Today thou shalt have an easy drinking time : Pikes The Dogwalk Cabernet Merlot 2006, Clare Valley SA

This time I've got a very accessible and smoothed Cabernet Merlot form Clare Valley in South Australia for you people out there on the internet. "The Dogwalk” from Pikes, a family winery right on Polish Hill River, appeared to be what many people demand from an Australian Bordelais Blend Wine: Smoothness, accessibility, unelaborateness, fruitiness (and maybe sweetness), palatability, alc and plenty of concentration.
Let me anticipate a bit. You may find every mentioned aspect in this wine, but in a more sophisticated and well proportionated way. It wasn’t an example for an industrially processed and faceless wine like those low cost (or not) products from very well known hyper-large-wineries which you can find all over South Australia.


La Slovénie .......huit points: Kupljen Modri Burgundec 2007 Selection, Jeruzalem-Svetinje

My first Pinot from Slovenia! Grown on the fair slopes of the Jeruzalem Hill in Stajerska and aged for 16 months in 600 l barrels, this Pinot impressed me with its simplicity and buoyancy.


Farmers Best: Bacalhoa JPPrivate Selection 2007, Palmela

Rustic wine at it’s best? Maybe! Let’s have a look. The JPPrivate Selection from Bacalhoa, a bit large wine syndicate, was cultivated on the sandy soils of Peninsula de Setúbal a bit south of Lisbon. It is a 100% Castelão (aka Periquita) which was aged in oak barrels for 12 months. Castelão is a very notorious varietal for this underrated wine region of Portugal. Normally it produces rather tannic, slightly fruitful, a bit thin and one-dimensional wines. In this case, too?


Auto Assassination Interlude (AAI) Part 1: Kuei Hua Chen Chiew

First of all: I like China! I have been to the country several times and I always enjoyed it very much. Today’s beverage however is something very “special”. I think I never had anything comparable before in my life. At least I can’t remember it. I suppose it will remain this way. Of course today is, and will be, the only exception. This Kuei Hua Chen Chiew is a cinnamon flavoured rice wine produced of sticky rice, water, cinnamon, fresh sweet osmanthus, plum juice and sugar.


The second Big Fish from Bekaa Valley: Chateau Kefraya 2000, Bekaa Valley

Chateau Kefraya was established in 1946 by Michel de Bustros a wealthy banker and wine lover. But it took until 1979, right in the middle of the civil war, that the winery started to produce respectable and interesting wines. Nowadays it is probably the most famous regional counterpart to the most renowned Lebanese wines from Chateau Musar. The grapes for today’s red blend were cultivated in the famous Bekaa Valley at an elevation of 900 to 1100 metres above sea level. It is a composition of the very classical French varietals, maybe not in that combination, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache.

In my glass I saw a very dark and almost thick black-red soup. Not the strongest sunbeam can penetrate the transparent goblet. The fragrances I fetched were very earthy, rather warm, slightly chocolaty and full of dried fruits like plums and cherries. Then, I already sensed a bit too much alcohol. The taste was very strong, full bodied and dense. I got flavours of stressed and sweet’ish plums as well as a few cherries. Further more a bit of dark berry marmalade, a potpourri of dried fruits, medium vanilla, hints of smoke, some earthiness and a decent proportion of regional spices. Unfortunately the high alcohol couldn’t disguise itself anymore. Although only 14% are indicated on the bottle! 

Overall this wine appeared to have a very warm character. For me it was a bit too sweet, streamlined and “modern” in its own way. I think you cannot compare it with the grand cuvee of Chateau Musar. From my point of view Chateau Musar was and is a totally different story. By far not that influenced by modern trends and standards like this Chateau Kefraya blend. Nevertheless a pretty enjoyable wine with plenty of power and strength! The typicity appeared to be pretty much Middle-Eastern as well. About the drinkability: Don’t worry, there is still enough power in the bottle. But I can't see any reason to hold it either. One last advice: Beware! A lot of depot will be in the bottle!


Auto' Red from Auto country: Weingut A. Hofmann Tauberschwarz Röttinger Feuerstein R 2007, Franken

But it did not went down the gullet AUTO'matically … ! 
It was more like a steep hill to climb. But first:

Hi there everybody! Today’s wine might be more unusual to my trusty Russian, French and American readers out there. Not to mention all the others readers from more than 35 different countries. For my German and especially my Franconian readers it might get a bit boring today. Sorry! Next time I will write about something from the Middle-East.
The A. Hofmann winery is one of the few wineries in Franken region who dedicated themselves to the rare Tauberschwarz varietal. Tauberschwarz is a autochtonous, spicy and dark grape varietal from Tauber river in the South-West of Franconia. This Röttinger Feuerstein R was aged for 14 months in Röttinger oak (local production) and is probably one of the best and most complex, as well as varying, examples on the market. This very bottle is the Reserve from the vineyard.

