Tuesday, September 28, 2010

88 Pointers

Two wines with similar scores in Gault Millau...88 Points
I find I buy a lot of 89 Pointers...mostly good value...but here I would give the first 87 and the second 89....but it's always down to the styles you like.
Weingut Andreas Laible
Durbacher Plauelrain Spätburgunder
Spätlese trocken 2008

Baden, Germany
The property with the most 'prizes' in the whole of Baden-Württemberg....primarily with their Riesling wines.
The red wine...is a side-line...but serious enough to be tried. This is the 'smaller' of the two they offer. I also purchased the 2009 'S'
This costs € 14.50....and for the money you get a little rawness on the nose...earthy maybe...and on the palate...rustic...needs a a few months maybe...brambly fruit...a red wine from a white wine King?...
Points 15.

Weingut Ewald Kopp
Spätburgunder trocken
Alte Reben 2007

Baden, Germany
To quote Gault Millau 'weak wine is not made here'...and I wholeheartedly agree. The recent Chardonnay was delicious and the top red a benchmark wine.
Friend Volker had called...one of the bottles I had brought back for him..had been drank..and he was impressed. Reason to try it myself. More instantly appealing than the Laible...yes...I know the vintage is 'sexy'...but my guess is Kopp would make any vintage 'erotic'. Complex red berry aromas...cream...old vines here...35 years old...and the palate threw up a delicious layer of slightly sweetish fruit...and a lovely dollop of vanilla. As it aired...it spread it's shoulders and has a good backbone...slightly smoky after a while...and the next day was all there...and with a trace of liquorice and a good finish. One of those wines that from start to finish are harmonious. A bargain at € 13.50...and a property to watch.
Points 16.5

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Curry Experience

Pairing wine with food is sometimes personal...and as I have aged...the barriers of youth have fallen. Red with meat, white with fish...was...to the young wine drinker...the Holy Grail. Spending a holiday with elder daughter some 20 years ago changed the Fishy part...she drank red with anything....and even though some were extreme....others were eye-openers. It depends as well on the style it is cooked. All of which is just an opener to this post...but it leads us to the world of finding wines with curry. Chinese and Thai...I find that a soft Pinot Noir / Spätburgunder 'warm' to the challenge. I remember vividly a Chinese Chicken Curry at a very good restaurant...I knew the owner well...and had taken along a red Burgundy..1966 Nuits St Georges if I remember...another eye-opening to all who would cringe at the thought. If the wine is good enough...and it was...it will cope.
Indian Curries however...
well...let me memorize here....
Back in the Swinging Sixties... after a bout in the pub...the choice for me was a female or a curry.
Yes...I know there seems a big difference...but if you use your imagination...and the word 'hot' you can see that the gap is not that large! The Indian restaurants in Bristol were usually packed at 11pm of an evening...this is back in the days when UK pubs closed at 10.30pm. The state of their customers was generally not a good one...and the manners not much better. I look back and think that many of the dishes of curry that left the kitchens had more than just food on the plate. A waiter can get his revenge in many ways! The order was usually a Madras Curry...and...depending on your taste for heat...is a medium curry. No problem for me to eat. The next one up is a Vindaloo...which we never touched. We had a saying...Skip to the Loo with Vindaloo!
Moving on to about 1968...and I had had an interview with a large company called Heinz...in London. I got the job (I was convinced a week later to go to another company Bird's Eye...but that is another story). After this interview in London...being alone...and hungry...I went to the nearest Indian Restaurant. The waiter handed me the menu...and...feeling good after the job success...I decided to try a Vindaloo. The conversation went so...
Barry: 'I'd like a Beef Vindaloo please'

Waiter: 'Oh...No No No Si
r' (I do the accent well don't you think?)
Barry: 'Please...bring me a Beef Vindaloo!'
Waiter: 'On, No No No Sir...very hot'..his eyes showing the pain...

Barry: 'Yes..I know...but I eat Curries regularly...a Beef Vindaloo please'

The waiter retreated...glancing back to see if I would cancel. I was off in dreamland...thinking about some girl back
in Bristol. Ten minutes later...my 'friend' returned with a fiery coloured plate and placed it before me. He stepped back a few yards....I glanced at him...and he retreated a few more paces to the safety of his counter. Now...picture this...I picked up my fork...find a piece of beef, some rice...and that fiery red stuff...and place a portion in my mouth. Now...anyone who has tried any type of spice will know...sometimes the initial impression is 'this is not hot'. Same here...and I sat back and swallowed...glancing at my Delhi friend...his eyes not leaving me. After about 20 seconds...like an erupting volcano...it was payback time. The burning sensation...I gasped...went to my glass of water...which was empty...in my dreamland I had forgotten to re-order. Not trusting that I would be served too quickly...and remembering a milk machine outside the restaurant door...I ran out...struggled to find the appropriate coinage...and thrust it into the machine. The carton of milk fell into the opening...I tore open the top...placed it to my lips...head back...and gulped...and gulped...and gulped. When finally the 'fire' had died...I stopped drinking...my head came down...and through the glass window of the restaurant saw my 'buddy'...his head going up and down. No words were needed...the nodding head was a rough translation. 'I TOLD YOU SO!' I sheepishly returned...ordered a LARGE bottle of water...and finished the meal.

Fast forward to today...we have an Indian Restaurant where we go to bring food home. I have often eaten Madras...asking them occasionally to do it the Indian way...as they tend to 'soften' it for Europeans...and once in a while will try a Vindaloo. But...I am wine-drinking today...and ordered the 'normal' Madras. What to drink?...well.. I was tempted to try a young Spätburgunder from a recent trip...but decided to try two whites.

Yves Cuilleron Condrieu
La Petite Côte 2008

Rhône, France

Wow...absolutely perfect with the food. The nose of honey and exotic fruit...just perfect...but the perfection really is the bouncy minerals...that parry the spice of the curry. Aromatic...just a delight to drink...and a glass the next evening...without the curry...was just as pleasurable. The is the 'minor' wine from Cuilleron...and definitely worth searching for.

