TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



12.5%

A list of all wines reviewed on the Wine Rambler with 12.5% alcohol by volume.
Posted by Julian 15 Oct 2009

Brick red colour, going brown on the edges.
Surprisingly wild smell, a little animal even, leather, some tar, some cocoa.
Slender-bodied in the mouth, very fresh acidity, aged cherry and plum flavours, surprisingly rough-grained, rustic tannin that has retained its sharp edge. Nice aftertaste of prunes and coffee that lingers for quite a while. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 12 Oct 2009

Sometimes something is in the air. A few days ago I realised that we actually never reviewed a wine made by Reinhard Löwenstein. And as it so happened a bottle of his Riesling found itself uncorked last weekend - and not only here in London, but also in Munich where fellow Wine Rambler Julian enjoyed a 2004 Heymann-Löwenstein (we did not coordinate this). Read his excellent review of a gorgeous wine, especially as it will tell you why you should keep an eye on this extraordinary winery. As Julian has already set the context, I can keep this review of the more basic 2008 Schieferterrassen Riesling rather short. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 10 Oct 2009

It's high time one of the legends of german wine made his first appearance here: Mosel winemaker Reinhard Löwenstein started using "slow" winemaking techniques like natural fermentation and prolonged skin contact when they were unheard of. He talked about terroir in the dark 1980s, when few within the German must-weight bureaucracy had heard of such a thing. A communist activist in his earlier days, and a natural-born rebel by temperament, Löwenstein has been mistrusted and reviled all along the conservative Mosel, but ridicule quickly turned into envy as his Rieslings won critical acclaim and commanded high prices from raptured customers. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 07 Oct 2009

Just one glass. This was my excuse to try this Silvaner. Why just one glass? Well, I have been down with the flu since Thursday night (six days, I know), but earlier tonight I felt well enough to think about having a small (!) treat.

Why a Silvaner, you may ask? First of all it is the year of the Silvaner grape in Germany. Secondly, I was planning to have sage risotto with caramelised apples and roast walnuts, and I wanted to have a light apple-y yet robust wine to go with it. And thirdly, I just had a discussion with Kathryn from Artisan & Vine about natural wines from Germany - and this surely is one. Wittmann is one of the leading German estates and for quite a while now they have been focussing on organic wine. And this Silvaner here, well, it is quite something, for a 'simple' wine.

Posted by Julian 01 Oct 2009

The wine rambler could not agree more to the statement from the excellent german WeinPlus online wine guide "Year after year, Bercher impresses us with their completely unpretentious, yet deep and expressive wines".

This mid-range single vineyard Pinot Blanc justifies the praise with effortless precision wine making: Dense straw colour, a nose of caramel, buttered biscuits and melon juice spilled over hot stones. Dense, polished fruit in the mouth, mineral background, good acidity, and above all, a freshness and drinkeability that is not a matter of course, the Kaiserstuhl almost having turned into a hot-climate wine region in recent years. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 18 Sep 2009

Three bottles. I managed to get my greedy hands on three bottles of this wine last year - regular readers of the Wine Rambler will know that I am a big fan of the lovely wines Theo Haart creates at the Haart family estate overlooking the Mosel river. Most of the wines are sweet, but every year there are a few bottles of dry wines. 'Großes Gewächs' is German for 'great growth' and indicates that you are drinking a dry wine from a top vineyard as certified by the German Association of Premier Winemakers (VdP). Basically, think of it as a dry Spätlese (late harvest) or Auslese. So three bottles. One went down the drain last weekend because it was corked - it tasted of burnt smoke and vinegar. This means I am now down to two. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 12 Sep 2009

This one is for the ladies. Actually, it is not so much for the ladies in general as for my friend Conny who always complains that the Wine Rambler ignores wine from the German region of Franconia, or Franken as we call it. Franken is a Protestant enclave in the north of otherwise Catholic Bavaria. People have a funny accent ('k' comes out like a 'g') and supposedly like robust food and dry wines with the necessary substance to go with it. Did I mention that Conny is from Franconia? [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 17 Aug 2009

Markus Schneider, an up-and-coming wine maker from the Palatinate, seems to like very simple, clean labels - a no-nonsense approach that has nothing of the sometimes overly decorated, old-fashioned German wine labels.

