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A pair of rosé for more warm weather

September 19, 2018 Leave a comment

With warm, sunny weather returning to the Washington, DC, area, here are two bottles of rosé you might consider.  The 2017 Reichstrat von Buhl, Spatburgunder Rose Trocken Pfalz will cater towards those who prefer dry rosé with a kick of acidity.  The profile is all about dried florals with a clean finish.  I find the 2017 Puech-Haut, Prestige Rosé , Languedoc-Roussillon more satisfying with its mixture of peach and florals. I like a bit of fruit in my rosé, which this bottle delivers, without leaving freshness behind.  You may find them at MacArthur Beverages.

2017 Reichstrat von Buhl, Spatburgunder Rose Trocken Pfalz – $18
Imported by Cellars International. Alcohol 12%. A medium-dark, dried rose and salmon color. Dried florals with dried red fruit persist in this acidity driven wine. There is some ethereal ripeness that pops up in the end but this is a dry wine throughout with a bit of tang. ** Now but will last.

2017 Puech-Haut, Prestige Rosé, Languedoc-Roussillon – $18
Imported by European Cellars. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Cinsault.  Alcohol 13%. Fresh yet with floral weight. Flavors of peach mix with white, ripe fruit, and dry roses. This is all about the floral fruit and enjoyable as a result. *** Now.

Though the cork dropped in our bottle of 1970 Cheval Blanc, the NV Peter Lauer, Riesling Brut rocked!

February 8, 2016 1 comment

Lou and I managed to squeeze in a quick tasting last week at his house.  As I had never tried the NV Peter Lauer, Riesling Brut, Saar Lou opened up a bottle. Wow! Wow! Wow!  This was such a lovely bottle so much so I saved none for the next day.  It is a particularly satisfying sparkling wine which already tastes quite complex and mature.  I see no reason to cellar this further.  It is a stunning wine for the price.  As Lou pointed out, you would not mistake it for Champagne but it is far more satisfying than many bottles available in our area at that price.  Also tasting fully mature and still from Germany was a bottle of 2001 Weingut Kurt Darting, Rieslaner Auslese, Durkheimer Nonnengarten, Pfalz.  With a botrytis note, dried apricot flavors, and just enough acidity this is a fully mature Riesling to be drunk now.  I should add that the Peter Lauer overshadowed everything this evening.

When rummaging around for wines to drink I thought of the 1970 Chateau Cheval Blanc, St. Emilion.  With very top shoulder fill it seemed like a good candidate.  Unfortunately, when I looked at the bottle a good length of the cork was visible in the neck, beneath the end of the capsule.  Originally, only a tiny bit of cork was visible.  Every time I looked at the bottle the cork seemed to be lower and lower.  Once I realized this was not an illusion I decided it had to be drunk.  I cut the capsule, gently pushed the cork in then sealed it up.  Though it cleaned up on by the second evening, this was just a robust relic of a curiosity.  Not sure of what to drink next we tried an unknown bottle of 2013 Stephane Montez, Cuvee du Papy, Saint-Joseph.  The wine was completely underwhelming so I saved my part of the bottle and returned to drinking the Peter Lauer.  On the second night the Montez was very attractive on the nose and in the mouth.  It was a complete surprise.  In the end this is a beautiful wine which I think could stand some cellar time so that there is more access to the flavors.  It is not a wine you want to mature into a different spectrum of flavors,  it just needs to open up.

WithLou1

NV Peter Lauer, Riesling Brut, Saar
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports for vom Boden.  Alcohol 12%.  This aromatic wine was very flavorful with floral fruit and a sense of maturity.  The soft bubbles popped immediately leaving a creamy mousse with a firm underlying foundation.  This ripe, flavor wine had some animale flavors before the soft, chalky finish.  **** Now.

WithLou2

2001 Weingut Kurt Darting, Rieslaner Auslese, Durkheimer Nonnengarten, Pfalz
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines.  Alcohol 10.5%.  The amber color matched the sweet and weighty flavors in the mouth.  As Lou pointed out there were notes of botrytis which mixed with dried apricot flavors.  It took on some apple orchard notes with extended air.  There is enough acidity right now but no need for holding on any longer.  *** Now.

WithLou3

1970 Chateau Cheval Blanc, St. Emilion
Shipped by Compass Wine Ltd.  Imported by Direct Import Wine Co.  There were aromas of blood, meat, and medicine that were slightly off putting.  Though the nose eventually cleaned up, it was better in the mouth.  It was only a shell of what it should be with leather, roast, and dust.  Not Rated.

