Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Godfather of Wine

I am the Godfather of two in late brother's daughter...and wife's nephew's daughter. ( Understood?)
Her parents love fine along with Merle's older sister...we went to our favourite restaurant....La Fattoria.I refrain from saying the kichen comprises of Moroccans. And they cook well.
We are never disappointed.
I took along two bottles...both mature.

Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Singerriedel 2001
Wachau, Austria

What an great smell...creamy stone fruits. Some petrol...and a touch of quince. BUT...
This is bone-dry. The mineral veins have kept this lively and perfect now. Without them you would be looking maybe at a dessert-style wine. Citrus acidity...peach palate...long finish. Very lovely.
Points 18.25

Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy 2000
Tuscany, Italy

Having tried the 2008 in April...then the 2004 in early September...the chance to buy this one on Ebay was a no-brainer. Popped and poured...sweet cherries...just so elegant...leather...pipe-tobacco.Delicate silky fruit on the palate...just a trace of oak...with grainy tannins..and a lightness that makes it perfect with good Italian food.
Points 18.25

We order accross the board...and taste and exchange over 4 courses. Taboo in fine restaurants...but we don't go there. Here my choices.

Beef Carpaccio

Pasta in Gorgonzola Sauce

Duck with dates...the Classic

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Kosher Winner

The gap between the last meeting and this one...had been over 5 I had been on holiday.
Same venue...but this time inside...the weather for the garden was just too cool. With that in mind...two of us...Robert and myself...had opted to bring reds...the white was down to Volker.

Ökonomierat Rebholz Riesling Im Sonnenberg 2008
Pfalz, Germany

This reminded me so much of a Riesling from Alsace...that up-front fruit...then the dryish finish.
Wrong of course. After a guess from Robert of the Mosel area...I opted for the Pfalz....because of the border to Alsace. Then, after much further guessing...we ended up at Rebholz. This 'lesser' vintage is squeezed between two top vintages...but I always feel that wines show what they are made of...without being over-helped by perfect conditions. It went admirably with the Flammkuchen. The strong Grapefruit finish softened with air and the wine showed good balance. Volker always brings a good Riesling to our meetings.
Points 16.75

Tzora Vineyards Misty Hills 2009
Judean Hills, Israel

At our last meeting I had been fairly successful guessing Robert's Riesling from Australia.
He was not going to make the same mistake again.
We started with Europe...answer NO...New World...answer NO...then had a discussion as to what the New World means. It did not help...we finally had to give up...which pretty much satisfied Robert. He felt 'kosher.' I thought it was a 'schlamassel'
What we did manage to guess...was the main grape...Cabernet Sauvignon(70%)...and that it was a Cuvée...but the other grape just never occured to us. Syrah(30%) was the answer. The colour was quite deep with young purple...the nose was spicy...eucalyptus...dark fruits...earthy. The palate...with the 18 months in French oak barrels...revealed a smoothness and lovely blackberries...easy tannins...and a fine finish.
Very good.
Points 17.5

Now...all I need to do for my choice next time find a vineyard on the moon....Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée...and wait for Robert to start guessing!
My choice had been tried a few years ago Pinot Perfection
It had been a time to try the last bottle from my cellar.
Fritz Wassmer Spätburgunder XXL 2009
Baden, Germany

The nose enticed...they easily guessed Pinot...and Baden...but I was not trying too hard this time round.  This had won a trophy way back when. Maybe after the lithe wine above...this showed less elegance...and probably needed more acidity. The style is typical Fritz Wassmer...I generally prefer the reds from brother Martin.
Points 17

I had packed the half-bottle in my rucksack...and halfway through the Wassmer...asked if I should open it.

Silly question really. My 'Butler's Friend' easily removed the cork.
Chateau Latour 1971
Pauillac, France
Dry tobacco, cedar...still drinkable...but in the half-bottle...a few years too late. 

Volker left to catch a train.
Robert went to the bus stop.

I walked 400 yards back home.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Rebstock's Wonderful World

Been here many times...and I needed a break away from work...everyday...and the negative world out there.
What better place than the Rebstock's Wonderful World

Friday 28 August 2015

I arrived at midday...a wreck. No way I could turn went for a stroll into the vineyards. The sun had not yet fought it's way through the clouds.
Owner Karl Hodapp joined me on the terrace for a quick chat.