Posted by Torsten 17 Aug 2009

It has been a while since I had my last Gauby, quite a while, but I still remember the yummy cherry flavour of his 2005 red. So I thought the 2004 might be just the wine to have with a duck breast with balsamico glazed baby carrots.

The first thing you notice is the deep, dark, glorious red colour. It is followed by a nose of cherry (hurrah!) and berries with a woodland-pepper-spiciness that finds a good addition in a hint of wild animal smell. The pleasant sensation continues in the mouth where the fruitiness of well rounded cherry-berries is nicely balanced by spicy herbs and a hint chocolate, all of which are presented in a cool, smooth way. The tannins are already well integrated. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 19 Jul 2009

Is this the first rosé review on this blog? I'm nervous...

Very pretty salmon-copper-colour. Much lighter than the really pink stuff, but far from the dull brownish-orange that you get in many german rosés. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 05 Jul 2009

From the Loire valley comes this nicely named Cabernet Franc ("Day of thirst").
Nice colour for a start: dense, purple-tinged red. Nice smell, too: Sour cherries, some cassis. Bone dry, fresh, pure fruit in the mouth, reminds me of a lighter Bordeaux, but with none of the unpleasant greenness you can get there. This is fresh and nicely rustic, but ripe and with harmonic tannin. Two things I particularly like about this wine: No oak at all, and a kind of vegetable earthiness, like tasting a spade you've used to dig up vegetables.

Original, yet very easy to drink, this is a rare thing: a terroir summer wine. To me, this says "grilled vegetables" all over. Nicely chilled, I would even give it a go with grilled fish.

Posted by Julian 02 Jul 2009

This Riesling from yet another Mosel tributary, the Saar, has a very understated smell, in fact, apart from a little ripe grape and mineral hints, it has little smell at all.

The taste is all ripe fruit as well, "yellow" taste, sweet ripe grapes again, dried herbs, some honey, fairly concentrated. This is a very ripe and smooth style of Riesling, very well made I'm sure, and great for people who can't have too much acidity, but frankly, I was looking for something a bit livelier, and this seems prematurely aged somehow.

This is not a summer wine. Very likely the "boring"-ranking will seem very unfair once I've tried the second bottle of this on some chilly october day. But right now, it didn't work for me.

Posted by Julian 21 Jun 2009

Smells fresh, with appetizing apple and pear fruit, in no way artificial (a pleasant surprise), but not very deep either.
In the mouth, a lean wine with strong, maybe not completely ripe acidity, nicely subdued and unperfumed fruit again, a little grassy, a hint of minerality, and a shortish finish.
Rather atypical for a Pinot Blanc from Baden, where I have come to expect cantaloupe, almond and buttery flavours, this is nothing to get excited about, but a fairly honest, basic fresh white
nonetheless. It will go well with most summery food, and many people used to northern italian whites (e.g. the wine drinking population of Munich) will find this a well-made version of what they know and like. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 13 Jun 2009

Very light straw colour with a greenish tinge
At first, this smells and tastes overwhelmingly and quite explosively of green berries and fresh green leaves and grass, also grapefruit. After some time, it goes into a Riesling-direction, and unripe peaches and minerality come out more.
Dominated and defined by razor-sharp, but clean and well-integrated acidity, this is a zesty and appetizing wine that friends of straightforward dry Rieslings will enjoy very much. It tastes much lighter than the actual 12.5 % and makes me think of a picknick beside a mountain stream.

Posted by Torsten 18 May 2009

A good food companion, this wine combines flinty mineral and green apple with a little hay, spice and nut. A nice dosage of acidity adds to the freshness but also introduces some bitter notes to this otherwise nicely balanced wine. Very pleasant with food (asparagus and fish in our case).

Posted by Torsten 08 Aug 2008

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...]