Thursday, May 26, 2011

The New Ambiente

The Ambiente in Bauscheim has moved....Riccardo Re and Pedro Fernandes have taken over the renovated Alte Oberförsterei in Kelsterbach.
There is the Gourmet Restaurant in the Wintergarten, the Trattoria and a Summer Terrace.
I was invited to the opening 6 weeks ago...and finally had the chance to eat there. Alex, who is organizing the Syrah tasting in a few days time, contacted me and we decided to meet up for dinner.
The two wines I delivered the day before. Alex likes Riesling...and you all know what turns me on!
I had reserved a table in the Wintergarten...but it was such a lovely evening that we ate outside.

Monzinger Halenberg,
Riesling Spätlese, 2006

Nahe, Germany

This had some petroleum on the nose...I love it...beautifully balanced...the delicate fruit making this perfect at the moment.
Points 17.5

HE Dausch 'the gurus'
Pinot Noir 2006

Pfalz, Germany
Medium colour...with an orange rim...looks older than it is...very French nose...touch of smoke...the palate shows compact fruit...classy...lovely balance...
Points 17.5

Good to meet fellow blogger Alex.
He seemed happy as well with all that was on offer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Syrah Blind Tasting

I have been invited to a tasting...organized by fellow wine-blogger Alex....this Saturday.
Am I going?....three reasons that would 'maybe' stop me
1. No PINOT NOIR! is a blind Syrah tasting....but I'll risk it!
2. I play soccer on Sunday mornings...then have my radio show Saturday evening is usually a gentle if I get complaints about my performance on the field...I will blame Alex....but..still gonna risk it!
3. This Saturday is the final of the Champions League (Soccer for you lot over the water)...and essential for all lovers of the round ball game....
BUT...I'll still risk it!
I love wine as much as soccer.

Joking aside...I am looking forward to the tasting.

My choice of bottle is already covered up...I had a few others in mind...but decanting would maybe have been necessary and therefore would not lend itself to a blind tasting.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wess versus Moser

Delving into the array of Austrian whites received recently...and choosing the 'simpler' bottles first.
The Wess was priced at € 19,-- and the Sepp Moser at € 16,-- although checking the invoice I saw that the Merchant had not charged for this bottle. A nice touch!
Both tried over 3 days...the Wess on day 1, then the Moser, and on day three a re-try to see how they had developed.

Rainer Wess
Grüner Veltliner Pfaffenberg 2009

Wachau, Austria
To quote "Some of the grapes come from plantings located in Kremstal (even though they are situated right next to Loibenberg) and the rest are from Wachau vineyards that almost reach the Danube (where Loibenberg is about 300 m from the river). The soils are mostly sandy clay with underlying primary gneiss. The warm southeast facing provides enough fruit to make it accessible, but Pfaffenberg's steeply terraced rocky plantings dominate the wine."

Relaxed smell...soft pears...really very smooth, soft & oily...good concentration and ready now...and only with plenty of airing do you get any minerals...not much pepper is this one. On day three I tried it after the Moser...and it seemed flat compared.
Points 16

Sepp Moser
Grüner Veltliner Breiter Rain 2009

Kremstal, Austria
To quote "The Sepp Moser Estate was founded by the famous Austrian wine producing pioneer, Lenz Moser. Lenz Moser's son, Sepp Moser, began operating under his own name in 1987 and handed over the direction of this family-owned estate to his own son Nikolaus in the year 2000. The Sepp Moser Estate comprises of 50 acres of vineyards in two prominent wine regions; Kremstal (22 ha) and Neusiedlersee (28 ha). The name ”Breiter Rain” means broad (Breiter) uncultivated piece of land (rain, old german word) and is one of the best sites of the Kremstal region!"

A bouncy nose...herby citrus, sour apples (better than it sounds)...a constant interest...delicious palate...honeyed, waxy fruit...lively acidity...good finish...and on day 3 was still hitting the spots...never boring...and at the price (oh..I forgot..I got it free)
Points 16.5

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Restaurant Einhauser

You reach a certain age...and the children have no idea what to give you for a Birthday I now receive an invite to a restaurant. The one chosen by our eldest is somewhere we have been meaning to visit but something has always meant us cancelling our plans. Birthday was in March but it was late April and we finally booked a table at Einhauser in Wiesbaden. Bianca, our daughter, and her husband Jochen, had been there a few times but... as I always do...I checked for reports, photos, anything to be informed. Nothing! Did it exist? It does now...and this is probably the first review.

