Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts

Sunday, March 27, 2022

A quartet of excellent German wines from Reh Kendermann

A quartet of excellent German wines from Weinhaus Reh Kendermann

All four wines are on offer at Dunnes Stores until April 2nd; check them out here

Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Terra Quartär Pinot Noir Pfalz Trocken 2019, 13%, €9.20 until April 2nd (RSP 11.50)

Germany is one of the world’s top producers of Pinot Noir (or Spatburgunder, as they call it there) and the Pfalz (also noted for its Riesling) is one of the top growing areas in Germany. The soil here, from an ancient sub-tropical sea, is now fertile and warm, suits the Pinot well and ensures healthy and ripe grapes.

You can almost guess it’s healthy from the glossy light-red colour. Aromas are moderately intense, red berries and cherries.  Fruit flavours impress on the palate with mineral notes in there too. Light and elegant, juicy with balancing acidity, all the way to a smooth finish. Highly Recommended.

The combination between the good water retention and warming properties of this special Löss soil encourages aroma development and gives very elegant wines. The proof is in your glass.

Pairings recommended include Pasta, red meat, white meat.

Terra Quartär translates as Terra Quaternary

By the way, France and the USA are the top two country producers of Pinot Noir. I was somewhat surprised a few years back to  hear  that Germany was third but even more so to read recently that the fourth top grower is Moldova!

Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Schiefer Steillage Riesling Feinherb Mosel 2020, 11.0%, €8.80 until April 2nd (RSP €11.00)


Germany’s Mosel region is world famous for its steep and stony slopes as well as its slate soil. It also grows some excellent Riesling, perhaps slightly less dry than those of the Rhine vineyard. I learned that when I was a regular caller to the late lamented Joe Karwig who imported so many excellent German wines to Carrigaline.

This one, by the Rev Kendermann company, is typical. Colour is a light straw, very little colour really. Aromas are moderate, ripe white apples, and the slightest hint of diesel (which I rarely get in young European Riesling). 

The fruit, citrus and apple again, comes into its own on the fresh palate, which displays also liveliness and minerality. Lemon and lime take the lead towards the finish. Yet it is that residual sweetness that comes through to underline its Mosel heritage and earns it the off dry term (Feinherb) on the label.

A delicious and toothsome wine. Try it on its own or with Asian Cuisine, fish and seafood and white meat dishes. Highly Recommended.

The vines which grow on these steep slate slopes of the Mosel profit from the angle of the sun and the perfect heat storage property of the slate (depicted on the bottle). It absorbs the heat from the day and gives it back to the vines at night. In combination with the cool climate it helps the grapes to ripen.The results are wines with high minerality and a lively character.

We have Trocken on the both Sauvignon Blanc and Point Noir labels meaning dry. Feinherb is mentioned on the label here and this is a popular German term for off-dry. The soils that the three vines grow in are highlighted on the bottles.

Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Kalkstein Sauvignon Blanc Trocken Pfalz 2020, 12.5% €9.20 until April 2nd (RSP 11.50)

Colour of this Sauvignon Blanc from Germany’s cool northerly Pfalz is a light straw, very light.  Apple and citrus, also a little pepper, in the aromas.  Lively and fresh on the palate, more exotic fruit here too but a balancing acidity helps makes this a zesty and delicious wine. It is dry and food-friendly and quite an impressive German contender in Sauvignon Blanc. Highly Recommended.

Sauvignon Blanc may well be one of the finest and most widely grown white wine varieties in the world but it is fairly unusual to find a German example in Ireland. The grape is just not associated internationally with the country. Just took a look at the often quoted Grapes and Wine and, in a few pages on where the grape grows best, Austria is mentioned but not a word on Germany. Same story in And, by the way, this is not a Sancerre imitation nor a Marlborough either. Somewhere in between, this Kalkstein is its own vin.

Kendermann  say: The cool and dry climate in combination with the deep and nutrient-rich limestone soils of the Palatinate offer ideal growing conditions for the Sauvignon Blanc grape. The vines can root deeply and hence they are more water stress–resistant. This grape variety which came from France via New Zealand to Germany develops great aromas on these thin porous limestone soils. Therefore, the wine is very aromatic and has exotic notes of mango, passionfruit and citrus fruit.

