Friday, July 27, 2007

Sherry from Jerez

'A small dry sherry please' said the lady to the barman. He turns to the shelf behind him..takes the half-full (half-empty is maybe better) bottle...produces a tulip shaped 'scooner' glass from below the bar and pours this brownish liquid into the glass. Now..if the lady has been drinking this for years..she is either very limited in her habits..or her taste buds resemble those of the lesser-spotted earth beatle of Goolagunga! You & I would say..yuck..I don't like Sherry!

Sherry can be wonderful..but is rarely drunk outside the wine-trade in the Spain..well..of course it is.

Sherry comes exclusively from the Jerez-Xérès-Sherry D.O. in Andalusia in the south of Spain.
There are various styles............
Finos are bone dry and pale straw in color. They are aged under a blanket of special yeast called flor which gives them a light crisp acidity and snap with a leesy note reminiscent of aged champagne. They should be served chilled..and within 3-4 days of opening....something the lady above will never know...
Then there is:
Amontillados are dry and clear amber colored, although some producers ship them off-dry for the American market. They start their lives as Finos but are given additional cask aging without flor, which adds wood, nut and caramel notes
Then it gets sort of complicated:
Palo Cortados are also dry and clear amber colored, this is the rarest style of sherry, an Amontillado which through very long aging acquires the rich toffee,smoke, milk chocolate, andspice notes of an Oloroso.
Olorosos are dry and range in color from amber to a deep nut brown. They are fortified to about 17.5% and then wood aged without time under flor. They are darker and fuller-bodied and range from bone dry to off-dry
Amoroso / Oloroso Dulce are Olorosos in the off-dry to sweet range and are blended with small amounts of Pedro Ximenez to add sweetness.
Cream Sherries are Olorosos which have substantial amounts of sweet Pedro Ximenez wine added before aging.
Pedro Ximenez Sherries are opaque, brown/black in color. They are made exclusively from Pedro Ximenez grapes which have been allowed to dry on straw mats in the blazing Andalusian sun before being pressed to yield an intensely
sweet essence. Drink these with friends..or spread the bottle out over a period.....this is heady stuff.
One day I will prepare a menu and drink only Sherries throughout the meal.
One of my favourite producers is Lustau....I have drank a few of his sweeter styles..some memorable like

"Solera Reserva" East India Sherry: So named because in the old days the wine would change in the heat and rough handling of shipboard travel to the East Indies, this wine in many ways resembles a Malmsey Madeira, which shares its heated aging process. Figs, caramel, and mocha on the nose linger on the palate as well; expectations of sweetness but kept in balance with a clean finish. This can be kept after opening for months ..believe me....!

And so to the wine which started me off....
Lustau Manzanilla Papirusa Solera Reserve.
Hang on.. you say..Manzanilla..that's not in the list above....
true..cos it is a little different in that it is produced in the
small town of Sanlucar de Barameda.
Manzanillas are a sub-category of Finos and
also bone dry and pale straw in color.
They are made in the same way as other Finos.
They share the same character as Finos too,
except they tend to be somewhat lighter in weight
and more delicate with a distinctive hint of saltiness.

These taste best..where? ..well..obviously in their home area...
is there anything better than a warm evening..some tapas
and a glass of Manzanilla?(there is..lots..but let's stick to the subject)

My two favourite tapas bars are:
El Faro in Cadiz..there is a restaurant..but not for me.. the tapas bar is wonderful have to stand at the bar or sit on a window-sill....they serve cold and warm tapas..and you drink Manzanilla..maybe Hidalgo La Gitana

The other great place is in Sanlucar
Casa Bilbainos..set in the wonderful square in the town....
you over-eat here..cos everything looks good...
you drink more than you should..cos the dry Manzanilla takes over...

The square is always full in the evenings..the buzz gets to you..
this is where I want to stay forever!!!
Oh yes..why I started this
Lustau Manzanilla Papirusa Solera Reserva
Jerez, Spain
As a Reserva.. a little fuller in style than most....
very tangy, clean and crisp with just a hint
of saltiness. I find this improves over a
couple of day after opening...
Points...well..depends where you are.......
at home 16.5..
in Andalusien...
ask me tomorrow on the beach.

Pinot Here Pinot There

About 2 years ago I took part in a blind tasting of over 20 Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder Wines.
About a third were from Austria..another third from Germany....the rest from elsewhere....
What struck me was the very different interpretation of the grape and how different people go about marking in this type of tasting. I went along with 'Burgundy' style in my mind...that to me is what the wines from South Germany are about. My marking at the tasting was higher for the Germans than for the Austrians..Why?..because, although the Austrians were good wines...they were made in the 'Austrian' style.....and were not what I was expecting for the grape. Tasted on their own..I think I would have marked them higher. Others at the tasting marked them well..but not the German wines as they did not know the style..with the Austrians more similar to the other styles they drank regularly.
Talking about.......