Points 16.75

Weingut Knoll Loibner Smaragd
Vinothekfüllung Grüner Veltliner 2007

Wachau, Austria

Smaragd are rarely 'shy' wines..this has a yeasty nose...baby fat smell...much 'fuller' than the Condrieu...still youthful...spicy fruit...next day...yellow apples...the usual white pepper...managed the curry well...but at the moment missing a 'spark'.

Points 16.5

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wine, Merle & Sardines

As work takes over again...the days fly by...and wines are tried...and quickly noted. Here a few from the past 10 days...
Weingut Karl Johner
Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Baden, Germany

I recently read a tasting note...or should it have been notes...of this wine over 22 days!!! The only wines that remain in any bottle for 22 days are Port or Madeira. Another point is...how much was he drinking each day?
Did it need airing...I opened and the initial impression is of soft Merlot...the name on the label is more dominant than the Cabernet Sauvignon...so that fits nicely with the smell. Certainly it has a St. Emilion style...and if you drink this soon after opening...it is soft enough. With airing it broadens it's shoulders...leather and some pepper...but still with some gentle rough tannins...very fine balance..and you will ask why buy a Baden wine when you could purchase an original Bordeaux. Be adventurous and at € 28,-- would you find many of the French version that could compete at the price.
Points 16.75

Weingut Klumpp Spätburgunder trocken
Alte Reben Barrique *** 'SK' 2007

Baden, Germany

I like my new find's wines...Herr Klumpp has a style you instantly know...and this was the only wine still available from the property of the 2007 Vintage.
It is their 'top' wine...but the 2008's tasted recently have all been tops with me. These are old vines used in this SK...and it has a trace of age on the nose....soft burnt smoke. Cherry smell and a touch of chocolate...and while very drinkable now...has a good backbone. Spices layer the palate...and fine acidity lift it. I left some for a day...but I do like these wines fresh from the bottle...I guess it is down to the experience of your palate...
Points 16.75
Roast chicken and potatoes done in the oven...a perfect match.

Salwey Glottertäler Spätburgunder
trocken Barrique 2007

Baden, Germany
This is Salwey's basic red...trace of vanilla and red berry fruit...very 2007 with pure ripe fruit...maybe a touch fat at the moment...time may give it an 'aerobic fix'

Points 16

A meeting of the family for a Birthday...and I took along a Magnum. The history of the bottle...The 'part' owner was Gianluca Picca...sommelier at top German Restautant Lafer. He no longer works there...and our first meeting was after he had just arrived. He spoke only English..and had just arrived from Newcastle in England. We got on instantly...and his recommendation for the evening's drinking was excellent. The restaurant is situated in the Nahe wine area...and Diel is a top property. No doubt as his German improved...and he got to know the property...they created this wine..a Cuvée. It did not exactly knock us out on the evening in our Bistro...was dry, smokey and had a lively fresh fruit. Back to the Bistro...a friend on a nearby table gave me a sip of a wine they had in the restaurant. Two days later...and we had a 'lodger' overnight. My godchild...Merle. Her parents were away overnight...and for the first time...she is now eight...was 'offered' to us to look after her for 24 hours. She arrived mid-afternoon on the friday...and we decided to return to our Bistro so that she could eat Schnitzel and the finely sliced fried chips...a food most children can identify with. This evening I took no wine along...but decided to try a bottle of the wine I had tasted 2 nights earlier.

Botalcura La Porfia Malbec 2004 Maipo Valley, Chile
Too be honest...and I
am...this is a one-glass wine for me...and if we had been 4 wine drinkers...it would have been ideal. The initial full fruit.... and aromas of cherry and plums were satisfying...but then it became 'boring'.
Points 15.5

One funny moment of the evening though...I had ordered 'Fried Sardines' as a starter....they arrived...Merle was waiting for her Schnitzel...and I asked if she wanted to try them. She did...and replied that 'somehow' they tasted good. Of the 20 I had...I think I only ate 8...and the very last one was on the plate...waiting for someone to eat it...that someone was not me. So funny...but I love it when children 'try' before deciding what they like or do not. The next day we spent a few hours in the town center enjoying a special children's day festival. All too short was the time...and when her parents collected her...my wife and I both agreed...it was a wonderful 24 hours!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Swinging Sixties

The sixties were great if you were young and single. I was...and when the day job was over I was out in the pub...off to parties...meet a girl. Yes...I was what they called a ladies man. While others were still down the pub or in the local Indian restaurant...you guessed it...I was concentrating on other things. This was before I ever discovered wine. Back then...the only vinious liquid to pass my lips was a Liebfrauenmilch...a 'German' white which never sold out as the source was endless. Heaven knows what was in it...but the marketing guys had done their job. The alternative, if I remember, was called Golden October. Thank heaven for girls...much more pleasurable. Mind you...looking back...if I lived today as I did back then...I would be dead...either from some strange disease or a shotgun. I lived life to the full...which has stood me in good stead as my marriage is now in its 36th year. To misquote a popular saying...'Seen it, done it, ***** it, ******* it and bought the T-Shirt. The main aim of this young man in the swinging sixties was to try to conquer all he could. Bristol was a vibrant city...with a great area for students & nurses. I had a few flats (apartments) over a period of 8 years that were to be the destination of any girl that fell for the chat. The choice of trousers may have helped...

Now...you may ask what this has to do with the blog....

1. Read the title....'memories'...which is a
weak excuse I know.....

2. German whites were only ev
er Riesling...now we have Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. After the initial teething problems...most properties have learned and now there is a large range to be had.

Weingut Freiherr von Gleichenstein
rauer Burgunder Spätlese trocken 2008
Baden, Germany

Purchased at the property for € 12,50... this has surprisingly plenty of minerals up front. The wine is a little 'fat'...and next day still a bit 'plump'. I find most mid-range ex
amples need time...I have only ever 'loved' one...and that was a Grosses Gewächs. So...I guess my wife is the GG and all the girls I left behind...well...I only 'liked' them.
Points 16.25

I love beetroot...and finely sliced ...this time with some fresh shrimps on top...complimented both wines.