Recommended pairings are: fish, Asian cuisine, white meats and salads. One of our favourites is Scallops, with rashers (Truly Irish) and Irish Shellfish Butter. That was our recipe, designed to match with the Cono Sur Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, and it got us to the European final of the Cono Sur Blogger competition in Paris in 2014.

Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Kalkstein Pinot Noir Rosé Trocken Pfalz 2019, 12%, Dunnes Stores exclusive -  €9.20 until April 2nd (RSP 11.50)

This very very pale Pinot Noir rosé is barely coloured. Light red fruit aromas turn up as pleasant flavours in the mouth, light and fruity and with a crisp mouth-watering acidity. The tip here is not to chill it too much or you lose some of the benefit of the impressive if subtle citrus flavours. Amazing that a wine with such a weak colour can be so refreshing and bursting with flavour right through to a crisp finish. Highly Recommended.

Much of the credit goes to the soil of Kalkstein where the limestone helps the grapes reach full ripeness. Kalkstein is actually the German for limestone. Recommended pairings: Fish, Vegetarian, White Meat.


* Winemakers since 1920, family owned Reh Kendermann is Germany’s largest export wine company. As a leading wine exporter, the winery makes German wines popular in the whole world: Black Tower the most successful German wine brand worldwide comes from Reh Kendermann.

**All the above four wines are on offer at Dunnes Stores until April 2nd; check them out here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Duo of Delicious Whites: Riesling and Grüner Veltliner

A Duo of Delicious Whites: Riesling and Grüner Veltliner

“Straightforward and elegant,” is how Georg Lingenfelder described this wine while speaking in Cork late last year. Georg represents the 14th generation of the family in wine in the Pfalz and this year is their 500th anniversary!

The 2018 is a straw yellow in colour. It certainly has the typical Riesling aromas (citrus-y). 'Trocken' on the label means this is a dry Riesling, yet it bursts with bright citrus and red apple fruit, all the time remaining elegant with a stony minerality, a high acidity and a lemon-fresh finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Georg told us that Pfalz is in the south west of Germany. “One of the driest and warmest areas but still a cool climate. Wines can be more full bodied here in good years. 2018 was warm and dry and some of the 2018 are not too heavy. All hand-picked, all wild fermented, we rely on the natural yeasts that are all around our cellar.” 

The wines with the Lingenfelder’s house on the front label are single plot. This Riesling has the house on the front, so the fruit came from a single plot, quite a small one in this case. “We are right next to the Rhine but our vineyards are not too steep - easier to work there. We use sustainable methods, lots of other plants between the rows. This gives bio diversity, very important to us.”

Georg is enthusiastic about local and authenticity. And the commitment continues so that the next 14 generations “get a chance to live off the land as well; without herbicides, without irrigation, only minimal fertilisation and lots of biodiversity”. And we, the consumers, get the opportunity to drink excellent wines like this one.

Steininger Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (DAC) 2018, €17.25 Wines Direct

This Grüner Veltliner (Gru-Vee) is a light golden yellow. Ripe apples aromas, herbal notes too. Juicy fruity (melon) on the palate, with crisp acidity, complex and elegant all the way through to the minerally finish. This harmonious easy-drinking wine is Very Highly Recommended. Well priced too, by the way.

Importers Wines Direct suggest pairing it with Rich Fish, Light Fish and Shellfish, Hard Cheese, Fresh Greens. In fact, Gru-Vee is very versatile at the table. 

Not too long back, I was impressed by the way it handled a dish of Fresh monkfish, Malaysian noodles, pancetta, chilli and black pepper jam and julienne of vegetables in Jacques (one of our top local restaurants). 

And it also married amazingly well with Halibut, Sea Radish, Bacon, Pepper Dulse and Elf Cap in Greene’s (another classy Cork venue); lots of flavours in both dishes but no bother to the Steininger.

This wine is indeed an excellent ambassador for Grüner Veltliner from the Kamptal. The winemakers say the Kamptal’s three types of soil (primordial rock, loess and clay), are ideal for Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Zweigelt. 

