Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Good Diel

What a difference a few years make!
German Grauburgunder and Weissburgunder usually meant  a wine with over-used oak.
Recent tastings...particularly from Heger in Baden...have made me sit up and be prepared to change my mind.

Diel Cuvee V 2011

Nahe, Germany
Yellow gold in colour....instant pleasure from the glass...peaches, maracuja and butter. The palate offers a very harmonious feel...creamy texture...with a fine streak of minerality...something that many wines with these grapes used to crave for. The mix used to be with some Chardonnay...but this is 50%
Grauburgunder and 50% Weissburgunder. No fatness at all...the two grape variaties working as a perfect team. Elegant and long.
Points 17.5

Friends, Food & Wine or Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll?

Friends, Food and Wine...when we reach a certain age it becomes more important than Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll!
The four of us met up at Volker's house....he being the best cook!
I would bring the wines...whites only...all covered up...we love to taste blind and guess.The first was voted one of the best Austrian whites for the 2011 vintage.

Weixelbaum Grüner Veltliner Ano Dazumal 2011
Wachau, Austria

Reserved at first...but really opened with a little wamth.
Yellow green colour...ripe pears...tropical fruit...touch of tobacco.
A complex wine that really hits the spot already. Elegant...and not fat as some Smaragd wines can be. Spicy and with excellent minerality. All of us marked it highly...and I will will try to leave the other bottles alone...however difficult.
Points 17.75

The first course was, as usual, delicious.

I had then planned 2 older Rieslings.

Robert Weil Riesling Spätlese 2001
Rheingau, Germany

The colour pre-warned us...and so it was. This was more sweet than dry...

and the years had not tamed it. It was tried later with cheese for which it thanked us.
Points 15.5

Another 'elderly' Riesling from Austria

Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Singerriedel 2000
Wachau, Austria

Low in acidity...just a trace of minerals...funky wine...and another for later in the evening.
Points 16

The main course arrived...

Having thought that the two above would be risky...I had popped another into the fridge.

Veyder Malberg Riesling Buschenberg 2011
Wachau, Riesling

This vineyard is worked by way any machines can get at it.
Nose of apricots and asian spices. Orange and citrus follow. A most definite clear style. No trace of the oak it spends some time in. Salt, minerals, stones...all the ingredients for a very good Riesling. A wine with a future.
Points 17.25

The final wine was one I had tried a few days before...

Josef Fritz Roter Veltliner Steinberg PRIVAT 2012
Wagram, Austria

Full color in the glass....looks like honey. A gorgeous nose of soft vanilla and honey...sweet melons. The palate just takes over what has gone before...with oak perfectly integrated. A touch of white pepper. There are minerals in there as well. Long finish...and although it has 14.5% never bores.
Same notes...nobody guessed the grape...but then again...who could have?
Points 17.75

The weather was milder...and we wanted to smoke the two aged Rieslings were adequate as we discussed the world and it's problems.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Roter Veltliner

A first I think...tasting this grape. Not everyone called Smith is related...
and so it is with this...not related at all to the Grüner Veltliner.
It seems only to grow in Wagram...where they are specialists.
I took this along to my local eatery...unscrewed the bottle and took a smell.
Jaw dropped! If I had never been able to taste it this would have been a winner. A couple of friends at the next table know that I have been around a while and trust my reactions. They got a glass...two more dropped jaws and a couple of 'wows'. The last of the bottle was tried by the owner. 'Order me some' was the request. Another bottle was sent to my restaurant friend in Baden. He knows his wines...and was VERY impressed. 

