Dienstag, 23. Dezember 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dear reader,

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2009!

I am looking forward to another year of great wines, excellent food and more "adventures" in foreign (wine) countries. Stay well!!

Freitag, 19. Dezember 2008

Indigenous white varieties and Red Top wines ...

This weeks theme at Pub Klemos weekly tasting was indigenous white varieties and top reds from Austria.

tasting team: Ulli, Bernhard G. and I - all wines tasted blind.

1. Viognier "Condrieu" 2002 from Rostaing, Rhone - ok
relatively neutral, a bit oxidative but still ok, ripe apple, good acid structure, but short.

2. Chenin Blanc "Coulee de Serrant" 2005 from Nicolas Joly, Loire - yech!!
oxidative, apple cider, old.

3. Verdejo 2007 from Bodegas Aura, Rueda - good
fresh, fruity, grapefruit, soft acid structure.

4. Vernaccia "Terre di Tuffi" 2006 from Teruzzi, San Gimignano - ok
neutral, very phenolic on the palate,

5. Rotgipfler Spätlese 2007 from Weingut Biegler - ok/good
"sweet" nose, honey and sweet melon, touch of burgundy flavors, RS.

6. Fiano di Avellino 2005 from Mastroberardino, Campania - ok
neutral, quite high in volatile acid, phenolic.

7. Grüner Veltliner "Vinotheksfüllung" 2006 from Weingut Knoll - good/very good
ripe yellow apple, tobacco, good acid structure.

8. Grüner Veltliner "Kreutles" 2007 from Weingut Hackl - ok/good
quite neutral, by far not as structured as 6,

9. Rhine Riesling "Kellerberg" 2007 from Weingut F.X. Pichler - delicious/extraordinary
perfumed, typical Riesling, pure ripe apricot, vineyard peaches, perfectly balance between RS and acid structure, wonderful RR.

10. Cuvee "G" 1999 from Weingut Gesellmann - corc
bit open, forest fruit, blueberry, alcoholic, maybe a very slight corc taint, relatively short.

11. Cuvee "M1" 2003 from Weingut Markowitsch - delicious/extraordinary
extremely fruity, bold wine, excellent balanced, pure power, soft tannins, endlessly long.

12. Merlot 2005 from Weingut Krutzler - very good
pure blackberries, very good structured, well integrated tannins, alc. just a bit out balance.

13. Blaufränkisch "Marienthal" 2004 from Weingut E. Triebaumer - delicious/extraordinary
fruity, extremely spicy, still purple hue, soft tannin but very good structure and length.

Dienstag, 16. Dezember 2008

Austrian whites ..

Another tasting day at the Boku Heim. We bought some interesting white wines from Austria. Check out the tasting notes as these wines are really good value for money. Maybe your Christmas carp (or any other fish) is happy with one of those!

1. Leithaberg Weiss 2007 from Weingut Liegenfeld - good/very good - €7,99 Merkur (reduced price) 
fresh lemon and lime flavors, nutty burgundy touch, bit buttery on the palate like partly MLF, multilayered, good acid structure, good length.

2. Grüner Veltliner Wieden Kremstal DAC 2007 from Weingut Salomon - good - €9,94 Wein&Co (20% reduced price)
typical GV, spicy, good acid structure, hints of ripe yellow apples and grapefruit, lemon/lime flavors, exotic touch, good length.

3. Sauvignon Blanc Steirische Klassik 2007 from Weingut Polz - very good/delicious - €12,94 Wein&Co (20% reduced price)
exotic, lychee, gooseberry and nettle flavors, complex, bell pepper, good acid structure, same flavors on the palate, is showing minerality too, dry, good length. 

Just do give this tasting a red counterweight ..

4. Pinot Noir Kreideberg 2006 from Weingut Wagentristl - good/very good
quite dark colour for Pinot Noir, sour cherries, toasted oak, spicy, vanilla notes, smooth tannins, still very young, good balance and length, with potential.

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2008

Primeur tasting

This weekend Ulli and I had some Primeur wines from France, a wooded Cuvée from Austria and a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

1. Primeur Syrah 2008 Vin de Pays d´Oc from JeanJean - ok
light red color,  purple hue, Schilcher like aromas, strawberry gum, on the palate acid driven, would be much better with more residual sugar. 

2. Primeur Syrah 2008 Vin de Pays de Coteaux du Libron from Vignerons de la Mediterranee - ok
purple red hue,  hints of violets, cherry yoghurt, flavors a little bit undefined, on the palate a bit unbalanced, light in style.

3. Cabernet Merlot Reserve Neckenmarkt 2006 from Wegenstein GmbH- ok
oak, oak, oak, fresh wood shavings, hints of vanilla, opens with more air, peppermint, just new barrel taste on the palate, oak not integrated at all, unbalanced.

All 3 wines about 4 Euros in retail.

4. Sauvignon Blanc Highfield 2006 from Highfield Estate, Marlborough/NZ - very good/delicious - €21,99
lychee and gooseberry power, exotic flavors on the nose, extremely broad aroma spectrum, green bell pepper, very versatile flavors, changing every minute with air, very good acid structure but balanced, great length.