The climate too, of course, not to mention the family. “The vine absorbs these impressions and reflects them in the wine and gives each wine its personality and character. Behind every wine are also the people. Making good wine is a way of life, as well as a fascinating task. You need experience and a lot of feeling.”

Thursday, September 17, 2020

O’Briens Wine September Sale In Full Swing

 O’Briens Wine September Sale In Full Swing

The O’Briens Wine September Sale is in full swing. With about 100 wines reduced you might be in need of some pointers and here are a few of my picks!

Chanson Chablis (AC) 2018, 13%, €16.95 (25.95)

Pale gold is the colour. Aromas are delicate but persistent, citrus fruit, and floral notes too. Fruit flavours are assertive and harmonious and it also boasts the benefit of a fairly rich mouthfeel. A palate full of life plus a refreshing lingering finish. What’s not to like?

It is, of course, one hundred percent Chardonnay, raised on limestone hills south of the village of Chablis. The year had its up and downs before the August harvest was carried out in perfect conditions, grapes ripe and healthy, the wine precise with a beautiful fruit combination.

Food pairing suggested: Pâté, lobsters and poultry as well as some goat cheeses.

O’Briens are enthusiastic: With Chanson's wines now performing at the top level thanks to more than a decade under Bollinger's wing, this Chablis has never been better. … electrifies the palate and has considerable richness for Chablis - ..a real stunner!

Domaine Chanson dates to 1750 and lies in the heart of Burgundy’s Beaune region. In 1999, the estate was sold to Champagne Bollinger.

Chanson Fleurie (AC) 2018, 13.5%, €16.95  (18.95) 

In Beaujolais generally, there is a continuity of quality, almost a guarantee of it, if you move up a step or two to the ten crus and the villages that ring them. Fleurie, like all the crus, is in the north east of the Beaujolais region. Here the Gamay grape thrives on the granite soil, the wines always refreshing and never short of acidity.

Colour of this beauty is a bright mid-ruby. Abundant aromas of cherries and spice. Juicy in the mouth; no shortage of red berries (strawberries, raspberries) and sweet cherry in delicious combination, smooth and well balanced, refreshing too with excellent length. It is, of course, 100% Gamay and no oak has been used by the winemakers.

Did you know that the Gamay grape is an “exile” in Beaujolais? In 1395, it was outlawed by Royal decree, using Trump-like language, as being “a very bad and disloyal plant”. Sixty years later another edict was issued against it. And so it was pushed out of Burgundy and south into neighbouring Beaujolais where it has thrived on the granite based soils.

By the way, the ten crus that produce the flagship wines are: Chiroubles, Saint Amour, Fleurie, Régnié, Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly, Juliénas, Chénas, Morgon and Moulin-à-Vent.

Ortas “Prestige” Rasteau (AOC) 2015, 14.5%, €17.95 (19.95) 

Rasteau, about 40 minutes east of the Rhone, sits on a hill in the Vaucluse, one of the five departments of Provence, and the climate is typically Mediterranean (meaning a high level of grape maturity). It is to the north of better known villages such as Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Beaumes de Venise. The village also has the distinction of making fortified wines (vin doux naturel) including a deep coloured red.  

I’ve long had a soft spot for Rasteau reds and this dark-red coloured wine keeps me very much onside. Just have to love its rich nose, the red and darker berry flavours, the juice on the velvety palate, a good dash of spice too and those smooth tannins.Terrific balance between wine and wood and a super finish as well. 

The grape varieties in this Prestige are the GSM trio (from old vines) of Grenace, Syrah and Mourvedre. Serve at 15 to 16 degrees and you’ll find it goes well with red meats, roast small game and rich cheeses.

Lingenfelder “Bird Label” Riesling 2018, 11.5%, €13.45 (15.45)

The Lingenfelder family, winemakers in the Pfalz area of Germany since 1520, produce this Bird-Label Riesling, one of their "Vineyard Creatures" series that also includes the Hare (Gewürztraminer) and the Fox (Dornfelder) .

