Monday, October 29, 2007

Our Little Piece Of Heaven

The first time we found our 'little heaven' Gasthof Rebstock in October 2006..we spent 2 days..then in March it was 3...we decided on 4 this time..and after every visit we wanted to stay longer.Unfortunately, as before, our room was already booked.The only solution is to book for four weeks..and cancel when we have had enough..or until
I have tried the whole wi

k' is run by Karl assisted by his wife Sandra Stark..who gave birth to a baby boy on Thursday 18th October (Sebastian) she was not 'available' for our visit this time. The staff is excellent..and are having to work longer hours until she returns. The 'Gasthof' is open 6 days a week...also for lunch.. and throughout the day for tea, coffee or snacks. They have 11 rooms...our room number 11 has a view of the vineyards. Karl also 'oversees' his own vineyard..makes his own 'Brantwein'..but spends most of his time in the kitchen presenting top quality food at a fair price for the restaurant. On our last visit he kindly showed me his wine cellar.. and gave me a 'present'.. so I returned the favour after arriving.

October 23rd 2007

Waldulm Pfarrberg Spätburgunder
'Alte Reben' Spätlese trocken 2003
Co-Operative Kappelrodeck-Waldulm

Baden, Germany

I had tried the 2005 a couple of weeks ago..and decided to try the version from this great vintage in Baden. It is no longer available from the source, nor anywhere else...
As to be expected, no real difference in sty
le to the younger brother..but the vintage showing it's class.. Medium deep, brown rim; smoky, perfumed, fuller, a touch more fruit, dark cherries, still some tannin...what an excellent wine for a co-op...the old vines(Alte Reben) being around 30 years old.
Points 17+

The vintage 2003 finally helped bring
the Spätburgunder wines in Germany up
alongside the top Pinot Noirs in the world.

October 24
th 2007

Next day my wife & I walked for 3 hours along the forest ..then back and forth throug
h the vineyards....the sun breaking up the clouds which had been hanging in the mountains. We sat and had lunch on a bench..with the 'Spätburgunder' grapes in full view... a gorgeous day....

Karl informed me the 'Spätlese' would be

picked in about a week.
My wife kept asking me 'technical' questions..

which I manged to just about answer..I think..
She knows all about herbs ands wild growths tho..
I tried to remember it all...

The wine-list had a few additions..some 2003 Red Burgundy( as in Baden..a great vintage)
but maybe still too I decided on the 1999
Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 1999
Morey-Saint-Denis, Burgundy, France
A 'very good' vintage in Burgundy.

Medium deep, purple-rimmed.
Strong smoky aroma, not especially refined.

Sweetish opening on the palate..
but then some dry, if quite soft, tannins...
slightly rustic briary characteristics made me
think about its potential. Disjointed...will it
harmonise or is this it?
Plenty of structure,
but not very generous at this

Points 16.5

Our waiter for the evening is
learning his trade..

he tried a glass..
and was not over enthusiastic either.

Dusk..and dinner awaits

October 25th
We wanted to visit one of the many seas in the mountains...but on arriving the mist was too thick..and it was pretty we descended..and found some more vineyards to wander through..(there are plenty)..
After the slight disapointment of the previous evening.. I decided it was 'Back to Baden'..for this evening's wine...good decision Barry...

Dr. Heger Ihringer Winklerberg Spätburgunder
Spätlese trocken Barrique 2003
Baden, Germany

This is considered the best vineyard in the Kaiserstuhl which is where Ihringen is. This is a unique area in Germany in that the soils are mostly volcanic and Ihringen actually has the highest average temperature in all of Germany which makes it perfect for the ripening of Pinot Noir.
Soft, so enticing bouquet, real Pinot class; quite full flavoured (14.5 %), but so delicately balanced..that you just don't notice the alcohol..jam & cream..this is superb..
Points 18

I finished off the whole bottle...
and was disappointed there was
not just a drop more..
always a good sign that I have
had a great wine.

October 26th 2007

Last 'full' day...and I had found a wine shop to visit..usually a bore for my wife..but luckily she found a few 'extras' which they stocked...
I purchased a mixed case of 6 bottles

Joseph Matrot Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru 1995,
Meursault, Burgundy, France
I love Meursault..and with some age..this is maybe worth the risk

Wassmer Spätburgunder 'R' trocken Barrique 2004,
Baden, Germany

One of the 'newcomers' in Baden..with a good reputation

Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Deidesheimer Hohenmorgen
Riesling Spätlese trocken 1999, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany
I like my Riesling hopefully this fulfills my needs.

Mattmann Pinot Noir 2004, Zizers, Switzerland,

Along with of the top producers in Switzerland..not cheap...don't ask.

Esporão Reserva 1999, Herade do Esporão
Alentejo, Portugal
Always reliable..been a while since I last tasted this...

Domaine Cuilleron Saint Joseph Rouge 'Pierres Seches' 2001,
Rhône, France
'THE' Condrieu producer..but I have heard from friends that his 'Joseph Rouge' is well worth trying.

