Dr Mayer Riesling – fine wine from the Remstal, Germany

December 1, 2010

‘2009 Dr. Mayer Riesling’, Remstal, Wuerttemberg, Germany

We were lucky that Timo Mayer, vintner and wine-maker of the Mayer Vineyard in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, carried with him a bottle of the ‘2009 Dr. Mayer Riesling’ with him when he dropped by recently here in Bangkok.

Timo came back from a wine making and wine selling visit to Germany where he had also made his ‘2009 Dr. Mayer Riesling’ from fruit sourced from his native Remstal (to be precise from a village called Grossheppach) in Wuerttemberg.

The dry Riesling has 12.5% alcohol

The wine is under a glass enclosure which gives it a very elegant appearance. It’s a beautiful dry Riesling, elegant and fruity with a good structure and a long and intensive finish, in short a treasure of a wine.

Mussels and clams with chorizo sausage

We saved the bottle for a special occasion, and surprise, surprise, the occasion should arrive very, very soon: a beautiful tropical Saturday afternoon lent itself for a delicious meal consisting of mussels, clams with chorizo sausages. This is a yummy dish and ideal light lunch.

The bad news is, one cannot buy this wine in Germany, the motherland of Riesling wines.

The good news is one can buy it from Timo Mayer in the Yarra Valley and the outlets carrying his wines in Victoria.

Timo got only about a pallet, so you have to be quick. Better rush.

Wine from Franconia: Weingut Juliusspital, Würzburg

October 12, 2010

During a recent visit to Berlin, I bought also some bottles of fine wine. I treated myself to a ‘grand cru’ or ‘Grosses Gewaechs’ as the Germans call it. The ‘2006 Juliusspital GG dry Silvaner’ was just the stuff which makes my wine lovers heart jump. The winery is one of the best in Franconia and ever since my late grand father took me there as a 16 year old boy I am in love with its wines. Franconian Silvaner is one of my favorites. The wine comes in the ‘Bocksbeutel’ bottle typical for Franconia.

2006 GG Silvaner Juliusspital dry

Nothing is better suited to wine enjoyment than the presence of a wine expert. When Timo Mayer, owner and wine maker of The Mayer Vineyard from the Yarra Valley, Victoria visited us recently in Bangkok, I could not resist to open this treasure of a wine from Franconia.

It has a golden colour, and is quite oily with a beautiful bouquet. The structure is good and it finishes with a tender bitter note due to the fine tannins. In short: a wonderful wine.

The wine is ready for tasting

Weingut Juliusspital
Klinikstr. 1
97070 Würzburg

Tel.: +49-931393-1400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +49-931393-1400      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +49-931393-1400      end_of_the_skype_highlighting 
Fax: +49-931393-1414
E-Mail: weingut@juliusspital.de

Hosting the vintner – with Timo Mayer at Patara in Bangkok

November 3, 2009

I admit, we take all our friends traveling through Bangkok to our favorite Thai restaurant if time permits. Patara is Thailand’s best restaurant and was awarded the corresponding prize for this achievement in 2009. We just love to dine there.

When Timo Mayer and his two daughters came through Bangkok we were pleased to have them for a couple of days and show them around. The Mayers’ came from Germany where Timo was helping with some wine-making in his native village near Stuttgart. He was also selling some of his Australian wine in various places (London for instance).

He was loaded with different bottles of very unique wines some of which we tasted together at various occasions. But one evening was reserved for fine Thai cuisine. Patara sent his tucktuck taxi service to pick us up from our home in Thonglor.


The colorful entrees

We decided that we would order the food and Timo would choose the wine. As always we started with the three colorful delicacies shown above. Somehow I had problems taking clear and crisps shots of the food that evening. But you can look up earlier posts in this blog where you can find some more photos of the various Patara signature dishes.


Happy diners

Timo selected the ‘2007 “Hugel” Riesling’ the classic wine from Hugel & Fils from Alsace. Jean Hugel, the senior vintner and wine-maker of this pioneer family of wine-making in Alsace was a legend and had passed away only in June this year.

I had never tasted their wines before and was very excited about the choice. Hugel and Fils maintain not only a very informative website but also an entertaining blog. I had visited Riquewihr, the picturesque Alsatian village where the winery is located many years ago (actually decades ago).

