Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Wine & Backache

Klumpp Cuvee M 2005
Baden, Germany
One of the most northerly points of the Baden wine area is Bruchsal.
The Weingut belongs to a minority of about one per cent of vineyards in Germany that grow organic wine.
This cuvee is from had picked grapes..15% juice extracted..left on the 'Most' for 3 weeks. The vines are aged....and the mix comprises of 1/3 each of Cabernet, St. Laurent and Spätburgunder.
Deep ruby red...dusty cherry first a soft opening..but with airing the firm tannins poked their head up and said...bite me now or leave me a while. Well..not one to shrink before chewing a wine..I continued...fine acidity leaves this nicely balanced on the palate....plenty of juiciness..the Cabernet starts to dominate with blackcurrant fruit. Some vanilla is in there..this spends 12 months in oak...but Mr T...keeps it back...smokey vegetable notes...big decant now..or try again in a couple of years.
Points 17.25...interesting to see how this develops.
Nice bottle..but the wide top of the neck meant no Screwpull..just the old-fashioned Vine Corkscrew...good for my back!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Crusius's Girls

Dr. Crusius owns some of the best plots
on the Nahe. Riesling is his forté.
Less than 10 % grown are red grapes.
His style of red is fuller than most
seen in Germany.

Twins?....not is what she shows...from start to finish..the other developes a butt...a Jennifer Lopez wine if you like.
First up was Jenny.
Dr.Crusius Traiser
Spätburgunder trocken 2007

Nahe, Germany
Reserved nose...but this is a € 10,-- let's see if she has more to offer..delicate fruit..more strawberry than cherry...not bad up to now..and nicely weighted..goes well with the pizza...enough fruit...then..BAM!!!..a back palate finish...reminded me of the old Riojas with their vanilla kick. The 14% has set in..and you get a big butted, ripe, good feeling style. Dr Crusius has made an attractive well-priced wine here.
Points 16.25

Next day....the other sibling...same father..different mother. She was a slender girl.
Dr.Crusius Traiser
Frühburgunder trocken 2007

Nahe, Germany
Clear cherry..a little more refined up-front...delicate..but still not shy...more juicy than Miss Lopez..
hardly any tannin....13.5 %...again..easy drinking everyday wine with interest for all.
Points 16

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ruwer Riesling

The Weingut has been run by Peter Geißen since the end of the 70's..the vineyard Karlsmühle is situated on the Ruwer. This has a medal sticker...which usually says nothing unless you know what the competition was.

Karlsmühle Peter Geißen
Riesling Kabinett trocken 2007
Mosel, Germany
Sweet grapefruit?...fresh and fruity..on the palate there is Grapefruit and my nose is not deceiving me...chosen from the most yellow grapes...delicate.....dry...but a slight back palate sweetness...perfect for stomach churnes if it whiffs too much acidity.... At € 10,-- very good value....and I bought 6 bottles cos my wife liked it as well.
Points 16

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Classy Pee

Why does a wine not sell? to the market, not enough PR...confusing label...grape is 'out'? Well..whatever is was here....meant 8 bottles became I was a happy benefactor. It's not new! PR....again, not the case! Confusing label..can't be's all there! the grape out? Or maybe with all the mass wants to pay that little more. This is not your 'gooseberry/cat's pee' type of Sauvignon Blanc. That's like compering your local Pizza take-away to a top Italian Restaurant.
Vie di Romans Piere 2005
Friaul, Italy

Made from 100% mostly-clone Sauvignon Blanc...this shows a slightly spritzy nose..minerals and steel...and I would give it 16.5 at this maybe that is a reason for few buyers. I know it is not always possible to know what you will drink tomorrow...but try it up..try a glass..then pop it back somewhere cool..and open it again next day. You'll wish you had bought the 8 bottles now! This fills out..classy..excellent balance...a great middle-weight that lies like a small diamond on your palate..bananas....sweet apples..and a long finish. Give this a chance to strutt it's stuff...and it will reward you with.....................................
Points 17.5

I still have one bottle of the 2004...which I will do with as I advise above.

