Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two Zalwander

Odin Bauer is a 'Schwabe'...which locates him being born round the Stuttgart area...his partner Elmar Lehmann from Baden. The name Zalwander is Alemannic for 'the two of us'...and the two of them started out in 2002 with 1.3 hectares. More than half of the vines are Spätburgunder and a third Lemberger. A small amount of Grau Burgunder makes up the rest. I first 'found' the property when in Freiburg a few years ago and a wine merchant recommended the 2005 Spätburgunder. It aged beautifully...and the property was noted for future tries. I purchased these two on offer here on my recent visit to Köndringen...both from the underrated 2008 vintage. Both spend time in small oak barrels and are unfiltered.

Zalwander Lemberger 2008
Baden, Germany

This 'speciality' of the Württemberg area is no doubt down to Herr Bauer. He may be in Baden but his roots are in Württemberg. Grown on clay soil...the vines are now 9 years old. The initial aroma is of juniper berries...and develops a lively peppery smell. This is a 'terroir' wine...with the earth playing a large part in the style and feel. A juicy palate, very natural in the mouth....rounded tannins...nice dose of acidity...and a general all-round well made wine... and already easy to drink. At € 15,-- it is a bargain.
Points 16.25

Zalwander Spätburgunder Harte Erde 2008
Baden, Germany

This used to be labeled 'EEE' (Einzigartiger Erstklassiger Erdenhard)...and comes from 30 year-old vines. There is around 600 bottles available in each vintage.
A delicate, elegant whiff of oak here...again the juniper berries...again the 'terroir' feel...sour cherries on the palate....herbs and dark Pinot....a signature wine if you like...with the stamp of the winemaker. As it developed the pepper evolved....and although approachable now I would put it away for a couple of years.
Points 16.5

Both wines will benefit from cellaring and could be rated more with aging.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pasta, Pur and Vorgrimmler

The last 10 days...staff on holiday...cars in and out of the repair shop...and the business filling every day...it has meant dashing down into the cellar at the last moment. No real preparation barring the one time we had guests. Just hoping for a liquid payment for the daily stress.

Fred Loimer Grüner Veltiner
Langenlois Spiegel Reserve 2009

Kamptal, Austria

Medium green-yellow....apple fruit on the nose...and with a few hours this softened to show pears and cream.
Developed even more yellow fruit over a longer period. Infantile to drink now...but needs must on the last warm evening of a beautiful autumn.
Points 17

Weingut Schlör Spätburgunder
Barrique 'R 2008

Baden, Germany

After the pleasure of this property's basic 2008...this was more aloof...not ready to show itself...like a shy girl
hiding behind the curtain. Young puppy fat and a fine dose of tannins means the second bottle remains untouched for a few years.
Points 16.5

Enderle & Moll
Spätburgunder Villages 2009

Baden, Germany

After the recent Muschelkalk 2009...which was very good...this was a slight disappointment. Not very 2009 at all...brawny...
spiky fruit...and dry tannins... not sexy at all...so hope the second bottle will reveal more in a year or two. Points 16

Spätburgunder 'SR' 2007

Baden, Germany
This I found on a merchant's list when tracking another wine. Good reports..so I ordered two bottles. A visit from my god child with her parents
and we finished off the Schlurr which was still covering it's face and I opened the new find. Intriguing nose...raspberry...smoke...and then I thought of a drink from back in my youth...Ribena...same smell. I remember a wine from the south of France...back in the 80's...Chateau Vignalaure...which also had this enticing blackberry aroma. Our dinner guests were very impressed...and we sniffed and sniffed. A trace of vanilla and some nicely balanced tannins... and a light style(13% alcohol). A real treat....recommended. The price on the Merchant's list(N & M Wines in Mönchengladbach) was € 19,-- but the invoice arrived and I had only been charged € 15,- I inquired why (honest that I am) and was told they were now 'Restposten'...bin-ends.
Points 16.75

Weingut Konstanzer Pur 2009
Baden, Germany

I recently recommended this property to friends and ordered a few cases. Herr Konstanzer kindly popped this bottle
in for free as a thank you. I had to ask him for information as it is nowhere to be found. His reply:
Die Trauben für die Spätburgunder Spätlese -pur- stammen aus einem Ertragreduzierten (ca. 30 hl/ha) Weinberg im Winklerberg
Die Trauben wurden voll reif gelesen mit 106° Oe. kaltmazeriert (5 Tg) und Spontan angegoren. Maischestandzeit 19 Tage , Lagerung nur in neuen Barriques 20 Monate. Im Juli 2011 abgefüllt Ohne Filtration und Pumpe (Falldruck). Wie schon der Name sagt " pur " keine Technik od. sonstige Geschichen angewendet.
And so to the wine....just a delicious glass full...and just what the 2009's should be offering you. Pure...as it says...Pinot Noir...silky, soft, but not a pushover...plenty of backbone...this will give pleasure from day one and over the next five years. Recommended.

Price by the way...€ 22.50,--

Points..by the way 16.75

Some delicious Pasta...which I had for dinner three nights running.
Needs must...but no complaints from myself.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Top Baden Pinot

My wife and I and friends Volker and Steffi at our local Bistro Mitch. Layla, the owner, is a fine host....and the food is always enjoyable. Volker and Steffi were off to Madeira next morning so needed some German wines before their holiday.

Corkage is reasonable...and there is a good atmosphere.

I had brought the bottles in the morning.....and the white was popped into the fridge having been opened.

I knew it needed airing as the previous time I had tasted over two days and the difference had be noticeable.