Donnerstag, 11. Dezember 2008

A la Carte - Riesling tasting

Just read this months "A la Carte - Riesling tasting". The tasting crew sampled 228 wines from the vintage 2007. 
There are a few funny things I would like to share ... 

The author wrote in his article ...

"many wines did not show the typical varietal expression of stonefruits"

"Was das Problem bei sehr vielen Weinen war: Es fehlte einfach die klassische und beim Riesling so eindeutig erkenn- und zuordenbare Sortenfrucht nach Steinobst (Marille und Pfirsich). Trotz großzügiger Säureunterstützung fehlen vielen Weinen einfach Pfiff und Animo; Trinkfluss und Trinkfreude wollten sich partout nicht einstellen. Dazu kamen oft merklich unreif-grüne Elemente und auch deutlich erkennbare Gerbstoffnoten, die nicht einmal der manchmal großzügig bemessene (und deutlich schmeckbare) Zuckerrest überspielen konnte."

The funny thing is the description of the wines:
wines with "varietal fruit,  stonefruit, Riesling nose" in the description: 73 from 122 wine (in the range from 94 to 88 pts).

16 wines were rated from 94 to 91 points and 43! gathered 90 pts. 43 wines at 90 points ... how do I decide what to buy??? (maybe the cheapest is a good option ;-)

94 to 91 pts = 7.01%
90 pts  = 18.86%
89 pts = 10.96%
88 pts = 16.67%
sum = 53,5% of the wine are over 87 points and that is really exceptional!! 

Last but not least ... my favorite sentence!!!
 "...all wines were tasted blind. The best wines were tasted open to assure the rating"

find out more at: www.alacarte.at

wine rating system

I am proud to introduce the new wine rating system for the wines I/we are tasting. 

The Boku Heim tasting crew agreed (after long discussions) on this new rating system inspired by the book of Dr. Tyler Colman (Wine politics, blog:Dr Vino's wine blog) and based on the rating system of Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher (columnists and bloggers for the Wall Street Journal; Wine Notes and Tastings; Columns & Blogs - Lifestyle - WSJ.com).

The advantage (for critics and consumers) of numbers is ... they are absolute! 93 points are better than 88 pts (on a scale from 0 to 100 ...  in Austria more from 85 to 100).
On the other hand wine consumers (or every other person) are tending more to describe their percepted sensations with adjectives than numbers. Something is ugly, good, bad, delicious, crap, ... You don´t say your steak, your date or your wine was 88 ... The first decision is: was it GOOD or BAD.

The key of this problem is hidden in the definition of absolute: 

absolute: a value or principle that is regarded as universally valid or that may be viewed without relation to other things

95 points are universally valid ... but just for the person who has tasted the wine.
without relation to other things ... what the heck ... first of all we are the other things and there is always a relation to us ... as well as the tasting environment, the food we eat with our wine, our mood ... everything influences our perceptions and therefore the very same wine tastes different on a terrace in Italy or 3 months later at home.

All this things made us think about to adopt a better system to express our perceptions of a certain wine. The rating system relies on adjectives rather than numbers and may vary on the same wine in different situations. (Nobody is perfect!)

These adjectives are:

The rating system

yech (speak: jek) - wines with winemaking related faults (cork taints and oxidation failures are excluded and stated as cork or ox)
ok - wines without faults but simple.
good - satisfactory wines which are showing nice flavors on the nose and the palate. Good value for money.
very good - wines are showing good expression of the variety with very typical aromas on the nose and the palate. Good value for money but definitely in a higher price range.
delicious - extremely good wines with great power, balance and length, with potential.
extraordinary - exceptional wines, perfectly balanced with great potential.

Half steps between adjectives are possible!

Stockholm pics

This post features some pics from our trip to Stockholm last weekend. We visited my friends Fredrik and Tove whom I met in Cape Town during their (work)holidays.

Rudolf and friends:

Now I know why the Mercedes A-class fell ... they are really big!

Gamla Stan from a ferry:

old town:

Stockholm castle:

Swedish CH ... thanks my friend for this opportunity!

Fredrik and Johannes are sampling more wine in Rolf´s Kök ... if one plans to go to Stockholm ... this restaurant is a must

elk in a better shape ...

Swedish traditional delight ... gratinated potatoes:

perfectly with reindeer (no it wasn´t Rudolf ... this pic was from the day before!)

wines tasted:

1. Gigondas Cuvee Tradition 2006 from Domaine Santa Duc - good
went very well with the reindeer and the gratinated potaoes, fruity but a little bit unbalanced (high alc. 15%abv.)

2. Chablis 2006 from Billaud-Simon - ok/good
fresh,  fragile aroma, buttery notes but not a bold wine, just partly MLF, alc. 12,5.
at Gondolen wine bar.