Pfalz is in the south west of Germany. It is one of the driest and warmest areas there but still a cool climate. Wines can be more full bodied here in good years. 2018 was warm and dry and some of the 2018 are "not too heavy". All hand-picked, all wild fermented, they rely on the natural yeasts that are all around the cellar. “Authenticity is very important to us,” Georg,  the 14th generation of the family in wine, told a Cork audience last year.

This Riesling is off dry and delicious. It has the typical Riesling aromas (citrus-y), is fresh and elegant and may be enjoyed as an aperitif or with light or spicy dishes.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan Karwig's? Especially for German wines like these two.

Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan Karwig's?
Especially for German wines like these two.

Hard to believe it's already 12 months since Karwigs Wine closed. These are some of the wines I bought on my second last visit. I still have some - need to get my act together!

Georg Müller Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen GG Riesling Trocken Rheingau 2015, 13%, Karwig Wine

Only the very best German vineyards get to display the "VDP.Grosse Lage" designation on their bottles and it is on this one that I bought during Karwig’s closing-down sale last year. Not too sure where, or even if, you can get it in Ireland now. But if you see one, don’t hesitate!

There are various grades of VDP, which is a German wine group representing many of the country best producers. “Wines from these vineyards shine through their uniqueness and distinctiveness…. also distinguished by their unparalleled ability to express the essence of a vineyard.” VDP is not a legal term but reflects the group's own private regulations.

The Nussbrunnen in Hattenheim, a south-southeast facing vineyard, is just a short trip up from the bank of Rhine and has deep loess soil with, importantly, an excellent water supply in dry years.
This Riesling’s colour is Light straw with greenish tints. Don’t think I’ll ever like that petrol in the aromas but have learned to live with it! Also some herby notes there, floral traces too, even a little touch of dough. Petrol on the nose but electric on the palate, juicy, rounded fruit, so elegant, with a refreshing acidity, this concentrated wine is tarty dry and concludes up with a deep and persistent finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Kilian Hunn Spätburgunder 2013 (Baden, Germany), 13.5%

Did you know that Germany, after France and the US, is the third largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world? They’ve been growing it for a long long time, especially around Baden. According to a Fortune magazine article, here, it seems Emperor Charles III brought the grape to Germany from Burgundy in 884. 

Germany prices give plenty of bang for your buck and its style is no longer an imitation of Burgundy. With Burgundy prices on the rise, “so Germany is ready to fill the void” - see more of this excellent insight here

Kilian Hunn was always a favourite of mine at Karwig’s before they closed last summer and I got this Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) during the closing down sale. Regular price was €18.30 and they had it reduced to 10.50 .

Colour is mid to dark ruby. Aromas are quite intense, dark berries, plum, slight touch of spice. Fruity, well-integrated oak, medium-bodied, smooth tannins and quite harmonious and a persistent dry finish. That balance is just about perfect, no raw edges here at all. Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Authenticity is very important to us. Lingenfelder Masterclass in Cork

Authenticity is very important to us. Lingenfelder Masterclass at O'Brien's Winter Wine Festival in Cork
Georg Lingenfelder. Thanks to Liam Campbell for the pic from the Dublin show.

“Half the production in Germany is red.. that is not internationally known. There are big steps in red wine.” This was the surprising opening statement by Georg Lingenfelder as he introduced us to the estate’s wines at a masterclass, part of the O’Brien’s Winter Wine Festival in Cork last Thursday evening. Climate warming may well be a factor in the increase.

O’Brien’s Lynne Coyle MW had introduced Georg, a regular visitor to ireland. “This is the first year of the masterclasses. Georg represents the 14th generation of the family in wine in the Pfalz. Next year is their 500th anniversary.” 

He told us that Pfalz is in the south west of Germany. “One of the driest and warmest areas but still a cool climate. Wines can be more full bodied here in good years. 2018 was warm and dry and some of the 2018 are not too heavy. All hand-picked, all wild fermented, we rely on the natural yeasts that are all around our cellar. 
Georg, at home, with father Rainer

Fermentation is spontaneous - that makes it more individual, unique to our place. It is of course more risky for us and some vintages can be not so good. With wild yeast, you never know how it works. We try and get the temperature to 18 to 20 degrees but it is still unpredictable. But we’ve been doing this forever so we have the experience.”

