Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From Cork To Compelling

Tried this wine a few months had been corked.
I know every bottle is different...but the stigma remains...until I decided to give the second one a chance.
Clever me...

Bäuerl Riesling Kellerberg 2010
Wachau, Austria
Light yellow-gold...touch of the old petroleum rises from the glass...on to a winner here...the gas-station junky. Peaches for those who want something more. Acidity and minerality just perfect...citrus fruit...lingering finish. Perfect Riesling...for my tastes...and compelling...but nowhere to be found. Must buy the 2012...
Points 17.5

Enderle & Moll...the Teenage Years

Recommendations and hype are OK...they tempt and please...but at the end of the is down to you.
I am still making up my mind about the two wines below...bought after the forums on the net were full of them.
They need time...that is clear...and I find them hard work at the moment.
Pinot Noir should be sexy...but these two are spotty teenagers...needing my patience and a few years to show their beautiful side.
Both opened 4 hours in advance...

Enderle and Moll Pinor Noir Muschelkalk 2009
Baden, Germany
I thought Bordeaux on sniffing...wild and earthy with a few swirls...not your everyday sexy grape. Iron came to mind...and blackcurrant...hence the Bordeaux feel. Taut tannins I said...hard work.
Points 16.75

Enderle and Moll Pinor Noir Bundsandstein 2009
Baden, Germany

Damp forest smells...which opened with more airing...herbs and gentle toasting. Fruit is hidden behind the tannins... and again...hard work.
Points 17

Now...I know my wines...after 40 years of tasting and gulping...I should do.
I hope these turn out well...enough experts are rating them...but they are not sexy at this time. Maybe I am comparing them to another style...see Metzger Pinot Noir below...and I am willing to be convinced...time will tell...and I have a few bottles.
Bought a bottle of each of the 2012 vintages...still listening to the hype.

The Red Butcher

Uli Metzger took over the reins at this property in 2010 from his father and has invested intensively....not only in vats and barrels...but in the marketing. Of course...with a name like Metzger (Butcher) the oportunities were there. Whites were the first that you took notice of...but now..he's hit the red wine trail. Four wines were released from the 2012 vintage...three of which have the added names 'Prago', 'Arthos' and 'Melandor' added to the labels. The marketing structure was aslo changed...the wines now more readily abvalable. He is proud to offer the house wine to well know TV Chef at his 'Bullerie' in Hamburg. A lot has happened in a few years!

Having received a few bottles was waiting impatiently to try the 'Arthos'.A wander to a local eatery gave me the chance.

A light plate of Greek Feta Cheese and some Olives...fresh bread...and a first smell and sip.

Uli Metzger Pinot Noir 'Arthos' 2012
Pfalz, Germany
Cherry red in colour. Ripe strawberries rise from the glass...and a slight prickle hits the though it is still fermenting. This turns out to be part of the whole as the wine remains light-footed throughout the evening. The palate shows velvety and juicy fruit...lingering as you swill and swallow. Never becoming heavy it is already a treat but plenty to hold this for 10 years or more.
I believe the consultant on this one was Erich (H.E.) Dausch who knows his Burgundy wines. He has worked with Friedrich Becker and I have had some fine wines whenever he has been involved...

A main course of Spanferkel (Suckling Pig) with a Gorgonzola Sauce was the next test. The secret with that cheese is to make sure the 'blue' does not dominate. The meat was tender and the sauce perfect.
The wine meandered it's way through the possible minefield and came out unscathed. It really thanked the meal as it could show it's full potential.

Points 18

Monday, October 13, 2014


The Noah's Arc theory....two by two...and the Corovin came into play.

Seeger Heidelberger Herrenberg Blauer Spätburgunder 'R' 2007
Baden, Germany

Deeper rimmed...more intensity on the nose...dark smoke...lively acidity...gentle burnt fruit...prickly strawberries...soft explosion at finish...and long.
Points 17.5

Seeger Heidelberger Herrenberg Blauer Spätburgunder 'R' 2008
Baden, Germany

In suffered slightly...a nose of fresh polish...acidity more dominant...earthy tones...tried alone a couple of days appeared more concentrated. It is down to vintage styles which one you prefer...but the 2007 is a step above.

Points 17

The Corovin has...up to now...only been used for red whites hold well ( and improve ) with a few days in the fridge.

Markus Molitor Saarburger Rausch Riesling ** 2012
Mosel, Germany

Pale yellow/ green colour...quite full...touch of sweetness...but hold-back minerals...this is more 'drinkable' or should I say 'gulpable' with that instant Mosel style.
Points 16.5

Boxler Riesling Sommerberg E Grand Cru 2012
Alsace, France
E stands for Egbert which is the upper part of this Grand Cru vineyard.
Livelier...touch more 'serious' than the Molitor...and more to my style. Flinty nose...flavour constantly of interest...citrus fruits...complex mineral notes.
Points 17.25

And so to the last pair...