PS....Don't mix 'em up...the other SB..'Vieris'.... from this more oak dominated..altho..I believe he now gives the 'Piere' a small dose...but you hardly notice it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chateau Canada

Popped into my local wine buy a few odd bottles to try. Robert is the owner of the 'Hanglage'. I told him I was trying to wean myself off Spä that the Blog readers could see how I deal with 'others'. We discussed a few wines..then, as an afterthought, he produced the 3 wines from Crusius....which I bought. Hey...I did try..blame Robert!!! I also purchased 3 you can see in the photo. As he packed the wines away....and as I had mentioned some Canadian readers of the blog..he produced a wine....which I almost bought..until I heard the price. Osoyoos Larose 2003
Okanagan Valley

British Columbia
A Bordeaux blend.....tell me it is a world beater and I may go back for it.

Christmas Ain't That Bad!

Don't you just love Xmas. Ignore my previous posts..
I just got a few parcels of wine from people we do business with. Hey....even Scrooge lightened up later in the story by Dickens!. The fame of being a blogger (or more likely the hints dropped in general conversation) means I now no longer get 'send – on – presents' (you've all done it....given your present to someone else) I get wine. Merry Xmas!
I decided to open this bottle of white with some's a present for Xmas...and it's not here yet..BUT..if I can get festive cards at the end of November..then I am allowed to drink my wine 10 days before.
Mirone Viura Muscat 2007
Campo de Borja, Spain
Synthetic closure. In the glass it looked silky and polished.
Muscat can be dominant..but with the mix only 7%...the rest being Viura..we should be safe. Following on from the appearance..this has a silky texture...easy drinking...basically dry...but could be drank by the 'wanna-be-a-dry-wine-drinker'..with the Muscat kicking in as the wine opened. Ripe tropical fruit dominates..and this would go down with every guest at Christmas...which solves Joe's problem.
Points 15

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Expensive Lady

Does wine have gender..course it does!!
Pinot is feminine..SHE is voluptuous..shows her curves.....smells sexy.

Cabernet Sauvignon..well..HE is for you girls...
Syrah..don't let's go there!
Joking aside....this young lady tonight has a story behind her...
The Pinot Cup is held every year at the end of November. By the time the winners reach the press in January..the wines are long gone. However..your dedicated blogger has always managed to get odd bottles.
The secret...type in 'Pinot Cup' in early December..and then call the merchant listing it.
In 2006 I managed to get some Schmitts Kinder 2004....but in luck.
In this case..the only one showing the wine was in Switzerland..which figures as the wine is Swiss.
French Switzerland to be exact (there are also areas speaking Italian and German). Cost of a bottle 22,-- Euros. An email was sent and a reply and packaging worked out at 10,-- Euros per bottle.. Payment was made and I waited. Now..this girl isn't at fault here...can't blame her...the package arrived and the postman asked for 20 Euros for the 3 bottle package...!!!!.customs tax!!!..oops..yes..Switzerland is not in the European Community(things change in January with some sort of treaty being signed..but the wine would have gone by then). Oh well...almost 7 Euros on top of the price.....but it had won first prize at the 39,-- Euros....
Was it worth it?...well....short answer..maybe not...but let's continue with the lady's adventure.
My wife, brother-in-law and myself out for the evening at a favourite haunt...I can take my own wine..and pay the corkage (you see how this gal is getting more expensive as we go on...but then again...we men should know this) I was the lone wine drinker..a Pinot was a must with a varied mix of food. I started out with grilled squid, and I tried my wife's beef carpaccio with white truffle(we tend to share out food at our table). Next course was pasta with white truffles( was a theme for the evening..which had me beaming) wife some delicious warm goose livers. The 3rd course was the house speciality..Duck with dates and wife satisfied herself with some lobster. Where am I going here?..other than making your mouth water...well....could the wine combat all that lot?
Well.. she was sparsely dressed..our Swiss Maid..the small label..short and sweet..and she spent her youth in 500 liter oak barrels....
Wegelin Malanser Blauburgunder Reserva 2006
Graubünden, Switzerland
Opening she showed a fresh crushed cherry aroma...and the slightly reserved style I find in Swiss wines..a little more 'oomph' would be a plus (Gantenbein is a great example)..the weight is where she let herself down with the food (skinny birds never appealed to me)...slightly bitter fruit...but slipped down easily...the owner of the restaurant managed to get a small glass..the rest I divulged over 4 hours at the table (good food needs time)..and only at the end did Miss Swiss 2006 show her better sides....trace of marzipan and almonds....
Review....this girl needed to be alone with me....and then she would have pointed higher..maybe she still will...2 of her sisters are lying in my cellar .Oh yes...and they will be a little cheaper..I forgot to mention the corkage on the wine. She was one expensive Madame!
Points 17

