Friday, 13th September 2019 – Sunday, 29th September 2019 – Alsace and Baden (with a side order of the Mittel Rhein)
I’m well aware that a lot of people won’t want to read this, so I’m basically posting it entirely for my own reference with regard to what we bought on the latest road trip. Please feel very free to ignore it!
From Boppard (Mittel Rhein):
From Matthias Muller:
3 x Matthias Muller Bopparder Hamm Feuerlay Riesling Trocken VDP Erste Lage 2018. A single vineyard Feuerlay guarantees you a fine fruity Riesling due to the particularly high proportion of loamy soil. Harvested towards the end of October, we used highly ripe, selected grapes. Exciting fruity aroma with a fresh animated taste on the tongue. Good with pork, shellfish, spicy food, poultry, cured meats.
From Weingut Koenigshof:
3 x 2016 Charta Riesling Mandelstein Spätlese trocken, a complex wine with sustainable structure. From a fifth generation winemaker, growing on the steep slopes of the Rhine Valley. Boppard Hamm benefits from its unique location in a large loop of the Rhine, where the river creates a mirror effect that contributes towards a very favourable climate. Because of the light, rapidly warming slate soils, the wines are mature with a fine fruity bouquet, a high proportion of slate minerals and fruit flavors.
Note: They also have a nice looking hotel…
From Sylvie Spielmann:
6 x 2012 Gewurztraminer Blosenberg Bergheim . An extension of Kanzlerberg, Blosenberg has the same characteristics soilsand here produces a full-bodied wine, rather predominantly floral, notably of rose or peony, becoming more spicy over time. These wines do not begin to express their richness until after 3 to 4 years and continue to develop their complexity for 8 to 10 years, maintaining a nice balance and a great freshness. Grown on Keuper Ouest gray and black gypsum marnes and fermented using 100% natural sugar from the grapes. On lees for 8 months. The palate is soft and slightly spicy, with citrus notes that allows a balanced finish between sweetness and freshness. Ideal as an aperitif, with pan-seared foie gras or with desserts.
6 x 2009 Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim Vendanges Tardives. This wine is only produced when conditions are optimial and can only be made with Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling or Muscat. Limited in quantity, these wines are generally of excellent aging (aged 15 and over) and deserve to be aged 7 to 8 years, to enable them to develop the complexity of an intense and extremely rich aromatic palette. Very great tasting wines, the Late Harvests can be perfectly drunk by themselves or with anything from aperitif to dessert, with foie gras, fine meats, sweet and salty or game, with exotics (curries, tajines), low sugar desserts with citrus fruits. From stony red limestone, rich in fossils, made with 100% natural sugar grapes and on lees for 9 months. It’s a great complex wine with notes of citrus and ginger. The palate is soft, while keeping a nice freshness with the flavours of candied orange zest. Drinking till 2034.
6 x 2011 Grand Cru Kanzlerberg Gewurztraminer. From a vineyward to the west of the Altenberg, the smallest of the Grands Crus d’Alsace. This vineyard was created by the Knights Templar in the 12th century and was later cultivated by the Knights of Saint John of the Order of Malta. The grey and black marl soil is characterised by outcrops of silicified limestone rock with inclusions of white barite and violet fluorite. Sylvie Spielmann dedicates this Grand Cru to Riesling and Gewurztraminer. These are wines that need to wait at least 4 or 5 years and are very structured, but still fresh and elegant. Fragrant in its youth – pink grapefruit, peony, rose, pear or candied fruit with age it develops mineral, mint, eucalyptus or cumin aromas, with delicate flavors of ripe fruit and honey. Made with traditional indigenous yeasts, the nose is of pink grapefruit and oregano. The palate is soft with notes of candied citrus fruit and spices, with a nice freshness in the characteristic Kanzlerberg finish. It’s best as an aperitif, with foie gras in terrine, with desserts based on citrus fruits and flambéed bananas. Drinking until 2034.
From Joseph Cattin:
6 x 2010 Grande Cuvée, AOC Crémant d’Alsace made according to the traditional method, and aged for at least 4 years. It’s a blend of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay from grapes grown on clay and limestone, which undergoes slow fermentation in old oak barrels and a second fermentation in the bottle. It’s described as bright gold with abundant fine bubbles, forming a steadily rising stream. The nose is fruity with toasty and nutty aromas and the palate is deliciously dry, delicate brioche, subtle and fresh nutty; creamy and delightful bubbles; pleasant long-lasting finish. They recommend it with fish and seafood (especially grilled lobster). Apparently we should drink it now or within the next 5 years. I don’t see that being a problem!
