Monday, 1 February 2010


Here's a can of Ambrosia Devon Custard..

And here's a bottle of Ambrosia..

Well, Ambrosia Riesling from Aloisiushof in St Martin, Pfalz, to be precise. First, though, I need to take you back to early 1997.

When I was studying languages during my university days in Scotland, I took the customary "year abroad" which involved teaching spoken English at a secondary school. My home that year was Germersheim in the Pfalz. Due to the proximity of the Deutsche Weinstraße, I decided to devote my obligatory dissertation to the local wine and vineyards. What then followed as preparatory "work" were numerous trips to wine country with other local British Fremdsprachenassistenten. The plan of action at every winery tasting room we entered was for me to mention my dissertation and use this as an alibi for us all to taste the respective wine estate's wines - purely for "academic purposes", I hasten to add...

This merry tour led us one March afternoon to St. Martin, a beautiful village nestled in the heart of the Pfalz at the foot of Kalmit, the highest hill in the Pfälzer Wald. The almond trees were in full blossom and all was well with the world. Whether we visited Aloisiushof, I'm not sure, but the chances are that we did.

The story sort of turns full circle now with the following wine, which I first read about on the Drink Tank blog. At half the price of a lot of top-range dry Rieslings, I thought it was well worth a try.

Weingut Aloisiushof, Riesling "Ambrosia" 2008, or to use the full name printed on the back label: "2008er St. Martiner Kirchberg Riesling Spätlese trocken - alte Reben - vom Rotliegenden - handgelesen."

Minerally on the nose. The aromas are still somewhat diffuse, but I can detect plenty of mouthwatering fruit in the second glass after an hour or so once I've got our Sunday dinner ready and we're sitting down. On the palate, the wine is powerful with, dare I say it, an almost a creamy feel to it. The acidity is ripe and just right, the finish long. And although it weighs in at 13.5% alcohol, the wine is very balanced. Elegant and poised, this has a bright future ahead of it, I would think. More of a supple, rounded character than a coiled spring, though.

In hindsight, I should have decanted this, but, happily there's more where this came from.

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