Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Rieslingfan

  1. There's Horse Ridge Cellars in Connecticut. It's a converted underground bank records vault. Many of my friends have used it with good results.
  2. My favorite wine in the whole wide world is Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese. Ever since the 2001 rating from the Wine Advocate (98) the price has about doubled & availability has been cut by 90%. The stuff just flies out of the shops now. I'm really happy for Helmut Donnhoff, as he is a great guy & a fantastic winemaker, but I miss my favorite wine.
  3. A couple of things: 1) Steve Tanzer does not accept advertising in the IWC. So on that score he is the same as Parker. For me, Tanzer is a more reliable indicator (if I can't taste the wine for myself). If I want to buy a wine for my dad I read Parker. 2) Points rule the wine world right now. When the 2001 Germans came out I had some notice of a WS 97 point rated wine. I spied the wine on the shelves of a local retailer (with no notice of the "great" score). I mentioned the score to the manager & he instantly took the bottles off the shelf. They re-appeared some time later with a new price! I have not shopped there since. 3) At a dinner this past spring I opened a bottle of 1998 Strub Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spatlese***. The guy next to me asked what score it had received from Parker. I responded that Parker did not review German wine in the '98 vintage. His response (verbatim): "Then why did you buy it?" A good friend reminded me of a quote from a Monty Python movie that really rings true: "Yes! We must think for ourselves! Tell us more!"
  4. Rieslingfan

    Wine with Sushi

    My all time favorite sushi/wine match was with a bottle of 1998 Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Spatlese Halbtrocken. The barely off-dry Riesling complimented the sushi perfectly, with both having delicate complex flavors that played off each other. So I'm a big fan of nearly dry Riesling with sushi. I will have to try the Burgundy pairing sometime.
  5. Ortega is indeed a crossing. It makes agreeable dessert wines that are not particularly long lived. I would drink up (though no need to do it say this second...just sometime in the next 6-12 months IMO). I've never heard of the producer.
  6. Has anybody tried the single vineyard wines from '97? I had the Mocagatta several months ago & it was incredibly evovled and lifeless. If was wondering if it was a bad bottle/cooked/etc., as I have always liked the Produttori & was really disappointed. There's a whole bunch of '97s available in my market & I'm hesitating based on the lone Mocagatta.
  7. Rieslingfan

    Parker points.

    He used to print the lower scores. If you go back to the old back issues there are some lowly scores in there. Also the low scores appear in the books (e.g. Bordeaux).
  8. I bought a good bit of this & really love it. It's fantastic, uncomplicated drinking with zero guilt over price or "needing to let it age." It's so good to have a good quality Piemonte red that I can just open & drink without thinking about it. I should buy more.
  9. Rieslingfan

    A week's worth

    One of the great things about Jim's posts is that he drinks a lot of fantastic AND affordable wines. As an example, my price on the '96 Baumard was $15.99 two years ago. I've seen more recent vintages for not much more than that. Of course Jim likely paid less, but he is a better shopper than I am.
  10. Coincidence...I had this over hte last two evenings, I found it somewhat tight and unyielding on the first night, but last night it was much more open. Excllent stuff, but in need of 3 more years of cellar time.
  11. Well I have also had that late harvest Guigal Viognier Luminescence. Unfortunately I've had it twice. Horrible stuff that left Viognier behind in its distant past. Sweet and flat is about all I can say about it. If it was volatile I would use it to thin paint. I've actually found a Virginia Viognier I like (King). It's not Condrieu, but it's very tasty.
  12. I will have to dissent on the '98 Pegau. Based on my last tasting in June (and several before that) it is still shut down hard. I've found the '98 (and '00) Pegaus showing nothing right now. In another 3 years or so the '98 is going to be glorious.
  13. Rieslingfan


    Even Parker has admitted that emotion plays a big part in a wine getting 100 points. SOmeone already posted the "it just does not get any better than this" line & that's more than likely what 100 really means. 100 is not a "perfect" wine. It's a wine that is flawless & so good that it elicits an emotional respinse. Of course I can get that same result by drinking a bottle of Donnhoff QbA while sitting high on a mountain in the Canadian Rockies. The wine is cheaper, but the plane ticket is a killer.
  14. Grosset Polish Hill Riesling is pretty darned good for Australia. I don't think the Australians hold a candle to Alsace or Austria for dry Riesling, but the Grosset is pretty good.
  15. Rieslingfan