As a high-school student I had visited Alsace and its villages with my school and tasted my first Gewuerztraminer ever. A couple of years later I had seen a play at my “alma mater”: the Bonn University music and arts festival telling the story of the Alsace in three languages. After that my fascination with Alsace was complete. I had the chance to visit several times but mainly the north of the region. Our favorite destination was a restaurant, Au Cheval Blanc near Wissembourg but this is another story.


The ‘2007 Hugel Riesling’

The ‘2007 “Hugel” Riesling’ is a very fine wine, young and vibrant. 2007 was a good vintage because the grapes had the opportunity to ripen for the longest time ever and therefore the grapes were very healthy. As a consequence the wines show great elegance and balance. The wine is fruity with mineral notes, a typical Alsatian Riesling with the characteristic petrol note. I love Riesling with Thai food.


After we “demolished” the food

Our evening was great fun. The culinary delights of Thailand are just “breathtaking” for the palate. I can only highly recommend the restaurant. I love the atmosphere and the professional and friendly service.

We talked a lot about Timo’s German visit, his impressions, the adventures and, of course, wine. But when friends from afar visit, time flies. That’s how it was. Hours shrink to seconds and in a blimp of the eye it’s gone.

Patara Fine Thai Cuisine
375 Soi Thonglor 19 Sukhumvit 55, Klongtonnua Vadhana, Bangkok 10110
Tel. +66-2185 2960-1 Fax. +66-2185 2962

Of Droughts and Bushfires

January 12, 2007

Today, I climbed from the heavans and my meetings with the celtic gods (remember Sucellus?) down to earth again. And a hot earth it is. From The Age (www.theage.com.au) I learned about the progress of the bushfires in Victoria. 950.000 ha of forest have already burnt down, which according to The Age is almost as large as Jamaica (it has a bobsled team). Mt Buller where it burns is only about two hours away from our vineyard in Glenburn.

Some years ago I went skiing with my friend, Timo Meyer, Australian of Swabian origin, and his and our children for a day of racing down the hills. Timo is a vintner and a very sought after winemaker at Gembrook Hill Vineyard (www.gembrookhill.com.au). He is famous for his very fine palate. Timo made our second vintage of Sauvignon Blanc which in the end got us the bronze medal at the Singapore Wine Show. He has also his own vineyard at a very steep slope which is called “Bloody Hill”. His wines can be bought at Yarra Valley Dairy (www.yvd.com.au).

The picture below has been taken by Andrew de la Rue and it shows the fire raging near Mt. Bulller village.


We are suffering under the drought for some years already. Because of the higher altitude of our vineyard loaction in Glenburn, we normally receive sufficient rain. Years ago we enlarged the old dam and built a new 13 megalitre storage. This kept us going. It did not rain much this winter (June to August on the southern hemisphere). I have never seen our big dam as low as in July/August 2006. Margit and I, we are of course a bit scared that some fires might break out in the nearby forests. Many of the fires are deliberatly lit by arsonists, others are ignited by lightning. The temperatures are high at the moment and together with the strong northerly winds, they make firefighting dangerous.

It has been a strange year so far. First, many vineyards were hit by two waves of late frost which destroyed in some places all the fruit at the vines. We at Two Hills were lucky. According to Steve Sadlier our friend, who manages our vineyard, we lost about 20% of the Sauvignon Blanc, 60% of the Pinot and about 40-50% of the Merlot. Some vineyards in the neighbourhood lost up to 60-70 % of their fruit, others lost everything. As a consequence the Victorian wine industry is suffering tremendous damages. Demand for fruit is strong. If we had only more of it. The old agricultural law prevails, that the economic value of a bumper harvest is usually lower then the one of a meager year. The frost damage will have lasting effects. Also the 2008 harvest will be lower because of the frost damage last year. Second, comes the drought and the fires. If Kinglake National Park start to burn, we will be in trouble.

Below some pictures of Two Hills in winter 2006. Isn’t the place beautiful?

Winter on Two Hills 1

Two Hills Vineyard

Winter on Two Hills 2

Winter on Two Hills 3

Sauvignon Blanc in winter