Markowitsch 2004 Pinot Noir
Carnuntum, Austria

Red brick colour with lightish rim; gentle fruit aroma, quite reserved for the grape; first impressions were of a soft attractive flavour with a stiff backbone......and here I think is my problem...they throw in a 'dose' of the Zweigelt grape. The wine is quite intensive, had a good finish....with a touch too much dryness maybe.
Points 16

Gerhard und Christine Markowitsch's estate is located in the small town of Göttlesbrunn in the Carnuntum wine-growing region in Austria. Gerhard Markowitsch is an innovative winemaker, and is considered to be one of the founders of the „red wine miracle“ in this region. The Austrian wine magazine Falstaff named him „Winemaker of the year1999“.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

J. J. Adeneuer No. 2 Spätburgunder Trocken 2005

J. J. Adeneuer No. 2
Spätburgunder Trocken 2005
Ahr, Germany

The two brothers's Frank and Marc Adeneuer took over the vineyard from their aunty in 1984 and since then have gradually improved the quality.
Typical pale colour(Cab & Syrah fans would be shocked)..with light watery rim: lovely...and I mean luvverly..strawberry nose; medium full weight, excellent density, and has good structure...a serious easy drinking wine..try it cool on a warm summer's evening(remember them?)
This is a mid priced Spätburgunder...
Euros 16 ($ 21)..and it certainly hits above it's weight
Points 17.5

Monday, July 23, 2007

Red Roc # 6

Roc d’Anglade 2000
Roc d'Anglade, Languedoc, France

This is the last of the mixed case of 6...
(2 Clos de la Belle & 4 Roc)
Remy Pedronos's Roc 2004 is different
from the previous vintages..
intensiv smell of spices, the Carignan
has been increased this vintage,
sweetish even; dusty tight tannins, lush and
ripe, with raspberry and strawberry notes,
big and long finish...
Points 17.5
The Clos de la Belle 2004 was the best of the bunch..but all of them give pleasure in their own way..ya pays ya money and ya takes ya choice...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ziereisen Blauer Spätburgunder Selection Rhini 2004

OK..OK..OK..... I know what I said a few posts ago
when I drank the
Rhini 2004...
but I only had the rest of the Schneider Weisse Burgunder..
and it's saturday and I play soccer on Sunday morning..
so a full bottle was going to be too much..what to do..
try one of the half-bottles of Ziereisen's wonderful Pinot Noir..
Ziereisen Blauer Spätburgunder
Selection Rhini 2004
Baden, Germany
This is a real joy to smell..
dark berries, touch of oak..
perfect Pinot..elegant;
In the mouth, there is a lush,
dense, sweet fruit on the attack...
again dark berries
and some tannin....
obviously the half bottle is more forward...
Very good wine..

Points 17.5+

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Stone Biter White

Reinhold & Schneider Weisse Burgunder
Spätlese 'Trio' trocken 2005
Baden, Germany
I like the Schneider
style of Spätburgunder..
decided to try their white..
I am not a great lover of this grape
Medium yellow; minerally aroma,
flowery fruit, attractive;
quite full in the mouth,
ripe grapes, succulent fruit
with the acidity keeping it
fresh...hint of smoke.
Points 16

Drank this with a dish prepared
by my wife..
the fish is called in German
'Steinbeisser' (means Stone Biter)
a better description than
'Wolffish' you can see!

Blue-Red Burgundy

Ziereisen Blauer Spätburgunder 2004
Baden, Germany
A couple of years ago when I
purchased the Rhini 2002...
the grower sent me a case of this
as well..
the basic Blauer Spätburgunder...
by mistake.... I was going to return it..
but after tasting a bottle.. decided to
keep was under Euros 10.

It spends 11 months in large old
barrels..also.. no filtering done at
this vineyard.

This is the last bottle......smells like a southern Burgundy...
altho very masculine & finesse here..
but a big chunk of dark cherry fruit..perfect quaffing wine
for the serious drinker..and ideal with the rice and paprika.

Points 15.5
PS...the rest of the
bottle I tasted next
evening..had softened....

