Half bottle Rieslings are very tempting. Not because getting half the amount of wine is exciting as such, but because these small bottles often contain some of the highest quality drops of sweet molten gold. A three star Auslese ('selection') wine from top Mosel winemaker Molitor would have to be a candidate for a top quality sweet wine. Or is it? [read the full post...]
The other day I opened a bottle of a lovely Pinot Blanc from Markus Molitor's winery. After a little search online I found two wine merchants who have this wine in their online catalogue. One of them was the Alpe Adria Weindepot in Austria.
I emailed them, only to get a reply saying that it was a) too difficult to deliver wine to the UK; b) too expensive (even though that should be the customer's decision, I think); and that c) they specialised in Austrian and Italian wine and could therefore not offer this one. [read the full post...]
I have been looking forward to opening this bottle for almost a year, ever since I bought it at the winery in June 2008. From the tasting, I remembered that I liked it a lot. And now I like it even more. [read the full post...]
Surprisingly dark colour for a Pinot. Smells very ripe, black cherries, some marzipan and some smoked bacon. In the mouth well integrated, but still a tad too dominant oak, very dense and powerful, nutty, no signs of age.
Undeniably classy and powerful, this Pinot ranges between the "german" (oak, warmly nutty) and the "french" (tight acidity and tannin, cherries) style. Impressive and very yummy wine from Baden's Kaiserstuhl, but I would have liked it with a bit less oak.
Tastes deeply, most interestingly of fleshy peach, tart , very cool somehow, herbal, but also of spicy vegetables (artichokes?). Very promising.
Very dry in the mouth, noble Riesling fruit with perfect acidity and great mineral after-taste, but this wine's signature is the 'cool' feeling on the palate, Gletschereis-Bonbons, you know them, and an almost sharp herbal intensity. It's like a herbal tincture on overheated skin. [read the full post...]
This wine brought great enjoyment to our modest kitchen table - and made me feel vaguely stupid for rambling on about wines five times as expensive with as many adjectives.
Here, three will be enough: fresh, clean, appetizing.
3,75 € for one litre of nice Riesling - beat that, if you can.
E.W. Polz, Südsteiermark, had two great Sauvignon Blancs on display:
The 2008 "Steinbach" (27,50) had enormous zest and spritziness, a burst of green flavours like a flowering meadow in may, mint, cassis.
The 2007 "Hochgrassnitzberg" (27,50) had been left to age with the yeast for a year longer, and was completely different: Yellow flavours, creamy, yellow peppers maybe, something that tasted like nutty oak but wasn't, as I was assured no barriques had been used. Very intense as well.
Stefan Potzinger, also Südsteiermark, convinced me less. His 2008 Morillon (=Chardonnay) "Ratsch" (13,90) was nice, but boring, and his 2007 Sauvignon blanc "Joseph" (26,90) was wildly overoaked - no comparison with the spicy and lively one by Polz. [read the full post...]
Posh Munich fine food retailer Dallmayr for a few years now has had two wine tastings a year: A larger overview of German and Austrian wines in the spring, and a smaller selection of wines from all over the world in autumn. Nicely set in Munich's old city hall, they're rare chances to get a first glimpse at that year's yachting and horse riding fashion trends (always comes in handy), as well as knock yourself out on pricey wines you would not otherwise get to taste. Admission is 20 € which includes free snack foods that - to Dallmayr's credit - are quite delicious.
Wine rambler, as always, sent an inconspicuous taster to investigate. [read the full post...]
Incredibly intense dark red colour, almost bordering on black. A nose full of fruit that, after a little time with our friend the decanter, opened up to combine redcurrant, cherry, plum, woodland herbs, leather, manure (just a hint) and oak - the latter is already very pleasantly integrated.
In the mouth it is intense yet smooth, a little spicy oak, mellow fruit, grainy tannins (quite enjoyable) - it is strong but you don't notice (in the sense of taste) the alcohol at all.
It felt as if this wine would gain from a few more years in the bottle, but it is already quite a presence!
This was very convincing: Typical white pepper, pear and herbal Veltliner fruit both in the smell and the taste, gets more aromatic as it gets less bubbly, harmonic acidity, nicely creamy. [read the full post...]
From the winery with the silly name comes a surprisingly good wine: Complex, quite powerful smell of ripe apples and cantaloupe melons. A lot of apply fruit in the mouth, very ripe and concentrated, earthy minerality.
By the way, I caught on to them: the label says 0,5 grams of residual sugar are still in the wine. Shame on you. Did you think we wouldn't notice?
Cherry red, with an orange-brown rim.
Phantastic smell, finest red berries, sour cherries, dry autumn leaves, a nice sour touch.
A bit morbid and smoky in the mouth, like eating berries by a wood fire, enormous minerality.
A melancholy, touching wine with secrets, like a trail into the woods ("down from the door where it began..."). Loved every drop of it.
Looks quite fizzy, lots of small bubbles, greenish colour. Fresh in the nose. Everything about this wine is very fruity at first, almost like an exotic fruit explosion. Also, it seemed to me somewhat unbalanced at first, going through various stages in a short time, sometimes emphasizing fresh lemony acidity, a little mineral, then suddenly grapefruit.
However, after two hours or so, everything settles down, the mineral gets stronger, the rest of the flavours order themselves around it and a nice and orderly German fashion.
Still very young, but quite nice after two+ hours with air. Especially for the price!
If to me some of the recent 2006 wines were like an acid handgranade, this Riesling here is the 80mm shell. Dry, edgy, green apple with a hint of nut. And a clearly defined core of steely acidity with just enough fruit flavours decorated around it to give you a proper punch. [read the full post...]
In June 2008, London was invaded by Germans. Twice. And I was in the thick of it. It all started with an announcement by the guys from The Winery, one of my favourite London wine shops:
Ryanair allowing, two growers from the Mosel will be joining us for the evening, each top of their stylistic trees, masters of their dangerously steep slopes, each with global reputations. Clemens Busch, the dry Riesling guru from Punderich and Theo Haart, the fruity Riesling specialist from Piesport.
I was excited to learn that Wines of the World would host a big wine tasting event on the weekend my friend Oliver visited from Munich. I bought two tickets and off we went.
The tasting was in a small hall in the primary school just round the corner. They had eight tables with wine and sparkling and a mixed table that had ale, cider and cognac. The whole setting almost looked like a school fair and we were expecting children running around and teachers giving marks for the best science project.
The event started at 12pm and when we arrived it was only nine wine merchants starring at us and a handful of locals. Two hours later the place was packed with the trendy Clapham crowd.