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



Chardonnay

Chardonnay, Chardonnay I'm in love with your bouquet (Cerys Matthews)
Posted by Torsten 21 Jul 2010

It is still Chardonnay time here at the Wine Rambler. Following some of my recent 'foreign' Chardonnay adventures, I decided it was time to go back to what Germany has to offer. This time the journey leads to Rheinhessen, where Philipp Wittmann goes from strength to strength with his biodynamic wines (yes, outstanding Riesling, but not only Riesling). What about his Chardonnay?

Wittmann Chardonnay 2007Wittmann Chardonnay 2007

Posted by Torsten 16 Jul 2010

Among wine jokes, the one where someone says they don't like Chardonnay but love Chablis has to be one of the classics. Overused as it may be, I have actually met someone who during the course of an evening of drinking wine told me about how he had had a marvellous Chablis at a restaurant recently and that the only type of wine he really hated and never ever drank was Chardonnay.

Whatever you may think of this joke, you can argue that it reflects a popular perception of Chardonnay as very oaky, often over-oaked in fact, versus Chablis representing a light, elegant style of Chardonnay that is mostly untouched by oak. As this is a style of wine the Wine Rambler is really interested in, I was more than happy when I was recently invited to taste a flight of Chablis - in fact, the nominees of the 24th annual Chablis Wine contest run by the Burgundy Wine Board.

Posted by Torsten 10 Jul 2010

When it comes to wine, it is always worth keeping an eye on central and eastern Europe. When browsing the shelves at Philglas & Swiggot the other day I remembered this maxim and went for a highly recommended Chardonnay from a Slovenian winery. Sutor are located in the Vipava Valley, an extension of the Friuli. Charonnay is quite popular there, as it is in Slovenia in general (where it is the most planted white variety), and as I had not had a Chardonnay in a while, I took the Sutor home with me.

Posted by Torsten 26 Jun 2010

Situated in the southern parts of the Pfalz lie the vineyards of Friedrich Becker. Well, actually, he owns a few on the French side of the border too. Maybe this explains (if indeed an explanation would be needed) why Becker is often referred to as a specialist for 'Burgunder-Weine', or 'Burgundy wines': the members of the Pinot family are called 'Burgunder' in German. The sparkling wine we tasted, blind and against an English sparkler, as part of the Wine Rambler birthday celebrations is a good example, after all it is a cuvée of Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Auxerrois and Chardonnay (the latter two varietals are at least related to the Pinot family). So, here we have a German sparkler with 'French' varietals and made following the classic Champagne method, which includes having spent about three years on lees. So how does it taste then?

Posted by Torsten 18 Apr 2010

If you are a regular reader of the Wine Rambler, you may have noticed that we do not review much Chardonnay here. Obviously, this is because we are nationalist Riesling-loving basterds from a country that does not make Chardonnay. All very true, apart from, well, Germans do actually grow Chardonnay, and not only for making sparkling wines. So the other day, when I had a few English friends over for wine and food, I opened one of those Chardonnays to remind myself how good they can be.

Posted by Torsten 06 Mar 2010

I have written about so many Salwey wines recently, I almost feel bad to pay that much attention to a single producer. Almost, I said, because Salweys know what they are doing and I am in a Pinot (Noir, Blanc, Gris) phase anyway. So I will keep it sweet and short today in order not to repeat myself. Here it is, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc/Weißburgunder:

Posted by Torsten 09 Feb 2010

You may find a wonderful surprise delivered to your doorstep! I can already say I am going to enjoy this. A lot!

Posted by Julian 09 Jan 2010

Nine days into the new year and we're already sticking our noses into the sparkling wine again. Is that hedonistic cheek on our part or a commendable discipline in making good our new year's resolution number 2? Actually, it's neither, since this is a postscript to our new year's eve.

Lively, but not over-strong bubbles, a smell of ripe apples and quince. Bone dry and almost austere at first taste, but at the same time fairly creamy and intense, with the tiniest hint of oak maybe, and in the end, it's mature quince and apple fruit again, maybe also a hint of tangerine, with very fresh acidity all the way through.

Posted by Torsten 01 Aug 2009

The year is 1976 and the French wine legions have conquered the world. The whole world? Wait, a small Californian valley still stands against the empire. But sadly, no one but the Californians themselves is aware of this. The movie Bottle Shock is about a wine tasting held in Paris in 1976, the Judgement of Paris, that changed all that. Despite all the drama, Bottle Shock is also, sometimes sadly, a comedy.

Rickman as Steven SpurrierRickman as Steven Spurrier

Once upon a time there was a slightly eccentric English lover of wine whose dream it was to run a quality wine shop. Luckily, Steven Spurrier was also the son of a well-to-do family and in the 1970s we find him running his own wine shop and wine school in Paris, shaking hands with the French wine elite and over time becoming accepted almost as one of their own. When Spurrier learned that California wine makers used a lot of new, innovative techniques to make good wine in French style, he decided to host a tasting of French and American wines. While Spurrier never expected the Californians to win, he wanted the tasting to be blind so that they would not get totally trashed by the wine judges who would be French.

Posted by Torsten 31 Jul 2009

Thursday evening we ventured to the Clapham Picturehouse to see a movie about wine. And to drink some, of course. The movie is Bottle Shock and it features the (in)famous 1976 Paris wine tasting during which the French wine elite was defeated by the products of the (then) newcomers from California. To re-enact the Judgement of Paris, the cinema offered eight wines, four each from France and California, and the movie ticket for £22. So off we went! [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 12 Jul 2009

I had a surprisingly charming Chardonnay from one of Rheinhessen's countless family wineries with sunday lunch today (full review). It was recommended via twitter and co-rambler Torsten by German wine guru Mario Scheuermann.

Going on an "objectively" correct ranking like WeinPlus wine guide's 81 points ("Nicht allzu tief. Ordentlicher Abgang"), I wound never have bought it. I can just about see what Scheuermann means by the "lustvolle Subjektivität" (joyful subjectivity) that he would like to see in wine journalism. After emptying the rest of the bottle, I couldn't care less if he plays cards with Runkel's second cousin, or his critical neutrality was impaired in any other way. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 12 Jul 2009

Nice straw colour.
Smells of ripe green apple, a little grassy.
In the mouth, fresh nice apple fruit, with very noticeable sweetness (bordering on the off- dry category), good freshness, a light body (lighter than the actual 13% would make you expect), nice fresh acidity, a hint of nuttiness and minerality in the background. [read the full post...]