Friday evening...and the four of us is situated in one of the side an area full of eating houses. Bianca had ordered her favourite table by the window...a good some tables are very close to each other. The restaurant very 'homely'...and has a busy feel to it. Seating about is recommended to book in advance.
The menu is hand written...and there is a board with a few dishes of the day. As a starter we chose the selection of Tapas...two for four people was just perfect....and anyone who knows us...we like to share when we eat. I still was not sure what the wine-list would be like...and when asked...was told it was at the back of the menu. This can mean a list of wines without vintages and growers usually....but thankfully...what was there...was an interesting choice. Mostly Italian...which I would have tried....BUT...and here we have to go back to our trip to the Pfalz last October. At lunch the Sommelier asked where we were going next on our visit to vineyards. We told him Knipser in Laumersheim...and he suggested a visit to Zelt which was very close. To cut a long story short...we visited Knipser...but it was so busy...we just didn't make it to Mario Zelt's Weingut. Our loss I think.
So...back to the wine-list...and we needed a whi
te for the Tapas. What do I see? Zelt Cuvée 'S 2009..and a bottle was duly ordered. Now...if they had the white...could it be they would have a red?. I flipped over a couple of pages of Italia and... there it was...Zelt's Grosskarlbacher Burgweg Spätburgunder 2008. Perfect.

The starters were delicious...very imaginative. The white
Zelt Cuvée 'S 2009 Pfalz, Germany
This Cuvée is fully developed in stainless steel tanks...Weißburgunder & Chardonnay is the mix. Decent acidity so no flabbiness...a creamy texture...and a good finish
Points 15

The main courses were good....I had photos...I was concentrating on the bottle or red.

Zelt Großkarlbacher Burgweg
Spätburgunder 2008

Pfalz, Germany

Smells good, tastes good...and by golly! does you good. An old advertising
slogan from years ago...but so appropriate...and a perfect wine to go with all the foods. Cherry red...berry fruit edges...spicy...soft earth on the palate...forest berries...and a delicious finish. We are not talking about a BIG wine here...just a perfect moment with a wine that promises all you could expect.
Points 16.75
In the restaurant priced at € 34,--...very fair...about twice what it costs at the property. longer available...and no merchant has it...the property informs that the 2009 will be on offer from July this year. I can only recommend that you buy some. I will.
I also recommend a visit to Einhauser...good, honest food... a pleasant pretensions
...a good time was enjoyed by all.

Notes 2

Claus Schneider Weiler Schlipf
Spätburgunder trocken *** CS 2007

Baden, Germany

This is starting to settle
down...the oak is singing in the background thankfully...and the cherry fruit is taking over the lead... very savoury....earthy & minerals...3 bottles left....
Points 17.25

Weingut Huber Hecklinger Schlossberg Spätburgunder 'R' 2007
en, Germany
I should have been on holiday at the moment...but as previously wife had an operation and a tour of Baden would not have been possible. Occassionally I think about our little heaven in Waldulm and a touch of sadness appears....we have re-booked for August though...but I decided to open a wine that Rebstock have on their list. I enjoyed it so much on a previous visit that I drove to the property to buy 3 bottles...which turned into 6...strike while the iron is hot...or maybe don't regret not buying more...whatever...half a dozen were put into my cellar. One has gone...and to compensate my vacation loss...another was to be opened on a Monday evening. Sweetish nose...with a juicy zip...traces of marzipan...a furry tannin covers the dark cherry fruit. Having had the pleasure of drinking a few Huber top wines...this is really very forward and drinkable...but methinks that disguises the fact that it will get better. It spends 18 months in new oak...but this is so well balanced...with minerals bouncing off the fruit...and a fine length of flavour. A perfect House Wine for Monday evenings...if I win the Lottery. Stick with this wine if you have it...I know my Hubers!
Points 17.75

Roc d'Anglade 'Clos de La Belle' 2004
Vin de pays du Gard, Languedoc

I last tri
ed this 3 years ago and bought a couple of bottles. It had REALLY impressed and showed it would develop more. Well..that WOW nose is a little less WOW...still Eucalyptus and minty...but reserved. A cool aroma nowadays...and the palate has also mellowed. Still reminds one of the Languedoc wild countryside...and there is a lively olives...but I have to admit...the youthful version remains in the memory. Let's see how it develops.
Points 17

Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner
Smaragd Honivogl 2009

Wachau, Austria

exotic bundle of fruit...Grapefruit, Orange....smokey tobacco....oriental spices. The honeyed fruit covers the lips...but hey...this is still young...a few years in the cellar will help. A beautiful balance to this wine...exotic has to be repeated...very ripe fruit...and intense minerals.
Points 17.5
but much more to come....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summer Wines

The sun is appearing more often...and we hope for a long summer. My elderly bones need sun...the winter was spent taking Vitamin D tablets to compensate...which seemed to get me through the long cold months. Checking the cellar it seems bare of whites for long summer evenings. An enjoyable afternoon was spent perusing a Wine-List from an Austrian Merchant...full of Grüner Veltliner and Sauvingon Blanc from the Steiermark (a tip...this area is making some wonderful versions of the grape). Choosing about 14 bottles...I told the Merchant to add 4 more of his choice...and a large case arrived. Eighteen wines to be enjoyed when the sun goes down of an evening....

