Monday, 20 October 2008

Cab Sauv?

I went on a walk today through the local vineyards. Being freelance, I can do this on Monday afternoons, although this job status is soon set to change from the beginning of November, after which I'll be on a proper day job like everyone else.

My goodness, it was a lovely day, and very mild (around 21C). What interested me was that probably around 10-15% of the vineyards parcels in Weiler Schlipf were still unpicked. With rain forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday, I was surprised that there weren't any teams of pickers out this afternoon, apart from the two souls on a tractor who I think were harvesting their parcel for the Bezirkskellerei. From Wednesday onwards, it'll be markedly colder. However, a high front will set in again from Thursday onwards, so I don't think the imminent change in the weather should worry the vintners too much.

Anyway, the way the vintage has shaped up so far, it looks like local wine growers have had a relatively stress-free time of it. The weather in September was really cool at times and some grape varieties (notably Gutedel) weren't yet at optimum ripeness. This meant that wineries were in no hurry to send their teams out into the vineyards. Instead, they waited for more of the sun's rays in October so that the grapes could achieve physiological ripeness. And, over the past couple of weeks, the sun finally shone in abundance.

One particular parcel interested me. The black grapes hanging there were obviously not pinot noir. These were quite young vines - probably no older than 10 years - so I came to the conclusion that the grapes might be what Germans refer to as an "international" varietal. I know that the Bezirkskellerei do grow some Cabernet Sauvignon on Weiler Schlipf, so I'd be inclined to plump for that. I can usually recognise vines from the pinot family due to the shape of the leaves, and these definitely weren't pinot noir.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Pot pourri

Apologies for the huge break again inbetween posts. It's been an eventful few weeks for me, and it's been hard to keep track. Anyway, I eventually got through the six bottles from Wiesloch, plus I've started on a couple of wines from the winery in Bad Dürkheim. Unfortunately, I didn't make proper notes, so the following is more or less based on memory. Featured are three Wiesloch wines, plus one from Weingut Pfeffingen. I'm refraining from giving scores, though I may start doing that for other wines in future, probably according to the 100-point Parker scale:

Großsachsener Rittersberg Weißburgunder Kabinett trocken 2007
Nice flinty aromas with yellow fruit. Elegant.

Wieslocher Spitzenberg Riesling Kabinett halbtrocken 2007
Light, spritzy, well balanced with nice fruit. Sensorically speaking, still dry, despite being a halbtrocken.

Zeuterner Mannaberg Müller-Thurgau QbA halbtrocken

"Uergh, a Müller-Thurgau!", I hear you say, and not even bone dry. How uncouth. But how this wine surprised me... Pears! And I don't mean that pear-drop whiff of sulphur you sometimes get with recently bottled wine, but lovely succulent September orchard pears. Most pleasant and most surprising. Definitely not for wine snobs.

Weingut Pfeffingen, Ungste
iner Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett trocken 2007
This just oozes class. The label - which recently underwent a face-lift - is quite un-Germanic. Cleverly, it uses a back label to show all the information every German winery is legally bound to include. Lovely minerally characteristics, quite elegant, but with that characteristic Pfalz oomph.