In a restaurant recently..
the owner served Rhini
by the glass.. and had
tried a bottle 10 days
after opening and it
was still good...!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Barbecue Beauties

A hot barmy evening..friends had invited us to a barbecue evening...nothing for us to do but eat and drink!....our host Volker tries very very hard to make sure...
1. I get great wines
2. That I have trouble guessing them

Niersteiner Brudersberg
Spätlese trocken 1990
Freiherr Heyl zu Herrnsheim
Nierstein am Rhein, Rheinhessen, Germany
Half bottle: Yellow gold colour...hey..this is good..
I guessed not French..trace of petroleum which I love in older must be aged...maybe 15 years...but where from...lovely palate..quite full(12%)...just the last touch of dryness..otherwise a real pleaser..
OK..take the cover off..
Volker had heard that the vineyard were selling
off some stock cheaply as they needed cellar space
as they are joining forces with another company...
He had bought 6 half bottles at...wait for it...Euros 2.50 each... that's $ 3.40..but in any must be the bargain par none...he is kicking himself he didn't get more...I could have kicked him as well under the table...
Points 17.5

Dr.Crusius Traiser Frühburgunder 2005
Nahe, Germany
Again not allowed to see the label....grrrr....I said Pinot Noir/Spä was medium deep in colour..Germany I thought....creamy, 'creme brulée' nose..but it was the grapes 'baby brother'..Frühburgunder...served slightly cool(it was 30 degrees in the garden)...very good indeed for the money(under 10 Euros)....the Spätburgunder from the vineyard must be good.
This was tried on me as I had not raved about the young Rieslings from this grower..
Points 16.5

Ciccio Zaccagnini San Clemente 2004
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
Deep, dark brooding colour, purple rimmed;
animal aromas, softend in glass, marzipan..
even cream; meaty flavour with the dry 'brittle'
tannins I like in Italian wines...I should
have guessed what it was..
as I have the 2003 in my cellar...
Points 17.5+

and last but not least...from the same 'Sale Of The Century'
Brudersberg Riesling Auslese 1999
Freiherr Heyl zu Herrnsheim
Nierstein am Rhein, Rheinhessen, Germany
This half bottle cost Euros 6.....gorgeous desert wine, necktar yes..but doing what only Germany can..produce sweet-dry wines..if you know what I mean...with all
the food and wine...I think I gave this
Points 17.5..but may have been more...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lugana I Frati Lugana 2006

I have spent the summer searching out white
wines with a 'difference'..
Wieninger Nussberg & Banfalu both good examples...
and here is another..
Lugana I Frati Lugana 2006
Ca' dei Frati , Veneto, Italy

Fresh, fragrant nose of apricots..flowery;
flavour is 'serious'... ripe fruit(2006 was a
great year here), round fruit on the palate
and then acidity at the finish..
but not the mouth-puckering kind..
this is zingy but perfectly
integrated with the fruit..
really delicious mouthful and no oak to
spoil the natural purity of the fruit..
Points 16.5

If this had been from Tuscany or would cost twice as much...
Price was Euros 10.50..about $ buy it if you can..and enjoy your summer...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Red Roc # 5

Roc d’Anglade 2000
Roc d'Anglade, Languedoc, France

65% Syrah, 35% Grenache.
Oldest of the 6 bottles I purchased...
and taking on, sweet ripe
nose is liquoricey with some spicy notes.
Ripe, sweet concentrated fruit on the palate,
with a soft character and a roasted edge.

Points 17.5

Monday, July 09, 2007

Prieler Ried Goldberg Blaufränkisch 2000

Now this is a 'different' wine from the majority one gets to taste or 'foreign' grape sort here..this is Austria's own!(although it's true origins have yet to be determined).Englebert Prieler is now retired and the his son and daughter are managing the estate. This beautiful vineyard of 20 hectares north of rust is farmed organically and produces what can claim to be Austria's finest red from the Blaufränkisch grape.
As the weather had improved..I had my first wine in the garden for 3 weeks..
Prieler Ried Goldberg Blaufränkisch 2000
Burgenland, Austria

A darkish colour with hints of cherry red.
The nose offers a complex bouquet of
game meats, dusty, 'new potatoes'
(write what you think when tasting...
you know what you mean).The palate has intensity,richness and concentration.
Earthy style, with well-integrated oak,
a touch of blackberry, and a fine finish.

Although it spends a phenomenal 26 months
in new French oak it shows no hint
of the oak overdominating the fruit,
drying out the palate or the finish.
Elegant..and a wine that slips down well...
Points 17.5

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Wine Cellar

This is where I disappear to...most evenings before dinner...
black & white photo was taken in Vonnas..Restaurant Georges Blanc..

the white card was a greeting from Francois Faiveley in Burgundy..
to the right..
one of the all-time great 5 wines
Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947(empty!!)

