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



13.5%

A list of all wines reviewed on the Wine Rambler with 13.5% alcohol by volume.
Posted by Julian 02 Nov 2009

Large wineries owned by immensely land-rich historic trusts are a typical feature of the franconian wine scene, especially in Würzburg. As these go back to charitable - or not so charitable - institutions founded in the late middle ages or the 16th century, they have had some time to accumulate land, assets and reputation. By running wineries alongside hospitals (that's where the "spital"-part comes from), nursing homes and real estate operations, they preserve a forgotten model of business, social services and agriculture whose usefulness must have seemd self-evident to citizens in many premodern cities. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 05 Oct 2009

The winery Fürst Hohenlohe-Oehringen has already impressed the distinctly non-aristocratic wine rambler with its marvellous top-of-the line red "Ex flammis orior". And the Lemberger red wine grape of Württemberg, as our regular readers know, is no other than Austria's and Hungary's Blaufränkisch. In the new spirit of german patriotism summoned by german liberal democrat and possible future foreign (!) minister Guido Westerwelle, who refused to answer an english question from a BBC reporter with the witty and adroit words: "Wir sind ja hier in Deutschland", we should probably not even tell you that. So, let's turn to a german wine from a thoroughly german grape: [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 05 Sep 2009

Here we are back with our latest venture into supermarket wines. Friends of the Wine Rambler will know that every so often I visit British supermarkets and explore what they have to offer in the cheap price range. So far the likes of Blue Nun and Liebfraumilch have been very disappointing - but here comes an Australian Riesling, from ASDA, that is actually quite drinkable. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 28 Aug 2009

Württemberg, Swabia, home of the gleaming Mercedes Benz, the Bausparvertrag, the Kehrwoche and the Häuslebauer (untranslatable terms, because they describe specific anthropological phenomena). And wine country. Many a railroad passenger passing by the beautiful and spectacularly steep vineyards around Stuttgart may have wondered why these wines are consumed avidly by Württembergers themselves, but, too often uninspired and uninspiring, given the cold shoulder by the rest of the wine world. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 28 Aug 2009

Do you know the proletarian, beer-drinking type who looks down upon wine? I have a good friend who is like this. Or, to be precise, he always pretended to be like this. Over the past few years, previously hidden signs of middle-classiness have emerged though and he even recently started to buy his own wine. A few days ago I was invited to sample his first home cooked roast and a wine he brought back from New Zealand. Now let's see which is the wine with the power to convert would-be working class beer drinkers into wine snobs. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 21 Aug 2009

Tasted blind here.

Very dark pink.
Smells of raspberries, rose petals, a lot of red and black currants, and a green, fresh touch, as if the leaves and stems of all those fruit had been thrown in as well.
In the mouth, good concentration, very spicy currant fruit again, some wildness, good acidity and a bit of tannin. Fairly long.

Good, seriously made rosé, whith a bit of a rough edge that makes it a food wine much more than a porch sipping wine, but gives it some character. Mind you, rosés are generally not my kind of wine, so I'm not sure I can describe this with any authority. It does seem a bit pricy.

Posted by Julian 04 Aug 2009

Pretty cherry red colour.

Cherry stones (well, it smells of cherries, but also stony, so...), some black forest cherry schnaps (I hate that stuff).

Cherry stones again in the mouth, a little blunt and unfocused, but very spicy in a rustic manner, think the skins of cherries and plums, good fresh acidity and tannin.

It is what it is. Nothing to complain about, nothing to get crazy about. I'm still no closer to loving the southern rhone, although Robert Parker and others keep telling me to. I think I'll give up trying some day soon.

Posted by Julian 19 Jul 2009

K & U have been having quite a winning streak in my cellar for the last couple of months, so I had high hopes for this argentinian malbec, a variety I felt pressured into trying by all the buzz about it - on this blog and elsewhere.

And a wonderful bottle it is: [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 05 Jul 2009

After all this recent writing about German wine guides, we go back to the revisit supermarket wine - only to get seriously confused. Really, this wine is probably the most confusing tasting experience in a long while.

Gewürztraminer is a grape that I mostly know in a French context (Alsace), also from Germany and perhaps Italy. So I was quite pleased to see a reasonably priced Traminer at Sainsburys yesterday - and it is from Cono Sur, who have in the past convinced me with their entry range wines. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 13 Jun 2009

You are British, your white wine has to be rich Chardonnay and you think German white is evil and sugary? Then go and try this dry late harvest Riesling from Clemens Busch.

A little mineral and stone fruit with herbal notes in the nose, this Riesling feels like a full-bodied candy in the mouth - but mind you, it is not very fruity, it just fills your mouth. Lots of depth; strong and present enough to go with a wide range of food, including meat. A little peach mixed with green vegetable and some notes of wood. Strong finish, showing some tannin, even a tiny sip fills your mouth.

Posted by Torsten 13 Jun 2009

This is my first Emrich-Schönleber - almost a scandal as this winery has such a good reputation.

Pale colour. A fresh nose of apple mineral with melon, floral and herbal notes. At first a little rough in the mouth, with crisp acidity, but a lot smoother with exposure to air. This Pinot Gris has lively acidity but is also smooth and creamy at the same time, with fruit and even a hint of vegetable taste. The finish is very nice and brings out notes of nuts and even a little peppery roasted wood. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 02 Jun 2009

Straw-coloured, on the lighter side.

Ripe apricots and other ripe yellow fruit, rich, some perfumy citrus aromas as well.

Very young and fruit-driven in the mouth, nice acidity, peach and grapefruit notes sprayed onto a creamy body.

This is very much a "made" wine (think cultured yeasts, think low temperature fermentation) and although it has substance, polish and even some spice, it could have been made in South Africa, in Friuli, or some other place where very good winemakers know exactly how their wine should taste in the end. Nothing wrong with that, but it didn't work for me just now. I can't rule out that this might have turned into something with more depth and a sense of place with some bottle ageing. Who knows?

Posted by Julian 24 May 2009

Very dark straw colour, a tinge of gold

Smells of peaches and pineapples pickled in petroleum (there's German white wine for you...), marzipan, dried herbs, and smoke. Reminded me somewhat of the more powerful Grüne Veltliners.

Great density and an oily, liqueurish mouth-feel, some maturity (camomile tea, bread), but most of all great smoky minerality. The finish of dried peaches, smoke and salted almonds is long and intense.

Posted by Julian 11 Apr 2009

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.