Bernard Michelot Meursault 2007
Burgunday , France

Rich and style...just in the middle ( I tend to the more austere)...

a fine balance of butter and 'old style'...and improved with a touch warmth in the glass
Points 16.75

Francois Jobard Meursault Porusots Premier Cru 2008
Burgundy, France

Oh yes...super fruit...nose almost and racy...complex...

the aroma hovers waiting for you to return...creamy notes. hard to easy to enjoy.
Points 17.5

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Relaxing at Rebstock

Anyone out there 30 years old...planning to retire at 40...?
Anyone out there 40 Years old...planning...?
And so I could continue.
At 68 I am working more than I ever was...
the business is now more successful.
There is an old music saying...if you pays your dues...
you will get your rewards.
My reward will be 10 days at the Rebstock...with good friend Karl and the team.

Friday 29.08.2014
Arrived mid-morning...body still working...after my assistant had been given all the updates.
I was in room 2...and it was planned that in 3 days I would transfer to room 7.
I sat down for a light lunch on the terrace...then planned to lie down and recuperate.
Forget legs were still the only way is to go through the tirednesssbarrier....
Karl Hodapp had come out to say hello...he looked tired as well.
They have had a hard time this year.
A break-in earlier in the year (later they found the ex-staff member) and had lost all their data from the PC.
Then 4 weeks ago the river had risen...filled the stream...and the parking place had been flooded. A Harley-Davidson owner and a lady from Belgium with a top car...had both been shocked after leaving the restaurant late evening.
Karl's wife, Sandra, appeared...and told me she had fallen off the tractor, and had a shoulder injury...and that the co-chef in the kitchen, Herr Vogel, had also something similar after slipping!
Talk about living under a bad star!
Arrival Drink

Greeting from the Kitchen


Evening arrived...and I had met the new Maitre...Herr Doll...and had an instant rapport.
A greeting from the kitchen got things started....Sauerkraut Terrine.
Then 2 'Versucheler'...Tartare von Waldulmer Quellwasserforelle auf Gurkenmousse and
Terrine vom Wachtelbrüstchen im Blutwurstmantel mit Chutney von Bühler Zwetschgen.
The wine list had been checked a few days before...and I ordered the F.X. Pichler Smaragd Dürnsteiner Hollerin 2009. A bottle arrived and I asked to check the vinatage(habit)! It was 2012 and was the Loibner Steinertal. I decided to risk it...
It's partner...gefülltes Perlhühnbrüstcehn mit Gemüsegarnitur und Kässpätzle( Karl's recipe).
F.X. Pichler Riesling Smaragd Loibner Steinertal 2012
Wachau, Austria

Young...but approachable...yellow apple fruit...taut texture...dark minerals...tobacco...citrus finish.
Points 17.5
I fell into bed...and the world was at peace.

Saturday 30.08.2014
A couple of new staff...and Laura seved brekfast. Mussle, Scrambled eggs and gresh bread with local honey. The sun was decided to walk up the steep vineyards...through the wooda...and visit the Zuckbergschloss. Made it easily... and they were preparing for a weeding. The sun beating down...and a milky coffee. Down through the village of Kappelrodeck...up past the Russian owned castle...through the flat vineyards...and back to the Rebstock. A light lunch of salad( almost too much rabbit food!)...and then into the smoker's lounge ( corner of the terrace). I had a Partagas Number 2 was toasted at 2 pm. Don't ask me why...but at 4 pm it was still there (a couple of times re-lit but even then...a marathon).

Lunch on the Terrace

Salad for Lunch

More Versuchele

I had brought along a bottle of my own to try...and let Karl have a large glass in the kitchen.
The menu from the evening had changed...and as I sat outside to order...I had to sart all over again as both were no longer there!!!
Will ask Karl...but my guess is...due to the staff problem...he needed to cut.
I repeated the Terrine vom Wachtel...and tried the Terrine vom Pfifferlingen mit Kartoffelsalätchen.
I had been looking forwrd to the Wachtel(Quail) but he had flown!
In it's place I chose gebratenes Brüstchen von der Bauernente.
The wine had been given an hour...Herr Doll having pulled the cork as requested.
Weixelbaum Anno Dazumal 2011
Kamptal, Austria

Herby...ripe pears...tocacco (again)...has a semi-full feeling but so elegant. Exotic, tropical fruits and honey tones. Delicious.
Points 17.75

Sunday 31.08.2014
Rain, Rain, Rain! had been forecasted.
Breakfasted...and lazed about.
The bad news was the rain...the good news was that I could move up 2 floors to my favourite room 11. Mind you...9 times up and down the stairs until the possesions had reached their new domaine.
A Snail Soup for lunch.

