Saturday, November 30, 2013

Across The Board Germany

As the winter months are with us...red wine is usually the choice...but a case of reds from Bernhard Koch contained a few Chardonnays and a single bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.


Bernhard Koch Sauvignon Blanc
Flemlinger Herrenbuckel Grande Reserve 2012
Pfalz, Germany

Priced at € 16.50...this pleases...and although the property says it is closed...I found it open with a creamy smell of gooseberry as opposed to the rasping style. Mint and lemon also evident...and the palate really well-balanced. No doubt it will be with us a few years...but I for one could not resist it today.
Points 16.5



The property has just received an award from the Wine Guide Gault Millau.
Reason enough to order some Pinot Noir.




Bernhard Koch Pinot Noir
Reserve H.E. 2011
Pfalz, Germany
Tried over a few days(Coravin) this was intriguing.

The first glass showed a cool style...all the ingredients in there...so the glass on day two was given some more air. Aromas of nougat and caramel...and then delicious cherry fruit...the tannins only helping the fruit to the top.
Complex and compelling...delicate and delightful...and the finish told me to leave the toothpaste clean a little longer that evening.
Price € 28,-- and a snip...if that is your price range.

The H.E. stands for the man who advises at the Weingut...Hans Erich Dausch.
Points 17.5...with more potential.



Thomas Seeger Lemberger R 2010
Baden, Germany

Another tried over 3 days...and again...that cool style of a winemaker asking you to work for your pleasure. The wine never really wavers at the moment. 

The smell reminds of bay leaves and juniper berries...gentle spicy fruit...touch of pepper on the palate. Lemberger has it's first home in Germany in the Württemberger area...but as this property is further north in Baden...it seems to be at home here as well. Fans of it's brother in Austria...Blaufränkisch may find it undernourished in comparison...and it will not uproot trees for some...nevertheless...a pleasure to go back to daily.
Points 17




Let's head north to the Ahr...and the 2009's had impressed from this property.


Kreuzberg Spätburgunder Silberberg GG 2011
Ahr, Germany
Musty nose at first....which soon disappeared. Meaty style initially...burnt smoke...the fruit seemed thick and reserved...but red cherries soon placated me...and it developed a delicate sweetness with a trace of the slate character of the area.. How to lose weight in a glass...a wine diat...you could say.
Points 17.25

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pinot Noir Secrets

Whenever I have mentioned to a Mosel grower that he should offer a Spätburgunder...there has been the reply...we have enough work with our Riesling...and that is a worldwide product. Ah yes...I say...but the 'Climate Warming'...good for Pinot Noir in the area. Markus Moloitor has produced 'great' reds over the years...but anything else has been a hidden gem.This property I stumbled on quite by chance...and they still had the 2009 version.



Weingut Lehnert-Veit
Piesporter Falkenberg Spätburgunder Nr. 1 2009
Mosel, Germany.
Quite complex...so any thoughts you may have had that it would be thin and tasteless...evaporate. A plus for my argument!.. Elegant cherry aroma with a touch of plum...enticing. Another plus for me! The tannins are just stroking the palate...they lift the gentle elegant fruit to the fore. Yet another plus for my opinion. 3-0...for me...and at € 23,-- very good value.

now tell me that the Mosel can't make good Spätburgunder.
Points 17

I recently mentione to someone that I was drinking a Swiss red. Not everyone is up to date....so she was surprised that anything above basic quality was available. How wrong she was. The Swiss used to keep their wines to themselves...you maybe got a Chasselas on the list of the Swiss Chain of Restaurants...Möwenpick...but that was your lot.
Things have changed...new talent is appearing all over Switzerland...perhaps influenced by the top property Gantenbein.



Pelizzatti Pinot Noir Barrique 2011
Jenins, Switzerland

The 2010 was more open....so give this one a few months...very fine balance though...lovely spice to it...layers of strawberry fruit...this is very drinkable now thanks to the acidity...but will age nicely...if I can resist it
Points 17.5

The Pfalz in known for it's reds...but the Christman property more for it's
Riesling.

