Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chile Restaurant Red

Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon Organics 2004
Aconcagua Valley, Chile

Upfront wine...ripe cassis, herby, soft juicy flavours, very 'New World' in style ...a wine I would enjoy very much in a restaurant..but maybe not want to drink on a regular basis.

Points 15.5

Vienna Wine Or Wiener Vines

If you wanted a white style of Chateauneuf-du-Pape with up to 13 different grapes..this is about as close as you get...For the record the grapes are: Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Gewurztraminer, Rotgipfler, Zierfandler, Neuberger, Riesling, Welschriesling, Gruner Veltliner and Sylvaner!
Coming from a 47-year old vineyard planted with 9 different grape varieties. These are picked in 2 different harvests and then vinified in stainless steel tanks together on lees.

Weingut Wieninger Nussberg 'Alte Reben' 2004
Vienna, Austria

The first smell showed a real 'mixed bag'..scents of stoned fruits..after a few swirls and shakes..Riesling became more dominant but don't quote me on that! ; full, hedonistic wine, very concentrated flavour, honey, with a powerful backup taste...perefect balance..citrus was the last note...

If you are fed up of overoaked Chardonnays or acidic Rieslings(only joking) is something different for ya!!

Points 16.5+

Swiss Made 1

Manfred Meier PS Pinot Noir 2004
Zizers, Switzerland

Traces of liquorice on the nose..then softened to show a creamy attractive aroma; also showed improvement all-round with airing..needed 30 minutes for me to change my opinion from 'oh no' to 'mmm I like this'. Light style of Pinot..I drank this with spicy Thai food..perfect match.

Points 16.5

Portugal Duo

Rather like's been a while since I drank a Portugiese red..then along came two..on consecutive evenings...

Calheiros Cruz Reserva 2000
Douro, Portugal

Still fairly deep with purple tone; reminded me of the old style Riojas, gentle vanilla of oak, not overdone, didn't fill the room as some do...but was a pleasure to go back for another sniff..dry wine, finely balanced, soft tannins. I really 'enjoyed' this wine.
Grapes Touriga Nacional & Tinta Roriz..aged in French Oak
Points 17

Next evening we were at friends for dinner..he had been at his local wine shop and had been recommended to buy this wine..(the owner of the shop knew I was a guest)

Quinta Do Crasto Reserva Old Vines 2004
Douro, Portugal
Wine was covered up...I guessed the country and area..which was maybe not too difficult after the previous evening's wine.Deep colour, intense purple; at first very masculine on the nose ..dark fruits..but developed tremendously in the glass..the last whiff showing creaminess; soft in the mouth backed up with a soft tannin kick...very enjoyable now..but should develope interestingly over the next 5-10 years
Points 17.5 +

Monday, May 28, 2007

Two Wines under 7 Euros

Am I, after 30 years of drinking wine, incapable of enjoying wines under 7 Euros?.
A recent wine from Dao, Portugal, costing 6.80 Euros..gained a first place from a jury of the Wine Gourmet magazine..which did not impress me....left me thinking it may be the case..but no, dear ain't true.....

Carchello 2005
Bodegas Agapito Rico
Monastrell, Spanien

Inky ruby colour;. grapey on the nose, dark fruit scents. Juicy, plenty of character and no rough edges. Excellent value EUROS 6.50

Points 15

Kirsten Blanc De Noir 2004
Mosel, Germany
I first tasted this wine at a restaurant in the Mosel..I wanted a glass of white, and had enough of Riesling,..and this was instant pleaser.I drove next day to the Vineyard and purchased a case..with friends and hot had disapeared after 2 I re-ordered 3 cases...which kept us happy throught the summer months of 2005. The final bottle was opened recently....soft, enticing wine..not meant to be taken TOO seriously..but always a joy to drink..goes with anything..and as my favourite champagnes are usually from Pinot makes sense that I would enjoy this. The Vineyard did not produce any in 2005 as Herr Kirsten was not happy with the quality...let's hope 2006 is back to normal. Euros 5.80

Points 15

Barolo Delight

Barolo used to be a stubborn you waited 20 years for..and if you were lucky you caught it in the day it was perfect..after that it went downhill. Nowadys..they are much more consumer friendly.