I had contemplated drinking the Ridge all day...but the thought of smany many variations when it came to Cali Chardonnay. Decided to risk it...and chose the food appropriately.
Gebratenes Gänseleber auf Kartoffelpüree and a repeat of Friday's Perlhühnbrüsten.
Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz Estate 2009
California, U.S.A.

Ordered a large glass. Citrus and Popcorn hit me(popcorn? yes...but we are in the U.S.A. here). Tears, legs...depends on your down the glass. This looks good.
Everything it contains is tapered...nothing overdone. Butter, vanill...age has integrated the oak. Perfect with the warm Goose Liver. 14.5 % alcohol...but no problem...really nice mature wine....and I had worried for no reason.
Points 17.25

Monday 01.09.2014
Weather a little kinder...and although no sun... I sat out for breakfast. Drove up to the High Road...and there was down to Achern where I popped into the local Italian for lunch. Back at the Rebstock....Karl was cutting grass and son Basti was assisting. We chatted for a while...and I ordered the wine for the evening.

Italian Pasta

Marvellous Meursault


The restaurant is only open to hotel guests on Monday.
I recently wrote about my love of Meursault...and of recent disapointments.
Time to recity the matter.
I asked Karl to open it early...and I was ready to go at 6.30pm.
As there were only 5 guests we were in the Alte Stube...
A starter...a half portion of Maultaschen...and being a good lad...decided on no meat(my wife would be happy)...and took the Zander.
The wine...was delicious.
Jacques Prieur Clos de Mazeray 2011
Burgundy, France

This spends 18 months in oak...and is a 'Village' wine.
Who cares...this is how Meursault should be!
Brioche notes, ripe pears, citrus injection....marzipan and butter, minerals...
Perfect. Not the BIGGEST wine this holiday...but the most pleasantly surprising.
Points 17.5

Tuesday 02.09.2014
Weatherwise...a mixed day...but sun for breakfast.
I went for a 90 minute was that good.
A few creaks and I felt empty afterwards...but refreshed.
A sandwich on the balcony...
Alte Stube again...tonight 10 people...and I repeated the Maultaschen
(as I said ...the menu is smaller for a couple of days).
Fish again...Salm und Zander...but for a good reason.
Keller from Rheinhessen is a property I have not tried(Hey...I am only human)
'Von der Fels' has pleased a couple of weeks ago...and on the wine-list was a 2011 at € 60,--
Karl is a wine lover and his mark-up is very fair.

Breakfast in the Sun

Salm and Zander
Keller Riesling Kirchspiel GG 2011
Rheinhessen, Germany

Wow...first smell...enticing, classic aroma. Mint and firestone.
Finesse pure...yellow stone fruit. Combines a quite full body with
an elegance that is classy . A 'Spass' wine as they easy to drink and
so easy to appreciate. I am a convert.
I will search out more...2013 is available at around € 40,-- from wine merchants.
Also highly rated is the G-Max...but can it be 12 times better that the Kirchspiel?
I rest my case M'Lord.
Points 18

Wednesday 03.09.2014
Being a dedicated fresh air breakfast person...I was out again.
Only problem...sun was not.
No matter...ideal weather to climb the slopes across the road and work off
the food. Restaurant is closed at midday...just found will have to go
get something. Just finish this part....Karl said hi...and enthused about the Keller Riesling.

Potato Soup

Pfifferling Terrine


He kindly offered a wine for the evening...not on the list yet.
The menu was back to normal...and my choices from last Saturday
were available.
Terrine von Pfifferlingen mit im Ofen gebratener Wachtel-Gänseleberroulade
Ganze Wachtel im Ofen gebraten...gefüllt mit Gänseleber, Apfel und Blutwurst

The wine...
Huber Chardonnay  Hecklinger Schlossberg R 2011
Baden, Germany.

The recent death of Bernhard Huber had not bee a surprise to I knew a year ago that he was ill. A Legend. His Spätburgunder set standards that many have followed.
The vines for this Chardonnay are 40 years old. They were falsely said to be by Weisse Burgunder by an elderly couple who had owned the vineyards. Bernhard purchased the site and found the truth.
Delicate complex aroma..nutty...layers of minerals...a touch too fat at the moment.
Hidden treasures...give it 2 years.
Points 17
The usual procedure is that Karl gets a glass for after work.
He asked next day how it had seems the young girl at the bar had poured it away!