Let’s start! In my glass I detected very dark red and clear reflexes. But not quite black like the name of the wine might implicate (Tauberschwarz = Tauber - name of a river - black). It appeared to be rather juvenile. No brown’ish tendencies on the rim at all. As always, the fragrance was getting more interesting. I smelled a fair amount of blueberries, hazelnuts, milk chocolate, forest berries, slight gentle oak, imaginary flint stone and after a while scents of cherry and juniper joined the club.
Well, that sound rather nice, doesn’t it? Right now, after I have already finished the bottle, I would concur!
However, my first tasting impression wasn’t positive at all. In the first 3 to 4 hours the flavours in my mouth were bitter, smoky, far too lean and some hyper acidic blueberry x cherry + whatsoever earthy-mineral flavours. It appeared to me as a very unbalanced and harsh wine without a convincing body. Somehow it reminded me of young, light bodied and too classical Chianti with far too much acid!?
Well, that sounds crap, doesn’t it? At this very stage I’d agree again. But not so fast, please! After the already mentioned 3 to 4 hours the face of the Tauberschwarz changed completely. The acid tamed, but did not vanish completely – the freshness preserved, the harsh bitterness sodded off, the quite strong mineral character remained and all over sudden some extraordinary creaminess evolved. The tannin structure was strong, but civilized. The accessibility of the wine improved with every minute. Maybe too a bit too exaggerated, but this stage made me so happy, please forgive me for my cheesy and overwhelmed soupçon of madness. The actual body appeared to gain some muscles, too. Very strange shift indeed! The fruitful flavours shifted more to the cherry / bramble side without eradicating my first impression of blueberries and some other forest berries. The traces of juniper from my nose detection centre hopped into my mouth as well. A miraculous metamorphosis to a very enjoyable and unique tasting wine! So, my advice for this wine: Open the bottle, take a good sip and leave it alone for the next 4 or more hours. On the second day it got even-chocolaty better ;-) Steep hills need time to summit …


Oh dear! Another facebook page nobody is interested in...

Kaiserstuhl Pinot from Wairarapa soil: Johner Estate Pinot Noir 2009, Wairarapa

Today I got another wine from Johner Estate for you. One made from my most preferred varietal: Pinot Noir. As, I have already mentioned in my recent Wairarapa Riesling post, Karl-Heinz Johner is a well known winegrower from Kaiserstuhl/Baden region in the very south-west corner of Germany. After long working years on home soil and abroad (e.g. England!) he and his family decided to open up a second wine pillar on Aotearoa’s North Island not too far away from the capital Wellington. Two weeks ago I had the Wairarapa Riesling which I enjoyed in its own peculiar, or maybe better, unusual way. Today I would like to present you its red counterpart:

The Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009. It is the wineries entry level Pinot for a more or less reasonable price. Its colour was very ruby red, a bit faint and appeared to look a bit watery on the rim. In my nose I fetched fragrances of strawberries, raspberries, maybe with a mild imprinting of marmalade, chicken soup (?) and slight bits of watery cucumber salad. The taste grasped for my palate. It was very fresh, intense and invigorating. A description I might never use for his Pinots from Baden in Germany. Its body was pretty light without being thin or boring. The acid was well integrated. The alcohol might have been a little bit too much for my taste. The fruitiness was semi sweet. Which was okay for me. The complexity of the flavours were contenting. On the one hand I got plenty of light red fruit flavours combined with impressions of rosehip* (*in older vintages of the Gladstone Pinot Noir something I did not really enjoy all too much because it was simply too rosehippie) on the other hand earthy aromas like autumn forest ground and mushrooms. Best of all there was no “oak situation” here! The way I see it this oak problem was and is one of the main problems of his German Pinots (over-oaked and over-extracted fellows). They appear much more New World’ish than some of his NZ Pinots. Although I have to admit a certain “Johner-Baden-Pinot-Paradigm-Shift (JBPPS)” to a more “natural style” (what a stupid expression, can't find a better one right now) took place in recent years. The Wairarapa Pinot did not have such problems. It was swift, accessible, enjoyable, not too monorail’ish and it went down the gullet like nothing.


A weekend in the Hamptons: Wölffer Estate The Hamptons Reserve Merlot 2002, Long Island NY

Let’s have a weekend in the Hamptons. I guess this wine from the Hamptons has the potential to provide you with a little bit of weekend’ish feelings. It is a Merlot from one of the best know wine growers in New York state. Wöllfer Estate is situated next to Poxabogue Pond in Sagaponack. The winery is run by Roman Roth a gifted winemaker and native Swabian. The grapes for this Merlot came from three different blocks in Sagaponack. Its ageing period wasn’t that extensive. Approx. 12 months in mainly used oak had to do it. And it did - very well.

This was my first wine from Long Island. For the second time so far! I am pretty amazed that you can produce wine on such a hyper expensive soil and still manage to maintain a reasonable pricing. This Merlot Reserve cost approx. 13 Euro. A striking bargain! It showed a very classical, dry, elegant, chocolate’y, blueberry dominated, not over oaked or over fruited character. I might have sensed some freshness and minerality as well. The complexity and strength were very well set. Not too strong! A very joyful and cheering balance I might say. Of course it was smooth, like most Merlots, but it was able to show the typical herbal flavours of classical Merlot wine from Libournais, too. Certainly I would not like to compare this wine with Bordeaux Merlot. It had its own individual characteristics. Just like many Merlots from Bordeaux. There is simply no need for a detailed comparative study. After that experience I am planning to try out more of New York State stuff. Very Good quality! I guess two years ago it was a little bit better. I suggest: Now is a good time to decimate your stocks!


Yesterday's fantastic wine tasting with plenty of unusual growths from Spain

Yesterday I had the opportunity to enjoy a variety of very interesting, unusual and convincing wines from Spain. The tasting took place within the domains of a rather well known wine merchant in Stuttgart.  The bulk of the presented wines were that unusual and incorruptible, I just have to mention them on my blog. Unfortunately I can't translate this post. Today I really haven't got the time for that. Sorry. Next time. I promise!

