Monday, May 06, 2013

A Trip to Bavaria

My wife remembers a lovely holiday with a girl friend...many years ago...and we decided late last year to change our holiday destination for May to Bavaria.
The hotel, Haltmair am See in Rottach-Egern, was already fully booked from May to we plumped for the last 2 weeks in April.

Saturday 20th April 

...finally arrived...and after a hectic week in the business, we set of at 9.30am. A 'Stau' just before Nürnberg (an practically every motorist having a good look...what do they get from it?)and a short break to stretch and eat ( English speciality which my wife prepared the night before) and we arrived at 14.30.

It had been overcast the whole journey...and the mountains behind the town of Rottach-Egern were shrouded in mist. We unpacked...had a short walk, chose a Restaurant for sunday...and after a swim in the hotel pool...stayed in the apartment and I drank a couple of Bavarian 'light' beers. It had been a long day...

Sunday 21 April
Up at 8.30...a swim in the pool and down to breakfast...omelett and bacon...and took up coffee and some food for my wife. She was going to sleep I set off to get a feel of the town...check a few eateries...and a few wine-lists ( you know don't invest to don't get paid). The sun was competing with the mountain mist...and returning at 11 am...I sat out on the balcony...with a Siglo 1 and a good cuppa tea. Wife arrived at 12.30...sun disappeared at 13.00.
We drove across to Hotel Überfahrt...and asked at the entrance where we could park the car. 'Nowhere Sir...give us the keys and we will park it'. We sat in the foyer and had some coffee...and I booked a table for the coming Friday in the Italian restaurant...and took photos of the wine-list.

Back to Haltmair we got ready for dinner. It was cool ouside as the wind from the Tegernsee affected the temperature....but it is only 100 Metres to the 'Kirschner Stube'.

Kirschner Stube

It was bustling and busy...but we were given a nice table in the middle.
We decided not to take a main course...only my wife chose the 'Variation von roten Thunfisch mit Wasabimousse' and I the 'Pulpo mit Tomaten-Brotsalad'. Both were sizable...especially my Puplo. We took our time...and as we finished...could see that our second choice was on it's way!

'Gebratene Gänseleber an karamellissierten Birnen' landed in front of my wife and my 'Hausgemachte Tagliolini mit Sommertrüffel' resided before me. Both very good...and again sizeable...the Bavarians have good stomachs. The waitress apologized for the quickness and the head waiter said that next time they would do us smaller portions. We don't have Bavarian Stomachs!!!

Earlier that day I had chosen the wine...and ordered it on arriving. The correct label arrived...but when the waiter turned the bottle it was not the 2008 from the list...but the 2011. I decided to to take it...and the wine was poured. I raised the glass...apologized to Herr Pichler for the 'Baby Murder' and took a sip.

F.X.Pichler Urgenstein Smaragd 2011
Wachau, Austria

Surprisingly light...I caught this before it closes for a while...all packaged up and ready to go on a couple of years into wine space.
Points 17.25

We had by now...had a I chose the cheese and my wife had her dessert.

We fell into bed...exhausted...

Monday 22 April
Dark, cloudy...the mountains shrouded in the mist...we slept on long into the wife can do this but I find it difficult having to be up and in the office daily. A lazy afternoon...and as my wife would take a break from food...I was off again to the Kirschner Stube. Plan was to eat a Schnitzel and drink a beer.
Plan B became reality. No starter...just the bread with butter and a glass of

Potzinger Sauvignon Blanc 2011
South Styria, Austria

Didn't hurt...typical character...and a little over-price at € 13,. for a 0,2 glass
Points 14.5

As I like Rösti (Grated Potato) I chose the 'Filet von Weidenochsen mit gebratener Gänseleber, Kartoffelrösti and Marktgemüse'. Here and now...I will was the best steak I have had in years. The knife cut into it like into butter...and the meat just melted in the mouth. I had asked the head waiter which of the open reds to try...and he said
Rings Das Kleine Kreuz 2011
Pfalz, Germany

A good choice...served in a large glass...deep colour...intense blackcurrant layered with some creamy vanilla....full flavoured...the tannins hidden round the back door. Great with a steak...same price as the white...much better value.
Points 16.25

Tuesday 23 April

We had breakfast...then I had a massage appointment (the old bones need help)
The weather forecast promised better weather so we took the 20 Km drive round the Tegernsee...then parked the car and walked along the lake.
Then back to the apartment and sat out on the balcony as the sun slid along it....warming us....before a cloud has us putting on a pullover...before the sun came out again.
As my wife had missed out the night before...we were off again to the Kirschner seems so easy....100 metres...and there were things to try.