 
Christmann Spätburgunder G.G. Idig 2007
Pfalz, Germany

Very earthy notes...dark cherries...still seems closed...and I only 'zapped' a glass with my Coravin. With some air there were minerals and herbs...so a precautionary marking here...the rest wine in the bottle will be given a good decant next time.
Points 16.75


Monday, November 04, 2013

Chapeau to Chateauneuf-du-Pape


Chateauneuf-du-Pape was a regular 'diat' 30 years ago. If my memory serves me correctly...they were all with an aged colour...a farmyardy smell...and a soft palate. Mind you...I was probably drinking them with some bottle age.
The hype for the 2010 vintage in Chateauneuf-du-Pape persuaded me to buy a few single bottles...and with my Coravin...try them and leave them.
But first...down Memory Lane.


Sat for our evening meal.. my wife mentions...purely by chance...about our many visits to France.

'Remember that pile of bottles?' she asked.
Yes...I did...my wife and I and her brother were stopping over at the Hostellerie Chateau des Fines Roches in Chateauneuf-du-Pape..this is the early 80's
We had visited a couple of properties...but my big wish was to visit Chateau Rayas. Louis Reynaud, an extrovert character, had died in 1978..and the owner at the time of our visit was his son Jacques...no less extrovert I had been told. 'You'll never get in...he'll probably produce a shotgun'...was the general information from the wine trade.
We proceeded to the main square and started to ask directions. Shakes of heads...blank looks...told it all. This was a property that didn't exactly have a PR department.
Next idea...local policeman directing traffic...again...blank look. I thought policeman knew everything! We eventually found someone who 'thought' they knew the direction. We set off...along dusty roads...the heat beating down on the stony vineyards. Suddenly...round a corner...a hand-written sign...arrowing us to turn left. Finally we arrived at a 'derilict' building.
The photo I supply here was not what we saw back then.. My wife and her brother waited in the car...knowing this may have been in vain. I knocked on the battered door. After a short time...I heard footsteps. I waited for the buckshot! The door opened...and there stood Jacques Reynaud...peering at me over his glasses. He inquired what I wanted...and...being prepared...I said I knew a Wine Merchant in England. The name rang a bell with him...they were his agent there...and I quickly followed this with my enthusiasm for his wines. I waited...he turned...and beckoned me in. I turned to the car...gave the thumbs-up..and followed Jacques. The place where he took me was where it all happened...and was a minor chaos. Bottles and equipment all over the place. He said he didn't have any wine open...so I asked if I could buy some bottles of Chateau Rayas. He only had 1978 he said...and he could only let me have 3 bottles. Only!!...I agreed...no point in pushing your luck. He had softened by now...and we did the deal and I said my goodbyes. As I left the house...my brother-in-law had been round the side of the house....and he beckoned me to take a look. Outside of the window to the room where I had been...was a gigantic pile of old used bottles. It was obvious what Jacques did. Whenever a bottle was empty...he threw it out of the window. My brother-in-law helped himself to a couple of really old one and we left...and me still intact. I bragged about my success to anyone who would listen. I got in to Chateau Rayas! The Vintage 1978 was the last for Louis and the first for Jacques. Jacques passed away in 1997.


but enough of this reminiscing... 
Chateau de Vaudieu 2010
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Forest berry confiture...dark berry feel on the palate...touch of nouget...firm...but approachable tannins...a powerwine and a lot of grape for the money...€ 30,--
Phew...that woke me out of my dreams...
Points 16.75...and a re-taste next day more to my liking as I was prepared...

Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils 'Tradition'
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Whereas the Vaudieu was a 'thump on the nose'...this was more a 'punch in the stomach'...not half as painful...Again the Confiture...but with fresh cherries and some much needed minerals...spices...liquorice...pastis...milk chocolate. Not quite an iron fist in a velvet glove...which could have been a fitting description instead of my attempts. Excellent value at € 25,--
Points 17.25

A few more to try...and I will give them PLENTY of air...

Jacques's wines were also daunting when young...

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