Heute möchte ich euch in kurzer Stakkato-Form von meinen Eindrücken der gestrigen Spanien Probe in der Weinhandlung Kreis in Stuttgart berichten. Meiner Ansicht nach wahrscheinlich eine der besten Verkostungen bei Herrn Kreis die ich miterleben durfte. Es gab zwar einige wenige Enttäuschungen, doch die Bandbreite an außergewöhnlichen, teilweise faszinierenden, überraschenden und qualitativ hochwertigen Weine überwiegte alle mal. Ich möchte mich mit meinen Eindrücken sehr kurz fassen um eure und meine Zeit nicht unnötig lang in Anspruch zu nehmen. Deshalb bleiben Unzulänglichkeiten bei der Beschreibung einzelner Weine wahrscheinlich nicht aus. Mein Bewertungssystem weicht von dem üblichen 100 Punkte System ab. Daher eine kurze Einführung:

(++++) = die Engelchen tanzen im Himmel und ich gleich mit
(+++) = großartiger, fantastischer Wein
(++) = sehr guter Wein
(+) = guter Wein
(o) = so La La, nichts Schlimmes und nichts Besonderes
(-) = klare Schwächen vorhanden
(--) = miserabel
(---) = gutes Horrorpotential
(----) = Pisse


Mas Bertran

Cava Balma Reserva Brut Nature 2007 (+)
Spaßbringender und prickelnder Apfelsaft, sehr angenehm für Brut Nature, sehr zugänglich, alles andere als kompliziert, ein Cava an dem sich wenige stoßen werden, gutes PLV

Cava Argile Prestige Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2007 (+)
Eleganter und etwas mehr fordernder Typ, schöne Alterungsnoten, vermutlich leichtes Holz, zurückgesetzte Frucht, komplexere Struktur, sicher kein Spaßvogel


Bodegas Vidal Soblechero, Rueda

Rueda Viña Clavidor Cepas Viejas 2009 (o)
Sehr frischer und grün-aromatischer leichter Sommerwein, runder Geschmack, leichte Cremigkeit, kräftige Säure, unkompliziert, wahrscheinlich ganz gut zu Schalentieren

Rueda Verdejo 2010 (-)
Ein reiner Verdejo der mich nicht sonderlich beeindruckte, eher breit, kaum Frische, Aromen von grünen Bananen, schwächliche Säure, gewisse Würzigkeit, etwas einschläfernd

Rueda Pagos de Villavendimia Finca El Alto 2006 (++)
Ein reiner Verdejo auf die ganz andere Art, schöne Reifenoten, im Duft finde ich rauchige Anklänge, Feuerstein, der Geschmack ist äußerst mineralisch, beerig, gute Säure die eine jugendliche Beschwingtheit und Frische garantiert, straffer schlanker Körper, dabei dennoch eine angenehm leichte Fruchtigkeit, sehr eleganter Stil, gute Länge, ein toller Wein, der sicherlich nicht jedem schmecken dürfte, da er doch über Ecken und Kanten verfügt

Coto de Gomariz, Ribeiro

Ribeiro Gomariz X 2010 (++)
Aromen von Birnen, Bananen, Äpfel, etwas Grapefruit, dazu enorm viel Mineralität, meiner Ansicht nach noch sehr verschlossen, ein wenig hart, stramme Säure, leichte cremige Ansätze, tolles Potential, absolut kein Langweiler, wird in wenigen Jahren erstaunlich schön sein

Escoda-Sanahuja, Conca de Barberá

Conca de Barberà Els Bassots 2007 (+)
Sicher der polarisierensde Wein an diesem Abend, er wurde aus Chenin Blanc ohne Schwefelung gefertigt, die Farbe war sehr dunkel, eigentlich orange mit extrem viel Trübstoffen, der Geruch war dominiert von Eiern, Backstube, Sesamaromen und doch einer gewissen Frische, der Geschmack war nicht fett oder breit, dennoch sehr ungewöhnlich intensiv und relativ hart (fast ein wenig bitter und gerbstoffbetont), Geschmacksaromen von Sesam, Marzipan und Kinderbrei. Sehr zupackender Typ mit anständiger Säure, ein Wein der sicher im Gedächtnis bleibt. Ich bin mir sicher, dass 80 bis 90 % der Verkoster nicht sehr begeistert waren ;-)


Palacios Remondo, Rioja

Rioja La Vendimia 2010 (+)
Dunkel beerig, rauchig, stahlig frisch, fruchtbetonte Kühle, viele Heidelbeeren und Johannisbeeren, noch sehr jung, bis jetzt der beste Jahrgang von diesem Wein, den ich je getrunken habe, er wirkt balancierter als frühere Ausführungen

Rioja La Montesa 2008 (++)
Erdige Nase, Pilze, zurückhaltende angenehme Fruchtdüfte, der Geschmack zeigt dunkle Fruchtaromen, mehr Komplexität als der La Vendimia, eine gute konservierende Säure, leichte vanillige Töne (Dennoch sicher kein typisch holziger Rioja), Schärfe, eine im positiven Sinn schöne Gefälligkeit mit kantigem Charme, sehr gutes PLV

Olivier Rivière, Rioja

Rioja Rayos Uva 2010 (o)-(+)
Düfte von Kinderhustensaft und Cassis steigen mir in die Nase, auch Rauch darf nicht fehlen, im Geschmack ist er keineswegs hart oder kompliziert, breite und runde dunkle Fruchtaromen (nicht schwächlich) und eine omnipotente Gefälligkeit tun sich hervor, ein absoluter Partywein, hat etwas von einem „Everybodys Darling“, mein Fall ist er nicht, also doch nicht ganz everybody

Rioja Ganko 2009 (+)
Erscheint etwas ausgereifter als der Rayos Uva, hat mehr Tiefe und Erdigkeit, ziemlich geschmeidig und dennoch einiges an Tanninmaterial vorhanden, auch ein Wein mit wenig Ecken und Kanten aber viel Frucht, ein Wein für die gehobenere Party in 2 Jahren