Josef Fritz Roter Veltliner Steinberg PRIVAT 2012
Wagram, Austria

Full color in the glass....looks like honey. A gorgeous nose of soft vanilla and honey...sweet melons. The palate just takes over what has gone before...with oak perfectly integrated. A touch of white pepper(we are in is obligatory). There are minerals in there as well. Long finish...and although it has 14.5% never bores.
I wanted to give it 18/20...but it ONLY costs around € 20,-- so that cannot be. I have been slurping for longer than some people here have been breathing...and would put it in the top 20 wines for the price I have tried in recent years.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Swiss Meursault

One of my first loves back in 'old days' was Meursault. Even then I could afford Coche-Dury! They then all seemed to disappear from the marketplace.
However...I recently bought a couple of wines from the 2008 vintage from a couple of other properties.
Both I found to be overly oaked...not the delicate style I wanted.

Checking a merchants list...a description of 'meursault-like' caught my eye and I duly ordered a bottle.

Cicero M Chardonnay 2011
Bündner Herrschaft, Switzerland

Previously known as Mattmann Chardonnay...2010 was the last now has the Cicero logo as Thomas Mattman tragically died.
Close your eyes and dream of Coche-Dury...well...not going to overdo it...but dream of how you want your Meursault and your dreams will come true! Wonderful aroma of pears and bananas. Soft and gentle...a Swiss Miss to please. Lots of grip...charming wine...salty minerals...and very fine length.
I loved this...maybe the M stands for Meursault?
Points 17.75

Riesling Rules!

Young vintage...decent wine...leave a few years...good marks...but with potential. No doubt you have all been there...eager to try the wine...but unfairly hitting on it when it begs for time.

Prager Riesling Wachstum Bodenstein Smaragd 2011
Wachau, Austria
Opened...and tasted...all very good...but I will not bore you with the pre-fridge notes. I popped it into the 'cold room' and over the next few days was trying other wines.
SIX DAYS later!!!...finding all the other bottles now empty I thought I would try another sip of the half-bottle still available. A completely different animal...6 days maybe meaning 6 years...that is how much I thought the wine had needed. Delicious nose of peaches and intense...texture oily but great smokey minerals and a citrus kick. A 30 second aftertaste...and I ordered some more. Do I wait all those years...or plan the next bottle a week in advance? Whatever...lovely wine.
Points 17.25 before fridge...
Points 17.75 after...

Some info about the Vineyard.
How many winemakers do you know would plant a high-altitude site even when everyone in the region warns against it?
How many winemakers do you know work painstakingly hard to re-cultivate some of the oldest and most extreme sites in historic vineyards? Sites that are an adventure just to access, let alone tend or harvest.
Planted in 1990 in a high-altitude section of the Hinterseiber vineyard (literally bordering the forest at the top of the mountain), this was planted at an altitude of about 1,500 feet (between 440-460 meters). Many people doubted that the vineyard would be able to fully ripen Riesling. Over 20 years later, not only does the vineyard produce incredibly elegant and mineral wines, but while others have problems with over-ripening, the Bodenstein wines, even in hot vintages like 2003 and 2006, are balanced and elegant. Anytime you you see the "Wachstum Bodenstein" name, you should know that one of the points of the wine is to showcase genetic diversity. Bodenstein planted the vineyard with 15 different types of Riesling sourced from the Wachau as well as Germany's Rheingau, Mosel and Pfalz and France's Alsace.

Prager Riesling Klaus Smaragd 2011
Wachau, Austria

After the previous bottle I was prepared to be patient. However, this was much more forward and instantly appealing. The climate for this vineyard means it is completely boytris free. The vines were planted in 1952. Love the nose... typical great Riesling...aromatic...peaches...tropical fruit...palate complex...with a very fine acidity that never digs the knife is light-footed...easy to drink even now...and a soft explosion at the finish. Another one that needed a re-order
Points 18

Machherndl Riseling Alte Reben Kollmütz Smaragd 2012
Wachau, Austria

One of the up and coming younger generation.
The wines show his own style...boytris free...slim and clear. All see no oak...
Yellow fruits from the glass...pears and apples with airing...oily texture with minerals equal to it. Fuller than a German Riesling...something maybe lovers of this style would turn their noses up at...but the whole is very harmonious.
Points 17.25