6 x 2014 Riesling Lieu-dit Elsbourg (AOC Alsace mention Lieu-dit)
The lieu-dit Elsbourg is limestone and provides minerality characterized by saline and flint aromas in this dry Riesling. The plot is located on the slopes of the Elsbourg hill, a south facing “lieu-dit”. The wine is harvested by hand and fermented between 18 and 22°C and is then aged in the cellar for at least 2 years. The resulting wine is pale gold. The nose is flint, cracked rocks with a stone fruits and pineapple and on the palate it is dry and mineral with a nice acidity. A hint of citrus. Complex with a long-lasting finish. Again it’s recommended with fish, in this instance shellfish, raw fish or grilled fish and should be served between 8 and 10°C. It will keep for 10 years or so.
6 x 2017 Riesling Grand Cru Hatschbourg (AOC Alsace Grand Cru). This is mineral and dry with a great complexity and they describe it as a real gastronomic wine! It’s grown on marl and limestone, harvested by hand and fermented between 18 and 20°C and aged in traditional big old oak casks. It’s a clear, medium gold yellow with a clean and mineral nose, with notes of flowers and a hint of liquorice. On the palate it has evident citrus flavors, well-structured with a nice acidity balanced with fruitiness. It pairs best with cooked fish (grilled or with a lemon-based sauce) and seafood (lobsters, langoustines) and should be served at 8-10°C. It will continue to age well for 10 to 15 years.
6 x 2013 Riesling Pur de Roche (AOC Alsace) produced on a selected plot in the south of Alsace, near the Voegtlinshoffen. It’s also from marl and limestone soil, harvested by hand, then slow pressed before being fermented between 18 and 22°C. After that it is aged first in traditional old oak foudre and then in the bottle for several years. The wine is pale gold with a mineral (flint and chalk) nose with a hint of citrus. To drink it is mineral and dry. A vibrant acidity with notes of citrus. Long-lasting finish. The makers say this is a gastronomic Riesling which pairs beautifully with fish and seafood due to its saline and mineral characteristics. Exquisite with king crab or with a grilled turbot. The ageing potential is up to 15 years.
6 x Rouge Pinot Noir Steinbach (AOC Alsace) from the village of Steinbach, historically renowned for its high quality Pinot Noir (formerly called “Steinbacher Roda”, the Red from Steinbach). With the right ripeness, this wine offers an excellent ageing potential. It grows on ferruginous sandstone and is then subjected to long maceration to extract color and tannins from the skin. In the undergoes alcoholic and malolactic fermentation between 18 and 22°C and is aged in French oak casks for 18 months, followed by a long ageing in the bottle before release. What you get is intense ruby, with “legs” and “tears” and a nose that is intense, red fruits (blackcurrants, cherry and raspberry), in a wine that is well-structured, with integrated tannins and a hint of spiciness. This one is recommended with meats like game and lamb as well as with mature cheeses and should be served at a surprisingly low 16°C after decanting. We can keep these for at least 10 years.
6 x 2009 Riesling Prestige lieu-dit Gypsgrube. This came from Theo Cattin, a family house established in 1947. He adapted the black bear on the shield of the former lords of Hattstatt as his signature and launched the “Cuvée de l’Ours Noir”. In the 1980s, Jean-Bernard Cattin, his grandson, took over the winery, assisted by his wife Gaby. Their son Joseph soon joined the family winery to take charge of the vineyard operations. When Jean-Bernard retired in 2015 he passed the business on to his younger cousin Jacques Cattin and his wife Anaïs. They now work with Joseph, who manages the vineyard. From them we bought 6 x Riesling lieu-dit Gypsgrube 2009 (AOC Alsace). It’s a dry and mineral Riesling from a lieu-dit between Hattstatt and Voegtlinshoffen which has been known for the unique quality of its soil since the 14th century. The wine is from limestone soil in a place known as “Gypsgrube”, from a stone that has been created by the effects of water, and charged with CO2. After an initial selection in the vineyard and another at the cellar, the grapes are gently pressed and the juice falls straight into a fermentation tank located below the press to preserve the freshness. The tank is temperature-controlled to control fermentation in order to preserve the flavors. The wine is light yellow, clear and clean with golden highlights. On the nose there is an aroma of nuts, with the classic Riesling petrol smell. A slight minerality with honey notes. Almond aromas coming from the terroir. On the palate it is wonderfully dry, mineral characteristics. A hint of lemon combined with aged aromas. Great complexity and full-bodied. They recommend serving it with fish (cooked, grilled but especially raw), seafood (lobster, shrimps, gambas), and white meats at 8° to 10°C. It can be aged for 5 to 10 years, according to the vintage so this one is really good right now!
