Sunday, 24 August 2014


This is not meant to sound condescending, but Dirk Brenneisen's wines remind me more and more of Hanspeter Ziereisen's. Like his colleague in Efringen a couple of miles down the road, Brenneisen only minimally filters his wines if at all, he chooses not to deal with piddling issues such as whether his wines are "typical" enough to earn the Qualitätswein label (he bottles everything as Landwein instead), nor is he scared of his wines having a good backbone of acidity. Let's take exhibit A.

Weingut Brenneisen, "Himmelreich" Spätburgunder trocken 2009, Baden
Dark ruby. Dense and concentrated at first, then showing forest fruits (red and black). It's less the aromas and more an overall impression of terrific sappiness and freshness that holds my attention even on the nose. I take a sip. A pronounced, bright vein of acidity washes around my mouth. The tannins have a slightly tart bitterness which amplifies this effect. Extremely fresh and vibrant almost Italian style in that way. Tremendous concentration for a wine with just 12.5 percent alcohol, with mostly dark berry fruit and chocolately hints. However, the flavours seem secondary amid the freshness and brightness that return on the finish to lend a satisfying, mouthwatering feel.

This was raised for 20 months in Burgundy barrels (barriques), of which only a third were new. Himmelreich refers to the name of the cadastral plot in which the vines were grown that's another similarity to Ziereisen, who also uses the names of specific plots for his wines.

Even at 16 euro, this is an absolute bargain.

Saturday, 23 August 2014


I think this photo also sums up the wine.
Now for something light and zingy.

Weingut Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken, Saarburg Rausch Kabinett 2011, Mosel
Straw yellow. A whiff of slate rises up from the glass. This slowly dissipates, leaving candied lime and hints of white peach. Gradually I can detect something I can only describe as slightly rubbery like a warm squash ball a minerally characteristic I've noticed in other excellent wines, red included. Candied apple on the palate; great balance between the high notes of the acidity and the fruitier, sweeter elements. Somehow concentrated and even slightly glazed, yet it remains as light as a feather. Extremely tasty and, at 8.5 percent alcohol, perfect midday fare.

Rausch the vineyard name is German for a state of intoxication, ecstasy, exhilaration or frenzy, a buzz, a high, etc.

Friday, 22 August 2014


The following "notes" are going purely on memory, but this wine is worth a mention.

Weingut Thörle, Saulheimer Hölle Riesling trocken 2012, Rheinhessen
Bright gold-yellow in appearance, this looks copious and copious it is. This is full of goodness and charm. Voluptuous, dripping yellow fruit on the nose, including quince. Succulent and viscous on the palate. Opulent and complex. The chewy, juicy fruit is still packed tightly within. This wine is slightly baroque, but it has incredible grip and nothing is overdone. A beautiful glazed film coats the inside of my mouth and lingers and reverberates for minutes. Blimey, this is good. Anything but Hölle on earth.

Thursday, 21 August 2014


A couple of random wines that have brought enjoyment to the Jones household over the last week or so.

Weingut Dörflinger, Müllheimer Reggenhag Weissburgunder Kabinett trocken 2013, Baden
By all accounts, the latest cool-to-cold vintage is slightly dodgy for Riesling, which leads me to believe that Pinots such as this excel in 2013. I'm not far wrong if this wine is anything to go by. This is fresh and as pinpoint as Phil Taylor on the oche. Furztrocken (or as dry as a fart) as one would subtly say in German, but with plenty of sappiness and juice. As refreshing as an icy brook and as straight as a die. From now on, this is one of my favourite "summer" wines, although this doesn't necessarily have to be drunk in the summer. 

Schlossgut Ebringen, Grauburgunder trocken 2013, Baden
Bought and drunk at a local wine fest in Ebringen last weekend after an afternoon's clothes shopping in Freiburg. This was the carrot by dear wife dangled in front of me as a reward for revamping some of the contents of my wardrobe. We'd tried the sparklers and the Gutedel, but this was the best wine by far. Again, extremely precise and refreshing. Best enjoyed well chilled.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Hundertgulden III

Weingut Bischel, Appenheimer Hundertgulden Riesling trocken 2012
Quite unassuming straw yellow in appearance. Citrus scents that remind me of limoncello. Both waxy and blossomy notes, with honeysuckle and peanuts (?!) wrapped up in a savoury complex whole.
Nutmeg on the palate, with exotic papaya and passion fruit. A lovely glaze-like film covers the inside of my mouth. Copious body without becoming overly voluptuous. Great balance with ripe acidity holding everything in check. Minerally and warm undertones. Very long. There is very little separating the three Hundertguldens that I've tried (see here and here), and this specimen is excellent too.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


It's been quiet on here for a while because I've been translating another dual-language book: volume 2 of Vinipazzi, the title of which is "PHANTAPALASTIQUE. The wine does the talking" (The German title is "PHANTAPALASTIQUE. Es ist der Wein, der spricht"). That first part of the title confused me too. All will be revealed in the book itself. Author Thom Held is profiling three producers and their wines: Château Rayas (Châteauneuf-du-Pape), Henri Bonneau (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) and Marie-Thérèse Chappaz (Valais, Switzerland). Publication is not until the end of November, which is just as well because the schedule for getting everything translated, typeset and proofread umpteen times has been intentionally spaced out to give all of us involved a lot more breathing space compared to the first book.

In the meantime, here are three photos I took during the tasting sessions I was lucky enough to attend in preparation for the book.