Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Wines

My wife had a 'special' birthday..so we went out for a meal with the children.
The restaurant has a good wine-list....and no..I didn't choose it....but I chose the wines...hey..leave me some pleasures...
Schloss Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner
Allerheiligenstiftung 2007

Kamptal, Austria
If I don't fancy the acidity of Riesling..or the oak of Chardonnay..a perfect wine..certainly restaurant wine..is a Grüner Veltliner. I generally enjoy them all...and this one is no exception.
Light gold in colour...trace of peach...peppery, spicy aroma with the usual touch of smoke. Dry..but the lively minerals and good fruit make this a real pleasure to drink now.
Points 16.5

Markus Schneider 'Steinsatz' 2005
Pfalz, Germany
This is a Cuvee of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and St Laurent..which are from an old Vineyard 'Steinsatz'..which comprises of different soils.
Deep, deep colour..and fine 'legs'..an instant aroma of ripe grapes....soft & velvety.....and the St Laurent is to the fore on the nose. Spices and herbs hit the palate...a delicious slice again of ripe fruits...peppery...very fresh and exhilerating..with a touch of caramel. Very attractive wine.
Points 17.5

Schlossgut Diel
Cuvée Caroline

Spätburgunder 2004
Nahe, Germany

Marzipan...aromas of red berries and cherries...soft gentle perfume...silky..some spicyiness...very drinkable...
Not as impressive as the 2005...but nevertheless..a treat.
Points 17.25
In hindsight...tasting the Diel first would have maybe been better....as lovely as it was...the power of the Schneider was in the air...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Win A Few, Lose A Few

Going back to wines that pleased..can be a pleasure..but sometimes a disappointment. Reasons can be many. Surprise has gone, bad day, wrong food, poor bottle, opened too late.....and a few more.
Three tried over the last few days.
Friedrich Becker Sankt Paul
Spätburgunder 2005
Schweigener Sonnenhof Grosses Gewächs
Pfalz, Germany
I said I could not resist after the last bottle.....so I am going to give this the benefit of the doubt. It was Ok...so maybe going through a closed period.

Quinta de Roriz Reserva 2002
Douro, Portugal
If I had smelled this
blindfolded..I would have guessed a port..which of course is the area where it is grown. The softness I detected in the previous bottle..has taken over...all the bite and spiciness has gone..worked flat...a dry/sweet impression....

and so it was that I tentatively opened this third bottle. Had I been bad recently...why me I was asking......?

Meyer-Näkel Blauschiefer
Spätburgunder trocken 2006

Ahr, Germany

Saved......a semi-thick spread of strawberries...juicy..with light tannins...
I can give this points....almost as good as this one
Points 17

I presume I am not alone among fellow bloggers....bottle variation is not always 'in the bottle'...maybe sometimes in the mind...or on the plate. Whatever the reasons..that's my share for 2009!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Austrian Jungle

The days of 'petrol in a bottle' are long gone in Austria. The range, quality (and prices)..have increased over the past 10 years. I have to admit..it's like learning to walk again...as it is a 'jungle' of districts and winemakers..and grapes. Crazy Joe...has reached 100 different grapes...if I want to catch up..I'll start with a Chateauneuf-du-Pape..which could contain up to 13 in one bottle! St. Laurent is a grape still planted quite frequently in Austria..and is similar in style to Pinot Noir. The Austrian wines most definitely have a style of their own..no matter what grape. The Umathum below I have tried before 2001 That vintage worked for me...but this lady needed a little more fat to impress.
Umathum St.Laurent vom Stein 2002
Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria
100% St.Laurent spending 18 months in 100% new medium Allier barrels. 12 months bottle aging before release.
Cool nose...which slowly opened to show
wild forest fruits...flavour is very
sour- cherry..with a mouth-watering juiciness..spices..all sounds pretty good...but a touch more fat on the hips would have swung it.

Points 16.5

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Touch Of The Gimbletts

Mills Reef Reserva Cabernet Merlot 2006

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Part of the mix here is grown in the Gimblett Gravels vineyard. Two-thirds Cabernet...Deep colour...and an attractive bouquet of plums with minty overtones..trace of the blackcurrant. As it developed there was a creaminess..counteracting the fine grainy tannins...trace of the oak (12 months in French)...cigar-box & leather...coffee and nuts and an elegant feeling...although a hefty 14%...it's won a few prizes and one can see why...can be enjoyed now but will hold for a few years.
Points 16.5

Friday, February 06, 2009

A French Sandwich Between German Bread

Off to our regular meeting at a local eatery with Volker & Robert...two bottles from myself..a third was brought by Robert.
Salwey Henkenberg Weissburgunder
Grosses Gewachs 2006

Baden, Germany
Lovely..I was really impressed..more so than the 2007..maybe because the younger wine needed a few months..and the 2006 had more balance. Pears and figs...and a whole host of delicious minerals...each glass was a pleasure. A smoothness making it a crowd pleaser...but those lively earthy minerals...sparkling on the palate. Citrus fruits..and matched perfectly with some fresh Calamares.
Points 17.25

Two reds (both covered)...and before I could ask which one first..Robert's wine was in the glass.
Pinot Noir.....which pleased me..cos mine was of the sames genes. I guessed French....then there were 2 possibilities.
A great producer from a 'lesser' vintage..or.. a small producer from a great vintage. I tended towards the latter..thinking Cote Chalonaise...
It was the former..and I later realised I have a bottle in my cellar(present from my wife)
Domaine Armand Rouseau

1er Cru Lavaux St. Jacques 2004
Burgundy, France
Really lovely aroma on pouring...temptation...let me at it! Dancing fruit on the tongue...some marzipan..soft smoky touch...dusty tannins..dry..but a real classy style. When I knew Burgundy like the back of my hand (20 years ago)..
I drank a lot of Rousseau..and it hardly ever disappointed...nothing has changed it seems.
Points 17.75
The last of a mixed 6 pack purchased directly from Salwey...a top producer...and this is the top red.
Salwey Kirchberg ***
G.G. Spätburgunder 2006

Baden, Germany
Decent oak..and typical SB nose..quite full..elderberry fruit...still slightly closed..and maybe a touch 'flatter' than the Frenchy...nevertheless..a real good mouthful of Baden sunshine.
Points 17.5

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Good Red, Great Grey

If you want to compare a selection of wines..start at the bottom and work up is the general rule.
The 'RS' is certainly not the ground floor..but this 'R' is a few steps (moneywise)..upwards.

Salwey Eichberg 'R' Spätburgunder 2006

Baden, Germany
A little disappointed..rather reserved..trace of cherry..lighter style..some vanilla...fresh..needed more airing maybe...so don't hold me to the points
Points 16.5

Salwey Oberrotweiler Henkenberg Grauer Burgunder

Großes Gewächs *** 2007
Baden, Germany
After my reserved tasting notes on sister Weissburgunder..I may go over the top here.
Golden colour...complex aromas..lovely ripe fruit..'Pins & Needles on Cream'..wonderful minerals fill the mouth...
ripe pears and quince..an absolute beauty..and without doubt the best I have tasted. 2007 shows tops again.
Points 17.75