Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Never Ending Story...Rebstock May 2012

Back to heaven...

Tuesday 8th May 2012
The drive down had seen sunshine all the way. We even picked up a young girl hitch-hiker who was heading for Freiburg. Arrived at 2pm at the Gasthouse Rebstock....unpacked....then I just hit the mattress for an hour. It's been a hard few weeks wíth the stress of the business and I need this holiday. Awoke around 5pm and browsed the wine-list...which had been thrust into my hand on our arrival...I wonder why?

The Gasthof had been redecorated a few months ago...I now have a mirror in the bathroom to shave (my idea which must have been taken on board)...before you had to twist your neck to see yourself!
Claudi and Jeanette were serving this evening...and it felt good to be back here.

'A 'greeting from the kitchen' was a delightful Radischenterrine im Kräutermantel. I had decided to start the holiday gently and chose the Pea Soup...which always reminds me of my childhood. My wife, Eva, had opted (in our room) for a soup as well...but at the table decided to dive in at the deep end...and ordered the Warm Goose Liver on Rhubarb. Her main course was the im Ofen geschmorte Kalbshaxe...and I chose to have one of the regulars...Lammrücken im Ziegenkäsmantel.
Having quickly checked the wine list...there were a couple of new additons...but the memory of the Molitor tried last time swung it for me....start with a bang I thought.
Markus Molitor Spätburgunder 2007
Mosel, Germany
A gorgeous nose...ripe raspberries.The palate throws up gentle spices...toast and smoke...clear incisive fruit...firm but easy tannin present but woven into the whole...
perfect balance...just a great mouthful...and lingering finish
Points 18.25

Wednesday 9th May 2012
Drizzle....and the few grey clouds stayed around until midday. A snail soup for lunch....followed by a long walk...then as the sun was bursting through...I made for the terrace...the smoker's couch awaited...a Latte...some apple pie...and a Siglo 1 Havana. The new Android phone has been loaded with lots of 'good' music...and the Gospel Quartets of the 60's & 70's accompanied me as I wandered over the empty terrace (restaurant is closed on Tuesdays).
I had chosen the red and told Claudi to decant at 6pm...but she a quick decant was requested.
Adeneuer Walporzeimer Gärkammer
Spätburgunder 2008
Ahr, Germany
Fresh nose....soft attractive burnt aroma....closed at first...but  lifted with airing...filled out and took shape in the glass...bracing acidity...a real classic Ahr Pinot...more earthy than most...good future.
Points 17.75
My wife had chosen the clear soup...Klares Süppchen vom Tafelspitz mit Markklösschen und Markmaultäschle and I gone for the Carpaccio vom Thunfisch mit Bärlauchschaum und gebackener Frühlingsrolle von der Kalbshaxe. It turned out to be delightfully interesting on all corners....very enjoyable. My lady went for some of the kleine Versucherle...small portions...a Cocktail vom Lamm mit Frühlingskräutern und kandierten
Tomätchen angemacht, Tatare von Thunfisch mit Spargel und Bärlauchschaum, Moussse von badischen Spargel im Mantel von Shrimps andkleines Süppchen von Erbsenschotten und Wiesenlabkraut mit Krebsklösschen
. To partner the red...I went for the Rinderfilet mit Ochsenmarkkruste, rote Zwiebelmaultäschle und etwas Gemüse, dazu Kartoffeltarte.
The small portions for my wife's main course meant she had room for a small dessert.