Coto de Gomariz, Ribeiro

Ribeiro Abadia de Gomariz 2009 (++)
Düfte von schwarzen Steinen, Erde, Rauch, Oliven und dunkler intensiver Frucht, der Geschmack kommt mir sehr mineralisch vor (Schieferböden), zeigt noch ein hartes und etwas abweisendes Gesicht, viele erdige Aromen, Leder, Öl und noch zurückhaltende Frucht, meines Erachtens ein fantastisches Potential mit super PLV, zeigt mehr einen portugiesischen Stil (oh je, was für eine dämliche Verallgemeinerung, doch rein geographisch passt das fast)

Adega Algueira, Ribeira Sacra

Ribeira Sacra Algueira Tinto 2009 (+)
trübe Farbe, außergewöhnlicher Geruch von frischem Bambus, etwas Grass und eher leichten tierischen Düften, der Geschmack ist schlank, fruchtbetont (Kirsche und Johannisbeere), gut viel Säure, nur minimal nerviger Charakter (wie es Mencia für mich gerne hat), eher wenig animalisches Potential, außergewöhnlicher und überraschender Wein mit viel Frische, gutes PLV

Ribeira Sacra Algueira Barrica 2006 (++)-(+++)
Bei weitem nicht so trübe wie der erste, Duft hat viel von Kirschen, Kaffee, dunklen Aromen, viel Eleganz, fast etwas „burgundisches“ (Sorry für den platten Ausdruck, mir fällt nichts besseres ein – passt meiner Meinung nach in diesem Fall ein klein wenig), der Geschmack ist dicht, komplex und schlank zugleich, ich verspüre viel Tiefe, Mineralik, Kraft, Eleganz, eine fantastische Länge, im Geschmack nicht sonderlich „burgundisch“

Descendientes de J. Palacios, Bierzo

Pétalos del Bierzo 2008 (+)
Meiner Einschätzung nach mehr ein typischer Mencia als die beiden Vorigen, viel dunkle Frucht, etwas nerviges Tier, kräftigere Tannine, etwas kühler Charakter, der Abgang erschien mir in anderen Jahrgängen länger zu sein, dennoch sehr angenehmer Wein der noch Zeit braucht, etwas Bäuerlichkeit würde ich ihm zuschreiben wollen

Bierzo Villa de Corullón 2005 (+++)
Sehr dunkel und dickflüssig, die Nase ist intensiv, ätherisch, extraktreich, hoch komplex, kaffeelastig, der Geschmack ist überaus dicht und konzentriert, hat eine super Länge, etwas elegantes Holz, viele Aromen von dunklen Früchten, starker Körper mit Eleganz, ein wenig wie ein arroganter und stolzer Großgrundbesitzer mit adligen Wurzeln

Anima Negra, Mallorca

2009 AN/2 (o)
In der Nase erschien mir dieser gestern etwas nervig zu sein, bräunliche Düfte, viel Rauch, etwas Fischöl, der Geschmack ist breit und etwas kurz, einiges an warmem Holz, viel Tannin, leicht liqueurartig, macht ein wenig auf Effekthascher, hatte ich schon bessere Jahrgänge

Escoda-Sanahuja, Conca de Barberá

Coll del Sabater 2006 (+)
Ganz leichte oxidative Noten aufgrund der schwachen Schwefelung, im Geruch viel Tabak, Erde, Mineralität und zurückhaltende Frucht, der Geschmack ist nicht so oxi lastig, er erscheint relativ leicht, sehr würzig, viel mehr Frucht als in der Nase, noch sehr jung, tolle Möglichkeiten in der Zukunft

La Llopetera 2007 (++)
Ein Pinot Noir mit sehr schwer zu beschreibender Nase, vielleicht dunkle Beeren und Würze von Eukalyptus, ziemlich zurückhaltend, ein wenig alkoholisch, der Geschmack ist sehr dicht aber noch sehr verschlossen, strömt viel Kraft und vermutbare Frucht aus, unheimlich schwer einzuschätzen, ich sehe ein fantastisches Potential für diesen Wein in einigen Jahren

Conca de Barberà Les Paradetes 2005 (+)
Sehr erdrig und lederig im Duft, auch dunkler Pfeffer fehlt nicht, im Geschmack sehr kräftig, viel dunkle Frucht mit erdigen Aromen, etwas hart und brutal, weniger polarisierend und anstrengend als die anderen Escoda Weine, ein Wein für einen Männerabend

Jiménez-Landi, Méntrida

Bajondillo 2010 (o)
Leichte und fruchtige Nase, fruchtig und frischer Saufwein mit sauberen Aromen von dunklen Früchten und viel Anmutungen von Kinder Emeukal Hustenbonbons, geht gut runter hat aber auch etwas leicht nerviges, eher für den früheren Genuss gedacht

Méntrida Sotorrondero 2009 (+)
Sehr dunkle und warme Nase, obwohl die Früchte im Geschmack fast hell erscheinen mag, gut viel Brombeere, schöne cremige und weiche Art, hat viel Körper, weniger kantig

Méntrida Pielago 2007 (+)
Die Nase erscheint dunkle, etwas kühl, leicht und säurebetont, der Geschmack zeigt viel Fruchtkomponenten, Schokolade, Erde, herbe Würzigkeit, interessante Dualität von Leichtigkeit und kräftigem Körper zugleich

