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 [...]

Niagara wine country, Canada, day 3

Just two visits today. But they were good ones. First, Thomas Bachelder, for the second time on this trip, and that’s no bad thing.

Thomas Bachelder

Thomas is a talented dude, and great to geek out with. We visited his cellar, right next to Fielding and Hidden Bench. It’s not a big or glamorous facility, but [...]

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, [...]

Washington State wine, day 1

So, the first full day of my adventures on the Washington Wine route has ended. I’m travelling with a jolly band – Richard Hemming, Treve Ring and Kate Sweet, and we have a full itinerary that should allow us to get a real feel for this region. We began in the city, and nearby Woodinville, [...]

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 [...]

Influence Wines Riesling 2012 Finger Lakes

This is the first wine I have tried from the Finger Lakes region in New York  State. They are a network of long, finger-like lakes just south of Lake Ontario, and presumably with a fairly similar climate to the Niagara region just a little to the east over the border in Canada.

It’s a Riesling made [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]