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



2006

Posted by Torsten 08 Jan 2010

Oregon is bad. Stop it if you can. Here it comes. Here it comes. Now it's after you. Flee to some place new. Run away. Run away. - For the Wine Rambler it was too late. Oregon got me. And if you want to find out how it all happened and what this has to do do with one half of a team of almost-giants, well, then it got you too. Don't be afraid, though, it will all be revealed. And make sense. Sort of. Either way, there will be wine!

Posted by Julian 04 Jan 2010

Read the background story to this wine here (be warned: It's quite a ramble)

A very dark cherry red in the glass, this brought sweet cherry juice, blackberries and a little fruit jam to our noses. The mouthfeel is, again, dominated by marinated cherries, dried fruit, and a chocolate pudding aftertaste.

It's a measure of the quality of the winemaking that this overripeness does not pull it out of balance, but a gentle tannic backbone wraps up the taste in the end. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 13 Dec 2009

Most current wine marketing revolves around the attempt to associate wine with "nature", and to make not technical refinement, but true representation of the soil and the land the measure for wine quality. So you have your natural wine bandwagon on the one side, with your organic winegrowing, your biodynamics, your "slow" winemaking, your "natural wine". And then you have Natural wine with a capital N. And there you have your non-sulphurisers, your amphorae-diggers, your oxidizers, purists, extremists and experimentalists. Angiolino Maule from northern Italy's veneto is one of those. This wine is naturally fermented in open wooden barrels, not shielded from oxygen, unfined and unfiltered, with no added sulphur. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 22 Nov 2009

When you have a Bordeaux style French red in your glass and it is actually German, it could very well be Thomas Seeger's Cuvée Anna. I opened a bottle Friday night for a group of friends without telling them what it was and the guesses ranged from Argentinian Cabernet to Syrah or French Malbec. In fact, Cuvée Anna is a blend of Pinot Noir, Schwarzriesling and Lemberger. Lemberger is a grape variety also know as Blaufränkisch (especially in Austria), and is know to create wines with sometimes spicy dark berry flavour, some tannins and good acidity - 'Anna' has all of the above. Schwarzriesling, literally Darkriesling, is also known as Pinot Meunier and is interestingly used in the production of Champagne (although Pinot Noir is much better known in this respect). [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 21 Nov 2009

Perhaps unusually for a Mosel winemaker, Clemens Busch is well known for his dry Riesling - he also makes off-dry and sweet wines, but when we visited the winery in 2008 I mostly brought home dry wines. Vom Roten Schiefer - "from red slate" - was one of them.

All starts with a nice golden colour and a nose of a mineral, stone fruit (peach and plum), camomile tea, honey and paraffin wax. All of that made for a substantial, matured impression. On the tongue the Riesling is quite full-bodied and a well rounded, caramel richness. Exotic fruit and ripe plum mix well with noticeable, fresh acidity and a kick of spice. A rich yet elegant wine with a little attitude.

Posted by Torsten 24 Sep 2009

Do you know the German word 'marmeladig'? I have looked into several dictionaries, but no translation could be found. However, you will need to understand it to understand this wine, even though this Shiraz (or Syrah - two names, but same grape) is Australian and not German at all. It also is a wine that the Wine Rambler reviews as part of our venture into UK supermarket wines, even though a £9.99 wine from Waitrose is not quite what you would expect under this label. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 01 Sep 2009

German organic supermarket chain Alnatura has a small, but convincing wine selection, much of which comes in half bottles as well. A good marketing move, since, apart from being good for single drinkers or weekdays, this always makes me less hesitant about trying a wine I know nothing about.

Deep cherry red, with a brick-red edge.
Nice smell of tannic cherries, raw beef, some red and black currants.
In the mouth, thick-skinned cherries again, red currants, medium bodied, a little leathery, a spicy, but also mouth-drying after-taste with a real pinch of tannic roughness. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 31 Aug 2009

Every so often I leave German Pinot Noir behind and venture into the New World. This time it is Californian Pinot - and a very pleasant one. It is made by the guys from the Calera Wine Company, a Californian winery founded by Josh Jensen in the 1970s. K&U, where I bought this wine, are giving Josh a lot of praise for his 'slow', handmade and sustainable style of winemaking (actually, they do praise almost all their winemakers in that way). The grapes for this Pinot were indeed harvested by hand and fermented with native yeast. So let's have a look! [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 17 Aug 2009

This wine is an impostor! While it is a rosé made of Pinot Noir grapes, it is so pale in colour and so light and fresh on the tongue that you could almost confuse it with a white wine. Expect an easy to drink and very enjoyable rosé with fresh acid (apple and citrus fruit) that has just a hint of vegetable and roughness to it. Very enjoyable.

Posted by Torsten 17 Aug 2009

When we poured this wine, we were a little surprised - the colour is a fairly dark red that seemed unusually intense for a (German) Pinot. The nose, however, is quite typical for this grape and combines cherries and berries with creamy-smoky bread and a hint of pepper.

In the mouth, cherries again and woodland berries, bread, some pepper, a hint of morbid vegetable and surprisingly creamy tannins. Just a really well balanced and drinkable Pinot Noir!

Posted by Julian 21 Jun 2009

From Baden's interesting, but little known sub-region of Markgräflerland,an area between Freiburg and Basel, named after the ancestral territory of the margraves of Baden, comes another unexpectedly serious, yet fairly priced Pinot Noir:

Surprisingly dark and dense cherry red.
Concentrated smell of earthy cherries, a few plums and leafy forest floor. Very very promising. [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 22 May 2009

If you ever wanted to know what a toad puddle (=Krötenpfuhl) tastes like, here comes one. Well, it is not as muddy as you may now think, but Krötenpfuhl is the name of the vineyard on which the grapes for this late harvest Riesling were grown my one of the grand wizards of German Riesling.

Starting with a taste that was a little bitter, this greatly named wine soon developed into something really yummy. Delicate colour; a somewhat delicate nose that combines mineral with a little bit of lemon and apple. Certainly not an immediate in-your-face fruit explosion, but still with the promise of several layers of taste. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 16 May 2009

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...]

Posted by Julian 23 Dec 2008

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...]