    German Wine

    Fashion has never really caught up with Germany. There have been some price increases lately (especially in the USA), but the backlash is already starting to hit on the higher prices. The German vintners work very hard for what they produce. I actually feel bad for them. They do not get a great return on investment (except perhaps Robert Weil and Keller). Germans Riesling makes up 65% of my cellar, so I certainly love it, but even the buzz from 2001 has won off. Many fine 2002s have been languishing on the shelves. Prum is delicious, but Wine Spectator does not understand it. These wines need lots and lots of air or time. Try decanting a young Prum Spatlese for 8 hours & then see how delicious it is. You'll never drink one straight away after opeing again.
  16. Felsina is my "go-to" Chianti. I just love the stuff. I'm still drinking the '97, which is just gorgeous right now. The '99s will be in the drinking queue starting next year. Any thoughts on the '97 Reserva or Rancia? I've got a couple of each in the bins.
  17. After meeting him this past Spring, I have to say that while Clive Coates takes his work very seriously, he is a funny and engaging personality.
  18. Rieslingfan

    Virginia wineries

    If you can get there, I would go to King Estate. It's west of Charlottesville. They do a really good job, with the Viognier and Merlot being two of the best wines in VA in my opinion.
  19. With young Mosel Riesling you tend to have two choices these days if you do not like the spritz: 1) Decant - 2 to 3 hours usually does the trick, though for big wines (e.g. Prum Auslese) I go for 8-10 hours to clear both the spritz and the leesy aromas. 2) Age them for 10 years. Since most of us want to drink some (or all) of these wines young, option number 1 is always highly recommended.
  20. Forgive the two line title, but the whole wine name won't fit in the topic line. First a little background. I have been waiting for this wine since last September. Laura and I visited with Johannes Leitz on the very day they were picking the grapes for this wine. We visited the vineyard and spoke with the vineyard workers. We watched the grapes come in and tasted the juice from a TBA that was selected out from the clean grapes for this spatlese. Before I had ever tasted this wine it held a special place in my heart. It did not come from a hallowed terroir, but from a spot on the earth that has been well cared for by Johannes Leitz. So I was at my favorite haunt of Table & Vine. After drinking a number of closed and tannic (but otherwise quite excellent) Bordeaux, I wanted to check this Riesling out. Well after about two sips I was sold. This wine had so much better balance and freshness that any of the 2003s I had tasted the prior weekend. It had that penetrating quality that I found in the 2001s and the best 2002s. Somewhat spritzy and with great acidity, it danced around my palate, with full, fresh peach flavors. No it was not the most complex Riesling I had ever tasted, but for $16 I got two things: a very fine wine and a great memory. I walked out with a case of memories.
  21. Notes from a dinner at Grants in West Hartford, CT on 5/13/04. First of all the food and service were very fine. The only quibble I have is that the offline organizer and the chef were very secretive about the menu, so it was near impossible to match the wines to the first two courses. Had I known the specifics of the first two dishes I would have brought different wines. It’s not that the wines or the matches were bad, just that it could have been even better. We started off with a small glass of 1993 Schramsberg Reserve Brut. It was fairly simple, with toast and apple aromas and flavors, but I left some in my glass, and it developed the most interesting brown sugar nose I have ever encountered in a sparkling wine.It did very little for me in terms of flavors, but the nose was something. First Course: Diver sea scallop with sweet pea ravioli and truffle butter Paired with 1997 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese (AP#12) 1997 Deiss Riesling Engelgarten The scallop/ravioli dish was just awesome. Unfortunately I wanted to pair it with a bottle of Grüner Veltliner. Alas that was not to be the case. The Deiss was showing lots of dried flower aromas and tangerine flavors. It went ok with the scallop, but not with the ravioli. The Schaefer is just starting to enter a window of maturity. Let’s say it has defeated the window lock, and is just about to start opening the sash. Some smoke on the nose (one person said “old tires”), showed the beginnings of the development into a mature Riesling. Schaefer has always made slimmer styled and elegant wines, and this was no exception. It was a very good match with the sweet pea ravioli, and acceptable with the scallop. Oh for a bottle of 1995 Brundelmayer Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben. Second Course: Butter poached lobster with spring vegetable succotash Paired with 1998 J. u. H. A. Strub Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spätlese*** 2002 Vollenweider Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Spätlese ‘Reiler’ Again I wished I could have gone back to the cellar for a White Burgundy or Chablis. Next time I will bring a more diverse array of bottles. The lobster was succulent, tender and sweet. The succotash on its own was a good match with the Strub, but I found both Rieslings to sweet for the combined lobster/succotash preparation. Overall both Rieslings showed well, with the Strub actually being showing initially drier than the Vollenweider. The Paterberg leaned to peaches, apricots and raspberries; while the Vollenweider had an effusive nose of apple peel, stone dust and strawberries, with a creamy edge. The Strub had not completely re-opened from its adolescent sleep, and with some air time the flavors and aromas became significantly richer. The Vollenweider just kept blasting out of the glass all evening. Then there was a sort of intermezzo of two wines. 