Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Carl Ehrhard Spätburgunder Blanc de Noirs trocken, Rüdesheimer, Rheingau (DQ) 2011, 12%, €17.80 Karwig Wines
A rosé by any other name.
Blanc de Noirs: a white wine made from red grapes! The Pinot Noir grapes are pressed and left on the skins for only a small amount of time, giving this red wine a clear colour with a hint of rose. The wine is fermented 50% in stainless steel and 50% in mature oak barrels giving both a freshness and maturity.
Rose/gold is the attractive colour and you’ll see lots of micro bubbles hanging around. The inviting floral aromas are the next sign that this is going to be good. And your feelings are soon confirmed by the beautiful concentrated fruit flavours, with a pleasant tingle. It is smooth, with a gorgeous balance. Crisp and refreshing from start to long finish, this is a treat and Very Highly Recommended.
Pair with fresh cheese, salads, poultry, seafood or enjoy on its own.
Chateau Paul Mas Clos du Mures, Coteaux du Languedoc (AOP) 2013, 14.5%, €21.15 Karwig Wines
You’ll see Vinus the heron on the front label of these wines. The story goes he preferred eating grapes grown on the clay and limestone hills of the hillsides of the Hérault Valley to the fish from the river. And so the heron was adopted by Paul Mas as the symbol of the quality of the fruit.
The fruit in this case is a blend of Syrah (majority) and Grenache, “a marriage made in heaven” with the promise “of some delicious pleasures”.
Colour is a deep purple and there is an intense nose, mainly of dark fruits. On the palate it is rich fruit, some spice, toasted notes and fine tannins; it is well balanced and the finish is strong and long. This smooth customer certainly delivers on pleasure and is Very Highly Recommended.
Food pairing suggestions: 17 to 18°C with preferably pasta dishes, beef stews, red meat, game, pate and soft full flavour cheeses.
Jerome Quiot Gigondas (AC) 2010, 14%, €25.15 Karwig Wines.
First things first: decant this dark red, a delicious blend of Grenache and Syrah, vinified “according to traditional methods”. Serving temperature should be about 16 degrees and do serve it “in large glasses”. Matches recommended are cooked pork, lamb, red meat, duck and olives, cheeses.
Rich fruit and warm notes of the local scrub (garrigue) abound in the aromas. All that is found too on the palate, some spice too; quite a Rhone classic really with a long finalé. Very Highly Recommended.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Terras Gauda Abadío de San Campio Albarino, Rías Baixas (DO) 2014, 12%, €20.35 Le Caveau
Thought to be related to Riesling and presumably brought by Cluny monks to 12th century Iberia, via France, the recently fashionable Albarino grape is now mainly associated with Rías Baixas in north western Spain. It is also grown in neighbouring areas in Portugal where it is known as Alvarinho.
I was expecting good things in this bottle and I got them, even better than anticipated. Colour is mid-gold, bright and clean and there is no shortage of white fruits in the aromas. On the palate, it is bright and fruity, citrus in the tingle, minerality to the fore, a superb combination overall and that includes the long finish. Ticks all the boxes for a classy Albarino and is Very Highly Recommended.
The producers say it is ideal with seafood, shellfish and fish and especially with Tuna steaks.
Elgin Ridge 282 Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa 2014, 14%, €19.95 Le Caveau
At 282 metres above sea-level, we are at the ideal height to create cool climate Sauvignon Blanc in the Elgin Valley. The organic farming methods give the wine its elegance and unique flavour.
So says Marion Smith, ex Ballyjamesduff, who now runs the winery with her husband Brian. By the way, Dexter cattle, a native Irish breed, figure in the organic farming, grazing between the rows of vines and indeed Marion has the biggest herd of Dexter in the Western Cape.
Dexters aren’t the only “helpers” for Marion and Brian, who planted their first vines here in 2007. They also use Dorper sheep, chickens and Peking ducks to control the weeds and pests. Looks like the combination is working very well indeed.
Colour is a medium-gold with green tints. The aromas are fresh and cool. That freshness extends to the palate, tingly with concentrated white fruit, including gooseberry, citrus also prominent, pepper and spice too and then an excellent finish. Highly Recommended.
Carl Ehrhard Rüdesheim Riesling trocken, Rheingau 2015, 12%, €17.80 Karwig Wines
Grapes are hand-picked and indeed the vinification is focussed on “preserving the natural fruit”. This is facilitated by natural and gentle fining and slow cool fermentation. As usual Carl Ehrhard gets it right.