Friday, December 12, 2008

Screwing Good Wines

Our regular meet at the Bistro..but only two of us this each of us bought a bottle.
I had spent the whole day thinking what I should take....wanting to maybe choose a Spätburgunder..but are getting boring Barry...Luckily, I was on my bike and peddling the route when I started to waver Shafer it was. I had been torn between the 1991 and the 1992..but had decided on the latter. Into the Bistro..quick cover-up before Volker arrived..and then open the bottle. I had taken 3 tools with me. The old fashioned 'pull it till your back hurts' corkscrew, the modern screwpull, and the recently discussed 'butler's friend'. The screwpull entered the top of the cork..and was at once than spend the night with back-ache..James the Butler was called upon. He spread his legs..and entered the bottle...a shake of the left and a shake of the right..and a push gently downwards..when in..start the music (I'm getting carried away here)..and a few waggles...and there she was...a long one..slightly moist. A quick whiff..and then sit back and wait to see what Volker had brought.

With both bottles covered-up...what to drink first..but we decided on experience that his was the opener. Grilled octopus was our starter...and the wine red...well I could only hope for..yes...!!! a Spätburgunder. Now..all that worrying e
arlier that I would get the 'shakes' if I didn't get my SB fool Barry.
Karlsmühle Peter Geißen
Lorenzhöfer Spätburgunder 2005
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
First smell..German..and a taste...2005...nothing difficult yet..'just guess the area' said Volker. it backwards...say what it isn't..Not Baden, Not Franken, Not Ahr, Rheingau & Pfalz..nope.
Not Rheinhessen?..Shake of the head...hmmm..then in despair I casually said..'don't tell me it's the Mosel'...answer....'yep..Ruwer' is a first. Volker had been there is near to Trier..and in a small 'Gasthaus' had tried the local red and had been impressed...and to rights...a cherry nose..this has a soft gentle sweetness..serious enough..but also gulpable..slight burnt edge on the palate..keeping the fruit interesting...very juicy. The 2005 vintage was obviously perfect for this wine..Volker mentioned he had tried the 2003 which was not as good. A lovely surprise..and a must-buy..but you'll never find it.
Points 16.5
I was recently chatting to a wine writer and saying how, if the climate changes continued, as some point reds will take over the Mosel. I doubt it completely..but you never know... turn now....
I had ordered lamb...aged Cabernet is a PERFECT match...
Shafer Hillside Select
Cabernet Sauvignon 1992

Stag's Leap, California, U.S.A.

An opaque dark color, minty after
opening..but an hour later this showed soft leather, cigar-box smells and a complex nose of minerals, some chocolate... silky, constantly changing with each sip. A 'living wine'..which I love.. still beautifully poised...tannins almost away with the fairies...but this has another 10 years of life in it. Very good
Points 18

Monday, December 08, 2008

Pinot Cuvee

As stated previously..Xmas is 3 days for me...not from the end of November until the middle of January(when our tree is cut down to size). I was out shopping on Saturday..and the Christmas market was opened..I fought my way through it..and came across a vendor selling books and wine. I saw the label Künstler...and stopped to investigate. Strangely...about 7 years ago..again at a Xmas market..I tasted my first red from this was a 1999...and I thought then..if the reds in Germany can produce this quality..then I will be a happy bunny. Well..I to the vendor...the bottle was a 2005 and was going at 20% less.

