Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Baron Von Baden

Recommended by the lady at the property in Oberrotweil, Kaiserstuhl when we visited in September. I was after a 2007 version...all sold out.
The Baron von Gleichenstein is currently one of Germany’s hot wine makers. With awards from Gault Millau Wine Guide Germany and Vinum he is the 'shooting star'. The Eichberg - a south facing site with slopes from 10 to 45 %, has a soil consisting of mainly vulcanic rock. Well drained it produces racy Spätburgunder grapes with the classic German touch to them.

Freiherr von Gleichenstein
Oberrotweiler Eichberg
Spätburgunder Barrique 2006

Baden, Germany

Tears run down the glass...pale Pinot colour...and this leads to a delicate aroma o
f cherry...some roes...and a touch compost. There is oak here...but so delicately works very well. A cooler style and as it developed on the palate it shows a deliciously juicy...slightly earthy... elegant sweet fruit.
Points 17.25

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two To Please

When I visited the property in September last year I bought a couple of the 2008 version and two bottles of this wine. The property is reknowned for it's Rieslings...and the reds maybe a side-line for freaks (Me).
Andreas Laible
Spätburgunder Durbacher Plauelrain
Spätburgunder trocken S 2009
Baden, Germany

Just a lovely ripe sweet fruit nose...all that this great vintage can promise. Whereas the 2008 was taunt and geeky...this is instantly appealing.
Dark berry and wild cherry fruit. A perfect example to convince everyone to buy this vintage in Baden.
Points 16.5

A birthday present from one o
f my staff...
Schloss Halbturn
Pinot Noir Koenigsegg 2007

Burgenland, Austria
A favourite property of mine...having had a few vintages of their top Pinot Noir. This is the 'basic' v
ersion...and with any top property should show what they are made of at a lower level. Forward...on the nose a fresh cherry aroma...very easy to drink sweet fruit...with a gentle tartness to keep you interested. Spends time in large oak barrels...but as you would expect...nicely integrated. A wine to enjoy with grilled meat on a warm summer evening.
Points 16

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bits & Pieces

Harry Waugh wrote some wonderful books on his tasting notes in the late 70's / early 80's which became essential reading for this young wine-lover. He reported his travels and his notes were usually short, but concise. No beating about the bush with Harry. He visited the States regularly but never got round to Au Bon Climat as it only started in 1982. He would have enjoyed the wines of Jim Clendenen.

Au Bon Climat
Nuits-Blanches au Bouge Chardonnay 2002

California, U.S.A.
Although maybe not this one at this age. A previous bottle last year had shown very well...this offers an old gold colour and a first impression of oxidation. A large glass and a few swirls showed more of it's Burgundian character...nutty and creamy...but over 2 days that lingering sign of age deterred from full enjoyment. 'Not Jim's fault' Harry would have said and gone on to the next wine.
Points 15.5

An even older bottle of wine...with time on it's side.

Knoll Grüner Veltliner
Smaragd Ried Schütt 2000

Wachau, Austria
Aren't I on a great run regarding Grüner Veltliner...some very fine bottles recently...and this just about tops them. Old gold in colour...Knoll's style can be a matter of taste when young...they are a touch heavy. At 10 years old this a now a lighter model...bright and flowery...waxy ageing...touch of botritis...I thought dry Bordeaux for a moment...just perfect on the palate...the salty minerals mixed with some butter.
Points 17.75

A very fine vintage...which should be attractive even when this young...and it is.

Knipser Kirchgarten Spätburgunder 2007
Pfalz, Germany
A wine with depth and length...the property's Cuvée X is a super wine...and although a completely different grape...this shows the style of the aforementioned. The tannins are fine and ripe...a deep colour had entered the cherry aroma with herbs and spices. Almonds on the palate...and a lingering finish. A big wine with the oak beautifully integrated.The vintage entices you...but I'll leave the second bottle to develope. Lovely wine.
Points 17.5

THE ROYAL WEDDING is not an invite to the Royal Wedding. It is a kind invite from the British Consulate for drinks and a T.V. showing of 'THE WEDDING'. I can't make it...but will no doubt be forced by my wife to view it at home. However...I will will able to 'escape' when it all gets too much. I wish them well...but it is 'only' a wedding!

Adeneuer Spätburgunder No. 1 2007
Ahr, Germany watery rim...looks older than it is...aroma of dark fruit...earthy...tobacco...tight...showed some perfume next day...but never really outing itself. A touch disappointing.
Points 16.5

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Grumpy Old Pensioner - Geil Isn't Geil!