WithLou4

2013 Stephane Montez, Cuvee du Papy, Saint-Joseph
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from old vines.  Alcohol 13%.  On the second day the strong, floral nose revealed pure, purple aromas.  In the mouth were very clean, with a finely ripe and textured core of dense flavor.  The acidity was very tightly bound in along with the very fine tannins.  The wine developed a sense of grapiness and graphite by the finish.  There is a good mouthfeel right now with some ink.  However, this deserves to be cellared so that it opens up not necessarily for the flavors to develop.  ***(*) 2017-2022.

WithLou5

Brachetto from Italy and Pinot Noir from Germany

February 17, 2015 3 comments

I was still rather full from breakfast and lunch when I walked into Cork Market on Monday.  I decided I wanted to drink lighter wines that evening and immediately knew that my sole purchase had to be the 2012 Matteo Correggia, Anthos.  For the third vintage in a row, this wine proved thoroughly pleasing.  It is unique in aroma and flavor with orange peel, spices, and black tea making it a wine worth seeking out.  The 2011 Becker Family, Pinot Noir, Pfalz is a solid example of German Pinot Noir.   It could be better in a year, I do not have enough experience to guess, but if you try it now be sure to double-decant it a few hours ahead of time.  The Correggia was purchased at Cork Market & Tasting Room and the Becker at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Matteo Correggia, Anthos – $18
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is 100% Brachetto sourced from the Anthos vineyards. It is located at 300 meters on soils of sandy with a small bit of silt and clay. It was fermented in stainless steel for up to four days. It was then racked to a large stainless steel tank for eight months of aging. Alcohol 13.5%.  The light color in the glass makes way to an aromatic nose of orange peel and spices.  The flavors follow the nose but were more robust than expected.  There was watering acidity, a fresh herbal middle then notes of sweet, Early Grey tea in the long aftertaste.  It tastes young so should drink well for a few years.  *** Now-2018.

Wine1

2011 Becker Family, Pinot Noir, Pfalz – $18
Imported by Rudi Wiest.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from vines on soils of loess, marl, chalk, and clay.   Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose eventually opened to smell of the varietal.  The flavors were lively on the tongue with sharp acidity on the tongue tip.  The wine rounded out some but bore firm, linear flavors into the finish.  It was a little woodsy with less flavor in finish.  ** Now-2017.

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Say Yes to the Lip-Smacking Rebholz Rosé

The 2013 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Spatburgunder Rosé, Trocken, Pfalz is a rather different wine from the 2013 Weingut Meyer-Näkel, Spatburgunder Rose, Ahr.  Instead of substantive fruit, it has dry, cherry fruit with a citrus hint.  This ties in well with the beautifully tense acidity which is for me, a hallmark of German wine.  At this price you could consider it a rosé to drink over the week or a special wine for the weekend.  Either way, add this to your list of wines to try.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Spatburgunder Rosé, Trocken, Pfalz – $27
Imported by Rudi Wiest.  This wine is 100% organic Spatburgunder sourced from limestone soils.  The free-run juice fermented in stainless steel.  Alcohol 11.5%.  The color was  a light to medium intensity of copper and dried rose petals.  There were delicate aromas of ripe florals.  In the mouth were dry, cherry flavors, a lemon hint, and tense acidity.  The acidity continued on the front sides of the tongue before the wine eventually rounded out.  There was a pleasing chalky note perhaps influenced by the limestone soils, before the attractive, lip-smacking finish.  *** Now-2016.

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Hanging Out In Lou’s Tasting Room

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

This past Sunday afternoon Lou and I gathered in his tasting room just outside of his wine cellar.  There was no particular theme for the afternoon but I did think the mini-flight of 2002 Auslese would be good fun for him.  So I brown bagged those three half-bottles.  We started with the 2012 Hermann, J. Wiemer, Riesling Dry to acclimate our palates.  Lou had recently enjoyed a glass while dining out so a bottle naturally found its way into his cellar.  This was a well-made distinctive Riesling.  I lost the battle drawing the cork from the 2002 Emrich-Schönleber, Monzinger Halenberg, Riesling Auslese.  I had to dig it out with the screw and after clearing a passage for the wine a large chunk of cork remained impossibly bonded to the inside of the neck, it had never budged despite my heavy-handed approach.  The wine itself was full of cider flavor showing old notes beyond full maturity that were a little off-putting for me.  Much better and in retrospect clearly Scheurebe (or should I write not Riesling) was the 2002 Weingut Ed. Weegmüller, Haardter Mandelring, Scheurebe Auslese.  Lively, viscous, complex, and still on the upslope.  Definitely worth buying.  The 2002 Weingut Ed. Weegmüller, Haardter Herzog, Riesling Auslese was really good too.  There was a tension between youth and maturity with Lou particularly liking the tart finish.  This was less overt the the Scheurebe, taking more time to open up and actually drank well on the second night.

