College Red – Sevenhill Cellars

January 16, 2011

Sevenhill Cellars ‘2007 College Red’

When I opened the bottle of ‘2007 College Red’ by Sevenhill Cellars from the Clare Valley and had the first sip I thought how awful. But after a short while only, my perception changed. The wine “opened up” so to say.

I just had to get used to the blend: one of Cabernet Franc with Malbec. Unusual somehow with dense aromas, a full palate of red and black fruit, weighty with a long finish. In Argentina Malbec is blended with many other red varieties but not so in Australia.

Beautiful. I immediately regretted that we had only one bottle of it. It came as part of a special order pack. We will have to order more from Sevenhill Cellars. At A$ 12 per bottle the wine is quite affordable.

Very dark coloured 2007 College Red

The back label

Agnolotti pasta

The blend of Cabernet Franc-Malbec went very well with the food: Agnolotti (originating from the Piedmont region of Italy) with mushrooms. It made a very pleasant lunch on a warm summers day on our farm in Glenburn.


Impressions from Jakarta – Social House

November 9, 2009

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The centre of Jakarta

We were lucky that we got a seat in the first place. “Social house” was, as always, booked out. We had a great view of the fountain at the city centre, odered two pizza and two glasses of house Malbec, a drinkable red wine.

SocialHouseme menue

Social house menue

SocialHouse motto

About food and wine

SocialHouse pizza

Pizza

SocialHousecellar

Social house wine cellar

There is nothing more relaxing than having a meal with a good friend, in a location where my heart is: Jakarta. Glorious memories and good company. What can be better in life


“To die for”: Argentinian wine

September 5, 2009

Last night we went out for a drink with friends. “To die for” was our aim, a fashionable hang-out place with the mildly decadent décor of sofa beds (divans) in the back yard in Thonglor, Bangkok. I chose a bottle of red from Argentina, a ‘2004 Trumpeter Reserve’ by Rutini Wines.

Rutini

What a pleasant surprise this wine was. Full-bodied, succulent with a good finish. Great drop from the new world. The wine is a blend of Tempranillo and Malbec to equal parts and the rest (about 30%) is Cabernet Sauvignon, a well rounded affair. 35 Euro in a restaurant in Bangkok is an OK price, I think.

We relaxed on the divan and watched the young fashionable Thais socializing. What a great end to a busy working week. Cheers folks


Wild pig from Schoden, Saar

January 31, 2009

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The village of Schoden (left) at the Saar River

The Saar is one of my favourite tributaries of the Mosel river. I love its wines, the landscape, the villages and the people. In early December I was roaming the region again, and visited Schoden, a small village near Wiltingen, where my friend Heinz and his mates have rented a hunting territory for many years.

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Herrenberg, one of the best terroirs in Schoden, left the Saar river

There is also a vineyard and boutique winery called Herrenberg which is owned and operated by Claudia and Manfred Loch. The vineyard above belongs to them. Their wines are hand crafted and award winning.

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The vines are ready for pruning, single vines where two canes are tied down

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A young wild boar killed in early December offering good quality game

The forest along the Saar are inhabited by various wild animals. Particularly numerous and very difficult to hunt down are wild pigs. Wild pigs inflict huge damages to fields, orchards, paddocks and from time to time even on vineyards. But if a young pig has been successfully killed, the meat makes a wonderful lunch or dinner or both.

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Liver and kidneys of the wild pig above

Here is a wild pig goulash recipe:
-500 to 800 gr. of wild pig meat
-some bacon
-onions
-some oil
-tomato paste
-150 ml red wine
-350 ml of extract from boiling game
-sour cream
-laurel, tyme and juniper berries
-salt and pepper.

If you want to enjoy it with mushrooms, you could add a selection of various wild forest mushrooms, preferably “funghi porcini” (Steinpilze in German). I just love them; they are great with wild pig.

The cooking process is like any other goulash. Add the sour cream at the end so that the goulash is not too watery.

My tip: buy the wild pig meat from the hunter if you can and make sure the animal was “not too old” (buy meat from year-old animals). This is easy if you live in Germany.

As the pairing with wine is concerned, I suggest a good red (14% alcohol), preferably a Malbec from Argentina or a Tempranilo from Spain or a Barolo from Italy. A GMT from Australia, maybe from McLaren Vale, would also do. Of course you could also have a Saar Riesling with it. From Schoden I recommend a Riesling from the Loch family of Herrenberg.


Intrigued by the label – Wine tasting in Taoyuan

October 29, 2008

Old and new, close together on Taiwan

When teaching here at the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training in Taoyuan, I frequent the little wine and liquor outlet, named “Drinks” (www.drinks.com.tw) , across the street and buy some bottles of wine for the long evenings.