Künstler Hochheimer Reichestal Spätburgunder 'R' 2005
Rheingau, Germany

Medium deep with a pale edge..strawberry fool aroma..real 'sweet' fruit..confiture..and to be honset..over intense for me. The 2005 vintage softened many a big wine in it's more restrained vintage would have been adaptable for this wine. Less jam & more toast.
Points 16

Markowitsch Pinot Noir 2005
Carnuntum, Austria
This is the basic wine from this will look out for the 'Reserve'
This is probably as different again to the above...trace of mushroom on the
nose..'piquant' Pinot...very brambly...dry tannins...medium weight.
Points 16

You know what...these two should have gotten together in a decanter..methinks a cuvee would show better

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Highways and Byways

The highways and byways of life....imagine traveling the long road..with no changes...just a straight ahead & sound..boring eh?
The first wine reminded me of this.
Islander Estate Vineyards Majestic Plough Malbec 2005
Kangaroo Island, Australia

Another Frenchman involved here...he has experience with the grape from his time in Argentina...Deep colour..grainy, dusty tannins, full-bodied...(Yawn)....
plush on the palate....and.....and......yes..and..boring. Many will like it I guess...
Points 16
Ellwanger Hebsacker Lichtenberg Spätburgunder trocken 2005
Erstes Gewächs

Württemberg, Germany

Temptress to the left..Lottery win to the right....lots going on here...classy crushed cherries.. gentle burnt aroma..elegant...and the first sip convinces me..this is very good indeed..medium weighted..lots of juice makes it readily drinkable now..reminds me of a good St.Emilion.. and there is a soft core of tannins.
Points 17.25
Xmas is wife is a fan...
and the candles make a good background for wines.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pur Pur Taste

I am a fan of the Württenberger wines..with their mix of Spätburgunder and Lembacher...this reminds me in style of those wines..this one is 20 % Dunkelfelder & 80% Spätburgunder.

Peter Jakob Kühn PurPur 2005

Rheingau, Germany
Lovely perfumed nose..delicate..spring flowers, blackcurrants...this spends 12 months in oak....intense juicyness..nougat..real nice balance here..tannins merely stroke the fruit...don't share this is easily emptied.....only kidding...I'd share a small glass.
Points 17.25

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Domaine Dream Wines

The Domaine Mechtildshausen is situated near Wiesbaden close to the U.S. army base and is a state owned farm growing it's own organic products. They even have Charolais cows.... The photos show the beautiful gardens..there is also a bakery.. a butcher..a supermarket..
a cafe..a bistro..and the restaurant.
It was a Wednesday and the place was full.....
Now..the wines....
I have a saying..from nothing comes nothing!!!!
If I walked into a restaurant as a group of 5..and asked for the would not hear from me for an hour. Funny looks from other guests..and a grumpy wife.
So..if the internet has no information..and the restaurant is nearby....I visit well in advance to choose the wines. Makes me much-loved with everybody!
The Domaine has a wine-list to die for.....but don't tell anybody..this is between you & I.
There is an extensive Burgundy list...but why wander away from home..German reds interested me..

Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Kaisersteinfels
Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2002
Rheingau, Germany
Sleek and silky....some peach tones...lost most of it's baby fat..and the spicy grip keeping this at attention. Elegant and perfect right now..some petroleum...aged Riesling is a dream
Points 16.75

Köhler-Ruprecht Philippi Pinot Noir RR 1999
Pfalz, Germany
Deep this typical Pinot here...
Dark cherries and red fruits..spices...very concentrated..with a biting tannin that adds to it's charm. Port and liquorice came to mind...reminded me of a Grand Cru from the Côte de much depth..a touch of smoke...14% alcohol on the label...a southern hemisphere wine would be a head-banger..but this retains an elegance...long finish...and an hour in glass finally showed it's softer side. Very good indeed
Points 18

Paul Fürst Frühburgunder Auslese R 1997

Franken, Germany
Frühburgunder is an early-ripening mutation of Pinot Noir.
Compared to the above wine...much lighter..although no way pale..a little reserved at first...but enticing red berry fruit...ripe sweetness some tobacco..marzipan...elegant compared to the Philippi...more juicy..beautifully structured and a good long finish.
Points 17.75

Heyl zu Herrnsheim Pettental Riesling Auslese 1999

Rheinhessen, Germany
Lovely nose...honey-toned...fine weight in the mouth...the usual mineral notes...racy..exotic fruits.
A lovely half-bottle to finish off a great flight of wines ( I told you I would be loved)
Points 17

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Paris Aftermath

Life has it's ups and the last 10 days..a bereavement in the family and a pleasant business trip to Paris. A city with a certain style..and a memory of a restaurant where we had dinner..with a bagful of oysters in ice..lying on the street..and the chef regularly collecting a few and opening them for eager customers.....the place had an open front..with street heaters for smokers could enjoy an evening drink..all very French..the German health office would have gone gray if it happened here.
Back home.....and off to Spain for this one...

Mauro 2005
Tudelo de Duero,
Castilly y Léon, Spain

Deep purple....georgeous thick black fruit on the nose...dark wood..touch of sweeet oak..some mocha and coffee..the palate shows more rich sweet oak traces..with a back palate of approachable tannins..doesn't lay heavy on the tongue....rather a dancer than a stomper I thought....but the 14.5 % hit me later...share it..not a one-man least..not in one evening.
Points 17.5

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sausages & Sour Cherries

If you like/love sausages..Germany is the place to live....all-sorts here...and all very good youth in England only had an odd sausage...not of very good quality...and to prove I love 'down to earth' food..throw a couple in the pan with lightly roasted potatoes..and I'll be your friend for life!

Umathum St.Laurent vom Stein 2001

Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria
Medium red...'legs' to die for...intense aroma of what reminded me of lightly roasted meat..some dark plums...palate shows a sour red cherry flavour...herbs..tannin there but no way obtrusive...and the firm acidity keeping this fresh and lively..more finesse than power..Parker would hate it..this spends 18 months in 100% new oak..and is only released after 12 months in the bottle...
Points 17.25

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Glass Of Bierzo Por Favor

A vineyard started in 1998 by Alvaro Palacios...steep hillside..back-breaking...100% Mencia..a grape that 'belongs' to Bierzo.
Descendientes de J. Palacios

Petalos Mencia 2006

Bierzo, Spain

Purple cherry aroma..mineral notes...burnt smoke..plenty of power but never heavy..this wine has a reserved sweetness (spends 4 months in small oak barrels)...tannins must be there..but hardly noticeable with the ripe fruit..dark spices
developed...worlds apart from the old style Rioja tasted a day before...perfect restaurant wine..holds up in glass and bottle...and would please every customer.
Points 16.75 on the photo..impressive..if I do say so myself

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken and 904

A wine full of memories....been around for ages....would they change their style when all the new wave wines came along?...No Chance!!...same old traditional wines.
Heard that a wine magazine in Germany gave this 19 points...hmmmm that's almost 105 Parker points!
La Rioja Alta
Gran Reserva 904 1995

Rioja, Spain
Quite deep with some brown at rim...the 904 was always a Bordeaux fan...and this has cedar, tobacco..more Havana than any other..truffle tones..leather....trace of sweetness from the oak...smoky Tempranillo...lively on the palate..almost a sour-like acidity..not unattractive..a wine from a time-gone-by in style...quite complex..only down side..I just feel that it is drying of the minuses of wines spent long in wood. Nowhere near 19 points..but worth
Points 17.25
perfect with the 'pollo'..that's chicken to you in Spanish