“The wines with our house on the front label are single plot. We are right next to the Rhine but our vineyards are not too steep - easier to work there. We use sustainable methods, lots of other plants between the rows. This gives bio diversity, very important to us.”

In response to a question on sulphites, Georg explained that sulphite is necessary to make a wine stable. “Sulphur levels in wine are often very low, compared to other foods. Our levels are quite low.”

“We use German oak, from about 15/20 kms away, as authenticity is very important to us. We use some barrels that are 120 years old. There is a big difference between new and old oak and our Pinot Noir is aged in fresh oak.”
The Dornfelder grapes

And he had an invitation for everyone in the audience. “We are a small family winery, always happy to see visitors. Stuttgart and Frankfurt airports are not too far away.”

The first of the three wines in the tasting was their Hare-label Gewürztraminer Qba 2018. “Very aromatic, almost perfumery. Yet this is a dry style, herbal, with an almost bitter finish though the acidity is not too high.” In general, this grape and its “so distinctive” wines, “divides opinions”.
The Hare. The House. The Fox.

The second wine tasted, a Riesling, had the house on the front, so the fruit came from a single plot, quite a small one in this case. The Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2018 is dry, aromatic with crisp, refreshing acidity. Georg pointed to the higher acidity though he also said it was a little sweet on the finish. It certainly has the typical Riesling aromas (citrus-y) and that “little sweetness is well balanced by the acidity. It is, as Georg said, “straightforward and elegant”. He also emphasised that Riesling is a grape “for cooler climates”.

The final wine was the Fox-label Dornfelder Qba 2010, a light red wine, with notes of red berries and a bit of spice and a smoke taint. However it has a nice intensity on the mid palate and is a great match with lamb, beef carpaccio or cheese and is quite close to Pinot Noir.

Georg told us that it is a local grape, initially bred in 1955. It is handpicked, skin fermentation in stainless steel, on the skin for 3 to 4 weeks, the juices take all their colour from the skin (without that, the wine would be white). “It then spends one and a half years (can vary) in German oak, 5,000 litre barrels, so there is really no oak influence. It is a little on the light side, 12.5% abv, cherry fruit, smoke and pepper. It has a lot going for it, including slow -ripening which increases the flavour.”

I like this style and so does Georg who admits to not being a big fan of oaked red: “This is very versatile (in terms of food). It has great ageing potential, good at five to ten years but can get better as the years cool on. Incredibly better.”

Great to have the chance to hear from the latest generation of this remarkable family and to hear how enthusiastic he is about local and authenticity. And so the commitment continues so that the next 14 generations “get a chance to live off the land as well; without herbicides, without irrigation, only minimal fertilisation and lots of biodiversity”.
See also: O'Briens Winter Wine Festival Cork

Monday, June 24, 2019

Karwig Wines To Close

Karwig Wines to Close.
Joe Karwig (RIP) and yours truly a few years back.

Not the kind of news, I'd prefer to highlight, but many of you will already know that the Karwig family are in the process of closing their wine business in Carrigaline. You may have seen this statement from Betty and Jurgen:

To all our Karwig Wines supporters,

We would like to announce that after 40 years of business, we will be closing Karwig Wines later this year. Karwig Wines has solidified its reputation for quality wines and personalised service throughout the years. We are proud of what we have achieved as a family business and are thankful for the opportunity to finish well.

There are many people we could pay tribute to for this. We would like to thank our dedicated staff for their work and to our suppliers for entrusting us with their wines. Most importantly, we would like to thank our customers. We could not have achieved any of this without your business and loyalty to us throughout the years.

It has been a memorable journey with you all and we think Joe would be proud of the legacy he has left behind.
All of our wines are now being sold at a reduced price in our shop until closure. We look forward to seeing you all in the coming weeks.


Dr Wagner Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett 2016, 8%, €19.95 Karwig Wine

Two things you should know about this lovely wine from near where the Saar River joins the better known Mosel. It has an ABV of just 8% and it is on the sweet side. Not overly sweet by the way, fairly close to what the French label as Moelleux.