Bodegas Ponce, Manchuela
(vorab zugegeben tat ich mich mit der Einschätzung dieser Bobal Weine schwer, wahrscheinlich auch deshalb weil ich kaum Erfahrung mit Solchigen habe, dazu kam noch, dass sich während der Zeit ein Unfall ereignete, bei dem mehrere Flaschen über den Tisch und Boden kurgelten, dieser sorgt für etwas Ablenkung – nur eine ging zu Bruch, gute Glasqualität :-)

Manchuela Clos Lojen 2008 (o)
Die Nase war etwas ausdrucksschwach, sehr dunkel und eher leicht, der Geschmack hatte etwas von reifen Früchten, leicht mehr Säure als nötig, etwas flach vielleicht, nichts zum lange aufheben

Manchuela La Casilla 2008 (+)
Breite Frucht war zu verspüren, doch verschlossen kam er mir ebenfalls vor, ziemlich kräftige Säure gibt dem Wein eine Frische Art, ungewöhnlicher Wein, Unfall!

Manchuela P.F. 2008
Leider nur sehr kurz und abgelenkt probiert, sehr schwer einschätzbarer Wein, zeigt intensive aber eher zurückhaltende Frucht kombiniert mir Erdigkeit, keine Bewertung

Bodegas Gallego Zapatero, Ribera del Duero

Ribera del Duero Yotuel Roble 2008 (o)
Etwas grünliche und brandige Nase, dennoch sehr angenehmer und leichter Duft, ein unkomplizierter und fruchtbetonter Joven für wenig Geld, kein Schwächling

Ribera del Duero Yotuel Selección 2007 (++)
Eine Nase die einem ins Gesicht springt, hat viel Frucht und für Ribera del Duero Verhältnisse wenig Holzeinschlag, der Geschmack ist sehr warm, äußerst elegant für einen Ribera, schon sehr zugänglich, viel angenehme Fruchtsüße, eindeutig vorhandenes aber passende Holz, tolles PLV, Achtung Hammer viel Depot!

Ribera del Duero Yotuel Viñas Viejas 2005 (++)
Sehr konzentrierte, dichte, süßholzige Nase mit viel Substanz, die Substanz setzt sich im Geschmack fort, viel Kraft, sehr starke Konzentration, viel Würze und süße Frucht (die nicht aufgesetzt oder überbordend wirkt), sehr warmer Charakter, schon zugänglich, tolle Länge und der Preis geht in Ordnung wenn auch nicht ganz billig, ein Wein der wahrscheinlich nicht soviel Gegner haben dürfte was in diesem Fall ganz sicher nicht negativ auszulegen ist, ebenfalls Tonnen von Depot!

Terroir Al Limit, Priorat
(die ersten beiden Weine enttäuschten mich sehr, sehr ungewohnt zu den Jahren zuvor, der Dritte machte dann Vieles wieder gut)

Priorat Vi de la Vila Torroja 2009 (?)
Wenn es kein Korkgeschmack war mache ich mir Sorgen, etwas grünspanige Nase, nicht jeder war der Meinung, vielleicht war es auch nur ein persönliches Problem von mir, das ausgeklammert bin ich von dem Wein, den ich vor zwei Jahren auch verkostet habe (und sehr begeistert war und gekauft habe) ziemlich enttäuscht, sehr flach und ausdrucksschwach

Priorat Arbossar 2009 (?)
Sehr leicht, flach und schon fast dünn im Vergleich zu dem Exemplar vor zwei Jahren, damals auch ein leichter und verträglicher (aufgrund angenehmeren Alkohols und eleganterer Struktur) Priorat, aber dieses mal sehr ausdrucksschwach, ich hoffe es war nur ein Flaschenfehler, sonst ganz sicher nicht empfehlenswert, schon gar nicht für solch einen hohen Preis jenseits der 50 Euro

Priorat Dits del Terra 2009 (++)
Sehr konzentrierte und intensive Nase, der Geschmack war lange anhaltend, sehr intensiv, erdig und fruchtig zugleich, Würze fehlt auch nicht, sehr komplex und aufgrund der leichteren Typizität nicht so anstrengend wie manch andere Priorat Weine. Sehr sehr dichter und unheimlich kräftiger Geselle.

Insgesamt eine tolle und spannende Weinprobe die viele Kaufreflexe ausgelöst hat!


Kiwi Riesling: Johner Estate Riesling 2009, Wairarapa + ...?!

This time it is Riesling Time (again). I’ll have an interesting Riesling from New Zealand and thanks to Mr Pointless I had the opportunity to try some drops of soma from the Koehler-Ruprecht winery in Pfalz region as well + an easy drinking Riesling from Emrich-Schönleber of Nahe region. 
Johner Estate Riesling 2009, Wairapara   

I suppose my first Riesling from Wairapara. But the actual winemaker signature is mostly German. Karl-Heinz Johner is one of the most famous and once notorious winemakers in Baden in the South West of Germany. Over the past decade his Kiwi winery gained a respectable reputation for Pinot Noir wines. In the coming weeks I will try a Pinot from his hand, too. But let’s have his Riesling first.   

In my glass I saw a pretty bright straw-yellow colour. Very clear reflexes. My first impression of the fragrance was: It must be off-dry! Some sweet and light scents of lemon were conquering my nose. Besides that I got impressions of dried hay, matches, kiwi (Hahaha!, not the bird) and some green indefinable whatsoevers. The taste was almost fat and broad. Pretty strong body, too. I sensed quite a lot of residual sugar. But not in an superimposed way. The acid appeared to be well proportioned. In Mosel region this style might be called “feinherb”. The flavours were dominated by lemon aromas, some petrol, sweet soy sauce and hints of peppers. This wine was quiet some surprise to me. It show convincing qualities, a reasonable price and semi refined complexity for a New World Riesling. Not bad at all.