Above..OUR table....

What to drink on the last evening? the afternoon I was down in the cellar again...discussing with Karl Hodapp...we have similar opinions about wine...

As the wine list is so extensive..I try not to repeat-drink...and therefore decided to 'betray' the home wines.

Château La Nerthe,
"Cuvée des Cadettes" 2001

Rhône Valley, France

Decanted. 14% Alcohol.
Fairly deep ruby red colour. 'Fat' peppery nose..plenty of oak thrown into the mix...very good..explodes from the glass; quite velvety on the palate, soft tannins, fleshy & full, excellent concentration ....modern style..a crowd-pleaser..still youthful but quite drinkable.

Points 18

October 27th 2007

The usual goo
d breakfast..then time to say goodbye..Karl kindly gave me a bottle of his own wine..vintage 2005 to try at home...we hate leaving..but the sooner you leave..the sooner you can return. I can't wait....

If my descriptions are not
good enough,
check out
the video below.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sushi & Veltliner

Daughter and 'hubby' came round with a '''small''' selection of Sushi.

What to drink?..
something white with
character and fruit.

Stadt Krems Gruner Veltliner Weinzierlberg 2006
Kremstal, Austria

Sealed with the new glass closures.
Enticing nose of fresh apples, minerally, smoke; spicy and fresh on the palate..

great match with the Sushi, perfect balance..and a good of the best GV I have tasted.

Points 16.5

After all that fish...we needed a red wine.

Urbezo Reserva 1999
Cariñena, Spain
Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carinena and Merlot.
I was excited after opening this..
I had caught a 'whiff' (always gets me going)...
medium deep in colour with lightening brown rim;
the promised eucalyptus that I had smelled..
was just about still there, some vanilla, smoky,
the Cabernet aroma reminding me of wonderful Bordeaux.
The first it seemed it could match the big intro I gave it..but the wine seemed to crash in the glass...became really very dry...and the aftertaste thatone would expect..just didn't happen.
As with Riojas of this age.. I open and drink..
as I find they dry out as well...pity..maybe a
younger version would show better as
this Bodega is rated highly.

Points 16

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sexy G

Gago 2003 Bodegas Telmo Rodriguez
Toro, Spain

100% Tempranillo (Tinta de Toro)

The wine is f
ermented in stainless steel, aged in tank, and bottled early to preserve its freshness.
Quite deep purple colour; rich, full, enticing nose of black fruits and some smoke; front flavour of soft chewy tannins backed up with soft supple fruit. I am thinking 'port' as I drink...and check the back of the bottle. 15%!! wonder it is so sexy...but 1% less would have gotten it 1 point more.

Size is not everything!

Points 17

Friday, October 12, 2007

Luncheon Bordeaux Passé

Twenty years ago..the Bordeaux wines of Bourg and Fronsac offered an alternative to the 'Big Boys'. They were getting their act together..and offered excellent 'luncheon style' wines.
How things have changed.
Chateau La Tuilière is in the heart of the Côtes de Bourg..almost across the way from Chateau Margaux.. 40 year-old oak barrels..things have certainly changed.The wine spends 18 months in oak barrels.
The mix is:
60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon

& 5% Cabernet Franc
Château La Tuilière Les Armoiries 2003

Côtes de Bourg
Deep colour; aromas of cedar, tobacco, blackberries;full thick blackberry/cassis mouthful, perfect balance...maybe a touch heavy (13.5% alcohol)..chewy tannins.but nicely integrated..can be drunk now..but will improve over the next 5-8
Points 17
A good wine..but I couldn't help thinking....the wine world is 'shrinking' styles seem to get closer...this could have been a new world wine if I had tasted blind. Is that what the French that what they HAVE to produce.? I quite liked my 'luncheon' wines of old...

The Strange World Of Wine

Strange how things happen in the wine world. After recent visits to our favourite hideaway in Kappelrodeck-Waldulm.. here or here ...we had recommended it to friends..who all loved it. Volker had purchased some wine from the local Co-operative (photo right)..taken it back home and had given Robert, who has a wine shop, some to try.. Robert supplies wine to a local Restaurant. So far so good?..OK.. The owners of the restaurant have a new venture 'Restaurant Jägerhof'..and I was invited with my wife to the opening night. Robert had done the wine list which've guessed it.. some wines from Baden. The simple Spätburgunder is listed.. but the one I drank was the 'Alter Reben' (old vines)
Waldulm Pfarrberg Spätburgunder

Alte Reben Spätlese trocken 2005
Co-Operative Kappelrodeck-Waldulm

Baden, Germany
Medium deep in colour; aromas of sweet cherries and blackberries, some oak;
cherries again on first taste..with a concentration (old vines)..velvety mouthful..and a good finish.
A pleasure now but will be around for a few years.

Points 16.5

A Gold Medal winner...and an excellent label.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Roussillon Beef

Continuing our trip in southern France..we move across to Roussillon....only to be disappointed after the Rhône and Languedoc.
Domaine Gardies Vieilles Vignes
Tautavel Rouge 2004

Cotes du Roussillon, France
Prunes(which I hated as a kid), tight earthy smell;.
jammy sweet fruit, chunky palate with lots of
dry, beefy tannins.