Thursday 10th May 2012
A real hot one...and as my wife was not feeling great...she decided not to eat in the restaurant. The weather was perfect...and the terrace invited me out there...tonight was a white white feeling...and some fish.
The starter was a Mousse von badischen Spargel von Shrimps mit grünen Spargelsalat und gebratener Jakobsmuschel....followed by Küchle von Hecht und Zander im 'Kartoffelkleid' gebacken, angerichtet auf Spinat-Bärlauch-Nudeln for the main course. The white was something I had tasted with 4 friends a couple of months ago...but I was feeling greedy this evening and was aiming to drink 'almost' the whole bottle. I say regular readers will know I always leave a glass for the owner Karl Hodapp...and we then compare markings.
Gantenbein Chardonnay 2009
Fläsch, Switzerland
Instant first a bit of a butterball...but this lessened with airing and the mineral glove had it all in hand. The nose throws up memories of delicious citrus fruit...the class of the honey fruit enticing sip after sip. On a gorgeous May evening this found a supporter...and it will be interesting to see how it develops. Now...
Points 18.25

Friday 11th May 2012
A walk round the town of nearby Achern...the temperature was heading for 30 we set off up to the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse....and stopped off at the Mummelsee....which was absolutely gorgeous this time. Warm, slight breeze...very few tourists....even the most well know areas can be seen in a different light if there are not loads of buses arriving.
The weather warning was saying it was not worth risking sitting outside. It was very humid and something was brewing in the heavens. As it turned out...the really heavy rain came late in the night.
My wife chose some light food...and I had so enjoyed the two courses the previous evening that I ordered them again. This time...choosing a red. I had tasted it before deciding the fish course would be no problem...and it worked well. Gone are the days of White Wine/Fish...Red Wine/ Meat...and those who are adventurous will be rewarded.
Dr. Heger Häuseleboden
Spätburgunder 2008
Baden, Germany
Super vibrant fruit...and something I always note with the 2008 vintage...there is more terroir...than say...the 2009. Earthy, juicy strawberry fruit...nicely packed in a firm tannin bundle...
Points 18

Saturday 12th May 2012
I fell in love with this place years ago...and the love is still strong. After 5 days of relaxing the body finally thanks you and it two longish walks were more a pleasure than a pain. I decided to finally go 'fremd' leave my beloved Pinot and try one of the many top wines on the list. Firstly wife felt better...and was planning to make up for lost time...albeit with small portions. A the kitchen...Zander (Pikeperch)...was followed for my by the one 'Versucherle' (Taster) that I had not yet tried...Bratwürstl von der Weinbergschnecke auf 'Bär-Lauch. Then came the gebratenes Gänseleber....and finally Medaillon von Kaninchenrücken im Achertäler Salamimantel.
Before going down to the restaurant...about 5pm...I had called down and asked for the wine to be decanted. Was I right to leave my first love?...can I ever love another?...I am beginning to wonder!
Chateau Beaucastel 2007
Rhone, France
Reputed to be one of the best Beaucastel I have tasted a few over the years...and was expected some animal, farmyard goodie. The first impression was of figs and some medicinal smells. Very 'new style' methinks..I missed my smelly old style...but this is being unfair as this is still in it's infancy. Blood....raw meats...surprisingly light...and a wine I would gladly share with some friends....but on my own in a no...and Herr Hodapp got a large glass in the kitchen. I must ask him what he thought of it.
Points 17.25

Sunday 13th May 2012

I am a Manchester City soccer fan. Have been for 53 years. No other football team in the word would give a fan so many ups and downs. It has been a part of my life. We last won the premier division in 1968...44 years ago. Thanks to a wealthy owner we have been able over the past 2 years to buy some top players. It has been a successful period...and this season has been up and downs again. Now...on this Sunday...we are top of the league on goal difference. Second team is our biggest rivals...Manchester United. Last game of the season. All we have to do is win the final game. Our opponents are at the other end of the table.
The game is on Sky TV. Herr Hodapp knows of my affinity...and has arranged for me to receive the game in our room. The build up (in my stomach) has been going on all day. 4 pm...the game starts. Just before half-time we score. All looks well...although 50 years tell me it just can't be that easy. Second half...and our opponents attack for the first time...and score. Then a former player of ours...gets a red card...they are down to 10 men.
Everything OK you think...but this is Manchester City. They score again with a counter attack...and it stays that way the 90 minutes are up. I had the headphones on...and I mumbled that I don't think I could eat tonight. My wife, who has been reading...realizes something is amiss. Five minutes extension due to injuries and substitutions...then...we score! 2-2...but that is not good enough. We attack...and with the last kick of the game...we score again....Sergio will be a legend. We are champions. I told you it is not easy. My cry of joy scares my wife to death. I cry tears...believe me...I wept openly. My wife tries to understand. I tell was like being told your heart had stopped...then you are brought back to life. Something I will never forget. I will remember where I was when it happened. In Waldulm...Gasthof Rebstock. How do you top that?....order the best Spätburgunder on the wine list? have all convinced me.