Ewald Kopp Chardonnay trocken 'S' 2009
Baden, Germany

Again...purchased at the property...and I had pointed to the list where both 2008 & 2009 were shown. I was sidetracked by the owner and didn't check which one the assistant had packed. Again...minerals sprang from the glass...but this Chardon
nay was slimmer...stones and streams...a sparkling freshness but no way not to be taken seriously. A trace of sweetness...but from the grape...not the barrel. Does anyone still drink those New World examples that flooded the markets all thoses years ago? A retry next day...and it had developed an enticing exotic smell and the palate threw up lychees and it reminded me of a small scale Condrieu.
At € 13,50 this is a must-buy-again bottle

Points 16.75

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Buying For A Friend

I was asked by friend Volker to bring a selection of bottles back from my recent trip. He left the choice to me...and has 9 bottles in his cellar now.
I decided to try a couple (of my own) to see if we will remain 'friends'!
First one...was our first stop...in Kaiserstuhl. I was heading for Oberrotweil...but stumbled on Johner's property first...it was planned...just later in the day.
The estate is located in the town of Bischoffingen. It was founded in 1985 by Karl-Heinz Johner and his wife Irene. The aim was to produce Burgundian-style wines. Karl-Heinz is now assisted by his son Patrick, who studied in Geisenheim, in Burgundy (Hubert Lignier, Comte Lafon) and Australia (Tim Knappstein) to gain practical experience. The vineyards cover 17 hectares in seven municipal areas. The red wines spend at least 15 months in barriques. Johner has also been active in New Zealand since 2001.

The first Johner wine that stayed in the memory was a half bottle of SJ 2003. The SJ is his top of the range wine....and it was excellent. A recent 2002 was over the hill...but I was able to purchase some 2005 on the trip...but you can't drink that as a house wine every day...well...you could...but only if you win the lottery. But...I am diversing...we want to try one of 'Volker's wines...
Weingut Karl Johner
Spätburgunder trocken 2007

Baden, Germany
Screw cap...instant opening...instant pleasure...just a delicious aromatic smell of sweet cherry fruit...a touch of 'aged' smokiness...and some extra herbaceous aromas...along with the well-used oak. There is a lively acidity that drags the fruit around the palate. As with most mid-ranged Spätburgunder wines...the 2007 Vintage makes them so drinkable now. I left some in the bottle for the next day...and on the second day it still showed all it's qualities.
Points 17.25

I love 'basic' food...if you can call it that...like the Pork Cutlet...'Bratkartoffeln'...and Mushrooms gently done in no more than butter.
The next evening's drinking was to finish of the Johner...but what I had not noticed...was that I had drunk more than I had thought...thus leaving me very little...

On the spur of the moment...and with my own advice being ignored...regarding Klumpp's wines and decanting...I quickly opened the bottle of his Pinot Noir 2008.

Klummp Pinot Noir
Weiherberg trocken Barrique 2008

Baden, Germany
As I mentioned in a previous post...this is very close to the Württemberg area...and this style of Pinot reminds me of something I would get from the top estates there...Aldinger or Schnaitmann.
The vineyard is in the Bruchsal area...and you get a more dryer version compared to the south. I like it. Black pepper...spices...dry hay...bacon...smoke...and blackberries. Elegant structure. Again....I left some in the bottle...and next evening the mid-palate had filled out...some vanilla traces...perfect balance...
Points 17

I can safely say Volker will enjoy the two wines...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Bio Baden

Two wines bought on our recent trip...both organic BIO properties.
Arndt Köbelin is one of the rising stars in Baden.
He was cellarmaster for the Winzergenossenschaft in Durbach until 2005 and was responsible for the quality produced by the Cooperative.
His first vintage was 2005 in his parent's Weingut. This was obviously not going to be adequate for what he had in mind...and the building of his own started in 2006....just on the edge of Eichstetten. The strictness of the Co-Op had frustrated him...he believes that you have to taste the area. This is an organic property with vines up to 40 years old. Anything newly planted is taken from an elderly grower in Alsace. The Spätburgunder vines are situated on the edge of a wood...the nights are cool...but the mornings bring a drying sun.
Weingut Arndt Köbelin Spätburgunder 2008
Baden, Germany
Hand-picked healthy grapes...and it spends 12 months in large oak casks. The first impression is of a kettle without a whistle. It's all there but does not sing. A trace of complexity and some delayed sweet fruit. I corked up the bottle...half left...and was repaid next evening with a delicate, sweet cherry fruit, juicy...good acidity...touch of spice... and an even layer of tannins. This is a bargain at € 9,-- and I am looking forward to trying to top red...and yes...with a good decant.
Points 15.5

I was looking forward to playing soccer on Sunday morning...and on returning I opened a bottle of the next wine...on the advise of Herr Klumpp...'Decant half a day in advance' was his last instructions. I had my radio show in the evening...
and drank the first half that evening...planning to try the rest next day. On Monday I was feeling fine...and decided to go and play again...this time with a much 'better' group of players...for the club I used to play for...some who are still playing with the first team...and the whole bunch with maybe an average age of 40. Nowadays...I have a bandage on the left knee, another on the right....and the right ankle is covered as well. I hadn't seen some of them for 12 months...as Monday is really too soon after the Sunday game. Well...a better return I could not have wished for....I assisted the first goal...then headed the second...and after a quick 'spurt' through a gap...I side-footed home the fourth. Inside of me...you can guess how I felt...and the grins that had greeted me...were more with approval that before the game. At 64, I can still cut it...and heaven knows what I will do when I can't play soccer...but...until that day...I'll keep patching myself together...and give those youngsters a run for their money!
How did we get on to soccer?....ah yes...the rest of the wine. Well...that half-day decant was now a 2-day in the bottle alternative.