I browsed the food possibilities.
I struggled down to the restaurant that evening...ordered the wine and food...and was amazed at my recovery.
A greeting from the kitchen...cucumber terrine...which I have grown to love.
My memories of the vegetable had always been food issued by the wives when I had played cricket.
Cucumber Sandwiches. Talk about repeating on you!

The starter was 3 tasters...always a must when you visit the Rebstock. The fish was Dorsch (Hake)

I needed an injection of Riesling tonight...and not too much I intended to finish most of what was in the bottle. Karl always get his glass in the kitchen

Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling trocken 2007
Rheingau, Germany

I loved this...floral notes...peaches...perfect time with the minerals and acidity stroking the Rheingau fruit. Exciting wine...harmonious...just my style.
Points 17.75

Saturday 29 August 2015
I have decided not to go to I hardly eat at home at that time of day. A piece of bread and butter and a glass of milk and I was off to Achern for a massage. You would not have guessed how hot it would be later as the forest clung to the clouds.

Strangely...after a massage...I always have an appetite...and was on the terrace for lunch. Forelle(Trout)...from the area...was delicious...and then into Smoker's Corner for a cigar...Leaf...long and satisfying. Then a stroll with the headphones a 5pm I went to refresh.

As on the previous was warm enough to sit outside. I had asked the service to open the Pichler 5 hours in advance.
The Wachtel(Quail) is with Blood Wü I decided on a light salad to prepare myself.

F. X. Pichler Loibner Steinertal Riesling 2012
Wachau, Austria
Peaches...complex....still very young. Thankfully the striking minerals drag back the upfront baby fat.
Points 17.25 at the moment...
Sunday 30 August 2015
Slept long...then bread and butter...and off high into the vineyards...through the woods and down to the Zuckerbergschloss. It was hot...and an alcohol free beer and some Reibeküchle. Then down through Kappelrodeck...up the steep hill and back down the vineyards. The sun was beating down...not a complaint...just a fact. A quick shower and change...then coffee and cigar outside with the terrace full of guests.

Again a beautiful evening...
Perlhühn (Guinea-Fowl) was the main course choice...

The evening's drinking...
A bottle I had brought with me...
Polz Sauvignon Blanc Hochgrassnitzberg Vinotheksfüllung 2007
South Styria, Austria
I have the Reserve of this vintage...and thought I had found a couple of bottles of the same from a merchant. On arrival here in Waldulm I saw the label...but as the Vinotheksfüllung can be a step up I had great expectations. This seems to be a little fatter and could have done with more zip. These wines have nothing to do with ripe gooseberries or cat's pee and can be a revelation if you try them for a first time.
Points 17...going to leave the other bottle in the cellar and hope it becomes competition for the 'Reserve'

Monday 31 August 2015
Another gorgeous day.

Warm Goose-Liver and 'Schnittchen' of Pike-Perch & Salmon...were the choices as I sat out again on the terrace.
On the next table were a couple...Karl had placed them there I think as he had been told they knew about wine. They did...something you notice with a few exchanges. They were drinking the Gantenbein Pinot Noir 2009...which was a real coincidence. The previous evening they had drank the Gutedel 10 Hoch 4 and the half of the Gantenbein Riesling 2011. Gantenbein changed the style in 2013 to be dryer...but the 2011 had some rest had been left overnight to try with a dessert. I was offered a glass and the evening ended with us agreeing to meet for dinner the following day. 

Gantenbein Chardonnay 2011
Fläsch, Switzerland
Complex aroma...grapefruit, nougat, candied honey. The palate is full...a touch too much...but I wanted to try cannot blame the wine. As it aired the acidity popped up...and the wine gained length. A wine to share at the moment...
Points 17.25

Tuesday 01 September 2015
I had made an appointment at my favourite Thai massage. The lady has power and 90 minutes later my shoulders and neck were feeling the benefit.
The threatened rain appeared at midday and the temperature fell by 10 degrees. I had been to Achern to buy shoes and found a pleasant eatery to eat a salad with Maultaschle. 
At 5pm I asked Bettina to open and decant another of the bottles I had brought with me. 
Knoll Loibner Riesling Smaragd Vinothekfüllung 2006
Wachau, Austria