Becker Pinot Noir 2007
Pfalz, Germany

Perfect Pinot colour...elegant and sexy...mind you...I would probably rave about an Amselfelder red at this moment. Prickly strawberries....gorgeous fruit on the palate...layers of it. The tannins are firm but ripe. As the bottle emptied...the juice showed it still packed a punch for the future. A wine made for bet...when will adrenaline stop? Maybe never.
Points....we finished with 89 in the league....this is worth 96.
or from 20....18.75. What a day! was Mother's Day in Germany...

Monday 14th May 2012
There is a song...'I Don't Like Mondays'...maybe they knew that the restaurant closes on this day.
My wife had a hairdressing appointment at 11 I sat in a delightful cafe, read about Austrian wines...listened to some music...and took in the warm sun.A visit to the local Supermarket EDEKA...which has a massive selection of fresh meat and fish.
Back at Rebstock...father Hodapp and son were enjoying their day off. A lazy afternoon...and my wife decided she was staying put for the evening. Food was a drive into Kappelrodeck...there is a restaurant there...opened on Mondays. Well...I thought it did...and it probably does...but they were decorating!
Back to the square...there is a simple eatery I sat outside...had a Putenschnitzel...and a glass of the local 'Weissherbst'....and caught the last of the sun. After so many days of perfect food....presented so well...a normal plate comes in for critic...even if only for the fact that the fat used was not the best.

Tuesday 15th May 2012
The Eisheiligen (Ice Saint Days) is with us...and the weather is poor. After breakfast I stayed alone in the restaurant and watched a episodes of a great comedy 'Father Ted'. That cheered me up....although down here in Waldulm...nothing really depresses me. Late breakfast taken up to my wife...yes...I know...I am a one- in-a-million. She was on a mission visit a couple of Chocolate shops...and had been given a tip at the hairdressers (along with all the local gossip) that there was a small shop in Oberachern. We set off to arrive shortly after 2pm...and she emerged smiling about 45 minutes later.I could have bought a case of wine in that time. Down into the town of Achern and another shop. More chocolate. The boot is full already...but I am not planning to buy wine this time around....with the 2010 vintage of Spätburgunder not up to standard. Then a nice drive around the countryside with the dark clouds occasionally showing blue skies.

Down to the restaurant...with the plan in drink the Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2007 with a meaty fish. Our waitress came and said that Herr Hodapp had a couple of single bottles in the longer on the list. So I chose the Huber...and on tasting...decided it was a touch too much for any fish. The food was ordered...Badischer Sauerbraten vom Tafelspitz 'Version 2012'...and I went back to the wine.

Huber Wildenstein
Spätburgunder 2005
Baden, Germany

I tasted this about 18 months ago and thought then that it was maybe a poor example.The acidity and dry tannins are to the fore...where is that thick Huber fruit? After an hour in glass...the nose showed some sweetness and the wine begged for red meat. The fish and red idea would have been a marriage made in hell. I know the Huber 2007's are wonderful...but this very fine vintage from the master is disappointing.
Points 16.75 a magazine I just read that it received 93 points at a recent tasting. Maybe it is going through a phase. As it was the last bottle...I may never know.

