Venison from a roe deer for Sunday lunch in Trier

August 24, 2010

My stories from July and August do not come in any particular order. When arrived in early July in Trier at my mother’s place we were greated by a feats, as always. And beecause her partner Heinz is a hunter we often eat game. This time it was venison from a German roe deer (in German: Reh) he had just shot. Needless to say that my mothers cooking is just delicious as you can see from the pcitures below.

Tender venison, a meal in the making

With noodles of course

2008 Saar Riesling Van Volxem Estate

The wine I choose for this meal was a Riesling from Van Volxem Estate in Wiltingen, near Schoden (where the venison was from), one of my favourite producers from the Saar. Tough this is just a “simple” wine, it deplays all the character of a Saar Riesling, fine and delicate which machted the tender venison just perfectly.

Address
Weinmanufaktur Van Volxem
Roman Niewodniczanski
Dehnstrasse 2
54459 Wiltingen, Saar
Ph.: +49-6501-16510
e-mail: vanvolxem@t-online.de


The top German Vintners or the VIP club of German wineries: VDP

March 1, 2010

The logo of the VDP

VDP stands for “Verband Deutscher Praedikatsweingueter”. The German can be freely translated as “Association of German Wineries of Excellence”. The VDP is a club-like organisation with 196 member wineries.

It was founded in 1910 and celebrates this year its 100th anniversary. According to its website, VDP is the oldest association of the top quality wine estates. membership requirement is to adhere to the standards of the association which includes among others the strict limitation of yields. There is an inspection and certification process in place which members must submit to in oder to not loose the membership status. It is supposed to uphold the high quality of the produce.

The sign of quality are the eagle (no surprise for Germans who have made it part of their national insignia) and the cluster of grapes, usually embossed on the bottles of their “Erstes Gewaechs” comparable to France’s “premier cru”, wine made from grapes from the best terroir or locations.

The members of the association sell about 35 million bottles per year, for an average price of about 9 Euro /bottle. 80% of their production is sold on the domestic market, 20% is exported. Almost half of the bottles are sold directly to consumers.

The members come from all German wine regions. More than half of them (acounting for about 6% of all Riesling plantings worldwide) produce the finest Riesling wines Germany has to offer. In 1990 it had 161 members. Since then 73 wineries have left and 108 have joined the association.

According to www.riesling.de it’s newest three members are:

Klaus Zimmerling, Saxonia
Konrad Schloer, Taubertal
Thomas Seeger, Baden

Some of my favourite producers are members of the association, for instance Van Volxem Wine Estate in Wiltingen at the Saar.


Wine tasting at Van Volxem Estate in Wiltingen, Saar

September 8, 2008

In April this year, my friend Heinz and I, we had visited the Van Volxem Winery (www.vanvolxem.de) in Wiltingen, Saar for the first time. Unfortunately, all wines were sold out then. Dominik Völk, the wine maker, served us a delicious coffee instead and we were invited to visit again in the month of July when part of the new vintage would be released.

Steep slopes for maximum exposure to the sun at the Saar

And that’s what we did. This time I brought my whole family (mother, wife, children). Our appointment was at 14 h in the afternoon on a rainy summers day. Ms. Niewodniczanski, the wife of the owner Roman Niewodniczanski, served us six newly released wines, all of which were excellent representatives of the Saar region. Van Volxem calls these wines ‘classic dry wines’, though residual sugar in Van Volxem Riesling wines may go up to 9 g./l.. For Franconian vintners, for instance, 7.5 g./l. is the agreed maximum. Van Volxem, however, believes that the higher residual sugar content contributes to the overall harmony of its wines. The only exception to the dry wines we tasted was a semi-dry ‘2007 Rotschiefer Riesling Kabinett’.

