Monday, March 31, 2008

A German Wine Weekend

We had quite a weekend. We attended the German Wine Society tasting on Friday Night (Wines of Mosel) and then went to a tasting of Gerhard’s wines at Dee Vine on Saturday. While we had many wines we liked, we didn’t taste any wines that would make us abandon our favorites (Dr. Loosen, Donnhoff and Knebel to name a few). In fairness to Gerhard, most of the wines we tasted were from the 2007 vintage and they were simply too young to drink. Many of them also showed a pronounced salty flavor which did not agree with my palate. Here are our quick notes on many, many wines.

German Wine Society Tasting

1996 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett – Hauth-Kerpen
I found the palate a bit faded while Jen thought it was still fresh. Definite apple flavor and finish is dry.

2001 Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett – Fritz Haag
Lively palate with a pronounced orange flavor.

2006 Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett – Fritz Haag (25.99)
One of our favorite wines of the evening. Very juicy with lemon and pear flavors accented by rosewater. Slightly syrupy upfront.

2004 Graacher Domprobst Kabinett – W. Schaefer
Very metallic and offputting. Either ruined or just not very good.

2006 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese – Hauth-Kerpen
Sweet with golden raisins and floral notes. A bit too simple.

2002 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Spatlese – Fritz Haag
Fresh lemon curd with a short finish.

2004 Graacher Domprobst Spatlese – W. Schaefer
Floral with no noticeble fruit. Watery finish.

2000 Graacher Domprobst Spatlese – W. Schaefer
Good minerality. Floral with medium finish.

2006 Wehlener Sonnenurh Auslese – Hauth-Kerpen
Sweet and a bit too young but shows possibility. Marmalade and spice.

2002 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese – Fritz Haag
A bit young. Apple and rose petal with a long finish.

2005 Graacher Domprobst Auslese #11 – W. Schaefer
Our other favorite wine of the evening. Gorgeous. Rich, complex and succulent. Floral notes with apricot.

DeeVine Tasting

Wines from Stephen Gerhard

2007 Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Spatburgunder Weissherbst QBA trocken Blanc de noirs
Grannysmith Apple. Racy, will be lovely in a few years.

2007 Al Alba Vincero Risling Kabinett trocken
Dry, steely, white plum. Fierce with a surprisingly syrupy texture for a trocken. Salty.

2007 Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Riesling kabinett trocken
Nice minerality. Not as fruity – herbal

2007 Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Risling Spatlese trocken
Very floral and very salty.

2007 Hattenheimer Hassel Weissburgunder QBA trocken
Not much going on with this one. Certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

2007 Hatenheimer Hassel Kabinett
Sweet with stone fruit. Lack of minerality.

2007 Hattenheimer Hassel Auslese
Tough to judge – needs time.

2004 Gerhard Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Eiswein
Very nice and decadent. Viscous. Peach jam and baking spices.

1999 Gerhard Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Eiswein
Lavender, honey, syrupy, pear. Tart and delicious. A little melon on the finish.

Miscellaneous wines
2005 Hans Barth Hattenheimer Hassel Spatlese
Bright acidity. Nectarine. Quite nice.

2005 Maximin Grunhauser Abstberg Spatlese
Rose petal and zesty. Delightful

1997 JJ Prum Graacher Himmelriech Auslese
A bit of a disappointment given Prum’s reputation. Stone fruit and baking spices. Very short finish.

2006 Hans Barth Hattenheimer Wisselbrunnen Beerenauslese
Wine of the tasting even though way too young. Strawberry jam is prominent. Complex with a very long finish.

A Tale of Two Viogniers

Jen’s Notes

Miner Family, Simpson Vineyard 2006

Boy, was I skeptical about this one, chiefly because everyone and their cousin think it's the best California Viognier ever. Hah.

As I learned, however, they are probably right.

This wine is dry, but ripe, and almost bafflingly complex as a result. Scents of Bananas Foster draw you in, after which your palate will reel at a parade of flavors, including herbs, florals and a hint of guava underneath. The finish is clean and dry at first, but lengthened as the wine opened up. At its peak, the finish was medium-length with a lingering richness.

Excellent, and an astounding value.

Cline, Los Carneros, 2006

This was the one for which I'd reserved my higher hopes. It was sweeter than the Miner, and less complex to boot. With its juicy pear flavor and a longish finish, the best I can say is that it is pleasant, and go buy the Miner next time.

Sumptuous Santenay

2004 Santenay, Domaine Bachey-Legros, "Clos Rousseau," Premier Cru
Jen’s Notes

An absolutely delectable Burgundy. Cherry cola on the nose, followed by a palate of tart berry fruit laced with herbs. As the wine opened, I detected earthy and smoky notes underneath. Very concentrated, with zesty acidity. Long, satisfying finish.

Our First Rieussec

2004 Sauternes, Rieussec, Premier Cru
Jen’s Notes

Quite young, but its richness and complexity show nicely. Flavors include honeyed pear, baking spices and orange peel. The wine is completely mouth filling, with a thick, satiny texture.

Monday, March 17, 2008

De Nada

2004 Alvear PX de Anada
Shane's Notes

Worst PX we’ve had. A syrupy sweetness without any of the rich flavors of our favorite PX’s. Not much more to say. Don’t buy it.

Esprit de Beaucastel

2005 Esprit de Beaucastel

We decanted this one for an hour. It has a smooth, velveety texture, probably from the Mourvedre. The palate shows sweet violet, blackberry and plum flavors. It has a long finish and is rich, big, concentrated and very slurpable. There is a pleasant astringency on the finish. This is a well crafted and magnificent wine. It is well worth the price and will probably even be better in a few years.

Leesy with Herbal Notes

Deutz Brut Classic NV

Creamy lemon aromas, palate is leesy with herbal notes, citrus and crisp green apple. Not particularly unique or spectacular, but well made and pleasant to drink.


2005 Louis Latour Marsannay Rouge
Bourgogne, France
Jen's Notes

Lighter in body, with subtle flavors and a dash of acidity. A little subtler than I like (!) actually, but pleasant and a decent value. Palate includes rosewater on entry, with cranberry over earthy and herbal notes mid-palate. The flavors were definitely there, but I wonder if their vividness was overshadowed by acidity? It was a nice accompaniment to a nibble of P'tit Basque, so I'd try it with a cheese plate next time.

French Chardonnay

2006 Domaine de Bernier
Chardonnay, Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France
Jen’s Notes

Seriously excellent. If I tasted it blind and someone told me it was $25, I'd likely believe them (and not just because I am gullible generally). This lovely chard boasts lively acidity and is chock-full of shifting fruit flavors like white plum, pear and grapefruit. A goodly dash of herbs rounds out this charming and delicious wine. Stock up on it (unless I am running past you to the display, in which case, back off. Uhm, please).