Monthly Archives: June 2012

Thoughts on the 2011 Mosel vintage

The centre of Trier with vineyards in front.

We spent last weekend in Trier and along the Mosel. We had an amazing time, and tried a lot of outstanding wines. My tastebuds are still buzzing and my tasting sheets are full of thoughts and memories that I will jot down in the next couple of weeks. This is just some first ideas on the 2011 Mosel wines.

2010 was a crazy vintage along the Mosel with very low yields, but unheard of levels of sugar and acidity at the same time. This is highly unusual because often sugar is a sign of ripe and overripe grapes with less acidity. The 2010s we tried around the same time last year were incredibly racy and vibrant and colorful. Many wine journalists wrote these wines off because they believed they were too unbalanced and not well suited for ageing. The 2010s we were able to try now showed a really nice development. They were very drinkable and to me seemed well suited for ageing. Given that it is Nina’s and my wedding year, we decided to stock up on some auslese and spätlese to store for the future.

The 2011 wines we tried at Karl Erbes winery: from Kabinett to Ice Wine.

2011 in contrast, was a year with high yields and very, very healthy grapes. These wines are picture-perfect Mosel rieslings. There is not as much going on in our glasses and mouths right now, but they are just beautiful and very promising.  Nina called them subtle, I would add sophistication. They also showed great mellowness. Think of 2010 as a crazy, modern art painting and of 2011 as a well composed and pleasing piece of art.

The biggest surprise for me were the dry rieslings. German wine drinkers tend to go for dry whites, so winemakers usually make a number of them, too. I am not a big fan, because when I try these I often find myself thinking: “And now some more sugar and the fruit would come out more beautifully.” They always seem to leave something to be desired to me. The 2011 dries instead were mostly quite mild and pleasant. Without the rough acidity edges that they can carry in other years and very notably did in 2010. I was quite impressed.

Mosel Valley at Ürzig, Erdener Treppchen on the left.

We had seven tastings this weekend, 6 in wineries and one at my friend ManSoo’s over dinner. We tried wines ranging from simple Qba to ice wines. We tried old wines (down to 1987) and the wines just bottled. It was a lot, but I also realized how much I miss hanging out with winemakers and just soaking in their knowledge and stories and exchanging ideas with them…

More to come…

After a succesful day along the Mosel…

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2010 Badet, Clement & Co. Chardonnay Revelation

Trader Joe’s find

Another short tasting note. We’re heading out for Germany tomorrow, so things will be a bit more silent, although I probably will not be able to contain my excitement along the way and post short updates.

I am not a big chardonnay fan, if, then I tend to go for the steel vinted ones, no or just little oak. Sometimes this seems to be described as “the French style”, but I guess there are oakier French chardonnays, too.

I was cooking a Southern French inspired lemon-thyme-broth chicken with tons of garlic for friends of ours. The recipe is wonderfully simple, and incredibly delicious. Given the lemon and its provenance, I decided to go for a Southern French white, and Trader Joe’s was carrying this chardonnay from the Pays d’Oc. It was $5.99, I believe, so I thought we should give it a try. I was completely fine with it, it met my expectations. I wanted a somewhat medium-bodied white that could stand up to the acidity and hold its own without being overbearing or heavy. This wine paired really well. Light in color, mineralic in taste. It held its ground against the succulent chicken and brought new flavors to the dish. When I had a sip after dinner, I was less impressed. Just a basic wine. But a fine dinner companion indeed. Give it a try, if you get a chance!

More from Germany in a bit!

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Kreativ-Blogger Award

Kreativ-Blogger Award

Rules of Conduct: Bloggers who win the award must complete the following steps:
1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award and provide a link.
2. List 7 interesting things about yourself that your readers might find interesting
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers, provide links, and let them know!

Re 1.

I just noticed that I received an honorable mention by my friend Julian at Vini Buoni – Good wines in the Kreativ-Blogger Award. I feel really flattered by this, because Vini Buoni was the first blog I subscribed to right after I signed up for my own wine blog. I have therefore always felt a special closeness to Julian and his blog, which extends far beyond that: We both were born and raised in Germany, we both seem to have fallen for Italian wines, and his wine reviews are passionate, enlightening and well written. Italy has so many different varietals, it is cool to get to know more of them through Julian’s palate. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!! Oh, and his cover photo is hauntingly beautiful…

Re 2.

  • My “real” name is Oliver Windgätter, hence the winegetter
  • My wife is from Alaska and we met watching the Euro Cup 2008 (soccer) in a sports bar in Botswana.
  • I have lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and now North America.
  • Why restrict yourself? There is so much to explore beyond my favorites riesling, pinotage, vino nobile and pinot noir…
  • Perfection is avocado on a rye bread with a pinch of salt.
  • I love vineyards, but am afraid of forests.
  • Ice cream…

Re 3.

It was hard to pick, and limiting myself to just fellow wine blogs did not make the choice any easier…no offense meant in creating this list.

  • Sipology: A fellow blogger from Michigan, Josh runs this awesome blog that is focused on wine and bourbon. I love both. Josh’s reviews and commentary are well written and follow a structure that would be impossible to keep up for this babbling blogger over here…We’re yet to meet up and share some bottles, but I do see this coming.
  • The Wine Raconteur: Another blogger from Michigan (hey, it’s all about staying local these days, right?) and after Vini Buoni, this was the second blog I signed up for as I joined wordpress. The style is totally opposite Sipology’s. This is a blog full of anecdotes, memories, and trivia that is a pleasure to follow. John has tried many spectacular wines and vintages and he shares the stories that come with them. I love how John gets carried away sometimes, because this is what it is all about!
  • The drunken cyclist: Here is another storyteller who does a great job at drawing me into his posts. We share a passion for Korean food, and the troubles of pairing wine with it. His wines go from daily bargains to top notch, and I am always in for a surprise when I look up the new posts.
  • The Virginia Wine Palate: A young blog, like mine, we first met over our common admiration and obsession with cork art, aka whether the winemaker bothered to put something funny, artsy or meaningful on their corks. Focused on wines from the Virginia region, it is pretty eye opening for this Euro-centric blogger and has been a good helper in expanding my horizons.
  • From Vinho Verde to Barolo with love: On a wine journey, just like we all are, this one intriguingly combines lessons and observations in life with wine and everything wine related. Thoughtful, witty, funny and well written, it is a real treasure trove.
  • Paprika & Pinot: A food and wine site (duh!) with tantalizing recipes and great, great wine reviews. A gorgeous blog, photos, recipes, wines. The title made me laugh because of an unpleasant memory of a South African white that ONLY smelled and ONLY tasted like green peppers (which are called “Paprika” in German)…fell in love with the blog since.
  • winophiled: Another food and wine blog with more great recipes. Great help in pairing, and a generally well maintained site with great photos. I have to admit that I have dreams about the citrus brined chicken with avocado sauce and have announced to my wife several times that I will be making this SOON.

These and others are inspiring me daily, and I am grateful for the community I have found.

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