On March 20th 1946 I arrived. 65 years later I become an OAP. But 65 is nothing but a number. My day job continues (that pays)...I am still playing soccer on Sunday morning (never been paid)...and look forward to my twice-monthly Radio Show (also never been paid). To say I don't feel my age would be maybe over-doing it...the aches and pains that appear are dealt with and you get on with it. Am I becoming a 'Grumpy Old Man'?
Heaven forbid...I hope not.
When my dad was criticising my teenage lifestyle and music...I swore I would not repeat it myself. But you do! Music today is full of untalented people using the media. Back in MY days (see...I can't refrain) people PLAYED instruments and could sing live. So...I'm not really being Grumpy...more disappointed. What gets on my nerves at the moment? Films where, mostly actresses, hold their wine glass with their sticky fingers round the bowl. Hold it by the ****** stem...didn't they teach you anything in school? However... the most irritating thing at the moment is the misuse of a German word. Every generation has their 'in' words and no doubt in your country there is one that is repeated and repeated til you can't hear it anymore. The word in question here in Germany starts with 'G' and ends with 'eil'.(Pronounced like Dial) It's PROPER meaning is either the Growth Form of Plants OR Sexual Lust. BASTA. I can take the last one and accept it's use in privacy. What has happened though is that the youth has taken it over as an adjective for just about every situation. German is a wonderful language full of words that can and should be used. NADA. What grates me is when people wanting to be 'IN'...many mature in their years, are using the word in every second sentence. It is lazy and dumb. Now...if you are thinking I am going over the top...just picture this...a glass of wine in front of someone...tasting notes: colour geil , smell geil, taste geil...ooohhhh...and a long geil finish. I rest my case!!! Maybe I am becoming a Grumpy Old Man! So...what did I do on this memorable day? In the morning I played soccer down by the river...scored a goal and we was warm so sat in the garden and smoked a Havana cigar... took the usual phone calls...and then went to the studio for my radio show. Did a 2 Hour Special with some favourites (all with real instruments and superb voices...they would probably never make it in the present 'TALENT' Shows...oops...being Grumpy again) then back home and opened this 'Sparkler' from Baden.
Kopp Pinot Brut 2008
Baden, Germany

Friday, March 18, 2011

Airing Your Wines

Drinking alone I usually have some left over the next day...and try to plan my drinking so as not to 'throw' anything away. You can be rewarded when you leave a wine to 'air' for 24 hours...or in the case of the white wine...48 hours. The saying 'You are dammed if you do and you're dammed if you don't' seems appropriate. The first wine suffered...the second rewarded me...the third was a dead-heat.

Rudolf Fürst
Bürgstadter Centgrafenberg
Spätburgunder R 2005

Franken, Germany

I was wondering what to drink...and also checking some wines I was following on Ebay. The auction ended at 8pm that evening...and I had a couple of bottles already in my it was decided. The Fürst would be the choice...and I then had 2 hours to decide whether to buy a couple more. The decision was taken and I won. This wine is now delicate...and almost at it's peak. An aged smokiness...sweet fruit...small red berries...brambly...trace of mushrooms...and some dry tannins. A lively acidity and the delicate finish. Now I have threee bottles in total...and need to check it at 6 monthly periods. If you have a bottle...don't leave it not the type to give you 24 hour pleasure.
Points 17.25

F.X.Pichler Grüner Veltliner
Smaragd Loibner Berg 2009

Wachau, Austria

White pepper...young and sweet on day one...honeyed. Zip up the bottle and wait 2 days. what it said to me on removíng the cork to test the half bottle left. White pepperry nose...and still lots of honey. The 'sweet on the lips' taste had flattened out...broadened...a georgeous layer of waxy fruit on the palate...wrapped in a peppery, spicy glove. Delicious explosion of minerality...a lingering finish. A top wine...
Points 17.75

Knab Endinger Engelsberg
Spätburgunder *** 2006

Baden, Germany

I last tried this in March 2007 and advised myself to leave it alone. Didn't I do well?
Awkward on opening...even with 2 hours airing. got itself together. Intense cherry fruit. A day later there was a thicker marzipan definite improvement...but also no pain.
Points 17

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Preisinger's Prize Pinot

Herr Preisinger is a REDWINE man with 80% of production dedicated to the colour. He is 30 years old..and having spent time in Italy & California he was then Assistant Winemaker for 3 years at the property of his neighbour Hans Nitthaus. The vineyards are completely biodynamic and much of Claus’ compost is supplied by his father’s horse farm. He has vineyards on 44 parcels of land, totalling 14 hectares. He’s young, energetic, and very much terroir-driven. His approach is natural, straightforward, low-tech, and biodynamic. “I take whatever the grapes bring,” he says, “and then I try to put that right in the bottle.”

Claus Preisinger Pinot Noir 2008 Neusiedlerland, Austria
According to Claus Preisinger...this was a difficult year with the weather playing tricks. Too early to drink maybe?...but I was inquisitive. It spends 14 months in oak...a red fruited, forest berries juicy style. My fears not founded...this is already very drinkable. Soft texture, gentle sour cherry fruit on the palate...nice injection of acidity. All sounds like he is a softy...but this is well structured and will age well. Elegant label to boot!
Points 17.25