Second Schnitzel

Our head waiter had the evening off (Munich v Barcelona on TV?)
I had planned to drink a Gantenbein 2008 and had talked with the head waiter about it a few days before. The lady now dealing with the wine sent a waiter into the cellar. My plan was again bread...the the steak repeated. My wife wanted a starter and opted for the I agreed on a small portion of the Edelfisch Suppe. SMALL!!! soon as I saw it...I was regretting it. The wine had still not arrived...and then the lady appeared saying they could not find it. I quickly ordered the Nelles...on the list...2009...and they brought it at once. Check the label Barry...ah if you knew...Vintage 2006. As I wanted a drink I said OK...and it was opened an poured.
Nelles Spätburgunder B 48 2006
Ahr, Germany

Losing it's sweet is not aging well...with a slightly mouldy feel.
Not a bad wine...just not as exhilarating as the 2009 would have been.
Points 16
My steak was good...just not the surprise the first one had been. My wife chose the Schnitzel with Cucumber Potato Salat....that should read 'SCHNITZELS' as there were two. Now...I am a good eater...and it is commendable that a Bavarian Stube should offer large portions...but when we next come (yes..we we know the system now) will be to ask for a starter to be halved.

The warm evening made the stroll back home a little longer.

Wednesday 24 April
HOT...we lounged all day...the balcony our 'home'...and decided on a meal of fresh bread, salami,tomatoes, quark and I opened a bottle of white that I had brought with me.
Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner
Smaragd Axpoint 2011
Wachau, Austria

Great balance...infantile...but who the sun went down...the evening a glass was taken indoors...and we watched Dortmund take Real Madrid apart on the soccer pitch.
Points 17

Thursday 25 April

Wallberg Mountain
Another gorgeous day....wife off to the hairdressers...late afternoon the usual ritual of a swim in the pool followed by a sauna visit...things I have not done for years...then we had to decide where to eat.Tomorrow is planned...Saturday at Kirschner...we tried for Lois...but only bar we reserved for Sunday. We set off and would stop at the first that appealed.
COMMERCIAL BREAK...while we search.

Unlike most places you visit...the restaurants here have different closing days. Most are open Sunday and Monday. The one we chose on our walk is closed...on Thursday. DOH...unlike us to not it was back towards the apartment...then we aarrived in front of Kirschner. We didn't want to continue our search so we walked in and they had a table free. We decided on the Tuna and the Pasta with Truffel...and the head waiter was back and said he had found the last bottle of Gantenbein 2008. Get it open I said...big glass...

Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2008

Great nose...and a very open palate...Gantenbein's Pinot tends to close after about a year...but this was ready for me and I for it. Thrilling creaminess and a tasty brittle tannin feel. The bottle was empty except for a small glass which I offered to my helper...the head waiter.
Points 18

Friday 26 April

We received wife's best friend and her partner. They were on their way south for a holiday and we had told them to make a diversion and join us at the apartment and for dinner.
Il Barcaiolo is one of the restaurant's in the top hotel Überfahrt.
I had checked the wine list as I am no expert in wines Italia.

A friendly welcome as we entered the restaurant...and no problem ordering half portions in order to try various courses.

Fresh bread, olives and Chorizo were served while we browsed the menu.

Feudi Di San Gregorio Campanaro 2009
Campania, Italy

2008 was on the wine-list...only a wine-freak would notice...but it is something restaurants should take more care about. Fresh....nutty as it warmed...and a good acidity.
Points 14.5

Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Salco 2004

Superb deep colour...I tend to forget how other wines are...drinking so much Pinot Noir. This looked to have years ahead of it. The soft chewy tannins added to the Sangiovese fruit with a lively acidity lifting it through the food. So very Italian...
Points 16.5

Saturday 27 April

The four of us went down to breakfast...then the usual goodbyes...and they were off in their open-top Morgan...heading south.