Our switch to red wine was foiled by a badly corked half-bottle of 1998 Brigaldara, Amarone dell Valpolicella Classico.  Shame.  Fortunately the 2005 Pax, Syrah, Castelli-Knight Ranch was coming into its own in the decanter.  It always sported a great nose but at first the flavors were a touch austere but this perfectly matched the black fruit and drying tannins.  Jenn and I tried it again several hours later when it had come together by taking on a little flesh and a racy quality.  I think this should be cellared more.  What I particularly liked about all of the wines we tried is that they each presented aromas and flavors I do not encounter on a daily basis.  Curious wines for a Sunday afternoon!

Lou1

2012 Hermann, J. Wiemer, Riesling, Dry, Finger Lakes
This wine is 100% Riesling.  Alcohol 12%.  There was moderate, lively ripeness to the flavors with notes of stones.  Clearly new world it remained lively on the tongue.  There were chalk notes and a refreshing aftertaste.  On its own the touch of sweetness to the fruit is evident as well as grapefruit notes.  ** Now-2015.

Lou2

2002 Emrich-Schönleber, Monzinger Halenberg, Riesling Auslese, Nahe – $25 (375 mL)
Imported by Chapin Cellars.  Alcohol 9.5%.  The color was a medium amber.  The nose bore older aromas, cider, and hints of plain oldness.  In the mouth there were definite flavors of apple cider.  Due to less viscosity and residual sugar the acidity showed better.  Rather advanced and not too exciting.  * Now.

Lou3

2002 Weingut Ed. Weegmüller, Haardter Mandelring, Scheurebe Auslese, Pflaz – $29 (375 mL)
Imported by Terry Theise.  Alcohol 9%.  The color was a medium to dark lively yellow.  There was a good nose of peach and nectarine with fresh aromas.  In the mouth were stone fruits marmalade, viscosity, and some grip.  The acidity was balanced and integrated.  Towards the finish the wine became fresh with levity, complexity and gentleness.  On the second night there was a bit more apricot note, good weight, and a touch of salty flavor.  This is drinking well nose.  ****  Now-2024.

Lou4

2002 Weingut Ed. Weegmüller, Haardter Herzog, Riesling Auslese, Pfalz – $28 (375 mL)
Imported by Terry Theise.  Alcohol 8%.  This was amber in color and actually the darkness.  There was a very aromatic nose of marmalade.  In the mouth there was brighter acidity, a little wood note, and mature flavors.  It still had some freshness of youth.  There was some residual sugar with good viscosity.  It was tart in the finish with a tangy aftertaste.  A nice wine.  **** Now-2020.

Lou5

2005 Pax, Syrah, Castelli-Knight Ranch, Russian River Valley
Alcohol 14.9%.  There was a good nose with fresh smoke aromas.  The wine had a salty entry with pencil lead mixing with black fruit and drying tannins.  It was a little austere at first but I thought this matched the black fruit and tannins.  There was a core of dried herbs and a little liquor heat in the finish.  With air the stones and watering acidity was matched by more flesh and a racy component.  ***(*) Now-2020.

Lou6

Pleasing Red Wine from Germany and Austria

I started tasting this trio of wines with a glass of the 2008 Gernot Heinrich, Zweigelt.  Jenn had picked the first wine and in pouring my glass, commented that it was good.  It was and though maturing it was in a younger state than the 2004 Gernot Heinrich, St. Laurent we recently tasted with Lou.  You may read about that wine in Tasting Austrian and Italian Wines With Lou.  It drank best on the first night when the fruit, mature notes, and acidity had good tension.  It softened out on the second night, when I would give it **, so I recommend you remove the glass stopper then share the entire bottle with friends.  The 2010 Sepp Moser, Zweigelt Hedwighof is young with more pepper notes, tannins, and dryer flavors.  I would personally recommend waiting to drink this until the New Year but the perfumed fruit and potpourri flavors are compelling now.  Having run out of Austrian wines I opened the 2007 Weingut Knipser, Gaudenz.  Wow, what a surprise!  The maturity immediately reminded me of a hypothetical Bordeaux blend.  I see no reason to hold back on this wine, just decant it for an hour or two.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

