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March 29, 2011

MyPfalz: Andres und Mugler, Riesling brut

MyPfalz (5): Monthly sparkling wine - March
Riesling Brut 2009, Sekt b.A.
Andres und Mugler,
Ruppertsberg
12 €

A medium-pale golden yellow color. A nose that is a bit shy, but with nice yeasty-brioche notes and ripe pineapple peeking out. Lots of small bubbles, giving a nice towards creamy mouthfeel. Baked apple on the palate, toast, citrus. Fresh and zesty, nice and lean with a rather expressed finish. Really, really liked it! Will go and get more...

I would love to tell you how I got to this bottle of wine, but can't... (Thank you, Mr. Andres!) Let's just put it that way: almost magical, steered by satellite with an adventurous touch to it, but certainly a very trustful encounter led me into owning this bottle. (Not what you are thinking..!) It was actually one of the moments where I felt very thankful and blessed to be back home.

However! Andres und Mugler is a sparkling wine manufacturer that does just that: sparkling wine, the traditional method. Two young men started out in 1989 when they decided to not want to have to buy sekt anymore, but make their own - better - one. Ever since, they were in the spotlight of many wine critics, Stuart Pigott is only one of them, who gave lots of praise for their products. They came up with a different design for their corks, which should be something for my minimalism-loving Swedish friends.

Both men have also their own wineries, where they make, market and sell their own brands each. 

Andres und Mugler is located in Ruppertsberg, the tiny village close to Deidesheim. Check out their website and call before you visit! 

And to you who already tried this wine, I would be very glad to hear what you think of it. :)

Cheers!

Read more posts MyPfalz:
Bürklin-Wolf Riesling 2001
Hirschhorner Hof Riesling brut
Johann F. Ohler
Dr. Wehrheim, Rotliegendes Riesling S 2008

March 21, 2011

Mandelblütenfest Gimmeldingen

almond blossom
Japan. Libya. Knut. The depressing and troubling news we are to absorb everyday... What a great, great break we got yesterday! Very much appreciated and welcomed indeed!! We walked pass the vineyards Ölberg and Idig from Königsbach over to Biengarten to make our first stop at Mugler's out in the wine fields. Beautiful pink and white almond trees everywhere. Sun, sun, sun. The sky so, so blue. I am still going on all those impressions from yesterday!

And we were not alone, several ten-thousands had come to Gimmeldingen, yesterday! Cars along the vineyards and roads all over. We never made it all the way to the center into the 2600-inhabitant village. It was so lovely, out in the vineyards and under the trees. And in the garden of JFO.









Nice Riesling, Sekt and Schorle. Saumagen, Bratwurst and Crépes. Everyone was happy and glad. Now spring is here.

March 18, 2011

Prunus dulcis


© Lars O. Larsson
Spring is here! The almond trees are in bloom. Our photo shows a single one between Ruppertsberg and Königsbach. At most places though, they are lined up and form wonderful frames of vineyards, streets or fields. Over 3000 trees are found around Neustadt alone. Nobody knows how many there are along the entire wine route.

The colors of the blossoms vary from almost white over light rosé to bright pink. Since a few years, the ca 60 km long 'Mandelpfad' (almond path) invites for walks along the beautiful allees. Countless places are welcoming the thirsty and hungry walkers along the road... A map has been established to show the areas with most trees. Several monuments, like i.e. the Hambach Castle, the Weintor (wine gate) at Schweigen, etc. are lit up in pink between February and April 17, the time of the almond blossom. And in Birkweiler you can have your own almond tree planted with your name on it... All this and more you can read about at http://www.mandelbluete-pfalz.de/ 


About 8 differents sorts of almonds are found along the Weinstrasse. Almonds are a good source for vitamin E, have a good balance of saturated and unsaturated fats and lots of other important nutrients. A daily intake of 25 g nuts or almonds is recommended by several health organisations. They also make for a tasty snack to a glass of wine.  

This weekend, Gimmeldingen is inviting to the first winefest of the year, the Mandelblütenfest (almond blossom festival). The weather has been gorgeous, up to 20 C, but unfortunately the weekend's prognoses are not that bright. However, we'll take it as it comes. Spring is here, whether we need thick jackets or thinner ones...

March 11, 2011

Earthquake Japan

My thoughts are with Japan, today... All these people going through this horrible catastrophe right now... Families being ripped apart, beloved ones loosing their lives. Feeling so helpless, vulnerable and totally exposed. Fears for more to come. Another big desaster where mother Earth is flexing muscles. How it puts so many things into perspective again, right?   

March 02, 2011

MyPfalz: 2001 Riesling Tasting at Bürklin-Wolf

MyPfalz (4): Monthly Riesling - February
Dr. Bürklin-Wolf
Riesling 10 years on
Wachenheim, Pfalz

I am cheating and taking this wine tasting as the Riesling of the month, because I really liked them all and it would be very difficult to name only one as this month's wine...

