The first meeting back in December had been a great success.
Three of us, Robert, Thorsten and myself... set off mid-morning...and made Achern by midday. Some good Italian Pasta at the 'Ciao Ciao' restaurant and then they dropped me off at the Rebstock in Waldulm...and drove the short distance to the hotel where they were staying. I had a room at the top...Number 10...which was available luckily...as the Gasthaus was fully booked...even though the restaurant is closed on Mondays.
This is the reason that we meet here on that day...so that owner Karl Hodapp can enjoy good wines and relax.
We arranged to start at 5pm...so I took a walk around the vineyards...looking sparse at this time of year...and I was downstairs an hour earlier to prepare the wines.
Bastian..Karl's son... was helping his mother prepare the table...it was Mardi Gras weekend and he was in a fireman's uniform.
The whites were opened...and only the Chardonnay had me worried. Leave them to air...and open the reds. I decided none would be decanted...you are damned is you do and you are damned if you don't.
The group arrived and we had a Triumvirat Sekt 2007 from the German property Raumland.
Pleasant...but we were a little underwhelmed.
Karl had prepared a cold table...comprising cold meats and some cheese with fresh bread. It was all we needed I said...it is a wine group...and he could sit and enjoy with us.
The whites...with a theme of 3 Countries, 3 Grapes.
The first two from my cellar.
Au Bon Climat
Blanches-en-Bouge Chardonnay 2002
Santa Maria Valley, California, U.S.A.
I know this wine from a few years ago...and a couple of years ago we would have been OK.
It was drinkable...and a couple of the group quite liked it...but being honest they was an aged tone to it. Only traces of the creaminess and the nuttiness.
Emmerich Knoll Grüner Veltliner
Robert...to my left...put up his thumb after smelling this one.
Great fully mature G.V.. Intense in the mouh....lovely layer of fruit...dried fruits having lost the sweetness that the younger Smaragd have. Perfect.
Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg
Cuvee St Catherine l'Inedit 2007 (Magnum)
Robert...our wine merchant...has brought this one...a Magnum.
Because of the style we had placed it after the other two...as it has some Botrytis.
Ripe...with a touch of petroleum and a subtle clean sweetness. Fills the mouth and a fine finish. Our fears that it would be overdone were unfounded.
Bastian had appeared again...another costume...and off with his mum to a Mardi Gras party.
The first red was from Karl's cellar...a highly rated wine from Spain...and in a magnum.
This was served with some warm food...and gave everyone a chance to drink more than a glass.
Vinyes Mas Romani La Creu Alta 2004
Cool....first impression...a wine with style...and needing a few more years in the larger bottle. Graceful...blackberry fruit...silky...with medium acidity. The bottle may have scored higher...and I doubt Karl has another magnum.
The next two...Bordeaux from both sides of the river.
Karl offered the Gomerie...I had left the Lafite at the Gasthof last Septenber in the hope that we could both share it....that was before we decided to start a wine group.
Château La Gomerie 2000
St. Emilion, Bordeaux
It has been ages since I have drank Bordeaux....something I did often 20 years ago...but over the years Pinot Noir has taken up my time.
This has raspberry fruit, spices...with mocha notes. 100% Merlot...and quite plush.