Wednesday 16th May 2012
The rain still coming down....but today...a planned surprise for my wife. Our daughter and her husband are going to arrive in the afternoon. Can't wait to see her face when they knock on the door.
Five o'clock and we are sat in our room...knock...knock! I shouted  'come in'...and the look on my wife's face...then she turned to me...expecting a surprised look as well...then hugs all round.
Down into the Gasthof for some coffee and tea...then up to the rooms for a sprucing up.
I had planned the wines...and our guest were given tips as to what they should eat.
I only made short notes as we chatted and chatted....well...the girls chatted...we men listened.
Hirtzberger Smaragd
Grüner Veltliner 2009
Wachau, Austria

A diamond of a wine...thick fruit with great feel the tongue being pricked...glossy...all you expect from the grape and the area. Lovely stuff.
Points 17.75

Freiherr von Gleichenstein
Oberrotweiler Eichberg Spätburgunder 2007
Baden, Germany

Two years since last trying is full of bouncy, spicy fruit...real character...lovely middle palate....just about at it's best...and overshadowed the Becker.
Points 17.75

Becker Schweigener
Spätburgunder St. Paul G.G. 2007
Pfalz, Germany

I know this wine is full of soft cream...and alone would have marked better....or maybe it should have been drunk before the previous wine.
Points 17.25

Thursday 17th May 2012
Four for breakfast...then at 10.30 we set off to the Mummelsee to show our guests. It had been cold a couple of days earlier...and we could see a little snow in the hills. When we arrived...1000 metres higher...the roads and the parking spaces had been cleared...and there were mounds of snow everywhere. mobile was 'dead' no proof...but believe me...there was snow...and lots of it. The sun shone... so it was like a winter holiday feeling.
Then down to Waldulm again...6 degrees warmer...and a lovely walk along the stream surrounding the local football club....where the men were celebrating Father's Day.
The temperature was now around 20 degrees...and we drove to a garden cafe in Kappelrodeck 'Zuckerbergschloss'...the sun beating down as we sipped our drinks.Then back to Rebstock..sat out on the terrace...Herr Hodapp's son Bastian(right)...looking down on us.
Our daughter and husband refueled with food...before setting off back to Wiesbaden at 5pm. A wonderful 24 hours. Ain't life great!

The finally meal...and I was not going to go without drinking the Gantenbein. A last 'greeting' from the kitchen and a suggestion from Herr Hodapp to maybe try the Huber Schlossberg 2009. Next September.

I wanted to chose a fish dish...gebratene Medaillons vom Seeteufel, mit etwas kandierter Tomate, mit Frühjahrswirsing angerichet...and needed a softer Pinot. Maybe the wine needed was not a mismarriage though...the wine is too good.

Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2009
Fläsch, Switzerland

Sweet nose...vibrant fruit...Bettina & Claudi were buzzing also good.
Points time I'll chose red meat

Friday 18th May 2012
Packed...breakfast...good-byes...Karl Hodapp kindly gave me a bottle of Schneider Parzelle Schöneberg Spätburgunder 2007...and then we we were gone. September...roll on. We can't wait.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Spargel Time

It's 'Spargel' time...Asparagus to the English speakers. The markets are now full of the white stuff. I am a green man myself...but as my wife loves the former tends to be a regular meal until the end of May. A market stall was offering the 'perfect wine' for Spargel...Sauvignon Blanc. So...down into the break open a new case of mixed Austrian whites.

Wohlmuth Steinriegel
Sauvignon Blanc 2009

South Styria,Austria

A slithering snake of a wine...honey and apples...
a trace of gooseberry...but only a trace...
good value at € 18,--

Points 16.5

Potzinger Joseph Ried Sulz
Sauvignon Blanc 2008

South Styria, Austria

Green-yellow...intriguing aromas...
coconut & cream on the palate...
a complex wine...spices...and potential.

Points 17

Müller Sauvignon Blanc
Private Reserve 2007

South Styria, Austria

Peaches...and a nutty aroma...vibrant fruit...
a touch of salt...needs 
another complex offer from South Styria.
The place to go for SB.

Points 17