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Farewell Wine-Tasting: Not a regular TGIF Night!

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Last weekend we had what we then called a diablog meeting which is supposed to mean a wine-evening with fellow blogger and friend Didier who after a year in Germany is moving back to France. So diablog of course, because I am now blogging about those wines, and I am sure he soon will too he blogged about it as well. For the wine selection, there was no topic, so it was a chaotic mix of styles and types; not senseless though, just chaotic: Reds and Whites, aged and younger ones, French, German and even Swiss, Sweet and Dry. The only idea maybe behind one bottle was an ultimate test of courage for someone who was about to leave Germany: (really) aged Riesling. Otherwise it was more about having a good time. So of course, thanks Didier for having me over and also thanks Mizuki for the delicious Japanese dinner.

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Mmmmh! Japanese Chili-Prawns!

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There it is, the ultimate test of courage: a creepy bottle that might have been mold-covered for years, with a dirty label and some nice Gothic font. Enthusiasm definitely shows another expression on your face, Didier. No, Kidding aside, the high fill-level and the wax-sealed cork are actually a pretty encouraging sign for a 60 year old Riesling. And the vintage is truly a legend as well: 1959, the year when Eintracht Frankfurt was crowned German football Champion (definitely one of the major sports facts of the century)… was also named a vintage of the century for German wines.

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1959 Walläuser Kirschheck Riesling Naturwein, Weingut Franz Jäckel, Nahe-So this was probably a Cabinet quality Riesling. The producer was unknown to me: I bought the bottle for little money on Ebay for the vintage in the first place. The wine is surprisingly light in colour with no obvious age note. The nose showed a mix of scents: some fruit still, a little apricot, hint of honey, wax, some shoeshine, but again no real straightforward age tone.

Didier couldn’t really clinch the shoeshine, but he was certain about a distinct smell he couldn’t place. Maybe he should start polishing his shoes on his own ;=).

On the palate a balanced impression, a very round wine, somehow quaffable with slight fruit tones but also a little shoeshine. Refreshing would be the right word to describe it; a word rarely used for aged wines I presume. In the finish it falls a bit short. A wine that shows the quality of the 1959 vintage and yet again proves that it makes sense to look for wines from those years. Impressive in the end how well conserved it was.

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2005 Hochheimer Reichestal Riesling Kabinett, Weingut Künstler, Rheingau– Intense, nearly golden colour, much darker than the 1959 Riesling. Intense nose with exotic fruit like pineapple. On the palate the wine appears much sweeter than I had remembered it but the acidity balances it out nicely. The minerality is straightforward and goes on into a long finish. A nice wine, Mosel style but the Rheingau way.

Didier doesn’t see the acidity as much as I do here. I guess he’s right in the sense that it is really not that Mosel in style with a big sweetness-acidity antagonism. But there was definitely acidity, maybe a bit lower but very elegant in style.

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1986 Château Lacoste-Borie, Pauillac-This is the second wine of Château Grand Puy Lacoste. It is 24 years old and from a rather good vintage. The colour is beautiful with just a hint of orange to the side. The nose has a wild thing going on with a mix of Paprika and something mushroom-like. You would think of barnyard first, but it is rather the Paprika in a stinky way: intense and appealing. On the palate a nice intensity with still enough fruit and a lot of presence. A mouth full of wine although it feels a bit thin on mid-palate. But then again:a good finish with satisfying length. This is exactly what you would expect from a 25 year old Bordeaux in a good way.

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2005 Château Pontet-Canet, 5eme GCC, Pauillac -Very dark, nearly ink-like but at the same time very shiny color with purple highlights. A Bordeaux dream-nose: seductive and intense of blueberries and currant, mixed with some exotic tones which seem to stem from the barrels: coconut, vanilla and banana. This mix might sound a bit weird now but it doesn’t feel overdone. For sure a nose that is more “Modern Bordeaux”, but it could also just be the sheer power and essence of a picture-perfect vintage (Who on this world knows how a 1900 tasted like in 1905?). On the palate an incredible concentration struck first. I know it’s typical for the 2005 vintage, but it is just amazing how that concentration comes with a balance of sublime fruit, abundant but soft tannins as well as a rich acidity that indicated how much of a long-runner it might become. It is of course in a certain way a bulldozer wine that erases all previously tasted bottles but at the same time it has kind of a fresh feel to it. The wood seems very well integrated on the palate and all those traits also make it a masterpiece of wine crafting. Superb intense finish with an aromatic intensity that just wouldn’t leave your palate. Interestingly, even if this is opened way too young in theory, there was a lot of drinking pleasure already.