Weingut Klumpp...the estate is located in the commune of Bruchsal in the Kraichgau district. It was founded in 1983 by Ulrich and Marietta Klumpp, who had previously already been involved in viticulture. In the meantime, the sons Andreas and Markus have already joined the business, as the second generation. The vineyard comprises of holdings in the following sites: Eichholz, Klosterberg and Weiherberg (Bruchsal), Kirchberg (Unteröwisheim), as well as Himmelreich (Zeutern). The area is planted with the following red varietals: Pinot Noir, St. Laurent, Lemberger and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as with the white varieties Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Auxerrois. First attempts at organic winemaking started in 1985, and since 1996 the estate has committed itself fully to organic production methods.
The house motto: Wer aufgehört hat, besser zu sein, hat auch aufgehört gut zu sein (He who has stopped trying to better himself...has stopped trying to improve himself....that's a rough translation....I'm open to better offers)
Weingut Klumpp
Himmelreich Lemberger 2008

Baden, Germany
Our wine here is from the Zeutern vineyard..I like Lemberger...and have tried quite a few from Württemberg...which is not a stone's-throw away from this most northerly of Baden properties. I have to say...the labels of this property are to my liking...On opening it was full of cool aroma...powdery tannins...medium thick fruit...and plenty of potential to improve. The second half of the wine was, on re-opening...a little miffed at being left in the bottle...afraid it had been forgotten...but it soon showed a smile...touch of perfume...still beefy...but had suitable softened...touch of tar, trace of liquorice on the palate...and as I sipped the last 'dregs'...I found it was still roaming around my mouth a good minute after drinking. What it was like in between the two tastings...I can't tell... I was out scoring goals.
Points 17.25...which for a € 17,-- wine is pretty good value!
By the way...the dog was very friendly...my wife was not sure...but I have never met a vineyard dog yet that bites...maybe they lick the barrels dry.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Wine, Food & A New Notebook

The longest planned break in years...ten days. When you are over sixty and have a job that leaves little time to relax...these 'vacations' are essential. So...with the new notebook ready to be used...it's off to our favourite place...Gasthof Rebstock in Kappelrodeck-Waldulm.

Tuesday 24 August 2010
Monday had been a 15 hour working day and no packing had been done. Not much sleep at night so after discussing everything with my secretary...the day job was left behind…we set off to Waldulm…arriving at 3pm.
Unpacking takes very little time…this is about our tenth visit…a second home if you like…which is one of the reasons why we relax so quickly at the Gasthouse zum Rebstock.
The wine list and menu had been obtained..and the first of many evenings was about to begin.
My wife was hungry…and decided on the 3 course menu. Fine by me.
The wine…well…the choice was one that I wanted last time we were here in May. Back then it had not arrived. The top Spätburgunder from the Mosel…from Molitor…Graacher Himmelreich *** Pinot Noir 2007. Confident that the delivery van had arrived by now…I ordered it. Frau Stark…wife of Rebstock’s owner and chef Karl Hodapp…returned to the table to tell me it was still not in their cellar. Has anyone seen a delivery man looking the worse for wear? Substitute needed. In May I had worked my way through the additions to the wine list..a superb selection of 2007’s…and one that had been left by the wayside…was the Salwey. It was a choice not regretted.
A 'greeting from the kitchen‘ arrived…
Pfifferling Sülze and Pfifferling Süppchen...beautifully presented. The menu conisisted of 1. Terrine von sommerlichen Grillgemüse mit kleinem Salätchen und gebratener Jakobsmuschel. 2. Gebratenes Gänseleberle aus Bühler Zwetschgen angerichtet. 3. Medaillon von Lammrücken in Thymnianmantel dazu etwas Ratatouillegemüse und Röstkartöffele.
Without going into exact details…and the same goes for the following days…and I’m not sure how 'Google Translate' will cope…a rough translation is Scallops…Goose Liver…and Lamb.
Weingut Salwey Oberrotweiler Kirchberg Spätburgunder 'Grosses Gewächs' 2007 Baden, Germany
Instantly appealing…jut a classy intensive smell of a great year . The colour is 'mature'…medium deep but light-rimmed….which never worries we Pinot lovers. Ripe grapes…and this is very forward…can be enjoyed now…as I was doing…but there is a gentle tannic grip. Dried strawberries best describe the taste..and methinks this will evolve well over a 10 year period.
Points 17.75

Wednesday 25 August 2010
A good breakfast…eaten alone…the usual ritual being that I take coffee and bread roll to my wife who is still sleeping!
We decided to stretch our legs and parked the car by Burg Rodeck…a 'castle' overlooking the town of Kappelrodeck. Strangely…we had never been to view it before. We walked up the hill and into the courtyard. There were no signs saying you could not. I took the photos and then a man appeared. We asked if it was OK or was it private property…he said yes it was...but now you are here…no problem. He spoke with a Russian accent. When we were finished we walked down the hill…and took the left turn to a holiday house. The owner of the house appeared and we chatted about the castle owners. They were from Ukraine…and had bought or rented…two years ago. It seems the previous owners had not been able to keep the place. There were signs that some renovation had been done…not sure what the locals think about a ‚foreigner‘ owning their castle…but it is a sign of the times I guess.
We drove to the back of the town…had a brisk walk…meeting a snake on the way…and went to a lovely place we knew about and had a light lunch…Reibekuchen mit Lachs. We sat there almost two hours….the warm sun and the beautiful garden giving us a feeling of contentment.
Back to Rebstock…we sat out on the terrace…drank some tea…and I smoked a Monte Cristo Havana…my wife claims it does not matter where she sits…the smoke follows her!
Claudi…one of the staff asked about a wine that Frau Stark had mentioned at breakfast. Karl Hodapp had purchased an Austrian wine…it was not on the list. I smiled…the night before I wanted a wine on the list that wasn’t there…now I could drink a wine NOT yet on the list. She had given me a new European wine magazine 'FINE'…and there was an article about Roland Velich…and how Robert Parker( one of his tasters....David Schildknecht actually) had given his Blaufränkish 95 Points…the first time any Austrian red had reached these heights. Claudi was given the OK…the evening’s fluid intake was decided.
The day had been warm…but the evening’s can be cool unless you have a really HOT day…and sitting outside can be fine at 7pm…but an hour later you get the chilliness…and…the red wine can suffer.
The main room was closed this evening so we were allocated a table in the Stube.
My wife chose as a starter the 'Kleine Versucherle' three small portions comprising of Schaumsüppchen von Waldklee, gebackener Strudel vom Ziegenkäse auf Gurkennudeln and Salat von der Eyachtal-Lachforelle mit leichter Currywürze...and I opted for the Klösschen von Achertäler Rahmkäs' mit geschmorten Tomätle und gebratenem Gamba.
Her main course choice was from the 2 vegetarian dishes on offer...gebratene Gambas mit hausgemachten Spaghettinudeln und einem Sössle von geschmorten Ofentomätle...and the gebratenes Brüstchen von der Bauerente(Breast of Duck), angerichtet mit etwas Kompott von Bühler Zwetschgen, was the obvious selection to accompany the wine.
Moric Alte Reben 2006
Burgenland, Austria