The first wine of the evening was:
Weingut Emrich-Schönleber Riesling Mineral 2009, Nahe   

The nose had a lot of flowery tea, hints of lavander, honey, mild apricots and some of my grand aunt’s toilet perfume. The taste was easy, uncomplicated, not too lean and rather precise. I got some exhilarant freshness, it wasn’t totally dry and the acid was fine. The fruitful flavours were white peach and a bit of apricot. For sure a very joyful wine which wasn't all too complex. Just one question rose in my head nut: Why is it called Mineral? My impression gave no assumption to believe to detect a butt load of mineral features. FRUITY (for this vintage)  would have been a more appropriate name ;-)

Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstatter Saumagen Auslese trocken 1998, Pfalz   

Once again some KR Rieslings. Last week I had the 2001 and 1999 Auslese trocken. This time it had to be the 1998. The nose had plenty of white peach, mango, flint stone and nicely balanced smoke. The taste had a rather exotic and by far not as austere style as the 2001 nor the 1999. I got loads of fruits like mango and dark red berries. Some hours later I tended to sense some aromas of pink grapefruit. But not mawkish or cheesy. Don’t u worry! This Riesling was elegant, slightly sweet, very accessible and ready to drink. Absolutely different to the other vintages I recently had.

Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstatter Saumagen Auslese R trocken 1996, Pfalz   

Well my beloved audience: This is some WINE! Aged dry Riesling at its best! WOW! I guess it fell straight from heaven. The fragrance was complex, broad, smoky, salty, somehow a bit vanill’y and totally overwhelming. My impression of chicken fricassee nose should be neglected. I consider it as an unnecessary and interesting complimentary fragrance. At least it provided more "character" ;-). The taste was simply fantastic and stunning at the same time. The first hour I couldn’t give any proper description of whatsoever. I suppose I sensed various lemon aromas, salty, creamy, fluffy (?), smoky, creamy, earthy, mineral'y, creamy, hyper complex'y and very damn loooong'y flavours. FAN_TA_STIC stuff!!!

A great Riesling tasting!


Dark blue juice from a holiday resort: Quinta dos Vales Marquês dos Vales Selecta 2007, Algarve

The reception of my first Portuguese was so overwhelming. That is why I simply had to decide to have another one right afterwards.

Today’s wine comes from Algarve. A region in the South of Portugal which isn’t that famous for its vinho. More for beach holidays and equestrian activities. As a matter effect the Quinta dos Vales is a holiday resort and open air art gallery which produces a bit of wine (, too). The Selecta is the basic red quality of the winery. Is a mixture between the classical varietals of Castelão, Aragonês and the Frenchies Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. A trend very well known from other aspiring wine regions like Alentejo or Alentejano. Personally I am not so sure what to think about this trend. Let’s put it in a more infantile way: Why is there a need for new varietals in Portugal? They already have so many varietals like no other country in the world! Nobody can comprehend these ones! Why getting even more? Well the world is getting more and more complicated and differentiated. In every aspect of life. Even in the more important ones. What can you do!?!

Back to the Selecta. The colour was dark blue-red. It showed a very faint hue and had a lot of particles. Beware, the depot will be enormous. The fragrances I spotedt were clearly dominated by blueberries. Besides that I got dried hay, dark leather, some nougat and beach sand on a hot summer day. Maybe Algarve sand!?! I am not sure about the specific bay where it might be from. The taste was full of blueberries, plums, Indian rubber and some soilent green ;-). It was a more simple wine! Its acid was okay, the body was fit but luckily not ruined by overpowered alcohol doping. I sensed a rather board, a bit rigid, rude and down-to-earth style. The length was medium and the finish appeared to be a bit bitter and ended abruptly. Not a revelation of new quality horizons, but I would not expect that from a wine for very well below 10 Euros. It might be something, perhaps a bit butch, for everyday consumption.


Dryness on Madeira: Octavio A. Ferraz Palmeira e Voltas, Madeira

YES it is possible! There is dry wine from Madeira. Very enjoyable wine. Not that overpowered,  fortified or whatsoever stuff everybody knows. OK, I don't like classical Madeira. Maybe for cooking, but not for drinking. But that is my personal problem and shouldn't have any effect on this post ;-).
I had this wine last summer. I carefully have chosen this one as my first Portuguese wine after the resurrection of this blog. Why? It is because, beside my dearly beloved varietal Pinot Noir, I am simply obsessed with wines from Portugal. Mainly red stuff, but today it shalt be a white beauty.
This blend was created by three varietals: Verdelho, Bual and Arnsburger Blend (never ever heard about that!) and was maturate in French and American oak for 6 months. Apparently this producer wants to reinvent wine from Madeira. Besides these varietals he planted Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and some other mainland grapes. Normally, a questionable approach I would not like to support too much, but in case of Madeira not the worst of all ideas. Sorry, as I already mentioned my personal problem. Whatever!
The colour of this blend was surprisingly bright, although it was aged in oak. In my nose I got very well balanced fragrances of aged lemon, kiwi, pineapple, assorted herbs and exemplary integrated oak. This rather exotic impression continued in my mouth. Somehow it reminded me a bit of a bit leaner Pinot Blanc from Baden in Germany. A very gentle acid proportion. Not weak at all. The well trained and slim body contributed to the convincing impression. It wasn't buttery or anything like that at all. I got oaky flavours, but they were banished into the background. A very nice surprise! Once more a good example for a very enjoyable and lively Whitey from almost Africa.


