Last day of 2012: Taking stock

December 31, 2012

What to do on the 31 of December? Well, I thought to check out my wine fridge. Small as it is, the review did not take very long.

I was amazed that my wine collection included wines from Germany (yes mostly Riesling wines), Austria, Italy, Canada, Australia, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and of course Thailand. This makes eight countries, four in the West and four in the East.

I also realized that I have no French wine in stock.

Wine fridge 1

1982 Scharzhofberger Spaetlese

Two wines in particular I look forward to taste in 2013.

One is a ‘1982 Scharzhofberger Riesling Spaetlese’ by Egon Mueller from Wiltingen at the Saar river, the second a ‘2009 Pinot Noir Centgrafenberg Grand Cru’ from Rudolf Fuerst in Buergstadt, Frankonia.

Wine fridge 2

2009 Centgrafenberg GG Spaetburgunder

Both wines, both terroirs and both vintners are among the top in Germany.

The Riesling bottle looks OK, just the label has suffered a bit. I wonder what a 30 year old wine will taste like. In any case it is a treasure. I wonder when I shall open it?

The bottle of Pinot Noir I bought from Fuerst junior during a wine tasting at Karthaeuserhof in Eitelsbach last August.

There are of course other treasures in my wine fridge. More about this next year. Now I will get ready for the New Years party.

I wish all of you a good start into 2013, and stay tuned to the Man from Mosel River.

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Roast venison from Schoden and a Riesling from the Mosel

December 20, 2012

It has been a while since my last blog entry. Somehow my work does not allow regular blog entries any longer. You will have guessed right: I was on an extended business trip to Germany.

After my official program was completed I also visited my mother in my home town Trier, just for a short weekend only. It was a cold and rainy day when I arrived late in the evening. My beloved Mosel lay in the dark.

Fortunately, a splendid meal was waiting for me. My friend Heinz had prepared roast venison for me. It was the last piece of meat he had left over from his hunting days in Schoden, Saar. In spring 2010 Heinz and his friends had lost their hunting rights to a group of hunters from Luxemburg.

Fortunately, he had the freezer full of delicious meat: venison, wild boar, wild sheep among others. The last piece of a young deer was just the right stuff to make me happy. As you can see from the two pictures below, the meal was awesome.

Wild 1

Roast venison with noodles and vegetables

Wild 2

What a fine consistency

What wine would go with this meal? Well, since the meat came from the Saar, the wine had to come from the Mosel. Fortunately, we had a bottle of ‘1999 Neumagener Rosengaertchen Riesling Spaetlese’ by Rainer Krebs, a winery in Neumagen-Drohn, Mosel.

MSR 1999 1

1999 Neumagener Rosengaertchen Riesling Spaetlese

The wine was amazing. It had the nose of petrol fumes, was full and buttery. Despite its age, the wine still displayed its great character. I do not know how many more year it would have lasted.

MSR 1999 2

It complemented our meal in a perfect way. We were reminiscing about the glorious hunting days in Schoden, the nights we spent together sitting in the cold and waiting for deer or wild pigs to show themselves. It was a wonderful time, and I am sad that the hunting rights could not be retained. But such is life, good things come, and go.

I salute all the hunters who treasured their time in this fabulous place.

Address:
Rainer Krebs
Weingut in Neumagen Dhron
Hinterburg 14
54347 Neumagen Dhron
Tel.:+49-6507 / 5934


Mosel wine in the EVA Air lounge in Taipei

November 22, 2012

The other day, while I was waiting for my flight home to Bangkok, I discovered to my great amazement in the business class airline lounge of EVA Air, that a wine from my native Mosel was on offer.

What a pleasant surprise, I thought, when I spotted the label in the wine cooler. It was a ‘2011 Bockstein Kabinett Grand Cru’ by St. Urbans-Hof in Leiwen, Mosel. The wine village of Leiwen is only a couple of kilometers away from my home town Trier.

I have visited the winery and love their crisp-dry Rieslings. For the first time I had the opportunity to taste one of their off-dry wines. The terroir, “Bockstein” in Ockfen, a small village at the Saar river, a tributary to the Mosel, is also a place very dear to me.

From the raised hides in the hunting territory of Schoden (another village at the banks of the Saar river) one could have a glimpse of the “Bockstein”, a rock formation towering over the Saar valley. It’s vineyards are very steep and the Riesling grapes grown are famous for their high quality.

Off-dry whites are not my favourites, but of course this wine showed it’s outstanding quality. It was full and lush, smooth as silk in the mouth, with intensive and mellow Riesling aromas. It had also a long finish, and I loved the balance of sugar and acidity.

Moreover, I found my beloved Mosel (Saar) here, thousands of miles away in a place of Asia where I least expected it.


Von Othegraven Winery in Kanzem, Saar

August 25, 2012

Regular readers of my blog will have noticed that I usually abstain from writing negative comments about any wine experience. Today I will break with this tradition making a slight dent in my otherwise immaculate positivism.

Summertime in Germany is also the time of wine festivals and the time of visiting wineries and cellar doors. And keeping in the spirit of things, my family and I, we set out on a beautiful day in July to pay a visit to one of the wineries along the Saar river.

I needed a birthday gift for a dear friend of mine and I intended to honor him with a first class bottle of wine from a first class winery. Since my friend lives in the Ruwer valley, a location with excellent Riesling terroir, I wanted to contrast the Ruwer wines with a specimen from the Saar, the other tributary of the Mosel where excellent Riesling wines are produced.