Dark opaque colour with brooding purple edge. The nose was surprisingly open at first...the bottle having had 2 hours of air. Soft aroma...a trace of cream...and this was continued on to the palate. Then the dark fruit appeared...and a punch of tannin. The wine is beautifully put together...intense spices...but like many young wines...it showed it's teeth the longer it was in the glass. An evolving wine...not the 95 Points Parker...yet....about 92 now.....but a promising future.
Points 17.5

Thursday 26 August 2010
After breakfast...and as my wife slept on...I was out on the terrace typing this on my notebook. The sun is still with us...varied forecasts...but we hope for some fine weather during our stay. Really enjoying noting down our holiday. Typing twice a day will make the blog post from this trip a lot easier when I get back. Rebstock owner Karl Hodapp sat down for 10 minutes and we chatted. The Molitor wine....well...it had been a misunderstanding...and it would arrive in October. He inquired about the Moric from the previous evening...he sees it similar and maybe needing 4-5 years to hit it's peak. Bettina...one of the staff...had tried some the previous evening...and as she is from Austria...had been happy it had shown well.
I lunched out on the terrace...Filet von der Rotbarbe on a mixed salad...then sat myself down on the smoker's couch and had a Hoyo de Monterrey Havana cigar and a Latte....my reading being the new Decanter...which had been in my possession two weeks now..but I had resisted...so as to enjoy it on holiday.
What was new...well...Julio Iglesias has spent millions on wine...and his latest obsession is Pinot Noir..preferably a Romanee-Conti. If I could sing in Spanish we would be a pair!
A reader's poll asked 'Do You Understand German Wine Labels?'...and the results had been...
18% No, I'm unsure what style to expect from the details on the label
29% On the whole yes, but deciphering the sweetness of something like a Kabinett Trocken is a challenge ( I can understand this...even a fluent German speaker like myself would never be sure...you just have to know your properties)
53% Yes, I know my Spätlese from my Auslese (this high proportion surprises me...but also shows that if you put your mind to it...anything is possible)
Also...a short note saying that Parker had revised his marks for the 2000 Vintage. If you have any Chateau Figeac, he has reduced it from 93 to 85! A hefty extra 3 points were given to Chateau Pontet Canet...that's 93 to 96 Points. Guess what...the wine-list at Rebstock has an extensive list of the vintage..and...guess what again...the Pontet-Canet is there. Frau Stark
was requested to open at 6pm and decant. Sleeping Beauty(my wife) had awoken by now...at at 4pm we walked up through the vineyards...we've done it many times...but it never gets boring. Beautiful views...great air...and the photo of a vineyard in the distance reminded us of a rasta hairstyle!
The empty Bordeaux bottle was on the table...and the decanter gleaming with the dark red fluid.
There was a small change to the menu list...no more Waldklee...to be substituted by Pumpkin.
After the warm day...at last...we could sit outside on the beautiful terrace.
Just a mention here on the 2010 Vintage...it has been a poor summer for the grapes...and I mentioned to Karl Hodapp the mixed bunches on the Spätburgunder vines in Waldum. Some grapes ripe and dark....other green and nowhere near ready. Unless the next few weeks brings permanent sun...the vintage does not look too good.

That evening we started with Schaumsüppchen von Muskatkürbis mit einem Kürkisflan(gewürzt mit etwas Ingwer).

During our stays here we repeat-eat...the menu card changes slightly...but some courses need to be tried more than once. While my wife was on this trip tonight...I opted for the gebrantenes Gänseleber, angerichtet auf einem Bohnensalätchen mit Pfifferlingen. The Gänseleber from on the first day had a warm base...here...the lightness of the salad was a delightful marriage for the Goose Liver.
I had chosen the food to give the wine every chance. While I will let a Pinot deal with some fish and various starters...a tannic Bordeaux would not thank me.
Lamb, of course, is an ideal partner...Medaillon vom Lammrücken im Mantel aus schwarzen Oliven und Salbei aus unserem Garten, dazu angeschwenkte Ofentomätle und Münsterrösti.
Two ingredients here could be trouble if over-used. The Olive crust for one...could be too bitter...this was just perfect. I like Rösti...and the light addition of some Münster Cheese added that extra interest.
The evening was holding up well...no need for the shawl or jacket...and as the sun went down...we treated ourselves to a selection from the dessert list...which we like sharing from one plate.

What about the wine you may ask...96 Points. Well...no...the original 93 would still be my choice if I pointed out of 100...
Chateau Pontet-Canet 2000 Pauillac, France
Legs Galore....Red Wine Tears clinging to the inside of the glass. Now...I grew up(wine-wise)
on Bordeaux...loving the style. Over the past few years ,though, I have bought very little.
The tasting I have attended have shown many wines not being themselves...as the trend for
early drinking forces the Bordelais to change their style. My cellar still has some goodies from the 60's, 70's and 80's...which I turn to when the craving arises. But...let's get back to tonight's wine. I want a Bordeaux to smell like a cigar-box....like cedar-wood...and this one did.
Old style pleasure...and a touch of leather saddle.There is still a soft tannic grip...and it is just about ready to really enjoy. Strangely...the last glass took on another layer....as though the fruit had pushed it's head up to get some air. Will evolve further...and is a Bordeaux for 'Bordeaux Lovers'. Enjoyed it...
Points 17.25
The terrace was almost empty...and we said goodnight to our waitress Bettina.

