Saturday, June 30, 2012


Martin Wassmer GC
Pinot Noir 2008
Baden, Germany

Martin Wassmer's brother Fritz...was the winemaker of the XXL 2009 which had so impressed. Time to drive the short vinous distance to Martin's property. Not only are they related...but they both grow Strawberries and Asparagus.

100% Spätburgunder...and this is a JUICE!. Concentrated fruit...drink this blind and you would say 'FRENCH'...but it's all in German hands. Cherries...some tobacco...lithe...spices...rousing acidity. Very drinkable now...but should develop beautifully.
Points 18
PS...great label

Talking about being related....the brothers Darsch and Tiglat were asking me to pop them...sounds disgusting but was a pleasure.
I have been touting the Velich wines for a while...and just read that Falstaff (Austrian Wine Critic) has voted them Winemaker of the Year. I was first Mr Falstaff..but gotta have good taste.
I had ordered some 2009's....but decided on an odd botlle of each of the 2008 Chardonnays.

Velich Darscho Chardonnay 2008
Neusiedlersee, Austria

Very apply..with traces of honey...less spiky than the 2009...which I had loved...good use of oak...this doesn't explode...but creeps up on you.
I let day with the evening sun...he was gone.
Points 17

Velich Tiglat Chardonnay 2008
Neusiedlersee, Austria

Honey...caramel...the nose is intriguing...a glass grower...same as the above...filled out next day. I recently read of some blogger drinking a 2001 vintage in 2009...and raved about it.
Must leave an odd bottle of the 2009...join me again in 2017 for a note.
Points 17.5

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Sometimes you are on a run...with goodies...although I should know by now...after 35 years experience...what is gonna please me.

Polz Sauvignon Blanc
Hochgrassnitzberg Reserve
Große STK Lage 2007
South Styria, Austria
Tried the 'normal' version...normal being not the Reserve...and it is a beauty...this takes a step further for me. A wow nose of rich, intense honeyed gooseberry...imagine that if you can. Spicy oak...smooth as silk...great next day with an omelette...I eat anything with a good wine...lingering again!
Points 18

Hofmann Spätburgunder RR 2009
Franconia, Germany

Real good dark colour...and this gives you an idea of the style of Pinot on offer.. A hovering creaminess...reminded me a touch of a Rioja...real character and depth here...even a taste of a mild Fisherman's Friend! Loads of concentration...and today it needs air...which it day it had quietened fruits...touch of marzipan...long finish.
Fürst is the only name noted for reds in Franconia...add this property to your list.
Points 17.5

Say Gloria...and anyone of my age would think of Van Morrison's classic G.L.O.R.I.A...or maybe the 1980 film starring Gena Rowlands. all I will think of is the Austrian version.

Kollwentz Chardonnay Gloria 2009
Neusiedlerse-Hügelland, Austria
Trace of caramel on the nose..tropical notes....a thrilling wine...for wine thinkers...less oak than the Taschler...a lip smacking dose of sweet fruit...and a back slapping dose of minerals.
Lovely length which didn't want to leave you...almost made the 18 mark...maybe it will.
Points 17.75

Emmerich Knoll, Kreutles
Grüner Veltliner Federspiel 2006
Wachau, Austria

However...sometimes one leaves a bottle in the corner of the cellar...then finds it..and ralises it is not a Smaragd...but a Federspiel...and may be on it's last legs!
I was right...just about OK...was probably better 2 years ago..
Points 15.5

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's In A Name?

What's In A Name: MALTERER
                                                 Huber Malterer 2009
                                                   Baden, Germany

                                   Malterer...Cuvée of Freisamer
                                 & Weißem Burgunder(Pinot Blanc)
Freisamer is a variety, 90 years ago in Freiburg Silvaner and Ruland were crossed. The species got it's name from the city of Freiburg and the river Dreisam. The name comes from a family Malterer who were in the early Middle Ages in Malterdingen bailiffs. During the 13th Century, they were citizens of Freiburg. One of the sons, Martin Malterer was knighted. The family donated in 1320 the monastery at Freiburg Adelhauser a tapestry. This "Malterer" or "women list carpet," is now kept in the treasury of the Augustinian Museum in Freiburg.
Medium light yellow. A very toasty Barrique note...butter, a little vanilla, bananas, The nose is dense and very elegant. On the palate, you taste some Barrique again, but there's also a nice lemony acidity, a mild fruity sweetness of mango fruits and a long finish.If you find this...try will like it!
Points 17

What's In A Name:  CHAT SAUVAGE

                                Chat Sauvage Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
                                                   Pinot Noir 2007
                                                Rheingau, Germany

Firstly..the name conjures up a mass product from a French Negociant....but you would be wrong. I had been forewarned by fellow blogger Alex...who had ventured into Riesling county...the visit the property.
If I had not seen his report...the bottle on offer on ebay would have passed me by. I bid...and for € 30,-- get to try a 2007 not  tried by Alex.
Light colour...but as I say...who cared(past tense)...blondes, long as they were beautiful.  But I digress...back to the wine. And back to France....because this is very Burgundian. It is a wine that is gentle and discrete...elegant fruit...and a lively fresh prickly strawberry fruit. I enjoyed fell away next day...but there was hardly any left in the bottle. Like the Mosel...this area could make more Spätburgunder/Pinot Noir...and if that climate change does really happen...I for one won't complain. The same seller on ebay offered a second is in the cellar. There was a third on offer...but no one bought it...probably thought is was a mass product from Burgundy. There were partly wrong!
Points 17.25

