Thursday, 28 April 2011


This is an old favourite of mine. The 2010 vintage may have a touch more acidity than normal, though the limestone soils in Pfeffingen's vineyards have helped to temper things nicely.

Weingut Pfeffingen, "Pfeffo" Riesling 2010, Pfalz
Dominant mirabelle (yellow plum) on the nose. Now classed as a "feinherb" - which sounds better than its previous "halbtrocken" incarnation - and officially referred to as a dry wine on Pfeffingen's price list. Although this is not entirely dry, the character of the vintage results in something more streamlined than I'm accustomed to, yet with no less flavour and balance. Still embued with succulence, this got the thumbs up from my better half - which is praise indeed.

Monday, 25 April 2011


We had a quiet time of things this Easter, but one of the highlights was a bike trip into the nearby German countryside in the early evening of Good Friday. Our destinaton was the village of Fischingen, where we had a meal and some wine at the Fünfschilling.

As far as I know, the Fünfschilling began life as a Straussi (as they say in the local dialect) which, strictly speaking, denotes a farm or other agricultural business permitted to sell its own produce and operate as a restaurant or bar at certain times of the year. The Markgräflerland region is full of them and all the better for it. However, this particular Straussi in Fischingen is a sizeable business open all year round. Apart from a restaurant area, it has a farmer's shop selling an array of organic fruit and veg as well as wine from the in-house winery, gourmet produce, confectionery and more besides. Fünfschilling produce is also sold every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning at the local market in Lörrach.

It is a huge operation - and hugely popular at that. Almost too popular, I would say, though that must be a good sign.

Pictured is the "alternative" facade of the winery building. Why do graffiti artists write like that? Maybe I'm naive, but surely they'd want people to understand what they mean.

My first Knipser

Yes, it's taken this long.

I've heard and read loads over the years about this property. Maybe I've been deterred to date by the cost of buying their top wines, though I realise that quality has a price. Hence cheapskate here decides to purchase their red blend costing under 9 euro.

Weingut Knipser, Cuvée Gaudenz 2007, Pfalz
This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Dornfelder and Lemberger, i.e. a clash of native German varietals with Bordeaux's very own.

Opaque ruby with a violet rim. Paprika, redcurrant and cream on the nose. A couple of days later, these aromas metamorphose into blackcurranty, chocolately notes. Initially, that old friend Dornfelder dominates the palate with super-dry tannins and that rustic, rusty personality. In time, the Cabernet gradually takes over. For the price, this is certainly very good value if a little formulaic. All the same, this would nonplus and surprise any newcomers to German (red) wine.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Back in the blogging groove.

Weingut Pfeffingen, Weilberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs trocken 2009, Pfalz
Quite an innocuous straw-yellow in appearance, if truth be told - which belies what lies within.
Rather muted on the nose to begin with, but it's amazing what a bit of air does. A lovely fragrant combination of yellow fruit flavours, peaches and herbs. On the palate, fully loaded with sunshine: peaches again, elegant yet complex, intense and highly strung; the feminine pendant to the manly Herrenberg. While the latter is earnest and firm, this is more of a diva. And a pretty one at that.

Monday, 18 April 2011


As seen in the Pfalz on Friday.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bad Dürkheim

On Friday morning, I travelled up by train from Basel to Bad Dürkheim to attend the Pfälzer Wein- und Sektmesse, the annual wine fair for the Pfalz. Although many of the top wine estates in the Pfalz head to Mainz instead for the annual VDP extravaganza, the Bad Dürkheim event still attracts the rank and file of the Palatinate wine community.

All in all, it was an enjoyable if tiring day. My time at the fair was preceded just after lunch by a visit to Pfeffingen Estate, where Jan Eymael took time to accompany me through a tasting of a selection of wines. The 2010s we tasted all had a lovely freshness about them. This certainly wasn't one of the easiest of vintages, but the wines we tried show promise even at this early stage.

The Messe was quite a straightforward affair. Representatives of the varous wineries were lined up behind stands with a selection of their latest wines, and I would float from stand to stand, tasting one or two wines before introducing myself. Attending on the Friday afternoon probably spared me from the weekend hordes, so I was able to speak to a fair amount of people without too much argie bargie involved.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Apologies if posts are currently thin on the ground at moment. However, certain non-essential things like blogs are currently on the back burner while I do other things like designing our wedding invitation template, fielding translation jobs and promoting my fledgling business.

All I can say is, please bear with me.

Friday, 8 April 2011


It's been quiet in recent days owing to a trip to Bristol to see my fiancée's brother and his wife. I'd never visited Bristol before, so I was suitably impressed.

Pictured is the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.