Contemplating about Riesling wines with Ms. Niewodniczanski

Five of the six were Riesling wines, one was a Pinot Blanc. The following list shows the six wines:

– ‘2007 Weissburgunder’ (Pinot Blanc), 9.90 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Schiefer Riesling’ (“slate” Riesling), 8.60 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Saar Riesling’, 9.80 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Wiltinger Braunefels Riesling’ (a single location/vineyard wine), 12.50 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Alte Reben Riesling’ (from old vines), 13.80 Euro/0.75 l
– ‘2007 Rotschiefer Riesling Kabinett (red slate), semi-dry, 9.90 Euro/0.75 l

We liked all of them but some more than others. Heinz bought some bottles of Saar Riesling and the semi-dry Rotschieder Riesling Kabinett. Apart from Saar Riesling I bought some bottles of ‘Alte Reben’ (old vines).

The Van Volxem tasting room is a wonderful place, with old wooden furniture and beautiful old maps on the walls.

The estate will release the Grand Cru wines later this summer. We were to early to taste them.

Farewell, but we will come back (my daughters Lucy and Charlotte with the vintner’s wife).

If you are interested in German Riesling, you have to visit the Saar region. Wiltingen is a must, so is Van Volxem Estate. Have fun tasting the best German Riesling has to offer.

Address:
Van Volxem Estate
Dehenstr. 2
54459 Wiltingen, Saar
Te.: +49-6501-16510
e-mail: vanvolxem@t-online.de
www.vanvolxem.de


Another year gone bye

August 23, 2008

Because of our move to Bangkok, Friday was a busy day. Packers everywhere, the house is like a nest of wasps, it seemed. Not easy under such conditions to find some peace of mind, but I did.

Another year had gone bye. My daughters had woken me early in the morning to wish me happy birthday. More well-wishers would come to join them over the day. My birthday dinner consisted of a ‘Risotto ai Funghi Porcini’, hm, that was beautiful as we say in Australia. I have loved risotto ever since we lived in Rome, Italy. And ‘funghi porcini’ is just the best “profumo” you can imagine.

What a wonderful ruby red colour the Shiraz from Hanging Rock has.
Risotto ai Funghi Porcini

Unfortunately, we did not have an Italian wine to go with it. Since my wine cellar is almost empty, I had not much choice. There were only three bottles of Australian wine, all red, left,

a ‘2004 Two Hills Merlot’ (reserved for the last evening in our house),

a ‘2001 D’Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon’ from McLaren Vale (I had paid US$ 40 for this bottle) and

a ‘2004 Hanging Rock Cambrian Rise Shiraz’ from Heathcote.

The two whites I have reserved are for lunch on Saturday and Sunday:

a ‘2005 Kitzinger Hofrat, Silvaner dry’ from Bernhard Voelker, Kitzingen in Franconia

and

a ‘2003 Saar Riesling’ from Van Volxem Estate in Wiltingen, Saar.

The tasting room of Van Volxem Estate in Wiltingen, Saar (picture taken in July this year)

I chose the ‘2004 Hanging Rock Shiraz’. The bottle was given to me by Andrew at the cellar door when we went on a wine tasting in August last year. If you visit the region of the Macedon Ranges in Victoria, you have to see this vineyard and taste its award-winning wines (see also my blog entry from 09. September 2007).

Hanging Rock has also a vineyard in the Heathcote wine region, Central Victoria where its award-winning Shiraz wines are grown which enjoy an enormous demand from consumers in China.

The Hanging Rock winery in the Macedon Ranges. In the back you can see the rock. The photo was taken in August 2007.

The wine is a blend from several vineyards near the Mt. Carmel range. It is beautiful, has a ruby red colour, and very intense plum and cherry aromas; it is very fruity, has immense depth, a good structure and actually everything you want from a Shiraz from the Heathcote wine region with its hot summers. The Cambrian soils of the Heathcote region are the key to the fame of its Shiraz wines.

Isn’t the ruby red colour of the Shiraz of Hanging Rock wonderful?

Pity the wine did not match the food (my mistake). The ‘funghi porcini’ were too delicate and subtle and the wine just overpowered the fragrance of the earthy mushrooms. We did not care this time, enjoyed the tropical garden view and the sweet heat of a dry-season evening. One last time. I wonder where I will celebrate my next birthday. Over these thoughts I blew the smoke of a Partagas cigar which was given to me by my friends Liz and Walter in Jakarta. Delicious!