Really rather brutal and not much charm....
not a bad wine but considering it was in the
same price range as the 2 other wines from
Southern lost out.

Get me outta here!
Points 15

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Touch of The Clape

After visiting the Rhône we travel south looking for more of the same.
Whenever I see the words 'La Clape' reminds me of the disease
(taken from the French word 'clapoir')..
Our wine today has not resemblance...thank heaven!

Chateau de la Negly La Clape 'La Falaise' 2005
Coteaux du Languedoc, France
60% Syrah 30% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache
Long 'Legs' in the glass which are no mark of Michael Broadbent once wrote 'I have never been a 'leg' man myself'...but I thought it was a nice intro..
I was already captivated after pulling
the cork.. black cherry, cassis..very dominant..sweet French oak; satin-textured & intense, elegant, sweet black fruits and some creamy vanilla, tannins you hardly notice..
A real delight to drink.
Points 17

The meal was the Pasta with 2 types of mushrooms from yesterday
( I eat left-overs as you can see )..
which, as is often the case, tastes better a day later..the cream sauce and mushrooms flavour more intense.
The wine was a perfect marriage this time.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A glass of Valpolicella please

When was the last time you drank a Valpolicella? The last time you ate at a cheap Italian Restaurant was with me..but I am going back yonks now...the old days when the only wines were on the menu card..all by the glass..2 whites..a Frascati and a Soave...and 3 reds..a Chianti (from a straw covered-bottle which later turned in a candlestick ) a Lambrusco and a Valpolicella. All of them wonderful.....examples of bad wine.
I decided I would try this one..fairly priced at under 10 Euros.
Corte Giara Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2004
Veneto, Italy

The Ripasso technique is produced in October and the wine undergoes a second fermentation on the Amarone lees in February.
Medium deep colour; rough earthy aromas; chunky thick fruit, chewy tannins...if you want elegance..forget it...slightly bitter aftertaste..which I have never enjoyed in the rare Amarone wines I have tried..not a bad wine..just something I would not order or buy again...
Points 15
This maybe needed meat (or a bad Italian Veal Saltimbocca from one of those restaurants)..but my wife can't do the latter I ended up with Pasta and 2 types of mushrooms.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Quartz Stone Goodie!

This was recommended...and I am becoming a fan again of these Rhône wines....
Le Clos du Caillou “Les Quartz”
Rouge 2005
Côtes du Rhône, France
Pulled the cork and caught the 'whiff' which made my mouth water (I am a slave to wine.I admit it)...poured into a large glass..deep RED..can't remember the last wine with such a dominant tint. Searched for a background for the photo shoot (it's my blog..I can call it that)..and the whiff was there again..oh man...can't wait to put my nose taken..sit we good as it promised..cherries, so juicy..spices..a whiff of liquorice..some blackberries..this has gotta taste as good..and it does..dark berries, silky tannins, so concentrated..but with the coolness that the Rhônes offer nowadays (a New World version would have blown your head of)...long finish.
Points 18 ( was gonna give it 17.5....but what the heck..other bloggers are going mad with points )

This is a blend of 85% Grenache ( 75 to 100 years old) and 15% Syrah.

It costs under 20 Euros..their Chateauneuf-du-Pape costs 3 times as much..surely it can't be 3 times better. Buy this..lay a bottle or two down...yummy!

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Short-Sighted Fish

Mas Jullien Blanc 2005
Coteaux du Languedoc, France

A blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cinsault Blanc and Terret Bourret, with some oak.
Yellow gold; honeyed sweet nose; good palate..full of variations, you get to taste apples, the Grenache gives it some nuttiness, and Viogner I love anyway..that's the honey...
The big point for the wine is the full finish..aftertaste a real nice to find this type of wine...and it will age...and needs a decanter or early opening.
Points 16.5
Meal..simple fare..Pangasius 'naturelle' and in breadcrumbs..with home-made potato salad.
Pangasius is a fish, native of Vietnam..I am told it has bad eyesight..which may explain how it landed on my plate!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Good 'Un

There are some basics rules/phrases to help you through life.
If you fall off your bike..get straight back on.
If the bottom falls out of your business...get some new trousers
...and wine-wise..
if you drink a bad 'un..follow it with a good 'un!
Zaccagnini San Clemente 2003
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo , Italy

Deep dark and brooding, purple rim softening; autumn nose ( maybe the weather)..but forest fruits come to mind, horse chestnuts, cool and elegant; the following flavour confirms 'brittle' tannins, oak and marzipan, a wine to enjoy..will hold for ages...
Points 17.5+

Spaghetti Bolognese was the dish..drink Italian most would say..but the 'harder' wines just clash..I like a softer wine..Pinot maybe..but the San Clemente was just fine.
Those with Cholesterol

please ignore the blob of butter!