Friday 27 August 2010
Thunder and lightening in the night...and dark clouds over the vineyards. We decided to drive to Kenzingen. We had discovered a shop there a couple of years ago. They were said to have a good wine selection...it wasn't exactly true...but my wife found the shop to her liking...they have a selection of fine chocolate...and other exotics. It wasn't MY Friday. Before and after the chocolate visit I drove to two properties nearby...nobody home. One was no doubt in the vineyards...the other had taken a week's holiday! Added to that...I ended up eating a bread roll for lunch (we had hoped to have a portion of Pommes Frites from a place we had found last time...he was no longer there!). The area is very near to Kaiserstuhl...which is known for having more sun than anywhere in Germany. It was really hot...so the chocolate was placed in the coolest place in the car. The weather changed as we drove back to Waldulm,,,dark and brooding...the black clouds hanging over the Black Forest top road. The heavens opened.
Inside the cosy restaurant...the world was sunny again.
The wine chosen...the food ordered...and we received a 'greeting' from the kitchen...
Kalbsbäckchen mit Steinpilzen(tender Calves cheeks)...it was absolutely delicious...we could have eaten a plateful as a main course. My wife had chosen the to warm her up...I wanted to try the Klares Süppchen vom Rindertafelspitzbadisches Vittelo Tonnato von Spanferkelrücken auf Carpaccio von grünen Spargel.. The main course for both of us was a permanent fixture on the menu....from the oven: gefüllte Wachtel(Quail) 'Himmel & Erde' (off the bone filled with Apple, Gooseliver & Blood Sausage)...The red appeared...and you may well stare...the fourth different country since I arrived.
We've had Germany, Austria, France...and now...to please all of you who seem to think I only drink Pinot... a Spanish Senorita...and a feisty one at that! Pingus 2004 is on the list...as is Roda 1 2004. The vintage was top in Spain...also in Italy of which there is also a top selection on the wine-list. However...back to the Flamenco Lady.
Numanthia Vega de Toro 2004
Toro, Spain

Man...almost black in colour...opaque...the thick tears running down the glass after the first swirl. This lady has teeth I thought...but also a soft side. The nose presented me with a whiff of her perfume...mountain spice must be the make. This is 100% Tempranillo...which to many means Rioja...soft and velvety. This is a few steps up...there is a softness there...and occasionally you think you have caught it permanently...but the semi thick tannins grip you...as would any young Senorita in your dreams. Spicy black fruit on the palate...she craves for meat at the moment. The 14.5% Alcohol was evident but no way a barrier...this is so well balanced...and while a pleasure now...it could easily hit 20 years...making it then a mature Senora.
Points 17.75...with more to come. Viva Espana!

Saturday 28 August 2010
Lazy day...then tried the vegetarian dish...angeschwenkte Pfifferlinge in Schnittlauchrahmsössle mit Kartoffel-und Spinatmaultäschle angerichter...for Lunch. The sun appeared at 4pm...it had been hard work bursting through those clouds. A brisk walk up to the top on the vineyards...the photo to the blog shows the direction...and on returning I was invited into the wine cellar by Karl Hodapp to 'chat'. We have similar thoughts on wine...and it is always enjoyable to exchange views. I mentioned that I was thinking of drinking one of the three red Burgundies on the list. All from the 2003 Vintage....a Tollot-Beaut, a Volnay & a Clos des Lambrays. The latter was my decision...and it was opened at 6pm.
We are usually in the restaurant at 7pm...and this evening a few minutes earlier as my wife had eaten very little all day...and was craving for food.
She chose dishes we had already tried...small starters...and I opted for the menu noted here on the first day. The wine stood ready...and was tasted.
Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2003 Morey-St. Denis, Burgundy, France
It did not smell bad...just aggressive. I nodded that it was OK...then went to work on it.
It was tight-nosed...a few swirls...still lacking any attractiveness...this needs REAL airing I thought...so had it decanted. It started to soften...but I noted 'brutish'...it seems to have power that is not revealing any soft tones. The tannic bite is still evident. This is rated highly...and may reach it's height someday...BUT...if I tried a Romanee Conti at this age...it would be closed...BUT...would show the sexiness of Pinot Noir. This one was hard work...
real hard work...the vintage was a hot one...will the fruit ever be seen...drink til 2030 I read...that's a lot of glass swirling! The 93 Points given somewhere seemed to be a 'future' marking.
Points 16.25

Sunday 29 August 2010
The first time you know you are finally relaxing is when you miss lunch and have a snooze.
At 3pm it was out on the terrace...the light gray skies still winning the battle. A cup of Morgentau Tea and a piece of Apple Cake...oh...a some Whipped Cream. As I have been on a diet of not eating cake, marmalade etc recently...I have the urge today.
The wine for the evening was already recommended...Karl Hodapp had sent a message earlier...try number 50.
We also decided to eat 'simple'...the badische Schneckenrahmsüppchen mit Kraütern, überbacken (Snail Soup)...and my wife Eva chose the geüllter Ochsenschwanz und Rindermedaillon mit Ochsenmarkkruste in Spätburgundersößle...while I went for some local beef...Entrecote vom weiderind mit Pfifferlingssößle angerichtet mit etwas cremigen Lauch und Tomatenwürfele.
Weingut Martin Waßmer Schlatter Spätburgunder 'SW' 2007 Baden, Germany
This was number 50...Martin has a brother Fritz who is also situated in Bad Krozingen. The wines there have a dose of oak when young...and this was also the case. A full dark berry nose...and this continues on to the palate...it softened by the second glass...lost a bit of it's baby fat and showed more slimline character. The last SW I tried was the 2002 at 5 years old...and methinks another 2 years is needed here. The usual sprinkling of medium tannins...
Points 17

Monday 30 August 2010
My wife had an appointment at the hairdressers...so joined me for breakfast.
While she was being wash and combed...I popped into the local co-op.
Winzergenossenschaft Waldum...and managed to purchase
2007 Spätburgunder Pfarrberg trocken
The weather was still not for walking...so the planned trip to the Kaiserstuhl area was brought forward a day. It would have been beautiful if the sun had been shining...but I was on the prowl to buy wine. As it was...the weather was better there than where we stay near to the Black Forest mountains. First stop was in Bischoffingen....