One of my nicest wine tastings so far! Very nice ambience with a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere spread by Tom Benns, wine consultant at the prestigeous estate Dr. Bürklin-Wolf. And the wines! 3 Premiers Crus, 4 Grands Crus, and a (Muskateller) Beerenauslese - all from 2001. 10 years on. The theme of the evening.

BW has since 1994 established their own appellation system, by distinguishing their wines by their sites. Very best are the Grands Crus, followed by the Premier Crus - just like in France. However! The classification is really old and dates back to 1828. Long before Germany started the mustweight-qualification m(adn)ess.

Ok. As you figured before, I am not falling for 'big names', 'gurus', 'grand crus' etc... Rather, I am out there to explore the wine world and to see what _I_ like. So, to start this text by mentioning the 'Crus' could be misleading... It is not about their status. But about their taste. (Which of course most propably explains the status... :) ). 

2001 - seperating the men from the boys. That's how some winemakers would discribe the vintage. The year before, 2000, was one of the worst of the area. Too much rain, taking it's toll. For Bürklin-Wolf that meant 180.000 liters compared to normally 400.000. No G.C., no P.C. that year. Instead all remaining grapes from top sites were used for the basic estate wines (Gutswein). So, in 2001, when rain set in in late summer, many vintners harvested their grapes earlier than planned, in order to get some quantities - even if for the price of lower quality. BW though needed G.C. and P.C. wines this year, so they decided to wait anyway. Gambling. They were lucky! After the shorter rain period came a golden October and the grapes could develop at a slow pace, hence collecting lots of flavours.

Tom Benns, Wine Consultant Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, and me at the
Gault Millau sign Best Collection 2010
Tasting different wines of one grape variety, one vintage, and one wine estate, you can assume that there is a red line going through all those wines. Which it is: all
- have wonderful developed, ripe aromas,
- felt very fresh and clean, with a still high acidity, 

- have a higher residual sugar content than you can taste,
- have nice minerality,
- have a long finish, dominated by grapefruit flavours.
The difference lies in between: some
- are fuller bodied, some leaner,
- some are almost of oily consistence
- some have smoky tones,
- some more herbal.
Reflecting their originality - the terroir. Very exciting to experience it so distinctly!


Tom opening the wines for us
The tasting:

2001 Wachenheimer Goldbächel P.C. € 19.50 (the welcome wine)
Very ripe, sungolden fruit, apricot, petrol, towards oily, light-medium bodied.Goldbächel: 4,3 ha total vineyard, BW owns 3. Sloping south. Red and yellow sandstone.
 
2001 Wachenheimer Altenburg P.C.  19.50
lean, young, floral, nutty, fresh, light-boded
Vineyard: 1,22 ha total,  BW 0,4. Sloping east, shady afternoons. 130-150 above NN. White sandstone.

2001 Wachenheimer Böhlig P.C. 19.50
medium-bodied, creamy, ripe yellow fruit
Vineyard: 4 ha. Sloping south. Yellow and red sandstone gravel, upper part of site limestone.

right: Altenburg P.C., left: Böhlig P.C., middle behind: Goldbächel P.C.
2001 Deidesheimer Kalkofen G.C. 37.-
nutty, apple compott, creamy, medium-full bodied 
Vineyard: 5 ha. BW 0.7. Slightly sloping, warm position. Clay and lime gravel on a limestone bank.

2001 Deidesheimer Hohenmorgen G.C. 42.-
leaner than Kalkofen, ripe yellow fruit, minerality 
Vineyard: 4 ha. BW 0.5. Slightly sloping, warm position. Neighbor to Kalkofen.

2001 Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad G.C. 37.-
dark golden color, very ripe golden fruit, hints of vanilla
Vineyard: 2002 was last G.C. from this site. 2004 new vines were planted.

2001 Forster Jesuitengarten G.C. 57.-
my favorite of the day! Very lean and elegant, with distinct flint stone
Sloping east. Vulkanous basalt. 2nd best vineyard of the Pfalz (classification 1828).


2001 Muskateller Beerenauslese 57.-
239 g/l sugar. Sweet? Yes. Good? In small doses: Yes - because the acidity is still so high, that there is a fine balance to it. Wonderful with some nice ripe, soft cheese.

The end:
Tom's reparation wine, or, as he calls it: method in my madness.
2009 (!) Riesling Hohenmorgen P.C.
too young to mention in this context ;)

I now understand much better, why these wines need to be put on shelves for some years to really get most out of your payment. And why Riesling is not just Riesling.
A happy tasting group
Thank you Tom for a great evening - we'll be back for more!

Nice gift to the wine lover? The G.C. Box

Dr. Bürklin-Wolf is one of the 3 B's, the Pfalz estates that have since long been known around the wine world. I will get back to this in a separate post, leaving this one with the wine tasting for now.

www.buerklin-wolf.de

MyPfalz: http://vinumdiligo.blogspot.com/search/label/MyPfalz

Day at von Buhl: http://vinumdiligo.blogspot.com/2010/11/2009-gg-tasting-reichsrat-von-buhl.html