It is a very pleasant aperitif and Karwig’s suggest pairing it with fruity desserts, creamy cheese varieties, chutneys of pineapple and fig, vanilla ice-cream with red vineyard peaches, shrimp steaks with fruity and spicy sauces as well as the general Asian cuisine.

It has a very light straw colour. White fruit (peach, citrus) in the aromas, along with a hint of diesel (that more or less vanishes as you sip). Sweet-ish on the attack but finish is good and dry. In between, enjoy the balance of fruit and acidity in this light white. Juicy and refreshing, it is indeed a very pleasant wine to sip and is definitely Recommended.

Chatelard “Cuvée Les Pentes” Brouilly (AOC) 2015, 13%, €19.25 Karwig Wines

Brouilly is the largest and most southerly of the Beaujolais crus and this bottle, from plots located at the heart of the appellation, has quite a lot going for it. 

Colour, a mid to dark ruby, is a bit darker than some other Beaujolais wines. In the aromas you’ll find ripe red fruits (berries and plums), typical of the region. Really vibrant flavours, tannins close to smooth, good acidity too and a long dry finish. Highly Recommended. Karwig Wines have relied on Chateau du Chatelard for years now and I’ve always liked this Brouilly, an excellent expression of the Gamay grape, the dominant one in Beaujolais.

* The prices quoted above come from a month or two back, so it's probable that you'll get a reduction if you call to Karwig's over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Superb Riesling and Chenin Blanc from Karwigs.

Superb Riesling and Chenin Blanc
from Karwig Wine.

Carl Ehrhard Rüdesheim Riesling (Rhinegau) 2017, 12%, €16.90 Karwig Wine

I’ve long been a fan of Carl Ehrhard’s wines. I met the man himself at a Ballymaloe wine event a few years back and there he described Riesling as “the most fantastic white variety”. This particular bottle is one of his everyday wines but an above average one, well priced too.

The Rheingau is the spiritual heart of German wine, the birthplace of Riesling, according to the World Atlas of Wine. The area in general is well known for its dry Rieslings - “full bodied with racy acidity”.

Colour is a light straw with greenish tints and you'll note micro bubbles clinging to the glass. Aromas are a gentle mix of apple and citrus, with the slightest hint of diesel. There is that trademark tingle on the palate. Intense fruit, now led by citrus, and that bracing and refreshing acidity combine well all the way to a long and satisfying finish. This dry wine is Very Highly Recommended. 

Might be no harm, I say to myself, to get a few of these in for the summer evenings in the back garden. Perfect for aperitif and with seafood and Riesling is regularly recommended for Asian food. The vinification is directed towards preserving the natural fruit and, not for the first time, Mr Ehrhard succeeds. One of the most reliable winemakers.

Some helpful German wine words:
Rüdesheim is the town.
Riesling is the grape.
Trocken means dry.
Rheingau is the wine district.
Ehrhard - you’re on a winner!

Bourillon Dorléans “La Coulée d’Argent Vouvray” (AOC) 2015, 13%, €21.50 Karwig Wines

We’re on a good thing here. I’ve given the 2013 vintage a big thumbs up in the past and this 2015 is also Very Highly Recommended. I have the guys at Grape and Wines “behind” me as the book lists Bourillon as a leading maker of Chenin Blanc and, in addition, lists this Coulée d’Argent as one of the top five classic dry Loire wines. 

Chenin was first planted in the Loire in the 15th century and still the best Chenin wines come from here. Quite a range actually as the grape is used to make sparkling wines, dry wines, even sweet ones. But this one is dry, very dry, you’ll note the sec on the bottle. You’ll also see the words Vieilles Vignes (old vines) on the label.

It has a mid straw colour. Moderate aromas, with quince, apple and pear to the fore. On the palate, it is bone dry with mouthwateringly high acidity. That expected minerality is not shy either though it is moderated by the fruit and even a touch of sweetness. It has quite a strong character, the body having a little more heft than expected, and also an invigorating finish. It is made from those old vines and has been aged on its lees for six months. This bracingly dry Chenin Blanc, from what is regarded as the homeland of the variety, is excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Monday, May 27, 2019

A Riesling to remember and a Chardonnay with a difference

Let the drums and trumpets sound for this outstanding German Riesling. The label does it well: A Riesling dry in style and well balanced like its Rheingau predecessors from the glorious age of Riesling a century ago: a contemporary classic and a perfect partner for many foods.

