German wines: delight in red and white

July 4, 2009

Traveling in Germany I had the opportunity to taste some marvelous wines with some of my friends. Two of these I would like to briefly present to you, one red, one white wine, one from the Pfalz and one from my native land, the Mosel or to be precise the Saar.

Over a dinner at “Schneeweiss”, a fashionable restaurant in the eastern part of Berlin offering “cuisine from the Alp mountain lands”, we had a bottle of ‘2008 Schneider Ursprung’, a cuveé made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Portugieser by Markus Schneider.

Markus Schneider is one of the young but accomplished vintners who earned the highest praise from wine critics and experts from the wine and hospitality industry. This cuveé is made from grapes grown on a rather warm location at the “Feuerberg”, a terroir known for its capacity of heat retention by the local gravel stones which allows the grapes to fully ripen.

The wine is of a deep purple colour. It displays flavours of a lot of fruit, plum, some mint, chocolate and shows some peppery notes. The wine is very round and extremely smooth, for me just a bit too perfect in the mouth, I must say. It went extremely well with the food that I had ordered (Italian pasta filled with mushrooms). The wine is perfect and was a good choice. It retails for about 8 to 11 EURO but is worth the money.

Schneider Ursprung

A very simple label on the bottle: “Schneider Ursprung”

Schneider ursprung2

What a beautiful deep purple colour

Later the same evening, we tasted a dessert wine from my native lands, the Mosel, actually from the Saar river. It was a ‘1992 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spaetlese’ from “Staatliche Weinbaudomaene Trier”.

OckBockRiesAus

What a delight this wine was, a drop from heaven. It had aged well, was fresh and round. Although low in alcohol (only 8%), the acids were vibrant so that the wine was extremely well balanced, honey sweet, just wonderful. Only my friend Gerhard can wait for a wine like this to ripen in the cellar and patiently await the right moment to open a treasure like this.

I know the terroir quite well, Ockfener Bockstein, just a couple of meters away from the boundaries of the hunting grounds of my friend Heinz in Schoden, Saar which borders on Ockfen. The vineyards here are extremely steep and all work in manual. The 1992 vintage of this Riesling Auslese is just wonderful. I have no words to describe this nectar and do justice to the wine.

Address:
Schneeweiss
Kern Ranogajec GbR
Simplonstraße 16
10245 Berlin
Proprietors: Denis Ranogajec and Ralf Kern
Tel.: +49-30/29 04 97 04
Fax: +49-30/29 04 97 05

Weingut Markus Schneider
Am Hohen Weg 1
67158 Ellerstadt
(near Wachenheim, Pfalz)
Tel.: +49 (0)62…
Fax.: +49 (0)6237 – 977230

Administration:
Georg-Fitz-Straße 12
67158 Ellerstadt
info@black-print.net
http://www.black-print.net

Staatliche Weinbaudomänen Trier
Deworastr. 3
54290 Trier, Germany
+49 651 97598-0
www.staats
weingueter.rlp.de


Country Inns in Germany: Asparagus and river perch

May 18, 2007

While travelling in Germany recently, I had a lot of fish and seafood dishes, the reason for this being that I accompanied a group of visiting Indonesians to a number of coastal towns on the East and the North Sea. Since Germany had a splendid spring, this was the more enjoyable.

Later, together with my brother and my old folks in Trier, I visited one of the traditional German country inns so prevalent in my home area, the Mosel River Valley, the Landgasthof Kopp (www.landgasthofkopp.com) in Hentern, a small village between the Mosel tributaries Ruwer and Saar.

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Landgasthof Kopp main entrance

Springtime in Germany is ‘asparagus time’. Everywhere the lush white sticks can be purchased or consumed. All four of us ordered some kind of an asparagus dish. I had asparagus with perch (German: Zander).

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River perch with asparagus

With this delicious meal, I drank the house wine, Ockfener Scharzberg Riesling, a local product from a small village on the Saar river called Ockfen (www.ockfen-home.de). Ockfen has about 700 inhabitants and of the agricultural used land of 246 ha about 90 ha are under vines on very steep slopes. The most famous terroir is ‘Ockfener Bockstein’ which is among the best wines from the Saar. The wines from this location are very dry, minerally and fruity with a good structure.

From the Middle Ages onwards it was the monasteries along the Saar river that cultivated vines and promoted the wine industry. The wealth and prosperity of Ockfen was almost exclusively based on its wine industry. The many small villages and towns along the Saar river are worth visiting (among them Saarburg, Ayl, Kanzem, Oberemmel, Serrig, Wiltingen to name only a few. I highly recommend this very beautiful part of Germany.

As regards the inn, the Landgasthof Kopp, this place is a must, not only because of the superb quality of the food and the service. The price too was a pleasant surprise, unbeatable, I must say. For the four of us, including drinks, we spent a total of only 60 Euro for a memorable family lunch.