                                          What's In A Name: ELTVINUM


A restaurant in Eltville with a Vinothek
We were invited by friends to join them at a small restaurant in Eltville. Eltvinum...clever name eh? I was TOLD in advance I would choose the one does...I checked their webpage. Not very special... a range of Rheingau wines...but none at the top end....and certainly no reds called Chat Sauvage. Our friends...on my advice...requested that I could take a bottle of the red problem. The location in a back street...recently refurbished...and we chose the Vinothek for our table as opposed to the Restaurant. There is a nice terrace where...for the's not far to go...and the rain that fell was not a problem. I checked the white wines...same as on the webpage list...but the friendly staff offered me a couple of tasters. Not finding them to my liking...I chose an Erstes Gewächs...2009..and the drop in a small glass convinced  me. No acidity stomach churner. It turned out well..and accompanied the selection of starters.
                                           Hans Lang Hattenheim Hassel
                                            Riesling Erstes Gewächs 2009
                                                 Rheingau, Germany
                                            Points 16.5

A half portion of Pasta with Truffle was good...freshly made.

The main courses were, however, NOT 'come back and try me again' . The Rump Steaks looked good....but the Risotto was underdone...and the Coq au Vin may have spent 36 hours in the juice...but could have done with some help...the poor fowl was a little bland.

The Salwey was not bland...and was enjoyed by our 'Gastgeber'
                                   Salway Spätburgunder Eichberg GG 2007
                                                    Baden, Germany
Instant appeal from the glass...caramel & vanilla ice-cream.
The oak is well integrated...and a bouncy acidity propelling the fruit upwards. Very well made...and ready now. Dried strawberries best describe the taste..and methinks this will evolve well
Points 17.75

We sat outside and had some very good Tiramisu.

Our friends have been there before...eaten some Pasta and had a glass of white. Recommended for that...main courses a let-down...but the staff are very friendly.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Vinious Tour Of Austria

We have had some fine evenings late an excuse to open some whites from Austria. Across the board selection of the white varieties that light up the Austrian wine scene.
Welcome to the vinious tour.

Skoff Sauvignon Blanc
Original Obegg 2009

South Styria, Austria

Tropical fruit...blood oranges...lifting acidity...grapefruit lingers...fresher style than most...more New World.
Points 17

Velich Darsch 2009
Neusiedlersee, Austria

I remember the days whe I would drink a Meursault once a week...wonderful wines. Maybe I should try to find the same again...although the price has probably trebled. The comparison is not due to the price I paid for this wine...just that the overall impression took me to Burgundy and my one faavourite white styles. Heinz Velich produces three whites...a basic Chardonnay, his top white Tiglat and the Darscho. Whereas the Tiglat shows more power...this is a wine to sip and savour on a warm summer evening. Flinty with tropical fruits...a little Lychee in there....then a touch of honey. All wrapped up in a mineral bundle. A white wine for thinkers...
Points 17.25

Lackner Tinnacher Welles
Sauvignon Blanc 2009

South Styria, Austria

Deep exotic mango fruit...sweet & ripe...gooseberry confit...with a peach kick...but you needed to leave it a day to get the best...creamy texture...this is still a raw diamond...patience...and you will be rewarded.
Points 17.5

Jamek Grüner Veltliner
Smaragd Ried Achleiten 2009

Wachau, Austria

Smoky, spicy fruit...tobacco...honeyed melon and just when you think it is a touch too an injection...the minerals take over...lovely acidity to this...perfect balance..a classic Smaragd

Tement, Morillon Zieregg
Große STK Lage 2009
South Styria, Austria

Fiery...tight mineral notes...hidden sweet caramel & vanilla. Not yet ready to go...
Points 17.25

Kollwentz Sauvignon Blanc
Steinmühle Methusalemreben 2009
Neusiedlersee, Austria

Spicy...powerful....Pineapple & Maracuja fruits...delicate layer of vanilla rippling minerals...the spices intensified...very good length...nice.
Points 17.5

Heinrich Gabarinza  2008
Neusiedlersee, Austria

Cuvee of the usual mix...Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Merlot. Medium deep colour...a trace of nougat on the nose...dark berry fruit...I am still trying to fall in love with some Austrian reds...this just needs time...
Points 16.5

Coincidence is a wonderful thing.. Friday afternoon...I called wine merchant Robert as I heard he was presenting some Austrian wines later that evening.
Come along he said...we have one place available. Eleven wines in all. Four whites of the lighter style to start with...then four reds with the typical Austrian grapes. Triebaumer's Blaufränkisch Reserve 2009 showing the best.

The final three were some more serious whites. Two from the property Birgit Eichingen in Kamptal...a 2011 Grüner Veltliner Wechelsberg 2011 showing some sweetness...easy to drink...and mid-priced.
The Riesling Heiligenstein 2011 showed very well...complex aroma...loads of spicy minerals...exhilerating...and amazingly forward. This will develop a petroleum nose...stick a few bottles away for a year.

To be honest...the final wine was the reason I told Robert I would come along to the tasting. Last year I drank the 2008 version...very impressive.

Tement Sauvignon Blanc
Zieregg 2007
South Styria, Austria
This showed a really stinky nose at first...and cried out for a large
hour of airing...and leaving overnight. Not something that was going to happen at a tasting. I held some in my glass...and gave it enough swirls to give anyone a headache.
Stone and tropical fruit (grapefruit, apricot, passion fruit, pineapple) and some buttery oak. It probably fell flat with most tasters following the sprightly Riesling...but still worth...
Points 17.25

Just to repeat...some wines have instant success at tastings...but would you want to drink a whole bottle. Other wines only give you a little of what they have to offer. So difficult for wine newcomers to always make the right choice.