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



2007

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 12 Jul 2009

It has been quite a while since I tasted my last Wittmann. Wittmann, for those of you who have never heard the name, is a well-known winery from Rhine-Hesse that produces biodynamic wines. My dad loves Wittmann, especially their 'S class' wines, and I do fondly remember one Wittmann S I had a few years ago. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 11 Jul 2009

K&U is frothing at the mouth about this Mont Ventoux red made by a Norwegian from California - it's all very special, you understand...

At first, this tasted devastatingly like a cheap Cotes du Rhone - alcoholic, sweet, and fizzy. But oh, the wondrous change that comes over this wine, as it becomes drinkable after 10 minutes open, quite tasty after 30, and an iconic Southern Rhone wine after an hour: Thick raspberry jam, dried herbs, salty smoked bacon, and a mouthfeel that was pure and smooth, but at the same time viscous and fat. The high alcohol became unnoticeable, but hadn't gone away, as I found out this morning.

Still, a killer wine for those who like reds to chew on.

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 Torsten 02 Jul 2009

Not many things in life beat a late harvest Riesling from the Mosel - sweet, yes, but usually well balanced with acidity and mineral that combine to a perfect sensation that is way too elegant and vibrant to be simply considered a sweet dessert wine. On top of that many of these wines are low on alcohol too. One of my favourite producers of sweet Riesling is Reinhold Haart, a small family owned estate overlooking the Mosel river in the old winemaking village of Piesport. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 01 Jul 2009

In some ways, the biggest surprise about this wine was that the grape I know as Gelber Muskateller (yellow muscat) seems to be know to English speakers as Muscat blanc à petits grains. Does that mean the wine is unexciting or boring? Not at all.

Pale colour with a greenish touch, still lots of small bubbles, almost algae-like at first. A fresh nose dominated by floral, herbal notes with a decent bit of elderflower and some fruitiness. In the mouth the wine is much drier than you would expect it after that intense floralness, but it still packs a nice bit of fresh acidity, combined with elderflower and some bitter apple. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 26 Jun 2009

Mosel Tributary with 5 letters? RUWER

Rieslings from the Ruwer are known for their strong acidity and their slim elegance. From the Schlosskellerei (more commonly known as Maximin Grünhaus), one of the three top estates from there, comes this delightful cabinet: [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 21 Jun 2009

Nicely transparent cherry red colour (good. No tampering and pampering by adding juice from more colour-intensive grape varieties here)
This wine smells seriously good - a real pinot nose of raspberries, sour cherries, and a hint of manure (which is also good - embrace it). [read the full post...]

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 Torsten 01 Jun 2009

I really appreciate how a good sommelier can make an excellent dinner even more memorable. At a previous (and dare I say excellent) dining experience at Tom Aikens the sommelier recommended Rémy Gresser's Brandhof Muscat with fish.

While searching for a UK source for this wine I learned that I am apparently gifted with a special understanding of this kind of wine (or perhaps wine in general), as the wine merchant wrote to me: "The Muscat is essentially a restaurant wine, very few people understand dry Muscat, like you." [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 23 May 2009

Light, clean colour. Just seconds after the cork comes out of the bottle, your nose tells you that this (dry) wine is a little different from the sweet Haarts. The mineral is more steely, focused, with light melon, fresh acidity, less herbs than usual. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 21 May 2009

Cherry red, with a purple edge

Smells vaguely of sour cherries and green wood, a little unpleasant funky, sweaty component as well.

Cherries again in the mouth, plums maybe, some sweetness, but also bitterness and a rough edge of tannin. Somehow, the fruit doesn't quite come through.

This has been one of our pasta wines for a few years, and it has done okay, but it doesn't deserve unwavering loyalty: Hard to believe there are no fresher, more focused Italian reds for under 5 €.

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 Julian 08 Apr 2009

Tastes deeply, most interestingly of fleshy peach, tart , very cool somehow, herbal, but also of spicy vegetables (artichokes?). Very promising.

Very dry in the mouth, noble Riesling fruit with perfect acidity and great mineral after-taste, but this wine's signature is the 'cool' feeling on the palate, Gletschereis-Bonbons, you know them, and an almost sharp herbal intensity. It's like a herbal tincture on overheated skin. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 29 Mar 2009

This wine brought great enjoyment to our modest kitchen table - and made me feel vaguely stupid for rambling on about wines five times as expensive with as many adjectives.

Here, three will be enough: fresh, clean, appetizing.

3,75 € for one litre of nice Riesling - beat that, if you can.

Posted by Julian 09 Nov 2008

From the winery with the silly name comes a surprisingly good wine: Complex, quite powerful smell of ripe apples and cantaloupe melons. A lot of apply fruit in the mouth, very ripe and concentrated, earthy minerality.

By the way, I caught on to them: the label says 0,5 grams of residual sugar are still in the wine. Shame on you. Did you think we wouldn't notice?

Posted by Torsten 10 Aug 2008

Looks quite fizzy, lots of small bubbles, greenish colour. Fresh in the nose. Everything about this wine is very fruity at first, almost like an exotic fruit explosion. Also, it seemed to me somewhat unbalanced at first, going through various stages in a short time, sometimes emphasizing fresh lemony acidity, a little mineral, then suddenly grapefruit.

However, after two hours or so, everything settles down, the mineral gets stronger, the rest of the flavours order themselves around it and a nice and orderly German fashion.

Still very young, but quite nice after two+ hours with air. Especially for the price!

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...]