Barolo Cannubi Chiara Boschis 2001
E. Pira & Figli, Piemonte, Italy
Medium deep colour with slight ageing at the rim; trace of what I call 'brittle tannins' on the nose, funky smells; in the mouth it is dry, trace of tannins with well-balanced cherry fruit. Very good

Points 17

Trusting A Wine Waiter

A night out with the family(6 of us in all) at an Austrian run restaurant in Wiesbaden..Landhaus Diedert. I'd checked the winelist on the webpage and knew roughly what I would order.We we 3 'drinkers' so one white & two reds were planned. While the others checked the menu I checked the wine-list. BANG..the 2002 Risesling Spätlese from Künstler was sold were 2 of the possible reds I may have chosen. Wine waiter came over.. and I he asked what type of white I wanted. Now, I never rely on restaurant staff because most recommendations are usually poor...but he seemed to know his wines..and recommended the white below. I had found other reds..but as he had come up good with the white..I gave him a free three are his fault(smile)..but he did pretty good.

Banfalu Sepp Moser Burgenland 2005

This wine comprised of 3 grapes..Chardonnay, Weissburgunder & Muskatel Otterel.
Complex aromas, perfect mix, none of the grapes really dominating, exotic fruits springs to mind, trace of marzipan; fine weight, a glass you want to return to, and a good finish...a really interesting wine...
Must try to find it..but it seems pretty rare..

Points 16

August Kessler Spätburgunder trocken 2003 'PinotNoir'
Rheingau, Germany
This is the first bottle I've seen with the now new ruling that Spätburgunder can also be labeled with Pinot Noir. For red Germany, 2003 was wonderful, altho can produce some 'heavies'. Kesseler's style is light, so the balance betwen style and vintage turns out well,
Medium colour, watering rim; nose of red & black cherries; light-weight in the mouth, plenty of juicy fruit, a lovely 'summer' wine, could possibly be even drank cooler, Perfect for pasta and barbecues.Really enjoyed it.
Points 16.5

Tiefenbrunner Lagrein Castel Turmhof 2004

Lagrein is the grape..not knowingly ever tasted by myself;
very deep colour; spicy & peppery, big, full style, gobs of fruit, no real tannins..nicely balanced...

Points 16

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pinot Noir - Spätburgunder..the same difference!

Two fine examples of the grape(s)..

Gravitas Pinot Noir 2004
New Zealand

The perfect climate for Pinot Noir could and should be New Zealand...but the consistancy is not there's a goodie tho...
Quite dark for the grape; Barnyard nose, cherries; opened up in the glass, subtle oak, classic Pinot, medium full weight and perfectly balanced. Room for improvement as well...

Points 17.5

R & C Schneider Spätburgunder
'R' Barrique Trocken 2003
Baden, Germany

This is a perfect vintage for this vineyard..fine, medium colour, no aging; elegant aroma, not too forthcoming at first....but opened with a few swirls..flavour more instant, attractive, tasty mouthful of velvety fruit, developed beautifully after 30 minutes, perfect balance.Delicious wine

Points 17.5 +

A Mixed Bunch

A recent week's tastings......

Errazuriz Chardonnay Wild Ferment 2005

Gentle, soft aromas; creamy flavour, lovely balance, just a touch of acidity..then the fruit comes through...not 'overdone' like many Chardonney's nowadays


Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Caliterra, Chile

I have a couple of favourite SB wines..the rest I always have difficulty trying to enjoy..
grapefruit, gooseberries etc..nice..but that's all..

Points 15

Christos Kokkalis Mova 2003

This is made by a chemist who has a business in Germany...
His top wine is 'Trilogia'..but this, his 2nd wine; is very impressive...(must find the Trilogia).Made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Agriorgitiko
it has a purple colour, still dark; red & black fruits hit you with the first sniff; however..after that..the wine is soft and round, full flavoured, even elegant,with nice firm tannins.Very enjoyable.

Points 16.5

Lorinon Reserva 2001
Bodegas Breton

Rioja, Spain
Old style Rioja; cream and vanilla nose; medium weight..
the slight dryness from the barrel ageing..good value(Euros 11,--)

Points 16

Bründlmayer Kamptaler Terrassen Riesling Trocken 2005

Light colour; clean dryclassic nose; more sweeter in the mouth but
backed up by dry minerally finish..needs a year or two.

I drank this with a German speciality from our area..Handkäse mit Musik..
a smelly type cheese with onions and tastes better than the description..and the wine went very well with the food.

Points 15.5