                           Round to my local for the evening meal.

I was determined to eat Lamm...there had been a course on the menu...and surprise surprise...tonight they had 'Lammcarre mit hausgemachter Schlutzkrapfen and Ratatouille'.

As I had saved starter...the cheese board was ordered.

I asked about the Nelles B48 and if he had found the 2009. The list had now been changed to 2006. It seems my visits had shaken up things...and they had checked vintages. I mentioned we had been to the Italian Restaurant the night before...and not really found a 'wow' wine. I mentioned Pupa Pepu and was told it was the boss's favourite.

The lamm was perfect....but how was the wine?
Roberto Bellini Pupa Pepu 2003
Montalcino, Italy

A Super Tuscan....70 % Merlot and 30 % Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep opaque colour...but no worries about it being too young. Instant delicate creaminess from the glass...soft cherry fruits...plums...and the 'legs' in the large glass always please me. It seems the name comes from Bellini's grandfather...who had a respectable moustache. He would be proud of this wine.
Points 17.25

Sunday 28 April
Dark day.
Sun Hours: None   
Sun Minutes: None  
Sun Seconds: None
I need the the day dragged on...but as I had booked a table for the evening I had to pull myself together.

A 20 minute walk and I arrived at the eatery 'Lois'. From the outside it looks like a Bistro / Cafe...and as you enter there is a long table with seating banks. Turning to the enter a small room with a capacity 20 persons. I was led to the corner table. As my wife had a virus I was on my own.  The lady owner offered my a surprise menu...4 courses for € 48,--...and asked if I ate everything. If it's good...yes!

All four dishes were beautifully prepared.
They had a range of wines by the glass (no vintages)...I opted for a bottle of GV and was told it would be perfect with all courses.
Knoll Grüner Veltliner Smaragd
Vinothekfüllung 2009
Wachau, Austria

Already a glossy feel...Knoll's Smaragd you could guess blind...but I was hoping I was not going regret drinking it young. No worries here...this is no heavyweight...stone fruits...pepper and tobacco...hidden diamonds...goes down like oil...with just a trace of sweetness.
Points 17.5

Monday 29 April
Too cool to walk for we drove into the mountains and forests to take in nature.
Food...we just wanted something warm and early. The flowers along the road are blossoming at a fair old rate.

We usually turned right out of the apartment...but tonight it was left...100 metres along the lake is 'Egern 51'...and in we walked at 6.30 pm.

We managed to get a table near a roaring fire. I had checked the wine list...wines by the glass with no vintages...bottles no I ordered 'a Helles Bier'. My wife said we needed a photo as proof.

I  started with some young...and very good...Calimari. My wife had the Carpaccio...
They have offers of special Steaks so I chose the Canadian version...and my wife finally got her Spargel (Asparagus) with a Schnitzel.

I decided to try a couple of glasses of red...and inquired of the vintages when served...Schneider's Ursprung Cuvee from the Platz was 2011!!!...and looked it...and the Cono Sur Carmenere 2010 was red...and charmless. The problem with open long have they been open? It would be unfair to criticise the wines on these two tastings.
We had got into conversation with the couple at the next table...they just ordered glasses of white. Me...I should have stuck with the beer. It was, however, a very pleasant unplanned evening...and  Haltmair sparkled in the night.

Tuesday 30 April
Would you believe it...the sun came out...and I was out on our balcony for a between...updating this report.
We had mentioned to the waiter at Kirschner that my wife loved Lobster.
They would do a Lobster menu for us.
True to their word...we arrived and were told it was still on.

I asked them if they could decant a white I had chosen...on the list...vintage 2009...and they said no problem. The waiter knew where the wine was...and as my wife and I settled into the evening...I saw him bring the bottle and open it. Show it me first I thought...but I decided to trust him. Wine decanted...and I tried it... and nodded. The decanter was placed in an ice bucket...and the empty bottle put on the table. I asked my wife to pass it to me to take a are guessing where we are going with this...checked the vintage. would be nice to say 2009...but it turned out to be 2010. No big deal regarding quality...and I am on holiday...just that if the food has to be correct according the the ingredients on a has the wine!
Terlan Sauvignon Blanc 'Quartz' 2010

South Tyrol, Austria
Classic gooseberry...apricots...creamy texture...minerals...slightly tarty which married well with the lobster.
Points 16.75

The Lobster menu was delicious!

