Wednesday, 15 December 2010


We got the Christmas tree up last Sunday - or that is, Jenny got the Christmas tree up while I fretted about various bureaucratic matters related to setting up a business. I know who had the more enjoyable time. That said, I'll be glad next year when the new day-job can begin in earnest.

To sooth my disposition, I opened this, the last of the six "Einzelstücke" I bought around three years ago.

Weingut Markus Schneider, Einzelstück 2005, Pfalz
Opaque ruby with brownish cherry rim. Fruity, floral, earthy and mildly savoury aromas all at once. Plum, cherry schnapps and violet perfume underscored with wild mushroom, dark chocolate, creamy vanilla and mocha. Supple, smooth and understated body with finely grained, silky tannins enveloping the palate, savoury roasted notes, some minerals and ample complexity. What follows is a long finish. This is not the jammy fruit blockbuster one might expect. The moderate aging has mellowed the various components, while the acidity is just sufficient to keep the taste buds keen.

At EUR 26, these wines weren't cheap. At the time, it was way more than I had ever coughed up per bottle. In fact, it's a figure that has only been exceeded once or twice since, and even then, only for the odd bottle - not a whole case. However, this particular purchase was made out of curiosity.

So, was the outlay worth it? I would say yes, to a degree.

When I first tasted this three years ago, I was dubious as to the merits of barrel aging for a wine made from Portugieser vines that were almost 80 years old, subscribing to the view that it was a shame that oak should get in the way of something so unique. However, the last three bottles consumed over the past year were eminently more enjoyable. They seemed to be at their peak already, "So why wait another three years?" I thought. Overall, the experiment was a good one.

Anyway, they're all gone now. Would I invest - if that's the right word - in another six bottles? I wouldn't rule it out, but maybe I should simply look at it as another box to tick off on my list.

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