Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Paradiesgarten is German for "Garden of Eden". It's also a lovely vineyard that overlooks the western tail-end of Deidesheim near the open-air swimming pool (I went for a refreshing dip there once, lovely place). A stone statue of a naked Eve also adorns the scenery.

Weingut von Winning, Erste Lage, Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten "Selection MAX" trocken 2014, Pfalz
The "Selection Max" is a nod to Swiss wine merchant Max Gerstl for whom the winery made this bottling.
Straw yellow in appearance. Surprising open on the nose for a wine this young. Predominantly white fruit notes - something along the lines of white peach, as well as yellow apple and pineapple. Almost translated like-for-like on the palate, along with some gooseberry. Light-medium body and plenty to commend this. A suggestion, or sense, of (tropical) sweetness, but this in itself is an endearing trait and not a weakness. Great for sipping (or swallowing in huge gulps).

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Pinot Rosé, Martin Wassmer

Time for some bubbly.

Weingut Martin Wassmer, Pinot Rosé Brut, Baden
I've always been mildly amused by Martin Wassmer's chutzpah at having a bottle label that is suspiciously reminiscent of a certain famous Champagne label. Salmon orange in appearance (see photo). Raspberry and melon aromas, biscuity hints. A little bit savoury. (Bacon?) Raspberry on the palate with a refreshing apple tartness that keeps my mouth watering. The raspberry is very pure and moreish. Perfect for mid-summer. This doesn't necessarily hit the true heights, but it's a pretty adamant, good-value sparkler that knows its worth. I might be inclined to get more.
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Saturday, 20 June 2015

Schneider from Weil

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. Now I wouldn't dream that for a minute when it comes to the wines of Claus Schneider from Weil. On the contrary, the quality that this down-to-earth family-run winery situated in Germany's most southwestern town produces is more than a little bit good. It's just that I seem to have gravitated away from them in recent years in favour of other wines from maybe a little further afield; I absolutely love the Rieslings of the Pfalz, for example. And yet, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Just like I'm falling back in love with Gutedel - which, when grown in the right places, is in my opinion more than a match for, say, Silvaner - I'm also revisiting the wines from Weiler Schlipf - a vineyard I used to live barely a 10-minute walk away from when I first moved to this part of the world back in the year 2000. (I now live a 20-minute bike ride away.)

Weingut Claus Schneider, Weiler Weissburgunder trocken 2013, Baden
Very light beige, almost grey in appearance. Very minerally on the nose. No, seriously ... unadulterated minerals. That's the best descriptor I can find. It's not salty or iodine-like. It's minerally. If I wanted to sound less abstract but more macabre, I could also say that it's what I imagine crushed bones to smell of. The scent is very earthy, but the tones are light, if you know what I mean. This continues on the palate. Little in the way of obvious fruit, but a wine to be judged more on the basis of its elegant structure on the one hand and pure, stark minerally personality on the other. Light to medium body; long, satisfyingly dry finish. Not too dissimilar to a very good Chablis.