1998 Coudelet de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhone 1998 Domaine Cabrieres Châteauneuf du Pape Neither of these wines did much for me. The Coudelet seemed tired and hollow, which made little sense. After a few minutes I detected some oxidation, so I suspected heat damage. I did not get to see the condition of the cork. The Cabrieres was pleasant, with moderate black cherry fruit, but no real depth. If I wasn’t so darned spoiled I probably would have enjoyed it more. I (and my wallet) miss the uncritical days of yesteryear. Third Course: Roast duck breast with duck leg confit and foie gras Paired with three wines from Châteauneuf du Pape 1995 Vieux Telegraphe 1995 Domaine de Pegau Cuvée Laurence 1998 Domaine Montpertuis Tradition I really enjoyed the Telegraphe, as it still showed significant youthful fruit, but also dusty earth and slight herbal components. The Pegau was hollow in the midpalate (a condition I’ve noted before with this wine), but had a lovely nose of black currant and saddle leather. Perhaps still shut down? The Montpertuis was youthful but very closed. Tons of material for aging, but nowhere near ready. The Telegraphe was the clear winner with the food IMO. Fourth Course: Rack of lamb with braised lams shank and potato gratin Paired with two more flights of (mostly) Châteauneuf du Pape 1999 Domaine de Pegau Cuvée Reserve 1999 Domaine de la Solitude Cuvée Barberini 1998 Chateau de Beaucastel The Pegau continues to show very well. The herbal and fruit components are in harmony, and the wine has never shut down as far as I can tell. It’s good to drink now, but there’s lots of stuffing there, so consumption and cellaring are both viable options. It tasted great with the lamb shank. The Barberini (a new wine for Solitude in ’99) showed some oak influence, but not a great deal. Rounder and lusher than the Pegau, it was more about fruit than earth. The Beaucastel was just shut down. The potato gratin was good enough to merit its own paragraph. Instead of being some thick glop of potato and cheddar, it was an elegantly style mixture of potato and goat cheese, fried to a golden brown on the outside, and delicately creamy inside. There was just enough browning on the bottom to add a light crunch, and extra goat cheese on top was a nice counterpoint to the heavy flavors of the rest of the dish. It was just lovely, and along with the butter poached lobster my FOTN. We managed to save enough food to serve with the final flight of reds 2000 Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Croix du Bois 2000 P. Usseglio Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul 2000 Cailloux Cuvee Centenaire The Chapoutier seemed cooked to me. I won’t comment further. The two Châteauneufs were a study in contrast. The Usseglio combined rich earth with graceful fruit, and was a match with the lamb shank, while the Cailloux was more about perfectly balanced fruit, with an elegance that was missing from every other wine. They were both great but totally different & co-WOTN. I had expected both to be big bruisers, and was struck by the grace of the wines. After the plates were whisked away I spent a few minutes just smelling each of the two Châteauneufs, and basking in the rich warmth of the Usseglio, and the panoply of fruit in the Centenaire. Finally we were presented with a lovely dessert sampler Mini Crème Brulee Chocolate Opera Cake Cherry Gelato Served with 1994 Osborne Port All fo the desserts were quite good. The Crème Brulee was one of the creamiest I had ever tasted, the cake rich, but not thick or heavy, and the gelato (in a tuille cup) very fruity and the best match with the Port. Overall the Port tasted good (cherry and black cherry fruit, moderate alcohol, softening tannins) but didn’t offer anything to knock my socks off. The desserts took center stage. The overall meal was excellent, overshadowing most of the wines. Again had I known the menu I would have paired things differently. The reds worked pretty well, but the first two courses could have had better matches. A fun evening nonetheless!
  22. Rieslingfan

    Wine and Cheese

    Not that it will surprise anyone, but I love Riesling with cheese. Older Riesling Auslese is wonderful with ripe, soft cheeses. I've had it with Tallegio and Reblochon and loved both matches. Also Austrian Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) is great with goat cheeses.
  23. Rieslingfan

    Zinfandel allergy

    Yes primitivo and zin are related. They are both versions of a grape from central Europe that I can't spell correctly...Crejnak or somehting like that.
  24. Kriss, What you may not realize is that Storrs, CT is very much a cow town. Before Auriemma and Calhoun, UConn's most famous attraction was the UConn Creamery, part of their School of Agriculture. There's a definite "dairy air" in Storrs. And yes, I am shameless, but you knew that.
  25. Taurasi also makes some very good basketball players.
  • Create New...