Fun3

2007 Weingut Knipser, Gaudenz, Pfalz – $20
Imported by Magellan Wine Imports.  This wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Dornfelder mixed with other red varietals.  It was aged in older barriques.  Alcohol 13%.  The initially sharper nose rounded out with air to reveal small red berries and mature aromas.  In the mouth there was a mixture of red cherry fruit and underlying mature flavors.  There were wood box flavors, citric red fruit, and some apparent structure.  The wine was almost like a cool Pinot Noir and Bordeaux blend.  The wine develops over a couple of air with gentle ripe flavors on the tongue and lips, along with acidity in the back of the throat.  *** Now-2016.

Fun1

2008 Gernot Heinrich, Zweigelt, Burgenland – $16
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Zweigelt sourced from vines planted in 1985 at the Heideboden vineyard at 430-500 feet.  It was fermented in stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation, and was aged for 6-8 months in French and Slavonian oak vats and barriques.  Alcohol 12%.  The color was a medium garnet ruby.  The light nose was of mixed red and black fruit, eventually turn towards ripe cranberry and strawberry.  Good aromas.  In the mouth there were good, focused flavors, some density which was coupled with the acidity.  The flavors were a touch tart and juicy in the finish.  The tannins were mostly resolved but there was a touch of soft structure and maybe a mature hint. Best on first night. *** Now-2014.

Fun2

2010 Sepp Moser, Zweigelt Hedwighof, Neusiedlersee – $18
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Zweigelt sourced from the Hedwighof vineyard.  The fruit was destemmed then both fermented and aged in stainless steel.  Alcohol 12.5%  The nose was subtle with perfumed pepper aromas gently surrounding blue fruit.  In the mouth there were peppery red and black fruit, a little ripeness towards the front before taking on a dry nature.  Then the ripe red became a touch perfumed, moving on to potpourri flavors in the finish.  There were fine, drying tannins and young flavors in the back of the mouth.  **(*) 2014-2016.

Fun4

My First Monster Riesling

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment

This winter I noticed a few older vintages on the shelves at MacArthur Beverages.  This bottle by Weingut Eugen Müller is one of the bottles I grabbed.  The Forster Ungeheuer is an old vineyard dating back to the 15th century.  Upon tasting a wine from this vineyard Otto von Bismarck apparently remarked “This Ungeheuer tastes monstrously good.” It was a tongue in cheek comment as Ungeheuer translates to  monster.  Today it is a 29 hectare vineyard of which Eugen Müller farms 2.5 hectares.  His vines are located in the middle of the slopes where they are protected from wine and ripen earlier.  Terry Theise notes the fruit was selected from a parcel richer in limestone.  According to Stephan Müller of Weingut Eugen Müller the 2005 vintage was a dry year with a good quality smaller crop.  Indeed yields were down 30% over the previous year.

Ungeheuer Vineyard, Image from Weingut Eugen Muller

Ungeheuer Vineyard, Image from Weingut Eugen Muller

I really liked this wine upon tasting my first glass for I was struck by the beautiful mouthfeel.  It took some air and warmth for the nose and flavors to develop.  I got the impression that this wine is approaching its peak of development.  It has many good aspects all around minerals, fruit, mouthfeel, acidity, and length.  If you have been holding on to your bottles why not try one now!  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2005 Weingut Eugen Müller, Forster Ungeheuer, Riesling Spätlese, Pfalz – $25
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik.  This wine is 100% Riesling which was fermented in stainless steel, aged for three months in wood Halbstück barrels, then racked into stainless steel.  Alcohol 9.5%.  The color was a medium golden-yellow.  The fine nose revealed yellow fruit, wet stone, and some petrol with air.  In the mouth there was weighty yellow fruit with a lovely glycerin feel.  The ripe fruit coats the lips which then takes on spiced notes.  The acidity starts a little fresh with a tickle on the tongue then the flavors become drier in the finish.  There is a long aftertaste which again, has a good mouthfeel.  ***(*) Now-2023.

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