Thursday 04.09.2014
Second massage appointment...then lunch on the terrace.
I had planned JUST a soup...but the masage had given me a larger appetite.
Filet von der Waldulmer Quelsswasserforellen in Brickteig gebacken.

I sat and checked the wine-list.
Planned had been that Karl and I would share a couple of bottles...
on his 'day-off'
but his assistant...Herr the kitchen...was still off with the shoulder injury.
Herr Vogel's wife was doing lunches and said it would be a while before he could work he could not move freely.

I have had very little red wine recently...and then it has only been Pinot Noir.
I fancied a Bordeaux but did not want any tannin bundle.
My choice just edged it over the Tignanello 2007.
Herr Doll was asked to open and decant at 4pm.

Food had to be lamb or beef...and I chose the
Medaillon von Weidelammrücken im Mantel von Thymian...
dazu ein Münstergratin.

Dominus 2004
Napa Valley, California, U.S.A.

A U.S. it is a project from Petrus owner...Christian Moueix.
Opaque colour....aromas of black cherries, chocolate, cassis, tobacco...
great depth...dusty tannins...dried figs. The mix is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot...not a drop of Merlot to be tasted(Petrus). It had been decanted 3 hours in advance...and was a little monster with a velvety cloak. Long finish.
Points 18

Friday 05.09.2014
The sun was with a stiff walk up to the church and then onto the Pfarrberg Vineyard.
My wife had called and wanted chocolate brought back I drove into Achern to Cafe Glatt. This time the home-made soul was pumpkin...and delicious is was  too.
I sat in the garden area...and a waitress asked if she should put up the umbrella to shade me from the sun. I told here I had been waiting for 3 days for it...
The smoker's corner back at Rebstock was warmed by the sun...and  a Partagas was lit....a tea ordered...and an apple tart with cream. I spent 2 1/2 hours just wishing the world would stand still. I don't watch world news at home...and here in the Black could forget the world existed.

A glass of the non-alcoholic fizz on the terrace...thought about staying there...but the sun disappears at 7 pm...and feel the cool air.
A couple of repeat orders...then a wine I try everytime I am here.
Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner Honivogl Smaragd 2009
Wachau, Austria.

I have had younger versions recently...where the minerality has been more dominant.
This is good....but the fatness has been left to fend for itself.
Aroma of lychees and honey...oily texture...quite full on the palate...
but again...missing some zip.
Points 17

Saturday 06.09.2014
HOT...and last Thai massage at midday. Must look for something similar close to home.



Herr Doll

I sat on the terrace trying to decide what to drink when Herr Doll said there was a couple of 'Vintage' changes. There was also a new addition...Karl had mentioned the wine a couple of days ago. I have NEVER drank what better way to start than at the top. The price is HIGH but Karl has it on his list at less than what merchants are offering. He obviously gets Restaurant rebate...but his mark-up on this would not feed a cat!
Ziereisen Gutedel Jaspis Alte Reben 10 Hoch 4 2011
Baden, Germany

Opened 2 hours before drinking...and served in a large Burgundy glass.
Wow...close your eyes and you are in Burgundy.Nutty oak...seductive...layed-back style...
intense minerality...memories of great Puligny Montachet. As I sat outside and darkness came...the empty glass held the perfume.
Points 18.25
Julia Harding gave this saw the label and could not bring yourself to give it more. Had Sauzet been the name...

Sunday 07.09.2014

Again...gorgeous weather...and after breakfast lazed about...then drove into Achern and had the Pumpkin soup at Glatt's cafe. I wanted to go and watch the local Foootball team in the afternoon...and made my way down there. Nothing...I checked the webiste which said SUNDAY of us has got it wrong! Then I checked the fixtures elsewhere...and for 2 games they will play on Saturday. They won as well...but hardly compensation for my visit.
Tea on the terrace instead...and a last piece of apple pie...knocked on the kitchen window and asked Karl about the Gutedel...he was also enthusiastic. He was disappointed we had not had the time to chat more and share a couple of bottles...but such is life. Hopefully his co-chef will be back soon.
I had another bottle of the Keller...and sat out on the terrace...even had a dessert...which I could only see with the help of my IPad screen...I said my goodbyes to the staff and headed for slumberland.

Monday 08.09.2014

Had done most of my packing and transporting to the car the previous day (I had time as the football visit did not take place). Karl's wife Sandra came to say goodbye...Karl was sleeping long to recuperate. She said how disappointed he was...but we both just can't plan when you have your own businesses.
My thanks to the kitchen...and my thanks to the staff in the Restaurant...Herr Doll, Isabel, Laura, Miriam...and the rest...who made my stay a very pleasurable one. Until next time...