3. Rhine Riesling Smaragd 2004 from Domäne Wachau - good/very good
perfect with starter, hering in mustard, hering with cumin and onions, hering with caviar sauce

4. The Fergus 2005 from Tim Adams/Clare Valley - still ok
very fruitforward, Australian nose, no structure but very high in alcohol, totally unbalanced, with more air and temp just alc. noting else.
3 and 4 at the Leijonbaren http://www.leijonbaren.se/

5. Chardonnay Barrique 2003 from Blaxsta / Sweden - ox
unfortunately oxidative.

6. Rosé 2008 from Weingut Unger - good
fruity, strawberry, good acid structure. This is a made Rosé! (means: red grapes are pressed and fermented like a white wine, not drained from red wine must)

7. Grüner Veltliner Grub 2006 from Schloss Gobelsburg - cork

8. Nebbiolo Langhe 2005 from Pio Cesare - good
fruity, typically very well structured (it´s made from Nebbiolo!), good with elk.

9. Kaiserberg 2006 from Weingut Unger - good/very good
fruitforward style with load of blackberries and cassis, smooth tannins, perfect match with elk.

We had some more wines but I didn´t take further notes.

Mittwoch, 10. Dezember 2008

Boku Heim tasting

Today is the annual Christmas Party in our students house (BOKU Heim). We are preparing ourself mentally with some wines ;-)

1. grüner veltliner! 2008 "Junger Österreicher" from Weingut Gschweicher - ok/good
fresh, green apple flavors, lively acid structure.

2. Zweigelt 2007 from Weingut Gmeiner (wine from upper austria!!!!) - ok/good
fruity with oak notes on the nose, chocolate, hard tannins, young.

the wines from the party:

3. Chardonnay Spätlese 2006 from Weingut Kaiser/Matzen - yech
dull, dirty, moldy nose. (Our first thought was cork but the cork itself smelled ok. Our conclusion was a moldy barrels or pipes).

4. St. Laurent Landwein from Weingut Kaiser/Matzen - yech
(Landwein is the stage below quality wine and therefore is no vintage stated)
unclean, dirty old barrel, moldy, phenolic. As this is the second wine of the estate it seems to be a serious problem within the winery!

To drink another decent wine this evening we opened a bottle of 

5. Zweigelt 2007 from Weingut Unger - good
cherry, sour cherries, blackberries, on the nose, slight coffee flavors and tannin structure on the palate.

Donnerstag, 4. Dezember 2008


Tomorrow we are going to fly to Stockholm. I can´t wait to drink Swedish wine (if I find one). Check next week for some cool pics.


Falstaff ..

I arrived late at the "Falstaff Red Wine Feast" in the Grand Hotel Vienna ... chain of reasoning ... too many drunk people, too hot, too smoky, no real tasting possible and as every year the awkward - ridiculous speech of Dr. Romé. If one doesn´t know the winners of his own event, it is time to step down.

By the way ... Congratulations to the winners!!

Dienstag, 2. Dezember 2008

Boku Heim tasting .. the next day!

Bernhard Gschweicher brought us the most difficult wine to taste. Blind tasted no one had any idea what this could be!

1. Weingut Gschweicher Uhudler from grape Isabella" 07 (you can´t buy this wine as it is illegal in this region)
pale red hue, extrem strawberry flavors, bit phenolic, strange but interesting!

In front of his house is this big old vine and last year was the first time they made wine from it. Just for fun of course.

We retasted the wines from yesterday and some new stuff as we visited our fellow students Rudi Wagentristl and Flo Alphart.

2. GB Gebirg 07
more open than yesterday, complex flavors, walnut, minerality, decent!

3. Rosenberg Reserve 06 
vanilla and honey flavors, gingerbread spices, more oak detectable than yesterday, but great acid structure, and good length. decent with potential.

4. Weingut Wagentristl Blaufränkisch "Föllikberg" 06
spicy, red fruit, structured palate, bit high in alc., some dry tannins, ok to good!

5. Weingut Unger Merlot 2007
blackberries, coffee notes, structured but smooth tannins, more length than 4., decent with potential.

Montag, 1. Dezember 2008

Boku Heim tasting

My room mate Bernhard Gschweicher arrived last week from home (yes it was quite a long harvest). Now we are sampling some of his wines and some others. The Boku Heim tasting team is reunited!!

All wines were tasted blind, but drunk with knowledge!

1. Weingut Gschweicher Gebirg´ Grauburgunder 07
not explosive flavors on the nose (but it is a Pinot Gris and that s very typical!), bold body and good length, hints of nuts and exoitc flavors on the palate, good.

2. Weingut Gschweicher Grüner Veltliner "Kellerberg" 06 (actually Kellerberg Weinviertel DAC)
fresh, fruitforward style, hints of gooseberries and lychee, ananas flavors, spicy on the palate, long extractsweet finish (14 abv.%) alcohol very good integrated, very good.

3.  Weingut Ott "Rosenberg Reserve" 06
golden hue, like slight vanilla flavors on the nose, typical Löss, bit phenolic, with more air more oak toasting notes but not unpleasant, bold wine with great length. 

4. Viu Manent Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 06 / Valle de Colchagua / Chile
cassis fruit and oak on the nose, with more air and at higher temperature more Brett flavors.