The shop carries a lot of wines from France, especially reds from Bordeaux and lots of very fine whiskeys from Scotland and other places. This time I followed the eye more than anything else and bought a wine from Argentina. To be fair, there were two main motives for this decision. 1. It’s quite some time that I had tried a bottle of Malbec. Therefore the Argentinian ‘2007 Lo Tengo’ bottle of Malbec jumped right into my eye. 2. I must admit I was also drawn in by the label. The black and white picture of the legs of a Tango dancing couple where very intriguing and I found the bottle very attractive. So I paid (about US$ 18) and went.

In the evening, my friend Jim and myself sat down for a little chat-cum-wine-tasting. He had bought a bottle from Italy. Well, to cut a long story short. When I opened the bottle from Argentina and saw a plastic cork, I was already alarmed. The deep purple liquid, unfortunately, did not hold what the bottle label promised. Actually the wine tasted quite neutral, no nose, a bit of red fruit, that was it, no finish worth speaking of. Disappointing. After doing some research on the internet, I found out later that this wine can be bought in some places in the USA for about US$ 6-7. I would have needed an internet search facility in the shop, I guess. Alternatively, I could make an effort and learn more about wines from Argentina. I might do that, especially since I have seen this little charming video with the choir lately. The Riserva Malbecs from Trivento have never disappointed me, but of course they were also more expensive.

The second wine we tasted was a ‘2003 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – Sante Lancerio’ by Melini. The wine came from the same shop. I held it in my hands but decided for the Malbec. What a mistake. This wine retails in the USA for about US$ 10, in the UK prices are higher, maybe around 12 Pounds, in Germany is costs about 10-12 Euro. But certain vintages are sold at much higher prices (for instance in the UK the single vineyard Nobile de Montepulciano by Melini cost about 30 Pounds a bottle).

What a difference that was to the first wine. We both liked it very much. We were reminded of our time in Italy when we both worked at the FAO for the United Nations and we allowed the wine to carry us with it, home to beautiful Italy. Sweet memories, of two reminiscing old friends. Nothing can beat that.


Homecoming – Jakarta, Indonesia

April 10, 2008

I received a wholehearted welcome when I arrived at Jakarta International Airport. My twin daughters and my wife picked me up after 10 days in Germany.

We celebrated our reunion with a hearty meal and some good wine.

I love the ‘2000 Sharefarmers Cabernet Malbec’, a single vineyard wine from Coonawarra (South Australia) from Petaluma which consists of 64% Cabernet and 36% Malbec (www.petaluma.com.au).
The Cabernet gives spice and structure and the Malbec provides colour and vibrant fruit.

The other wine I fancy is the ‘2001 Ross Estate Old Vine Grenache’ from the Barossa Valley, South Australia (www.rossestate.com.au). The wine has a rich fruity aroma, good palate weight and a soft finish. I start to become a Grenache lover.

Both are very well made wines for every day and readily available from our duty free shop. They go well with any kind of pasta but also red meat dishes.

Afterwards I smoked a cigar and was happy to be back in good old Jakarta.


Trivento – Wine from Argentina

February 9, 2008

You might remember that the other day in Kuala Lumpur I could not taste the wine on the menu, a ‘2005 Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec’ of the Maredo Restaurant because it was sold out.

Guess what? I found the brand in Vin +, a small wine shop in Kemang, Jakarta. I bought one bottle only to try it out.

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The Trivento 2005 Golden Reserve Malbec

You might wonder about the results?

Today I went again and bought a whole case of it. It is a most delicious wine and retails for about 235,000 Indonesian Rupiah which is equivalent to about 17 € or 28 A$.

It is a deep, red, ruby wine with a wonderful nose displaying aromas of mint, cherries and chocolate. The wine was matured in new French oak for a year and was aged for another year in the bottle before its release. Its a pity that Malbec has this short, dry finish but the aromas compensate you for that. However, for non-Malbec lovers there are Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon wines on offer as well.

Moreover, I also bought from the Trivento product range a ‘2006 Reserve Chardonnay’, a ‘2006 Tribu Torrontes’ and a ‘2005 Reserve Malbec’. More about these wines later.

Trivento Bodegas Y Vinedos (www.banfivintners.com) was founded in 1996 and is located in Mendoza, Argentina. Most of its vineyards are to be found on high altitude in the best zones of Mendoza (up to 1100 meters above sea level). Trivento Vineyards possess a modern winery with a capaity of about 27 million litres of wine. It has all the modern equipment used nowadays to make wine. The winery is surrounded by about 10 ha of vineyards.

Tomas Larrain holding a degree in agricultural economics from the Catholic University of Chile is the general manager and Federico Galdeano, a native of Mendoza with extensive experience in the Napa Valley/California and Tuscany/Italy, is the wine maker.

By the way I now found out that the rumour – that the Argentineans drink their best wines themselves and export only the rest – is false. They do export some of their good wines!