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Shiraz Versus Syrah

Two wines recently purchased on Ebay...both tasted over 2-3 days to compare styles.
Bellarmine Shiraz 2007
Pemberton, Western Australia
I generally shy away from Australian wines available in Europe...just as I am lucky to have Spätburgunder here in is fellow Blogger Ed better served in his homeland...but this was on Ebay for € 23,-- and seemed worth a try.
Bellarmine Wines produces a range of individual wines made from grapes grown on its picturesque estate in the cool climate region of Pemberton, Western Australia. The vineyard was planted in 2000 and is owned by German doctor, Dr Willi Schumacher and his wife Gudrun Schumacher.
A lot going on here...instant reminder of the old days in France...mixing Champagne with 'Liqueur de Mûres'...ripe mulberry aroma...and plums...with some leathery notes....dark I said...a lot going on.
The tannins are fine and easy...the palate is smooth and velvety and there is a refreshing acidity...this could double for a Côte-Rôtie in style. Very drinkable now...held up over 2 days...and should age nicely. The 14.5% is no way a problem.
Points 17.25

Jean-René Germanier und Gilles Besse
Cayas Syrah Reserva 2007
Valais, Switzerland
At first I thought this would 'beat' the Aussie...there was a creamy texture on first tasting...but this did not develope. A lot less alcohol here...13%...and it is a reserved style....spices and leather developed...and blackcurrant. Soft peppery feel.. This is nicely balanced...a soft introduction to the grape...and a whiff of vanilla appeared again...if only it had been stable.
Not sure this will improve much. An OK wine...and again...a decent price of € 24,--
Points 16.5

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Ebay Minefield

Buying on Ebay. There are some bargains...and the chance to buy a rarity...but there is also the 'minefield'. As in the 'real' can't trust all of the people all of the time.
A few months ago I bought a wine and transferred the said amount. A week later I received a KIA Dashboard! Checking the details on the package...the sender was the person I had bought the wine from. I sent a message...but received no answer. Somewhere, someone had received my wine, and was trying to fit it into his car. No doubt they had also made an attempt to contact the seller. The only solution was, I thought, to sell my 'Dashboard Spätburgunder' again on Ebay. This I did, recuperating a little more than the wine had cost.

My last 'experience' was at the end of November last year. I purchased a wine and transferred the money to an account in Vienna. Then I waited...and waited...and waited. After 2 weeks I sent the usual message asking where the wine was. No reply! After a few more attempts I contacted Ebay to explain the problem. They asked if I had paid by Pay-Pal...the answer being negative as the seller had only offered bank transfer or personal collection. As much as a trip to Vienna would have been very pleasant...not really an alternative. Ebay closed the case.
I checked the seller's recent feedback comments...and they were down to 89%...some buyers wrote they had received no goods and no answer to their inquiries. What to do? behave like a bulldog...dig your teeth in and shake! I checked in daily to the seller's don't believe it...but the wine was offered for sale a second time. I bid again for 'MY' wine (don't worry I was not gonna pay twice). I won the auction...and decided I would bid for all his products and then not send any money. I wrote to Ebay explaining what I had in mind and said I could understand they could do nothing as I had not used Pay-Pal, but that the person was still selling freely and was getting complaints. Why couldn't they ban him. A couple of days wines on offer and a message that the user no longer had an Ebay account. Ah...well...end of story. That's what I thought...until...a few days ago a package arrives. I was waiting on a 2 & 3 bottle delivery from reliable sellers...but not a single bottle. Only on opening...did I find the 'lost' wine inside. Why it now arrived? idea...maybe the user wants to use Ebay again...maybe the customs kept the wine for 3 months (no...I don't believe this either). Whatever the could be tasted a few days later...and here it is...after it's long journey...
Fritz Wieninger
Pinot Noir Select 2007

Wien, Austria
An earthy fruity nose...a touch rough & ready...developed a cherry smell...well put together. Over 2 days it broadened and showed some plums. This is the 'basic' Pinot Noir from the property and is an advert to try their top reds... Grand Select and Tribute...but from a more reliable source.
Points 16.25

Friday, March 04, 2011

Yodeling for Pinot

The area where they yodel and go everywhere by Ski...not really true...but it got your attention.
Bruno Gottard
Riserva Mazzon 2007

South Tirol, Italy

Pure fruit...delicious mix of cherries & strawberries...the latter dominates more with airing. Soft, ripe tannins...lots of wild mountain-like red fruited's that for a description
. There is a trace of oak...Latour in Beaune supplies about 20% each year. 14% Alcohol...but don't expect a heavyweight...and this makes for a wine you go back to again and again. Held up well and was enjoyed a day later.
Points 17.25

Prager Pair

Prager Riesling
Smaragd Steinriegl 2007

Wachau, Austria
Memorable Rieslings...Clos St Hune from Alsace....that Aussie (Polish Hill)...a few Germans...Hirsch from Austria...and this one?
At 3 years old it is already very drinkable...the first turn-on for me...a slight whiff of class petroleum. Pear aroma streams from the glass as well...superb balance here...sweet & steely all in one...and the palate just loving the bouncy minerals. A thrilling wine...
Points 17.75

What should have been a great comparison...turned out to be a slight anti-climax. Not Prager's fault....

Prager Grüner
Veltliner Achleiten
Smaragd 2007

Wachau, Austria
Is that a slight trace of cork? just aren't sure. The style is, again, so could identify his wines almost blind.
White pepper...stones from a cool stream...palate is quite full...not much acidity...and seemed to be holding is tainted...what a pity...nice...but would be much nicer without the 'unwanted make-up'
Points 16.5