which regular readers will know is not my 'scene'. I plowed on...blut oranges...citrus...and loads of minerals...and over three days it tried to show more...but hard work at the moment. One bottle in the cellar will be left for a couple of years
Points 16.5



Karl Alphart Rotgipfler Rodauner
Top Selektion 2009

Thermen Region, Austria

Never had the grape?. Rotgipfler sounds red...but is a white...and what a white. The nose throws up aromas of pear...and is very Burgundian...bananas, mangoes...very exotic. It
spends some time in new oak...and all the above evolves seamlessly onto the palate....compact bundle of minerals rolling around the mouth...salty even......delicious...and always something new to find.
Points 17.5


After the Riesling had trampled all over my back...this was a soft massage for the soul.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

We had not seen some good friends for a while...and the eatery had been recommended. 'Der Löwe' in Frankfurt. The chef was on T.V. We almost changed things shortly before we left home...but decided 'The Lion' it would be. A warm summer evening and a table in the garden. 
I had called a few days before...asking about the wine-list. I did not want to spend too much time decidind. The answer on the phone that I would not have difficulty deciding was correct. Five whites and five reds! The waiter recommended a white not on the list and we ordered starters.



The food was....solid....

Joachim Flick Riesling Charta 2010
Rheingau, Germany

A solid enough Riesling...which needed the food.

Points 15



Main courses....were solid...but no real flair.


No silver linings yet...

The red was was the only one on the list that really appealed. Künstler's Spätburgunder was one of the first German reds that had made me sit up...and search for more.

Franz Künstler Tradition Spätburgunder 2009
Rheingau, Germany

Typical Pinot aromas with some smokiness. Grippy tannins...not too much oak...and a real delightful drink.
At last...the silver lining
Points 16.25


Of course...and evening with old friends is a SILVER LINING...we laughed...planned to meet again in three weeks time...and I choose the location!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Swiss Maids

I was recently asked by email...by a business contact in England...what I was drinking that evening. Chablis?...he asked. I replied...Red, Swiss, Pinot Noir.
He replied...as would most normal wine drinkers...I say normal...meaning the masses who order what they know or a grape variety...anyway...his reply was...I thought they only did cheese and watches!!!

Ever since Gantenbein hit the scene...I have been on the lookout for Swiss Pinot Noir. They were probably all there before the press coverage of Gantenbein's excellent wines. I remember many, many ,many years ago...when the Swiss Restaurant chain...Möwenpick...were spread across Germany...they had some Swiss wines...but they were ordinary...and expensive...'Over Here, Over-Priced' was our comment
.

Whether they are over-priced...is now up to the consumer. They are certainly not ordinary.

Purchased a half case of mixed...from a merchant in Switzerland...
The reason was the good reports on the first wine
.

Baumann Oberhallau
Pinot Noir R 2010
Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Flowery...lightly dancing aroma...red berries...elegant...lighty fluffy vanilla on the palate...developed clear raspberry fruit...dry earthy finish. Very enjoyable..and will improve well.
Points 17.25



Second one up...
Pircher Pinot Noir Barrique 2010
Eglisau, Switzerland

Earthy, wild, closed at first......grainy tannins...vanilla..then a port-like fruit...and I left it alone. Two days later...it had gathered it's thoughts...and showed some balance..another with a few years ahead.
Points 17

Last...and certainly not least.
Pelizzatti Pinot Noir Barrique 2010
Jenins, Switzerland

Instant appeal...great nose...Blackberry and Strawberry...nice tight tannins...but very approachable..acidity lifts it nicely...ummm...sweet fruit...velvety...great juice...magic Pinot.
Points 17.75


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Barbecue


We all enjoy a Barbecue...that is...when we don't have to Barbecue!
Better to be a Guest than a Host!

Therefore...an invit from Daughter Number 1 to celebrate her birthday...and off we went to Wiesbaden on a warm summer evening.
Son-in-Law, Wife & Daughter
King Prawns
King Prawns and a Fresh Salad
                                           Johann Topf Chardonnay Hasel 2009
                                            Kamptal, Austria
                             I do like the Chardonnays from Austria.
                             The growers there seem to balance the creamy           
                             fruit with rippling minerals..
                             This has a touch of exotic fruit...soft            

                             toast...glossy...banana....just a delight to drink.
                             Points 17.25


                            
Baby Calimari

Dip
Tomato Salad
Steaks & Spare Ribs
                            Crystallum Pinot Noir 2009,
                                   Walker Bay, South Africa

                            Cherries...sour cherries...giving it a thirst-quenching
                            feel...and just about right for a Barbecue. Tannins are 
                            relatively supple...and the soft earthy taste of Pinot will 
                            also benefit from a year or two in the cellar.
                            Points 17



                               Schubert Marion's Vineyard
                                       Pinot Noir 2009
                                      Wairapapa, New Zealand

                                The name gives away the information...
                                a German winemaker producing competition for his
                                homeland.Black fruit...with blcky toasty tannins, Very
                                good balance...and the ripe fruit developed with a few
                                swirls and the cool evening air. Sweet at times...but
                                that it what gets us Pinot freaks...why would we want
                                austerity when we can get soft juicy thrills here.
                                Points 17.25

                              Happy to watch someone else slaving over the Barbie.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Lucky Me!