My choice was the Von Othegraven winery in Kanzem, a small hamlet on the banks of the Saar river. This winery is quite well known in Germany because Guenther Jauch, a celebrity TV moderator and talk show host, is the owner of the place.

I could not have been more wrong in my choice.

We rocked up without an appointment (which we would regret), drove into the courtyard of the estate at the outskirts of Kanzem at the bottom of the steep vineyards of the Kanzemer Altenberg, the grand cru vineyard of the area.

We innocently rang the bell of the manor house but where greeted by a very grumpy vintner (it was the manager, not the wine-maker), who let us know immediately and in a very impolite way that we were not welcome, and should “buzz” off.

Uff, we were mentally not prepared for such a rude reception, and deeply regretted that we had bothered to come in the first place.

So my recommendation to the casual wine tourist is not to visit Von Othegraven. It is a waste of time. If you are still interested in their wines, go to my favourite wine bar, Weinsinnig in Trier, and buy a bottle of the outstanding Altenberg Riesling.


“Weinsinnig” – wine bar in Trier

August 4, 2012

One of my favourite wine bars in my home town Trier is “Weinsinnig”, located right in the center of town.

The name of the bar is a kind of word play on “Wahnsinnig” (in English “mad” or “crazy”), and composed of two parts, a nomen, “Wahn” or “mania” (in English) and an adjective “sinnig” which can be translated as “plausible”, “make sense”, “evident”, “sensible” or “witted”. In the combination with “Wein”/”wine” it becomes something new, a compound with a new meaning which could be translated as “in the mood to enjoy wine”, “wine is sensible” or “crazy for wine”.

Weinsinnig is also a kind of cellar door for wineries from the Mosel. Moreover, it offers selected culinary delights, for instance “Flammkuchen”, a tarte flambe. And last but not least, Weinsinnig offers various activities related to wine and the people making it.

In front of the ‘walk along wine list’

It was a rainy summer’s evening when we visited and therefore we sat inside. Weinsinnig offers also a couple of chairs and tables outside. One sits on the pavement on a narrow street. Fortunately, warm blankets are on offer.

My choice: a dry Riesling from the Ruwer

I love their selection of local wines, many of them produced by young and innovative vintners. I chose a ‘2011 Maximin Gruenhaeuser dry Riesling’ by one of the top producers from the Ruwer valley, von Schubert’sche Gutsverwaltung. I also bought some more of this wine and will only say that this is a Riesling to die for.

2011 Maximin Gruenhaeuser dry Riesling

Inside

By the way TripAdvisor rated it 4 of 5 on 16 Jun 2012 and ranked Weinsinnig as 69 out of 182 restaurants in Trier. In my view Weinsinnig belongs to the “must visit” category in Trier. Check it out.

Address:
Weinsinnig
Palaststraße 12
54290 Trier, Germany
Tel.: +49-651 9790156


My beloved Mosel river – 1868 map of its terroir

March 6, 2012

I am very excited. Finally, my historical map of the Mosel river, which I had bought some years ago at Karlsmuehle, a winery cum restaurant at the Ruwer river, was put in a proper frame here in Bangkok. It’s a replica and not an original of course. But I looks very nice on my wall.

Vineyard location and quality map of 1868

The map shows the quality of the terroir in different shades of red. The more intense the red is, the better the quality and the higher the tax category. The Royal Prussian government had produced this map in order to streamline their tax collection.

The newly framed map of the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer

I can already see this map hanging in my house in Australia on our vineyard in Glenburn. I will tell my grand-children where I come from and how much I love my native town, Trier, and the Mosel river.


Mother’s cooking: Venison with a Grans-Fassian Riesling, Leiwen, Mosel

April 13, 2011

I love nothing more than when my mother cooks venison or other game meat for me. She does not eat it herself because she does not like game meat at all. But my friend Heinz, a passionate hunter, and me, we just love it.

Mushrooms, Swabian “Spaezle” and venison from a ‘red deer’

In his freezer Heinz has stored all kinds of beautiful pieces of hare, roe deer, red deer, moufflon and wild boar from his hunting expeditions. And when I am home in Trier, we have a feast. This time they prepared a fillet from red deer for me.

And that’s the meal

No better wine with this al of game than a wine from the Saar river, I thought. Because the red deer was shot in Schoden, Saar where Heinz used to hunt. “Used to” because he lost his hunting territory. From the first of April other tenants has taken possession of it. The association of landowners, ‘Gehoeferschaft’ called in German, has decided to award the six year lease contract to another group of hunters.

But I had no wine from the Saar at hand. So what to drink with the delicious venison?

Well, there are plenty of good Riesling wines around. My choice then was a ‘2009 Laurentiuslay GG (grand cru) Riesling’ by Grans-Fassian a top Riesling producer from from Leiwen, Mosel.

Though I am not a “point drinker”, and this wine scores in the mid 90ies, is a ripper of a Riesling. As expected, it did not disappoint me. This is a “must buy” wine. I just love it. I even got a bottle here in my wine fridge in Bangkok.

So if you are traveling along the Mosel, visit Leiwen and buy a couple of cases from Grans-Fassian Estate. You will not regret it.

2009 Laurentiuslay Riesling GG by Grans-Fassian Estate

Address:
Weingut Grans-Fassian
Römerstraße 28
54340 Leiwen, Mosel

Tel.: +49- 6507 -3170
Fax: +49-6507 – 8167
E-Mail: weingut@grans-fassian.de

Monday-Friday
8.00-12.00 und 13.30-16.30 Uhr
or on prior appointment