Sunday, November 15, 2015

Italy, France & Spain

As the days get colder...so the wine changes colour. Our monthly meeting was 'pre-planned' by telephone. Volker and Robert would be bring reds...could I supply a white? Pas de problème Messieurs.

Now...after so many years collecting...there are various 'odd bottles' in the cellar. The secret of having something mature to drink is down to the amount of wines in your cellar meaning that you have something to drink without opening anything too early. Did you understand that? Good. Well... I remember the early days when I told my wife I had very little I could drink. She gazed at the partly filled cellar...and then I explained...that most have to be left alone! Those days are gone...and with 700 bottles at the last count...there will always be something for everyone at the right time. The white I took along I had purchased about 9 years ago...had tried and enjoyed...then decided to leave it a couple of years. Time flies by...and the bottle gets lost in the masses. To make sure I would not be opening an old, undrinkable liquid...I had tried it the day before...taking a small drop with my Coravin. It seemed OK...so was transported to our meeting place...Restaurant Schaab Louis. Bottle opened and I waited for the guys to arrive with their offerings for the evening.

Vie di Romans Piere Sauvignon Blanc 2004
Friaul, Germany
What can I say...just perfect. As per usual..the others have to try to guess what, where, year, grapes etc. Robert said Sauvignon Blanc...then they headed all over the world until finally arriving back in Italy. Then it was easy as Robert remembered some excellent bottles way back when. The vintage however...was more difficult...10 guesses before the only one left was 2004. To be fair...it would have been impossible for anyone...as the wine shows absolutely no ageing. It reminded me a touch of a red...drink this warmer and blind and you would be lost. Absolutely lovely drink...all components a point. Hard to describe wine...most of the primary fruit is gone but the smoke, minerality and candied character that remains is most pleasing. Beautiful, savory, creamy.
Points 18




Domaine des Grécaux Héméra 2001
Coteaux de Languedoc, France
Volker had just returned from the South of France...and had visited this property. He had been given the bottle by the owner. Even when we had narrowed our guessed to Languedoc...there was no way this was so old. 2001!  The colour alone would have stopped you even venturing a guess. Almost black in the middle...and still tight...the nose offering pencil, fruit compote...a touch ethereal. Gingerbread and raisons. The palate shows softness...with an easy tannin mix...rum top...very enjoyable surprise.
Points 17.25




Nin Ortiz Planetes de Nin Vi de la Vila de Porrera 2011
Priorat, Spain
Robert had just returned from Priorat...but did not bring this with him.
We had tasted a white from this property at a previous tasting...and Robert had told us the reds were impressive.
70% Grenache, 30% Cariñena. Fresh red berry nose...with a touch of blood orange. Silky tannins and a style more akin to Pinot Noir....which is where we started with guessing. Quite full flavoured and well integrated acidity.
Points 16.5


Next meeting early December...


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Bistro Mitch

My idea of winding down from the day job...is to wander to local eateries...with a bottle from my cellar. My second eating home in recent weeks has been a Bistro that has been offering good quality for more years than I can remember. It is within staggering distance...and the brisk walk home is good for the digestion. The lady in charge is Layla...who runs the service alone. In the Kitchen is Jimmy...from Algeria. He cooks with mediterranean flair. Below are some dishes from the past 6-7 visits. As I was tired of listening to the CD's that were on offer...I took along a 'soul mix' which has hardly left the player since. Two more have followed. It seems they are also liked by other guests. So...I take my music and my own wine...even took a corkscrew once to open an old bottle. Those 'waiter' corkscrews tend to pull too one-sided at times.

One evening I met up with two friends. They asked if I wanted to join them. I was not sure...but my wife said to go ...she wanted to stay home. I called the friends and said OK...and they asked if I would bring a couple of bottles. We joked at the table that they only wanted me so that they would have something excellent to drink.


Erwin Sabathi Chardonnay Merveilleux 2009
South Styria, Austria

A wine that had been in and out of the fridge over the past few weeks.
Reasoin being...that I was afraid there would be too much oak.

Answer...get outta here you fool. Gorgeous nose...just perfect Chardonnay. The palate was more of the same..and a thrill to drink.
Points 17.75


Claus Schneider Pinot Noir Weiler Schlipf Barrique 2007
Baden, Germany

No real notes made as we were chatting and laughing.

They had been impressed by the white...no less so with this
perfectly aged Pinot Noir. Soft burnt/smoke aromas and a palate
that applauded your patience Barry
Points 17.5



Dr. Heger Spätburgunder Winklerberg 2011
Baden. Germany

Sometimes I leave a small amount in a bottle. Layla or a regular customer get to try. A few days later...a lawyer...had tried it. He had googled and seen the costs. It was originally € 30,-- but obviously cost more nowadays. What is expensive for one is a deal for another. I told him there are people who bungy jump for high amounts of money...I get my pleasure less dangerously.
This has the brittleness of youth that needs food...spiky strawberries I find is a good description.
Points 17


F. X. Pichler Riesling Smaragd Dürnsteiner Kellerberg 2008
Wachau, Austria

Lovely, lovely scent. Thick and thin...best way to describe this. Any fatness is

quickly a second thought as the zippy acidity forces you to be fair and enjoy this until the bottle is empty.
Points 17.5




F. X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Dürnsteiner Kellerberg 2005
Wachau, Austria

Apricots and peaches leapt out of the glass....fatness at first...then the mid-palate showed pepper and spice. Complex and with pertfect balance.

Points 17.5





Keller Kirchspiel 2007
Rheinhessen, Germany

Ripe..sucking on yellow fruit...then orange peel. How on earth does Keller get all

this going on and with a lightness that makes it a pleasure to drink or gulp.
Points 18


Keller Hubacker Riesling 2006
Rheinhessen, Germany

Had this  acouple of days after the Kirchspiel...and it seems more top heavy and unready. Decant or leave a few years. At the moment...
Points 17
F. X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner Smaragd M 2008
Wachau, Austria

Not joking...the palate showed liquorice. Soft tobacco...so complex

and just about starting to spread it's wings. Opulent but with a fresh
acidity. Love it!
Points 17.75

Wittmann Riesling Morstein 2009
Rheinhessen, Germany

Faint petrol note...exotic yellow fruits...citrus injection...lovely balance...so easy to drink...light of foot...and a wine that I would have had difficulty with 5 years ago...my tastes are changing with age. I am becomming a Riesling freak!
Points 17.75


Sattlerhof Sauvignon Blanc Kranachberg 2007
South Styria, Austria
It is four years since I last tried this.The lonely bottle was transported by foot...and the glass stopper removed...no need to take my corkscrew.
Top property...Willi Sattler in
the saddle (I like that description)...
Barrique...hhis is top cinema...a slick slider...a smooth operator. A nose that appealed and evolved...oily stones....mango...and gooseberry...but if you are looking for the razor sharp kind...please leave the room now.
You won't find them in the 'Steiermark'...and that's why I am here. This has low residual sugar levels...it is a middle-weight boxer with a light-weight's dancing feet. 'Don't dare call me fat' it says....and then defies your criticism by bouncing over the palate...great feel in the mouth...and if you only gave me one word to describe it...'glossy'.
Points 17.5




Leth Grüner Veltliner Gigama Grande Reserve 2012
Wagram, Austria
Layed-back oak...complex stone fruit on the nose. Smoky
minerals...tropical fruit...a touch of sweetness...held back by perfect acidity.
I was wary that this would be too young...but hey...as they say..if you are young enough you are good enough...or is that a football phrase (smile).
A new find for me...
Points 17.25


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