From Dopff & Irion:
6 x 2012 Rouge d’Ottrott. A Pinot Noir which can be kept for between 10 and 15 years. Exclusively handpicked, the destemmed harvest is macerated for 10 to 15 days at a controlled temperature after being slightly warmed up and the wine is then matured in vats for 9 months before bottling. It’s then stocked 9 months prior to retailing. Best served at 10 to 12°C. It has a deep garnet robe and a crisp and refined nose, evoking berries, blackcurrant, blackberry, blueberry, licorice, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, eucalyptus. On the palate it’s fresh and round, good balance, firm and well-melted tennins, with once again notes of fruit, pepper and cacao, ending with a long finish. It’s perfect with a piece of beef and meats (guinea fowl with mushrooms, roast duck breast), and also cheeses like Cantal.
From Roter Bur:
3 x 2015 Spätburgunder Rotwein Qualitätswein trocken Glottertäler Eichberg Réserve. I quote: “The grapes of this exclusive Pinot Noir come from strictly selected old vineyards and were reduced in yield to a special degree. Through elaborate 13-day cold maceration, pigments, flavors and tannins were dissolved before the actual fermentation of the mash, and with 18 months storage in the barrel, the grapes were allowed to mature to an exceptional Réserve wine. The result is a treat for all the senses: in a dark cherry red with black shadows, the exquisite Pinot Noir shimmers in the glass and unfolds in the nose as a bouquet of dark forest fruits such as blackberry and blueberry paired with delicate vanilla notes. On the palate, he develops his profound aroma game with multi-faceted tannin structure, which was formed by storage in a small oak barrel. A real shooting star for special occasions.”
3 x 2015 Spätburgunder Rotwein Qualitätswein trocken Barrique Glottertäler Eichberg. This Pinot Noir is an essence on an exceptional level with high development potential. It was expanded in mixed occupancy of new and old oak barrels. In a dark, strong ruby red with black shadows, it runs into the glass and delights the nose with pronounced, soft barrique flavors. The smell shows hints of pickled berries and plums, accompanied by a hint of vanilla and spicy components of cinnamon and leather. The taste shows a soft, embossed barrel oak, harmoniously round tannins with pleasant integrated oak wood aromas.
3 x 2017 2015 Spätburgunder Rotwein Qualitätswein trocken Alte Rebe. In a dark cherry red with black shadows, this exquisite Pinot Noir shimmers in the glass. Its grapes come from old vineyards and were strictly selected. On the nose it unfolds a bouquet of fine Burgundy flavors such as blackberry and black cherry with a gentle hint of vanilla. It delights the palate with its pronounced strong taste with fine tannins and a well-structured finish. A fine aroma artist for real gourmets.
3 x 2016 Spätburgunder Rotwein Kabinett trocken Glottertäler Eichberg. This Pinot Noir shimmers in the glass in an elegant velvet red. In the nose, it unfolds a fine-spicy bouquet, accompanied by juicy cherry flavors. Its taste seduces with silky, well-structured tannins and long-lasting finale. A refined, delicately fruity pleasure.
From Weingut Moosman:
6 x 2018 Famoos Cuvée Trocken. A white wine made from a blend of Müller-Thurgau, Solaris, Scheurebe and Cabernet blanc. It’s a cuvée of four different grape varieties, made for the spring and balmy summer nights. Very fresh and wonderfully fragrant on the nose, with aromas of exotic fruits and blackcurrant. On the palate, delicate spice and a pleasant freshness, notes of citrus fruit characterize the wine. In general, our Cuvée is very juicy and animated to enjoy! Accompanies light spring and summer food, but also suitable for aromatic Asian dishes or as a soloist.
6 x 2018er Weißburgunder Kabinett trocken. Characteristics: Recommendations: Special features: Bright yellow with silver reflections. The aroma is characterized by fruit flavours, reminiscent of apples and juicy pears, underlaid by a light yeast remnant. In terms of taste, our wine is very stimulating-fresh with acidity and, overall, very juicy. The fruit flavours are forward on the tongue, paired with a pleasant Burgundy structure. There is a long finish with a delicate aftertaste. This wine goes well with light meals, in particular fish.