Still a few 'treasures' left..
top right
a couple of Grange Hemitage from Australia
bottom left..
Chateau Petrus 1970..
top left..
Guigal's 'La Mouline' Cote Rotie 1976
and in the middle
another one of the all time great wines
Jaboulet's Hermitage 'La Chapelle' 1961

The wine library.....
Broadbent, Johnson, Simon..

many from the 50's & 60's...
and many more...
covering 30 years of reading

As well as vintage port..
I still have some
'ancient' Malaga.....
one day..they will
be opened

After clearing out my cellar a
few months ago..I got rid of
many empties...but kept a few..

some Romannee Conti on the left..
and second from the right..
a Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1947

Left and back..
some Chateau Mouton-Rothschild...

front left..
a 1945 Chateau Leoville-Barton

and front..second from right..
the oldest I have ever drunk.
Chateau Leoville-Barton 1871

European Whites..Across The Board

A tasting at my local wine shop 'Hang Lage'..
owned by friend and fellow wine imbiber
Robert Krupka..he holds tastings 5-6
times a year....on Friday evenings
(so that those participating
can recover next day)...
for beginners and 'experts' alike..
this time round..
European Whites.

After the opening wine..the wines were tasted in flights of 2...

Chateau Haut-Louilleau 2005
Premieres Cotes de Blaye,
Bordeaux, France
Pale colour, green tinges;
grassy,gooseberry smell
(70% Sauvignon Blanc 30% Semillon);
fresh, slightly tart flavour..
a good mouth cleanser.
Points 12

G.A.Schneider Weißburgunder Trocken 2006
Nierstein, Germany

Pale, watery edge;cheesy nose which faded..
fruit at first, then the acidity bites in....
Points 12.5

Dr. Crusius Weißburgunder Trocken 2006
Nahe, Germany

More character here on the nose; fine fruit, juicy, acidity nicely balance..pleasant drink
Points 13.5

Dr. Crusius
Riesling Trocken 2006
Nahe, Germany
Nose difficult..closed;
crisp flavour,
integrated acidity, rounded.
Points 13.5

Dr. Crusius
Traiser Rotenfels
Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2006
Nahe, Germany

Grapefruit smell, floral note; good fruit flavour at the back..acidity dominating..elegant and
all there to harmonise in 1-2 years.
Points 14

Paul Achs Chardonnay 2006
Burgenland, Austria
Fresh style of Chardonnay..
made in steel tanks.
All very nicely packed together...
but maybe too layed-back...
and would not have guessed
Chardonnay at a blind tasting
Points 14
Domaine Demangeot
Cuvee Delphine
Saint-Eve 2005
Hautes Cotes de Beaune,
Burgundy, France

Lychees leapt from the glass;
fullish, creamy
fruit on the
palate..finishes a bit short
Points 14.5 this is what I came favourite producer of Sauvignon Blanc!
Robert explained the producer had changed things slightly for this vintage...
The Piere, normally only ever seeing steel vats..had spent it's youth in 500 litres
used oak barrels...which slightly worried me..however..
Vie de Romans Piere Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Friuli Isonzo, Italy

Medium yellow-gold;compley aromas, minerals; delicious mouthfull,
smoky,almonds, still needs a year..
but class showing..and my worries
were unfounded
Points 17.5 +

Vie de Romans Vieris Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Friuli Isonzo, Italy

Now this wine has always been in new oak; fuller flavour, more oak is balanced...but his baby brother beats him
every time.
Points 16.5

Domaine Sauzet Puligny Montrachet 2005
Burgundy, France

Classy , vanilla aroma..touch of
citrus blossoms,
juicy acidity..still closed..
but Monsíeur Sauzet has
increased his prices..
and for Euros thanks..
Points 16

Domaine Sauzet Puligny Montrachet 2003
Burgundy, France
Nice comparion here..both vintages similar..this wine 2 years older; full, oaky nose; fleshy peach fruit on the palate, exotic fruits..longer in the mouth and ready now.
Points 17

I went back to the last four..
retasted and 'drank' them....
no great pain in doing that!

Red Roc #4

Roc d'Anglade 'Clos de La Belle' 2004
Vin de pays du Gard, Languedoc

Up to now the Clos 2003 has been the
pick of the bunch from this vineyard.
Tasted with 2 friends at a local
Bistro where I take my own wines..
Quite deep colour; let's try the
Eucalyptus, minty, liquorice, smoky....
let's have another whiff... still the same...
better taste it..don't want to get high..
dark cool Syrah flavour...the wine is quite full,
beautifully balanced..spicy..
but with a freshness of youth......
back to the this like glue sniffing???....

Small point...with the main was sidelined...
Drink it without food but with friends.
Points 18.5