Weingut Karl Johner.
2007 Spätburgunder trocken
2005 Spätburgunder SJ
2005 Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon

At the other property in Bischoffingen Hofgut Consequence there was nobody home...the door to the courtyard was open...and I tried to phone them later...but no luck.
Onward then to Oberrotweil and the first stop...
Weingut Freiherr von Gleichenstein
2008 Oberrotweiler Henkenberg Grauer Burgunder Spätlese trocken
2008 Oberrotweiler Henkenberg Grauer Burgunder Spätlese trocken Barrique Baron Louis
2008 Oberbergener Baßgeige Spärburgunder trocken
2008 Oberrotweiler Eichberg Spätburgunder trocken Barrique
2006 Oberrotweiler Eichberg Spätburgunder trocken Barrique
No 2007 Vintage anymore...but the 2006 is highly rated...and the 2008 was on offer.

On the same road...a few 100 metres along is the other top property here...
Weingut Salwey.
The tasting room was full in use...with Salwey Junior conducting proceedings...
The man that served me was a 'hoverer'...trying to read my notes...and I was thankful to be left alone when a couple came in. By the time he was finished I had chosen.
2007 Glottertaler Eichberg Spätburgunder trocken Barrique
2007 Spätburgunder trocken Barrique RS
2007 Oberrotweiler Eichberg Spätburgunder 'Großes Gewächs'
The rain was pouring down...so I went to the car...Mr Hoverer bought the wine to me...
that will teach him to hover!

Next stop...Bötzingen...this is a Bio property...Matthias Höfflin is situated in the middle of the vineyards...and without the Sat-Nav we would have not found it that quickly.
Weingut Höfflin
2007 Spätburgunder trocken
2007 Spätburgunder trocken Barrique
2007 Spätburgunder trocken Barrique Prestige
These were the last of his 2007's

Down into the centre of the village we stopped for a coffee and some home made nut cake at the Hotel / Restuarant 'zur Krone'.
As the next property was another small one...I decided to call ahead.
The short drive was to Eichstetten...
Weingut Arndt Köbelin
2008 Spätburgunder trocken
2008 Spätburgunder trocken Alte Reben Barrique *** 'S'
We headed back 'home'...and stopped for some fast food...no names...
our restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Tuesday 31 August 2010
The clouds over the mountains were lighter today...and the sun was peaking through.
We were off to Durbach. The journey between Waldulm and Durbach we have done many times...and it never fails to please. The villages full of flowers...fruit trees abound..and, of course, the vineyards everywhere. We decided to lunch at Hotel / Restaurant Rebstock. No...I am not seing double...the name is used a lot...and the one in Durbach is a classy hotel...and we sat out on the terrace overlooking the beautiful gardens. The food was OK...but my scollops were maybe missing a little flair. In the centre of the village there is a mini-golf course...and we enjoyed a game. Two visits to buy wine. Number one...up the hill to the property of Andreas Laible. Herr Laible Senior met us...two young cats were roaming the yard...and he said we could take one if we wanted. We grinned...I said we only wanted some Spätburgunder!

Weingut Andreas Laible
2009 Durbacher Plauelrain Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken
2008 Durbacher Plauelrain Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken Barrique
There is not much 2009 available in red at the moment...so I was glad to be able to purchase some.
Next stop was a property I had visited back in May...Heinrich Männle.
It is high up in the vineyards and we were again greeted by Sylvia Männle.
The 2007 had pleased last time. No 2008 available yet.
Weingut Heinrich Männle
2007 Durbacher Kochberg Spätburgunder Spätlese trocken

Back to Waldulm to find Karl Hodapp trimming the bushes around the hotel. He is never idle and between lunch and dinner he is usually found doing the necessary chores to keep the Gasthof Rebstock looking great. He had mentioned a few days before that he was going to visit a property near Baden-Baden...Weingut Ewald Kopp...and had asked me to accompany him. Tomorrow at 3 pm... He likes the car we drive...so I'll give him the keys and tell him to drive us there.
The evening is beautiful now...the sun sending it rays across the vines...the colours everywhere thanking it...and smiling back. Hey...I'm getting very poetic here...better get back to decided on tonight's wine.
There were changes to the menu tonight...and we were not disappointed with the results...gebackener Strudel vom Zeihenfrischkäse mit Birnen-Trauben-Chutney and the Kurbis Schaumsüppchen for Eva-Maria....and I took the Terrine vom Steinpilz mit kleinem Herbstsalätchen und gebratenem Wachtelkotelette for starters. My wife then opted for the Medaillon Schweinelendchen im Mantel aus Steinchampignons und Schwarzwälder Schinken gebraten...and the kross gebratener Spanferkel mit süssem Senfsössle auf Bratkartoffelpüree looked good on the list...so Suckling Pig it was.
It is rare that I order a wine in a restaurant if I have it in my cellar. On our last visit I had tried the 2007 Pinot Noir from the property..awarded 97 Points by Gault-Millieu. This evening it was the 'second' best from the property. Second best!!??...and I have some at home...but...I couldn't resist drinking it tonight.
Weingut Friedrich Becker Spätburgunder trocken 'St. Paul' Grosses Gewwächs 2007 Pfalz, Germany
Great nose!...intense dry strawberry...gentle rippling tannins...man is this good...it just lies so beautiful on the palate...
The normal proceedure every evening...is to send a glass to Karl Hodapp in the kitchen. Same again this evening...BUT...with difficulty***!
Points 18.25

Wednesday 1 September 2010
A quick drive to Durbach to collect a shawl my wife had left there the previous day.
We had breakfast...and then set off to the High Road...to visit the Mummelsee in the mountains. We bought some Ham...walked round the see...and drove back down to the music of Van Morrison...perfect for the wonderful scenery.
Lunch on the terrace...the sun warming our elderly bones!...look...we ain't that young anymore.