Unspeakably unpronounceable wine from Hungary with some complicated fellows: Prince Bussay Kerkaborum Vörcsöki Hárslevelü 2008, Szekszárd

This weekend I had a rather spontaneous, unusual and slightly challenging wine tasting. In the centre was an astonishingly surprising white wine from Hungary. The comparable partner to this one was a Chenin Blanc from Anjou and the side dishes were two classical and well aged Rieslings from Pfalz region in Germany. But first things first:

Prince Bussay Kerkaborum Vörcsöki Hárslevelü 2008, Szekszárd

The Kerakabourum is made of the autochtonous varietal Vörcsöki Hárslevelü (lucky me I only have to write it down). A varietal occasionally used for Tokaij wines. The producer is Prince Bussay from Szekszárd (with a little help of Zoltan Heimann and Lazlo Kis).

From the start I got pretty surprised by the dense and dark yellow (some reflexes were even orange) coloured. I have to admit “Mr Smart-Pants “(me) expected a rather thin and light wine. As pretty much always: I was wrong ;-). On the contrary, the juice in my glass appeared to be rather complex, broad and well adjusted. The nose was by far the most complex and impressive feature of this wine. I got scents of jasmine tea, honey, orange shells, flowers, sweet mandarins, hints of vanilla, aged red apples and sweet’ish aromas of “Currywurst”-Sauce. The sauce to an insignificant German fast food dish which isn’t worthy to translate ;-). The fruit flavours were similar to my nose impression. The mandarins might have dominated a bit. Besides that I got a hints of vanilla and oak (aged in 500 l barrels). This Hárslevelü wasn’t thin or light at all. It showed a fine balance, some slight oxidative character, nice acid proportion and a beautiful fruit driven complexity. Its price well below 10 Euros is ridiculously beautiful. A very nice surprise from Hungary! Unlike my first Hungarian wine on this blog. More of this literally unspeakable wine please!

The next wine, a mid-aged Chenin Blanc from Anjou, fitted very well to our Hungarian Miracle. A certain resemblance to aged Chenin Blanc was undeniable. Unfortunately this very Chenin Blanc was a bit beastly:

Domaine de Bablut Ordovicien 2005, Anjou

Its colour was even darker than the one from the Hárslevelü. The nose was very board, oxidative, fruitful (unfortunately quite cider’y or musty), orange’y, rather smoky and very unnerving. My impression of its taste was very much the same. Cider with cigarettes! On one hand it was rather mineral, salty, smoky and a bit board-sweet fruitful. On the other hand it was hard, violent, a bit too alcoholic (only 13,5%) and pretty oxidative (rather sherry like). After some hours I sensed slight changes, but no real improvement. The balance of this wine was the main disadvantage.

The two classics by Koehler-Rupprecht aren’t comparable to the Hárslevelü. Their style was definitely a totally different story. But a rather challenging one as well. The first was:

Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstatter Saumagen Riesling Auslese trocken 1999
(was opened one day in advance)

This one got a fantastically ambivalent character. The nose got plenty of detergent powder, stinging aggressiveness, black pepper, seaweed and plenty of smoke. So far so interesting! Apparently a pretty austere fellow I suppose. The taste was completely different. I got impressions of English Toffee, quite a lot of sweetness, slight lemon flavours, hints of smoke and plenty of (violent) power. Certainly a very interesting and complex wine, but not very enjoyable, pretty imbalanced and not really impressive in a positive manner. The second “Saumagen” was by far more enjoyable and impressive:

Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstatter Saumagen Riesling Auslese trocken 2001

I got aged lemons, vanilla-mandarin fragrances, some smoke and hints of the “beloved” detergent (which vanished after a while) I previously mentioned. The taste got some austerity as well. This time by far more balanced. I got flinty bitterness, some smoke and a hard earthy mineral character. The fruitful character appeared to be far better adjusted. In the centre I fetched beautiful creamy lemon flavours and hints of the vanilla-flowery-tangerine impressions. Very nice, complex, but challenging piece of Riesling!


Hot Stuff from Sweden: Vinfabriken Smålandsglögg

I am ashamed of myself! How the hell can I do that? Glogg! Actually drinking glogg! I am shocked about what am I am willing to do for this blog. Pure heroism (or madness) I guess! ;-)
Well, at least is not a normal glogg. It comes from Sweden and is alarmingly steep (for glogg). The ingredients are all from Småland. A very picturesque and rural area in the South of Sweden. Beside its good reputation for fruit, Småland is also well known from the famous Astrid Lindgren novels. This "wine" is produced from black currant (svart vinbär) and cranberries (lingon) and got 11% alc. The condiments are cinnamon, apples and cloves.
The smell wasn’t distinctly definable. Like all gloggs. I guess. I got some boiled plums and cranberries, maybe some brandy punch, some shoe polish and quite a lot of spices. The taste was enjoyable in its own way. Now I am really shocked! I never liked stuff like this. But there we got something. I got fresh (very astounding) fruitful flavours of black currant and cranberry. Clear and surely not overpowered condiment aromas. There might have been some earthiness, spiciness (black pepper) and smoke, too. The best of all it wasn’t that sweet. Certainly, there was a certain amount of sweetness, but I didn’t get any artificial or superimposed impressions or vibes. In a rather mysterious way it gave me a rather relaxed feeling. Of course the heat. Buuuut I didn't get nauseous, which I normally "enjoy" from the comsuption of glogg. I am pretty sure I was able to taste some “Emil i Lönneberga” winter atmo in this Glögg ;-). Of course it was no real wine, but maybe the best glogg I ever had. Amazing, now I am not that appalled by myself anymore! Puuhhhhh ....