Daniel Jaunegg Sauvignon Blanc Muri 2007
Willi Sattler Sauvignon Blanc Kranachberg 2007
Willi Sattler Sauvignon Blanc Privat 2006
Weingut Polz Sauvignon Blanc Therese 2009
Weingut Polz Sauvignon Blanc Hochgrassnitzberg 2008

Manfred Tement Morillon Zieregg 2007
Manfred Tement Morillon Sulz 2008

Prager Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Zwerithaler 2008
Karl Holzapfel Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten 2009
Leo Alzinger Grüner Veltliner Reserve 2009
Martin Nigl Grüner Veltliner Privat 2009
FX Pichler Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Loibner Berg 2009
Tegernseerhof Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Höhereck 2009
Salomon Grüner Veltliner Lindberg 2009
Veyder Malberg Grüner Veltliner Hochrain 2010
Rainer Wess Grüner Veltliner Pfaffenberg 2009
Rudi Pichler Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Kollmütz 2009
Sepp Moser Grüner Veltliner Breiter Rain 2009

Monday, May 16, 2011

Notes 1

With all that is going on at the moment I am still in the phase of not taking too many notes as I drink. Mind you...I have never been one to write 'books' on any wine. I try to put over a 'feel' for it and the blog should also be of interest, not only to wine lovers, but anyone else. You can probably describe most wine with a basic 10 words...although that would put all WE Bloggers out of work.
Chateau de la Negly La Falaise 2005
Languedoc, France
I have been invited, by a fellow wine blogger, to a blind tasting of Syrah wines at the end of the month. My bottle to take has not yet been completely I was hovering around the South of France part of my cellar and saw I still had one bottle of this. It would maybe have got disqualified if I had taken it as it is only 60%'s friends Grenache & Mouvedre are in there.
No sign of age...deep brooding...a great layer of sweet cassis fruit...this is almost porty...14.5% which needs plenty of air. This begs to be shared with friends...or left overnight...where it shows a wild berry fruit.
Points 17

Vie di Romans Flors di Uis 2006
Friuli, Italy
One on my favourite Sauvignon Blanc comes from this property....and there is a bottle each of the 2004 & 2005 Vintages in my cellar.
This single bottle of their more basic white has been pulled in and out over the last few weeks. Maybe put back with the thought I had left it too long and didn't fancy an aged oak glass of white.
The colour would frighten anyone...but this always seemed to have been deep gold...smokey, burnt toast at first...honey...spicy oak...medium weighted...I find this just about right.
I guess the good cellaring could have made a I know a few people said it is past it's best. Not so here...The oily texture reminds one of a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape...delightful fruit and some minerals even on the palate.
Left overnight I ended up with a bunch of liquid bananas. A real nice surprise...
Points 16.75

Klumpp 2008 Pinot Noir ***
Baden, Germany
Sometimes the best promoted vintage does not always win. I bought a bottle of the 2008 from the property and enjoyed it's earthy fruit...which reminded me more of Württemberg than Baden...hardly surprising considering that the Weingut is to the north. I managed to find a 2007 version but found the wine to be maybe too smooth...missing the zip of the 2008. Trying to make up a case of 6 from a shop I saw the 2008 again...and here we are...full circle.
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
My wife prepared a dish I rarely eat at an Italian Restaurant...she does it better...
Saltimbocca alla Romana

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Business Break

The business has meant 12 hour days for the last two weeks...and as an international Funeral Home...cases dealings with Australia, Congo, Canada, Mexico & Japan have meant long hours ...mainly down to the time differences. My wife was also in hospital...but is now back home...and hopefully heading for a good recovery. I managed to make time one evening to meet up with friend Volker at our local Bistro. He pays the food and I bring the wines. Two bottles had been eyed for a while now...but I didn't want to consume them alone...drinking with friends is something that adds to any wine!

Andre Perret
Condrieu Chery 2004

Rhone, France
I remember visting this property about 15 years ago...and being impressed. This bottle had been snapped up from a price which may have meant it heading for the great Viognier vineyard in the sky.
For this reason alone...I was wary as to when to the cork was popped an hour before. The first sniff was a relief...and the colour looked great. The bottle was covered before Volker arrived as he has to earn his wines!!!! Only the best Condrieu age this belongs to that category. Volker had just returned from the South of France...and had stopped over in Burgundy..and his first comment was..'I have just been there'..referring to the wine. Understandable...and this is a dead-ringer for a fine Burgundy...the EXTREME Viognier grapiness of youth has long since evened out. Still exotic...loads of honey...peaches and apricots...a few swirls of the glass and a delicate flowery aroma. Beautiful balance...liquid velvet with a layer of gold dust...the latter being some minerals that would surprise many lovers of this fine white from the Rhone. This will age still...but unless I find another...I will never know....
Points 17.5

Our visit late last year to the Pfalz had taken in this property. The 'basic' Pinot Noir is great value...but all I could get from Herr Pfleger of the top wine 'R' was one bottle of 2007 and one from 2008. I ordered 6 of the 2009 which should be available in September this year.

Jakob Pfleger
Curator Pinot Noir R **** 2007

Pfalz, Germany

Roland Pfleger is a pioneer in the Pfalz...using Barriques to produce wine that have been voted highly by 'Feinschmecker' and 'Eichelmann'. Gault Millau have no reference and Roland Pfleger had scowled when I had mentioned it. his wines deserves top marks in every guide. Lovely ripe fruit on the nose...cherry and spices on the palate...cinnamon...complex...a soft bite...good now...but will get much above...unless I can find more I will never know.
Points 17.25