Don’t know anything about the Rieslings of a century ago but this light gold coloured wine is a gem for sure. Intense aromas of apple and pear indicate a good year in the Rheingau, a year for the grape to flourish. And that’s soon confirmed on the palate with its crisp acidity and yellow stone fruit (peach, apricot), a striking minerality too maintained to the persistent finish. Very Highly Recommended. No wonder Wilhelm Weil considers it as one of the best he has produced in 30 years (reported by none other than an enthusiastic Robert Palmer). 

You can hardly talk of Riesling without mentioning acidity and minerality. In his book Reading Between the Wines, Terry Theise says "Acidity is innate to the berry". "Minerality, " he continues, "is inherent to Riesling, because the variety is, in its essence, more mineral than fruit. The Riesling genre is one of a mineral-tasting wine into which are woven various strands of fruit, depending on site and vintage."

Fruity, tangy, yet charming and harmonious, you’ll find it this Weil typically versatile at the table. A couple of suggestions, one “a merry table companion to a wide range of cuisines” and another, this via Google Translate, “goes brilliantly with fried fish, poultry and Asian dishes. But even without banqueting - he can sip excellent …"

The Mornington Peninsula, just over an hour south of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, is perfectly suited to growing Chardonnay and “a foremost region” too for Pinot Gris”. Chardonnay here though, according to Halliday’s Wine Atlas of Australia, “is markedly different from any other Chardonnay produced in Australia”.

Stonier was established here in 1978 and are noted for their Burgundian style cool climate wines. The vineyards overlooks the ocean. Chardonnay is a signature wine for Stonier and this is a gem.

It has a yellow colour, with green tints. The aromas are gentle, of exotic fruits. Even the background flavours are delicate with melon and citrus to the fore. There is excellent texture, a pleasant creaminess, and complementary acidity. And it boasts a long and distinctive finish too. Delicious and satisfying, this is well made, harmonious and Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

German Chardonnay. Italian Pinot Noir.

German Chardonnay. Italian Pinot Noir.
Danese Pinot Noir Trevenezie (IGT) 2017, 12%, €13.95 Karwig

Grapes and Wines (Clarke & Rand) recommend that Pinot Noirs from the “home” of Côte d’Or should be drunk young “within five years or so”. Our timing is good with this interesting one from Italy which has some pretty accomplished Pinot Noir producers.

Colour of this Danese is a very light ruby. Blackcurrants and raspberries feature in the aromas. Flavour seems to be in line with the aromas; they are moderately intense and you’ll find moderate spice also, quite dry, with subtle tannins,  and a decent finish. Easy drinking and got the thumbs up from a four person tasting and is Highly Recommended. Pretty good value too.

The Winery suggests pairing this medium bodied wine at 14 to 16 degrees with  Roast chicken , rack of lamb, served pink. Rare fillet steak and carpaccio. Roast pork with herbs and fennel. Chicken or turkey sausages. Mushroom risotto. In summer, you can serve it slightly chilled.

Kilian Hunn “Junge Wilde” Chardonnay, Baden (Germany) 2017, 14%, €18.30 Karwig Wine

Junge Wilde means young and wild and is a name of a series of wines by Kilian Hunn aimed to show off the potential of the Tuniberg vineyard. And  this, the label proclaims, is “an aromatic pleasure wine for many beautiful moments.”

It has an inviting light gold colour; lots of micro bubbles cling to the glass. Yellow stone fruit aromas, apricot to the fore. Quite a complex wine on the palate, richly flavoured, an excellent mouthfeel too (has spent three months on the lees) and a long dry finish (you’ll note the trocken on the label). A very interesting German Chardonnay indeed and, as they say themselves, an excellent “Maul voll Wein” (mouthful of wine) and Highly Recommended.

Try with poultry, fish, white meats, pasta, seafood, vegetables (including asparagus), soft cheese.

Karwig also carry other Kilian Hunn wines including Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Spat Burgunder (Pinot Noir).