Unusual stuff from the Pinot Heartland: Domaine de Chassorney Nuits St. Georges Clos des Argillières 1er Cru 2001

On Boxingday I had this hyper surprising Pinot. It might not be from an exotic appellation, of course not ;-), but this Pinot was very unusual indeed! Very lean and light. Very bright, too. At the same time very very very complex and dense. I think I never ever had anything like this before in my Burgundian life. Definitely not from N-St-G!?! Fantastic length and very inspirational. Will make you dance. For sure! Amazing stuff! Don't store it for all too long! Very good time for consumption right now!

Die Farbe war unheimlich hell. Extrem ungewöhnlich für einen Nuits-St.-Georges meiner Erfahrung nach. Er erschien mir zwar noch rot, doch die bräunlichen Noten überwogen eindeutig. Der Schock, nach der etwas eigenwilligen Farbe, kam mit dem Geruch. Unheimlich intensive und jugendlich anmutende Fabeldüfte. Enorm floral, viel Erdbeere, etwas nasser Waldboden -  eine unendlich betörend Stilistik. Erschreckend, positiv erschreckend, leicht und filigran, aber in der Komplexität sehr dicht und ausdrucksstark. Wenn ich es mit Punkten hätte, würde ich der Nase 98 Punkte geben. So etwas habe ich noch nie in der Form gerochen. Der Geschmack war ebenfalls unheimlich leicht und filigran, aber dennoch von Hysterie spendender Komplexität. Ich schnappe Aromen von nicht so dunklen Kirschen, Erdbeeren, Erde, etwas nassen Pilzen, mineralischen Noten, leichten ätherischen Ölen und wiederum ein wenig vom nassen Waldboden auf. Das extrem erstaunliche war auch hier wiederrum die wahnsinnige Leichtigkeit und fruchtbetonte Jugendlichkeit des Geschmacks. Die Farbe wies auf einem sehr gealterten und sehr leichten, wenn nicht dünnen, Wein hin. Der Geschmack in keinem Fall! Erstaunliche Kombination! Die Länge des Abgangs war extrem enorm. Sie hielt bestimmt Tage an ;-). Die Säure war  im Grunde perfekt proportioniert. Nach zwei Stunden waren die Kirscharomen und erdigen Noten etwas stärker ausgeprägt. Die Jugendlichkeit und Frucht verweilte. Wie man hört bin ich von dem Wein begeistert. Wahrscheinlich schon etwas sehr hysterisch! Eigentlich sehr erstaunlich, weil ich meist „festere“ und kräftige Pinots der fruchtigen Leichtigkeit vorziehe. Trotz meines sehr positiven Eindrucks bin ich mir ganz sicher, dass nicht Wenige diesen Wein als zu leicht empfinden könnten. Vor allem in Anbetracht, dass es ganz sicher kein günstiger Wein ist. Der Stil, wie ich ihn von Chassorney kennen gelernt habe, setzt sich bei diesem Wein fort. Alle bis dato verkosteten Weine zeichneten sich durch eine erstaunliche Leichtigkeit und Fruchtbetonung aus. Der heutige Wein schoß mit seiner überaus komplexen Art den Vogel ab. Ein Wein der einen, sogar einen faulen Sack wie mich, mit Sicherheit zum Tanzen bringt ;-). Blind verkostet hätte ich voller Überzeugung und Blindheit geschrien: Volnay ein groooßer etwas ungewöhnlicher Volnay! Naja das währe dann mal wieder voll daneben gewesen ;-). Mehr als ein fantastischer Wein!


Pinot Tango: Bodegas Salentein Pinot Noir Reserve 2009, Mendoza Valle de Uco

Rejoce, Rejoce! It is drinkable! And it tasted like Pinot! Don't get me wrong! It was more than just drinkable. It was pretty fine! Until today, I had plenty of problems with Argentinian Pinot. OK, I am not an expert in this particular field. Anyway! Until today, I never had an enjoyable Pinot form Argentina. This Pinot Reserve from Bodegas Salentein might be rather crude and maybe a bit too sweet (I guess due to the high alcohol 14,5%, not the residual sugar 2.4g/l). On the other hand it showed butch, earthy and´dark fruitful as well as enjoyable Pinot features. Well, in my opinion something you can expect from a large and highly established wine producer like Salentein!

The grapes for this Pinot were grown at Finca La Pampa at an altitude of 1300 m above sea level. According to the official technical sheet the soil appear to be rather poor and low in organic content. Probably due to the high altitude terrain in Mendoza. The slight carbonic semi-maceration took place from 3 to 5 days at 8-10ºC and aged for 10 to 12 months in used French oak. Apparently it wasn’t filtered nor treated with any fining agents. So much for the technical data…

The colour of this Pinot was dark red, with very clear and stinging reflexes. The nose had a lot of smoke, earth, dark cherries, boiled plums, hot raspberry ice-cream flavours and some roasted nuts. At first it gave me a rather clumsy impression. After a while the clumsiness wasn’t that obvious anymore (on the second day it vanished). Its taste, as I have already mentioned, was a bit too sweet (which levelled after some hours and substantially on the second day). Besides that I got flavours of smoke, plums, slightly boild berries, semi strong oak, ethereal aromas (alc?), a slight steel’y impression (which I cannot describe), some cherries and hints of fresh forest berries. The concentration was fine, the acid present but not very strong and the tannins were noticeable but not hard or violent (maybe still am bit too young). Unfortunately the alcohol was simply a bit too unnerving. 1% less alc. and this Pinot might have been a real pleasure. This way it was enjoyable, but nothing outstanding or remarkable!