Choosing wines to take to a friend's house...pacing back and fro in the cellar...the two whites were a quick decison...the two reds...well...after 10 choices...a last-minute decision and the wines transported. You want to offer the best...and hope all will be accepted by the group.
Friend Volker said he would cook something simple...but he does not know the meaning of the word!
Back to the whites...both last tried a couple of years ago...
The first had been all acidity...the second all oak. How had they developed?

Brilliantly is the easy answer.

Schmelz Dürnsteiner Freiheit
Smaragd Riesling 2008
Wachau, Austria

Green sweet gooseberry nose...then a whiff of classic petroleum...
lovely balance..the acidity is still there...but so well integrated.
What a change...and just goes to show...patience is a virtue
Points 17.5





Perfect with the Mussels Vongole....and we were off and running


The second wine had been bought after Decanter gave it high marks.
I HAD to purchase a case of six...something I rarely do anyway...and Australian...hardly ever. It had been full of oak and out of balance last time...


Bird In Hand
Nest Egg Chardonnay 2008
Adelaide Hills, Australia

Wow...what have we here? Delicate smell of almonds...roasted almonds...then sweet vanilla...then white chocolate....then the taste of caramel...intriguing wine...it really hit us...super.

Points 18.25....and I still have 3 bottles. Lucky me!




A main coarse of octopus and some roasted potatoes which I loved...and dipped them in a home-made tomato sauce.

On arriving...Volker had already opened the wines...and said that the French wine would have trouble competing with the German.

Thibault Liger-Belair
Nuits-Saint-Georges
La Charmotte 2005
Burgundy France

First up...earthy...soft tannins...and we left it as we tried the Schneider...then returned...and the wine grew...it was a complete wine...in the sense that you felt how it had developed. No quick-fix wine...this needed to be left alone and it grew over the years. Rich fruit on the palate...layers of delicious raspberry...and a classic Burgundy finish. Last bottle of 6...and the best yet.
Points 17.75



Schneider Weiler Schlipf
Pinot Noir Barrique 2005
Baden, Germany

As mentioned...the initial smell gave it the early lead...property in the south of Germany...almost in France...and that is the style. Marzipan...sweet up-front fruit with earthy tones
... but class will out...it just lost out to the Nuits.
Points 17



So...an evening of success...and all the wines had pleased.
There was cheese...a cigar...and a coffee for those who wanted a sleepless night































Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Not Enough Hours In The Day

Days fly by...and some things have priority...but catching up.
Here are some photos with added notes...

Meyer-Näkel Dernauer Pfarrwingert
SpätburgunderG G 2005
Ahr, Germany
                    Redcurrant fruit...dry and spicy...methinks this needs
                                    drinking...vegetable tones.
                                               Points 16



Prager Wachstum Bodenstein
Riesling Smaragd 2010
Wachau, Austria

Green-yellow....Chablis...not that I have seen any Chablis recently...
stones ...yellow juicy fruits...some honey tones...potential
Points 16.5


Margrain Pinot Noir 2007
Marlborough, New Zealand

Dark berry fruit...grainy...wild style...ready
Points 16
                                                        
Alzinger Steinertal Riesling
Smaragd 2011
Wachau, Austria

Mango Jango...citrus fruit zipped...tropical fruit...very good.
Points 17.25


Delicious

                                                    
Prager Achleiten
Grüner Veltliner 2009
Wachau, Austria

Intensiv herbs...ripe apples...lovely minerality...ready now...but will hold.
Points 16.5

The sun makes everything look twice as good

                                  Madame has been pregnant twice this year...and is   
                            constanly looking for worms. The nest is very close
                                 to us...but she has maybe grown accustomed
                                         to the neighbours.


                                                    
                                                     Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner
                                            Smaragd Rotes Tor 2011
                                                 Wachau, Austria

                           Yellow-green again...fresh and very drinkable...
                               with loads of minerals chirping away....
                                the bird would have enjoyed this
                                               Points 16.5

                                                  
                                              Bernhard Ott Engabrunner Stein
                                            Grüner Veltliner 2010
                                                 Wagram, Austria

                            Bernhad Ott...known as Mr Veltliner....
                      and his wines tend to be closed when young...
                              but this was surprisingly open.
                        Honey citrus...with some mellow grapefruit....
                    stone fruits developed...and some tropical tones.
                                    Prefered this on day one...
                                             Points 16.5

                                                    

                                      After all the whites...a steak was on the menu.
                           I wandered into the cellar and instead of trying    
                                  to decide what would be good...
                           I chose something I KNEW would be perfect.
                         Last bottle...but what the hell...it was lovely. 

                                   Kreuzberg Spätburgunder
                                               Silberberg G G 2009
                                                    Ahr, Germany

                                Nothing noted...but this is just lovely now...
                       perfect 2009 fruit...oak nicely integrated...
                                          must look for some 2011
                                               Points 17.25











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