Didier and I pretty much agreed on this wine, but he seems to doubt the exotic scent stems from the oak (Look at that insolent question mark on his post ;=)). Can any superexpert help us out here?

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1999 Dorsheimer Burgberg Riesling Spätlese, Schlossgut Diel – A charming Riesling, very welcome at this point to refresh the palate. It feels very round, a bit too round actually. The lack of personality is the main concern with this wine. There is slight minerality, some rather timid fruit and a probably way too low acidity. Charming it is (.. like when you say someone’s a “nice guy!).

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2008 Lune Rousse, Domaine des Balisiers, Geneva, Switzerland – A rather original bottle, not only because it stems from Switzerland and is an organic wine, but also because it is made of the obscure Gamaray grape. It appears very dark in the glass and, according to Didier, the pink or ultraviolet shine on the sides unmasks the grape varietal. The nose has a biodynamic-organic stinkiness to it (always reminds me a bit of apple juice with a hint of cinnamon) but it also shows lots of cigarbox/cedarwood which is a bit too prominent for our noses. On the palate it appears concentrated with nice fruit and a good weight. Also very smooth and silky in texture and pleasantly light in alcohol with 12,5%. Finish is satisfying with a nice length. A well made wine, especially considering the beautiful weight and texture but you also have to like that cigarbox (however it integrates much better on the second day open).

Didier and I didn’t like that wine at all when we opened it that night. I however had the chance to retaste it the next day when everything came together much better and it showed nicely. My tasting note is a mix of both impression I have to admit!

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2006 Schloßböckelheimer Felseneckberg Riesling Spätlese, Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich, Nahe – Superb nose of Riesling fruit the sponti-way. Intense of Earth, flint stone, somehow smoky. Stinky in a really appealing way one could say. On the palate a cotton candy lightness mixed with delicious fruit and acidity. Very refreshing and mineral, the Spätlese sweetness is balanced out with perfection – probably the Riesling of the night. Plus at about 15 Euro this is a damn good value. Look out for that one!

Definitely no argument on this one with Didier, except maybe that he puts it above the Pontet-Canet :=P. But of course it’s true that the Schaefer Fröhlich emptied itself in record time, and that probably says it all!

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Thanks a lot again, Mizuki and Didier! Looking forward to some nice wine tastings in the future, both in France and in Germany!

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  1. From Pontet-Canet to Riesling | Les Vimpressionnistes Said,

    […] planned to empty the fridge (and the wine cabinet), I invited my buddy Alex who stayed true to his Blind Tasting Club wine blog theme by presenting a couple anonymous bottles, as well as a few other interesting wines to send me […]

  2. Didier G. Said,

    Cool! I love how you added my “vimpressions” to your post.
    I’ll go back and do the same! It’s easier than clicking back and forth… I think we’re onto something with the diaBlog (a little bit of vinspiration goes a long way ;)

    As for the shoe polish scent… I really need to stop wearing sneakers and just grow up already!

    I think the Schaefer-Froehlich was my wine of the night for several reasons. Not only was it the last bottle of the night (and I was well intoxicated and enthusiastic by that point), but it also closed my “Germany” chapter with everything I love about the local wines: smoky minerality and that mouth-watering, juicy acidity! While the Pontet-Canet undoubtedly has more potential, I’m all about the moment ;)

    Cheers,
    Didier

  3. alexis2 Said,

    About the Schaefer-Fröhlich: I couldn’t agree more with how you put it!

    But maybe there’s an advantage with sneakers: the scent of shoepolish can’t climb up to your nose and interfere with the wine! ;=P

    Cheers!

  4. Blind Tasting Club - Wine Tasting Notes and more Said,

    […] and I mixed it all up for one wild wine tasting night. Lots of great wines and fun. Plus: no hangover, the signature of great […]

  5. 2006 Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Spätlese, Weingut Dönnhoff, Nahe — Blind Tasting Club Said,

    […] Teig mit viel Citrus. Und um gleich auf den Punkt zu kommen: Ich hatte mehr erwartet nachdem ich vor ein paar Monaten dieselbe Spätlese (Jahrgang und Lage) von Schäfer-Fröhlich probiert hatte . Aber es liegt […]

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