Wednesday 1 May

A hazy warming First of May. I missed breakfast and wandered down to the lake to see the rest of a Brass Band Concert. Then across to Kirchner...sat outside and managed half of a massive portion of 'Geröstel' and a beer (Alcohol free). Back to the apartment..the sun still there...and a good Cigar! Ain't life wonderful?

                   A repeat visit to Lois...this time with my wife.

We decided to walk...and we were just caught by a dust wind before entering the restaurant. The rain followed as we sat down. Phew...that was close.
We were offered a menu again...but I was told it woud be different from Sunday. The first 3 courses really did not get top aproval from us...but my wife's eyes lit up when a Basilikum (Basil) Sorbet arrived before the meat course...which was also very good. She enjoyed the Foie Gras...and said so when the plates were removed. Five minutes later an 'extra' plate of just FG arrived. A nice touch.

The wine to help me through the evening was chosen. The M from F.X. Pichler 2010. The lady owner came with the bottle and turned it round to show 2008. Wrong vintage again...but this time...for the right reason. She knows a wine-freak when she sees him.
F.X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner M 2008
Wachau, Austria
This has closed up...maybe the 2010 would have been better drinking just now. escaping the fact that the 2008 is a big wine...thick and firm...pepper...amd perfect balance. My thoughts went to a recent 10 year old version I have drunk...but this won't be around in Lois by then...I drank the last bottle.
Points 17.25

A taxi point chancing the weather.

Thursday 2 May
Clouds, clouds, clouds...time to read and reflect.

We drove around taking in the countryside...checked out a 'Weinstube' for our next visit...then had some fresh bread and cold meats in the evening...oh...and a couple of local beers.

Friday 3 May
The previous day the elderly lady shopkeeper in Rottach had sniffed the air...and pronounced doom for the next few day...weatherwise.
As I woke...I saw glints of sun through the window. Up quickly...collected some food from the breakfast buffet...and at 10 am was out on the balcony...sun...wonderful sun. The photos show how the weather changes quickly here...with the mountains affecting the clouds.

The sun disappeared at 4 pm...and then came the storm. Lights went out...and we were told next day that the whole of the Tegernsee had been without electricity.
Back to normal an hour later...which must have been a relief to all women wanting to put on their face for the evening!

The Storm

Eva-Marie and the Menu
Your Relaxed Blogger
The last evening...and I spontaneously called Kirschner Stube. No room in the restaurant...but a table free in the 'Wintergarten'. Very 'Oldly Worldly' and we ordered dishes we had already tried. wife has by now become wary whenever I order a wine...with all the wrong vintages. Strange that I had wwutten a couple of days ago that folk want what is on the menu. She orderd the Jakobsmuschel...with LOBSTER. What arrived was not lobster but a good sized prawn. We notified the waitress and they wanted to redo it...but we were ready to eat. They later charged appropriately. BUT...I had to smile..and said to my wife...'Maybe now you understand me and my vintages'

Celler del Pont Lo Givot 2005
Priorat, Spain

Deep colour...nose instantly appealing with traces of blackcurrant and cassis...14.5% the wine is much lighter...spends 13/14 months in wood...and is a Cuvee from Granache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tannin approachable...and there lies the reason that the palate did not show too much...maybe still needing time. Begged for food to soften it.
Points 16.25

We shared a dessert to finish off the evening....then back to hopefully get a good night's sleep before the journey home.

Saturday 4 May
Up early...packed...breakfast...and OK until Würzburg when the heavens opened and stayed that way for an hour. The motorway was not an easy place. An hour before we arrived home the sky brightened...and we had warm sunshine on arrival. By the time the car had been was I.
A great holiday...and we have booked for next year...a few weeks later in May in the hope that we get more constant weather.


Edward said...

No wonder there are hardly any wines by Pichler in Australia. You're drinking them all!!

Anonymous said...

We miss a little bit more about the food. steffi und volker