As planned...Karl Hodapp was ready and waiting at 3pm...and we set off for Sinzheim-Ebenung to visit Weingut Kopp.
This part of Baden is much flatter...and the panorama is competely different compared to the hilly region of the Ortenau. Ewald Kopp greeted us and we chatted about this and that. Herr Hodapp had purchased a
Riesling for his restaurant...Klostergut Fremersberg Feigenwäldchen Riesling Spätlese trocken 2009.

I was, of course, interested in the Spätburgunder. I purchased a few bottles..
Weingut Ewald Kopp
2009 Chardonnay trocken 'S'
2007 Spätburgunder trocken Alte Reben
2007 Spätburgunder trocken 'R'
The 2007 Spätburgunder trocken 'S' was on the Rebstock list...and I had taken home a bottle on my last visit...it had impressed.
We thanked Herr Kopp...and as we left he gave me a bottle of his Sekt...Pinot Brut...we had talked about Champagne...and he said I should try it. I will...
He thanked Herr Hodapp for the order of 60 bottles of the Riesling...and also gave him a present. On the journey back...I was shown the bottle. It was the 2007 Spätburgunder trocken 'R'...and he asked if I wanted to drink it tonight. Guess what I replied?
Weingut Ewald Kopp Spätburgunder trocken 'R' 2007 Baden, Germany
No messing about...it smells and tastes of forest fruits...wild strawberries...the fruit is vibrant...instantly appealing...no hrd work needed here. Ewald Kopp learned his trade at the top property in Baden...Huber. After the 'S' recently...and now the top wine 'R'...it is noticable that Kopp has his own 'style'...one you could pick out in the dark...if your drinking habits are s inclined. We still had lights on in the restaurant...and..as all good wines do...it almost all disappeared...I remembered at the last minute to send the usual glass into the kitchen to Herr Hodapp...along with tasting notes and marks.
Points 17.5

Thursday 2 September 2010

The perfect day in Waldulm...you hear the stream outside...hardly a cloud in the sky.
My wife spilled coffee in her bed while enjoying her breakfast. Hang on...what perfect day?
Anyway...where were we...ah yes...the birds twittering away...I wonder if any are on that daft internet forum Twitter...I doubt if any respectable bird would venture there. This old bird prefers talking to people face to face. I am sat out on the balcony while Eva-Maria watches a film on TV. It is the last day here...and I don't really want to drive anywhere...just need to see, smell, hear and memorize all around me. Old age throws up aches, pains and various ailments...and
thankfully this holiday...they have been kept in check...making it a real break. We took a long walk along a path with trees and bushes marked with descriptions...although my wife knows most of them...and I am asked...what fruit is that etc. We sat out on the terrace and had some tea & coffee...and I treated myself to a Siglo 1 Havana. Karl Hodapp's wife...Sandra Stark looked after us...we could have sat there forever I think. The early evening sun warming but not boiling.

The choice of wine on our last night was down to two....either
Dr. Heger Ihringer Winklerberg Spätburgunder trocken Grosses Gewächs 2003
Huber Hecklinger Schlossberg Spätburgunder trocken 'R' Reserve 2005
As Herr Hodapp always gets a glass as part of our ritual...I decided to let him choose.
I was going to let it be a surprise...but he was around when I went down early...and he told me he had read that the Heger was going downhill...surprising as it had been sturdy two years ago. The Hecklinger it was then....
A couple of changes to the menu...so choosing was not a problem...
gebratenes Gänseleber, angerichtet auf etwas Rahmsauerkraut mit Trauben followed by geschmortes Kalbsbäckchen mit Steinpilzen in Jus, dazu kleine Gemüsegarnitur und Petersilien-Weckklößle.
And so to the wine
Weingut Huber Hecklinger Schlossberg Spätburgunder trocken 2005 Baden, Germany
I have had this a few times now...tracking it's evolvement.
The cork had been pulled an hour before...and a drop was poured into the glass.
Not the forthcoming wow factor I knew and remember...and at first I thought
this can't be over the hill. Reflecting...it was probably a slightly 'bad' bottle. There was a burnt smokiness...and a dry palate. Herr Hodapp was also disappointed in his glass...maybe I'll risk it again next time.
Points 16.25...which is almost 2 points less than 6 months ago.

Friday 2 September 2010
Up early...breakfast...Claudi on duty this morning...then packed...and as we are on the 3rd floor(no elevator here)...it is 10 times up and down the stairs. Good job I am fit!
Goodbyes to the staff and Karl Hodapp....

On the way back I wanted to visit one of the northerly properties of Baden...and had called in advance...just in case they were all in the vineyards.
Weingut Klumpp is situated in Bruchsal....and we found Markus Klumpp in the kitchen.
There was a restaurant room...which he told me was now closed as the wines took all his time.
His wife was cooking...and the smell of garlic was intennse.
I asked if he had any more 2007 and the only one he had was the SK. I bought some of the following...the 2009 being recommended by Herr Klumpp
Weingut Markus Klumpp
2009 No 1 Cuvèe
2008 Pinot Noir Weiherberg trocken Barrique
2008 Zeutener Himmelreich Lemberger trocken Barrique ***
2008 'Cuvee M' trocken Barrique ***
2007 Spätburgunder trocken Alte Reben Barrique *** 'SK'

A great holiday....hopefully you enjoyed the report as much as I did writing it.