The couple arrived...Caroline und Franz-Josef.
I told them one wine was from my cellar...and they told me to choose 2 others for the evening.
As I have happy memories of the Keller Kirchspiel 2011 and it was chosen.
The Knoll was a touch disappointing with an unbalanced sweetness...needs time on this tasting.
The first red of the holiday...Knipser Reserve du Patron 2009 went very well with the Entrecote. See later in the week for a repeat drinking.
No notes were made...we chatted until late and enjoyed food and wines 

Wednesday 02 September 2015
Took me ages to drag myself out of bed...I think the relax mode is finally setting in.
A repeat of the walk through the vines and down to the Zuckerbergschloss...and the pleasant fall in temperature making it an easier version.

Ziereisen Gutedel 10 Hoch 4
Baden, Germany
Had this last year...then in April...and again with our monthly meeting...and it pleases every time. Will be interesting to see how it develops...the balance is perfect...and the fruit lingers...all the components for a fairly long life.
Points 18

Thursday 03 September 2015
A long hike up the opposite side...lunch on the terrace...half portion of Dorsch. A cigar and a Latte...then watched a couple of episodes of an English comedy...'Men Behaving Badly' funny.

As I had only 'shared' the bottle of the Knipser on Tuesday...I needed some more...and had actually forgotten to take a the dinner guests had taken my attention.

Knipser Spätburgunder Reserve du Patron 2009
Pfalz, Germany
Medium deep...and  aromas of cherries and plums from the glass. 
This is not the sweet Pinot...but typical of the Pfalz and very Knipser in style. 
Fine veins pumping through the ripe body..and an earthy texture. 
If I had to describe this in a few words...a Pinot for Cabernet Sauvignon lovers.
Points 17.5

As a of the classics...Schneckenrahmsuppe...Snail Soup. I had noted an addition the evening before...Bauernente...and a perfect match for the red.

Friday 04 September 2015
Sat in the corner...
Tasters from the kitchen...Pfifferling Terrine...Pumpkin Soup...then a Steak with Münster Potatoes....

Huber Hecklinger Schlossberg 2008
was opened...but not in good condition...a sour touch.
The next choice...

Adeneuer Walporzheimer Gärkammer Spätburgunder GG 2009
Ahr, Germany
Medium deep with pale rim...cherries...closed at first...dark fruits...and it enjoyed the steak as much as I did.
Points 17.25

Saturday 05 August 2015
I had asked waitress Claudi if there were any Asia restaurants in the area...having the need for a Thai curry. Bühl had been the dragged myself out of bed...I arrived midday. It was OK...not typically Thai...offerings were from China to Vietnam. The little town was bustling with Market Day. On the way back I collected chocolates from Cafe Glatt in Achern then returned to my 'home' for a Latte.

Familia Nin Ortiz Selma de Nin 2012
Catalonia / Spain
A wine that fascinates...the Rousanne heads you to south France...then the Marsanne to north Spain...this also needs air...I had forgotten that...when last tasted it had been aired. Large glass and then sit back and wait...
It just never reached the heights from a few months ago when Robert had produced it alongside my Gutedel from Ziereisen. Was still evolving when I sent a glass into the kitchen. Karl agreed it was not showing as I had promised.
Points 17
Sunday 06 August 2015
The weather was cool...grey clouds...but there were blue spaces...and I set off for a last walk. Arrived at Zuckerbergschloss and the sun came out.
At about 5pm I met with Karl...he had 30 minutes...and we chatted. We must meet again when he has time...I understand...only something you can associate with when you are self-employed.

Pfifferling Vol-au-Vent as a 'last' greeting from the kitchen.
All 4 'tasters' (hey..last understandable)

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia 2004
Tuscany, Italy

Just 'Ornellaia' between friends...
Ripe blackcurrants...tobacco, leather and cedar...sounds like an old style Bordeaux...and it is that good. Finessse and elegance.

The first mouthful is again...elegant...dusty silky tannins...perfect balance.
Graphite...and a faint sweetness to tempt you again and again. What a wine to finish my holday with. Sent a LARGE glass into the came back...very positive.

Points 18.5

Monday 07 September 2015
If you gotta go...then go as soon as possible. No point hanging about. A quick chat with Karl...I had ordered two quail and some Spätzle to take home. See you soon...I said...was not there long enough to see it the sun made it over the hills.