Thursday, 18 September 2008

German red wins international pinot noir prize

Yes, that's correct. A Dernauer Pfarrwingert Spätburgunder Großes Gewächs 2005 by Weingut Mayer-Näkel beat all-comers including the best Burgundy, Chile and New Zealand had to offer. This result maybe isn't as cataclysmic a the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, but it's certainly a feather on the cap of the German wine industry. I think the wine in question costs about EUR 48 (about GBP 40 when you add on all the duty), which I suppose is probably just as well. Reassuringly expensive, you could say.

The most astonishing aspect about this is probably the fact that the region where the wine was produced, the Ahr, is situated only just south of Bonn. The vineyards there are vertiginous, however, with volcanic slate soil. And the Dernauer Pfarrwingert vineyard specifically is, by all accounts, a veritable sun-trap.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Manna from heaven?

Heidelberger Mannaberg Spätburgunder Weißherbst 2006

Check this out, an off-dry pinot noir rose.

This was the first from the aforementioned Wiesloch selection I've tried. Wiesloch is a town situated just south of Heidelberg on the western borders of what is known as the Kraichgau.

Now, the first thing that caught the eye with this wine was its name, Mannaberg - apparently a Großlage situated south of Heidelberg, taking in the towns of Leimen (where Boris Becker grew up) and Rohrbach. So, was it Manna from heaven..?

Well, I would class this as the sort of wine you could drink quite happily on your balcony or in your garden on a barmy summer's evening. Nothing remotely star quality about it, but a wine like this doesn't need to be. There's definitely room in my fridge for wine like this. I don't want you thinking I quaff Clos Sainte Hune all the time... Virtually brick orange in colour (see photo), it was refreshing on the nose, mainly showing what I think may have been melon. Nice clean palate. Still redolent of some sort of melon.

According to the Wieslocher Winzerkeller website, this wine is EUR 3.50 (though I got it for free), and is reminiscent of ripe strawberries, not melons. There's no accounting for taste.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


Thanks to a good contact from Heidelberg who visited yesterday en route to the England-Andorra match in Barcelona today, I've been able to procure 12 bottles of white wine - six bottles of which are assorted 2007-vintage rieslings (three dry kabinetts, two off-dry kabinetts - my favourite! - and a dry spätlese) from family winery Weingut Pfeffingen from Bad Dürkheim, and the other being a pot-pourri of local wines from Winzerkeller Wiesloch in deepest Kraichgau (Riesling,Weißburgunder, Grauburgunder, a Spätburgunder pinky...even a Mülller-Thurgau, for heaven's sake). I look forward to tasting some of them over the coming weeks.