Colour is pale gold with greenish tints and you'll note micro bubbles clinging to the glass. Aromas are a gentle mix of apple and citrus. It tingles the palate; the intense fruit, now with more than a hint of grapefruit, and a super refreshing acidity combine well all the way to a long finish. This dry wine is Very Highly Recommended. Perfect for aperitif and with seafood and Riesling is regularly recommended for Asian.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Northern WhitesDouble Delight
|On the Loire|
We’ve got two excellent whites for you to consider this week. One is a Riesling from Germany’s Rheingau and the other is a Sauvignon Blanc from the little-known Menetou-Salon appellation in the Loire valley.
Germany’s greatest variety, Riesling, is first documented in the Rheingau in 1435. Don't think Carl Ehrhard has been there that long but he has built up a great reputation and our selection is a lovely example.
Menetou-Salon is a village at the eastern end of the Loire Valley wine region. Wine-searcher.com says it is “forecast by many to be a potential rival for the famous Sancerre appellation (its immediate north-eastern neighbor), Menetou-Salon is rapidly establishing its reputation at an international level”. The reputation is being built on two varieties: Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Carl Ehrhard Rüdesheim Riesling Kabinett Feinherb 2015, Rheingau (Germany), 11.5%, €18.60 Karwig Wines
A few words:
Kabinett: a wine made from fully ripened grapes of the main harvest, one level lower than Spätlese.
Feinherb: off dry.
This light gold 100% Riesling has lots of mini-bubbles clinging to the glass. There are white fruit aromas and the intense fresh fruit flavours (apple, citrus) make the tongue tingle at the start before rolling deliciously on. That tingle is the acidity keeping all that lively lovely fruit (with its hints of sweetness) in balance, right through to the excellent finish. Carl Ehrhard never leaves one down and this is Very Highly Recommended.
Just to let those of you worried about the whiffs of diesel from some Rieslings know, there is not a trace of fumes here!
Jean-Max Roger, Morogues, Le Petit Clos 2014, Menetou-Salon (AOC), 12.5%, €21.55 Karwig Wines
This is a classic Loire Sauvignon blanc, on a par with neighbouring Sancerre where Jean-Max also farms. It is elegant and restrained and the perfect partner for “the bounty of the seas,..... Also a good match for white meats and goat’s cheese”. The fruit comes from 5 hectares of vines in Le Petit Clos vineyard. In this steep south-facing slope, grape quality is the season long target.
This light gold wine has pleasant herbaceous aromas, citrus hints too, and these follow through on a fresh and lively palate, superb balance and long finish. Dry and crisp, with lots of character, this excellent Sauvignon Blanc is Highly Recommended.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Your Weekend Whites
Trio with Brio!
Colour is a very light gold and there are fruity aromas. On the palate you’ll find concentrated fresh fruit (nectarines, apricots), a slight tingly mouthfeel. Superb, this well balanced wine needs to be sipped and a sip will go a long way! Very Highly Recommended.
This has the VDP eagle displayed on the neck, “a guarantee of pure wine pleasure”, not a bad start. The stiftung means a foundation and for many years the winery was a foundation for the benefit of the town of Eltville in the Hattenheim region. In 2003, it came back into private ownership. Peter Winter, a one-time boss and long-time friend of Joe Karwig, is the new owner and kept the existing name.
Hugel Gentil 2013, Alsace, 12.5%, €13.99 Bradley’s
This gorgeous wine, an “assemblage” of all the local grape varieties, is Hugel’s best seller, available throughout the world. The grapes are hand-picked and the blend is 15% Riesling, 19% Gewürztraminer, 2% Muscat, 24% Pinot Gris and 40% Sylvaner & Pinot Blanc. Closure by the way is also rather unusual as they us the DIAM method.
Not strong on colour, a light silver and traces of green, and there are attractive aromas (including fruit and floral elements). On the palate, is has a soft and supple feel, is full of flavour, dry and with a great finalé. The well balanced gem is “a delicious bargain” according to Hugh Johnson. Very Highly Recommended.
Mas Peuch Picpoul de Pinet 2013 (Languedoc), 12.5%, €10.00 SuperValu
Light gold in colour, this aromatic wine, a refreshing mouthful, has white fruit and good acidity. Tart enough but no sign of the lip-stinging. Excellent as an aperitif and fine too with this evening’s sea-bream from Ballycotton Seafood in the English Market.
Picpoul means lip-stinger in the local dialect and refers to the zestiness and almost salty tang. The grape is often blended to moderate the sting! I have come across some strongly acidic examples but there is nothing extreme in this one; it is moderate and is Highly Recommended.