Bassermann Jordan
Riesling Auf der Mauer 2007

Pfalz, Germany
Full aroma of yellow fruits...the smell of petroleum hovering...broad structure...acidity within my health limit...layers of fruit on the palate...lovely weight...but keeping it's dry mineral style...some honey...slightly creamy...very good finish.
The last bottle...and at € 15,-- back then...even more of a bargain for the quality.
Points 17.25

The two reds were opened at 10am and left to air in the bottle.
I asked Volker to pour into the large glasses while I left the table so that I could appraise them not knowing which was which.
We sniffed at each glass...and went back again..and again...and it was like watching a tennis match as we took in the intriguing aromas of both. This was going to be a real pleasure...and it was five minutes before we took the next step of sipping.

Enderle & Moll
Spätburgunder Muschelkalk 2009
Baden, Germany
This new property was founded in 2007 in Münchweier in the Ortenau area of Baden...and I only found out about it after returning from my vacation in August.
Some of the vines date back to 1953. The wines gets to spend time in used barrels from top Burgundy estates Domaines Jayer-Gilles and Dujac.
Creamy vanilla aroma developed into a quite strong smell of eucalyptus...in fact the wine as a whole was herby with leather tones and some nougat toffee. Earthy when compared to the Waßmer....the tannins gentle and dry...and a nice weight to it...12.5% which really is seldom.
The colour became more milky as the evening wore on...and I would tend to give this a lot less airing that I did here...that's not to say it suffered...but just that the wine does not need that much fresh air.
Points 17.25
Fritz Wassmer
der XXL 2009
Baden, Germany
While never having tasted anything from the previous property...it was easy to decide that this was the Waßmer. Previous vintages I have found the wine top heavy with oak...
but Fritz Waßmer has learned with every vintage...and has reached his destination of making a 'Burgundy' wine in Baden.
A brownish rim would make you think a little older... the strong raspberry aroma filled the glass..and was intoxicating. A complex wine...meaty and juicy all in one...and a lovely mouthful...well integrated oak...and a glass full of delicious Pinot here...and this got better in the glass...so the 12 hours start did it no harm. Only bought 3 bottles of this...and I could gladly drink this once a week....
Points 18

Monday, October 03, 2011

A Week In The Life Of A Juice Junkie!

The week in the life of a wine freak / fan / aficionado. Call me what you will...even a juice junkie!
A Monday evening...and I was expecting a visit from
David Stephensen...a fellow Spätburgunder lover....over in Germany on holiday...packing the car with the wine and visiting friends. He took my advice and visited the Gasthof Rebstock in Waldulm and stayed 3 days. His favourite wine one evening had been Gantenbein 2007...the cult wine from Switzerland. We had never met...and he called when he arrived at the railway station...and I was on my bike and found him and we were off to the local Bistro. Two bottles had been deposited at midday and I had covered them up.

Willi Sattler
Sauvignon Blanc
Privat 2006
South Styria, Austria

He got South Styria correct but was thinking Ch
ardonnay...and it is hardly surprising....as my recent notes stated: This is not so much your 'green green grass' SB...more a soft butterball, If I had tasted this blind I would have been uncertain at first. Super complex aroma of exotic fruit...with a gentle creaminess. As it opens only then do you get a shot of the grape's natural character. A super length of flavour and I was putting this in the top 10 SB's that I have ever tried. Judge it as white wine maybe and not as a typical Sauvignon Blanc...but whatever you do...get to try it!
Points 18

The red was to be a surprise. I had purchased 6 bottles of the
Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2005 and 4 had already gone to the great lake...and had been delicious. So...surprise him with the 2005...or that was the plan. Nada...cork...just a whiff...but no way could you force yourself to enjoy it. To quote a good old English saying... 'ON YA BIKE MATE'....and within 7 minutes I was back from my wine cellar with a substitute.

Meyer-Nakel Spätburgunder S 2005
Ahr, Germany

We were chatting away...so I hardly made any notes...but David sent an email to say it hit the spot.
A nice evening and I left David at the station to head off back to Frankfurt. He told me later he had gotten into a conversation with a guy on the train about whether Irish Whiskey or Scottish Whisky were the best. As David is from Edinburgh... I'm sure he put over his point!

September is Pumpkin month...here is one we brought back from Baden...and I love the soup my wife makes...with a few chilis in there...I eat it for days...well...there is enough there!

Wenzel Kleiner Wald
Pinot Noir 2007

Neusiedlersee, Austria

This is a new property in Austria...the first vintage was 2004...and does not yet even appear in the Falstaff Wine Guide..
Aromatic spices and sweet tannins...like a Cote de Beaune if you are into French Pinot. Work meant I made no other notes
Points 16.25

The evenings are getting shorter...but September has been gorgeous. What a sunset!

Sauvignon Blanc Welles STK 2008

South Styria, Austria

Gooseberry confit with some pineapple....and remember...a year ago I would not have touched a SB after all the cat's pee I had been offered. These South Styria wines are another level though...where were we?..ah yes...blood oranges...like as silky snake slithering down the gullet...
Points 17.5

Erwin Sabathi Sauvignon Blanc
Pössnitzberg Limited 111 2008

South Styria, Austria

WOW!...get used to this. What an aroma...WOW. Cassis and top class gooseberries with a touch of lychees. Like inhaling Cleopatra's bath water.
And what a mouthful...WOW! After all that...you would expect a fruit bomb maybe...nope...this is elegant classy fruit...tropical with a dash of citrus... a hedonistic juice....and I can't say any more than... I give it
Points 18.25

I bought some more...and will 'maybe' let it lie....only maybe