Dajoar Zenit Riesling from Bender

‘Dajoar’ means ‘as it used to be’, and this single-vineyard Riesling by Andreas Bender is made in a style that harks back to the traditional way Mosel wines would have been made in the past. From red shale soils, harvested at 40 hl/ha, these Riesling grapes are fermented with wild yeasts in oak. It’s quite [...]

Extended tasting note: Maximin Grunhaus Riesling Abtsberg Kabinett 2011

Just a few days ago I expressed my dissatisfaction with tasting notes, and their inability to capture the essence of the experience we have as we taste wine. So now I want to try to do better. I’m not sure I can, but I will attempt to express my experience in real time as I [...]

The beginning of a new era: the 2013s from Reichstrat von Buhl

I was really impressed by these 2013s from one of the leading Pflaz wineries, Reichstrat von Buhl. This large, important winery has recently made a fresh new start, and this was the first vintage of the new regime. Former Bollinger chef du cave Matthieu Kauffmann is now in charge of winemaking. He arrived in 2013, [...]

Some highlights from the Wine Society

I headed down to Stevenage today for a tasting at The Wine Society. It was amazing: such good wines at really good prices. Here are a few wines that I’ll be buying. But there were just too many highlights for one post!

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Gracher Domprost Riesling Spatlese 2001 Mosel, Germany
Lovely wine – rich and [...]

Two German Pinot Noirs

Seeing that I am off to Germany for a few days I thought I’d write up two German Pinot Noirs that I opened last night. I really like German Pinot Noir, mainly because I love Pinot Noir generally, and Germany makes some very good ones. But they vary a lot. In my experience, most are [...]

Four very fine Rieslings: Germany, Italy and New Zealand

It seems to be a bit of a season for Riesling. Here are notes from four bottles tried a while back which I have found in a notebook, and feel compelled to write up now because they just deserve to be written up.

Wittmann Morstein Riesling GG Trocken 2009 Rheinhessen, Germany
13.5% alcohol. From limestone soils, this [...]

My life in Riesling, with Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, David Motion and Stuart Pigott

Thursday night was the Riesling Fellowship dinner at Vintner’s Hall. It quite grand – gentlemen were required to wear jackets and ties. [Aside: whenever I attend a wine trade event in a suit it is amazing the number of people who come up and complement me, as well as expressing surprise that I should be [...]

Two lovely Nahe Rieslings from Schäfer-Fröhlich and Dönnhoff

I’m going through a bit of a Riesling phase at the moment, and here are two exceptional bottles from the Nahe. There’s one from the king of the Nahe, Helmut Donnhoff, and one from a winery to watch, Schafer-Frolich.

Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Trocken Grosses Gewächs 2013 Nahe, Germany
This dry Riesling shows incredible intensity. It’s dry [...]

In the Ahr Valley, Germany, home to some great Pinot Noir

I’ve spent the last day and a half in the Ahr Valley in northern Germany. It’s my first visit here. This is a small, compact region that’s a tight valley with vineyards on either side, many of which are incredibly steeply sloped. The predominant soil type is slate, and this is Pinot Noir country. I [...]

Stepp Riesling 'S'

This is a pretty serious Riesling. It’s made by Gerd Stepp, from a single vineyard, Kallstadter Saumage, with loess and loam rich soils with a high limestone content, in Germany’s Pfalz. The soils here have lots of tiny fossil shells, resulting in high calcium content. Apparently Saumagen translates as pig’s stomach. Gerd used to buy [...]