Archive for September, 2012
Without a doubt, winemaker extraordinaire Paul Fuerst is producing some of the finest DRY wines out of Germany. His wines deftly showcase amazing purity, class, terroir, nuance with breathtaking elegance, precision, refinement & balance whether he is working with Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Muller Thurgau or Pinot Noir.
My wife Cheryle & I recently went to visit Paul at his home & winery on the western most edge of Franconia, Germany.
It was an added bonus that they had started harvesting grapes.
Some of our absolute favorite Rieslings out of Germany come from Bert Selbach & Dr F Weins-Pruem.
Bert is a descendent of the iconic Pruem family of the Mosel River region & therefore has small but cherished holdings in the top vineyards above the towns of Wehlen, Graach, Urzig & Erden.
One of his showstoppers comes from a 1 hectare parcel in the great Wehlener Sonnenuhr Vineyard which results in wines of great filigree, lots of riveting minerality & breathtaking refinement, especially special because of his style of winemaking.
One of our favorite Californian winemakers is Van Williamson. Over the years we have had a bevy of terrific Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Petite Sirah & Zinfandel he produced while at Edmeades. Each have been some of the very best we have had out of Calfornia for their respective grape variety. They were not fruit forward, flashy or fashionable…..but were instead honest, artisan, handcrafted, often wild & wooly wines which were very personal to him. Furthermore they even got better with bottle age.
We were greatly saddened when the Kendall Jackson group (owners of Edmeades) let him go. For me, it was the end of an era.
It has been a whirlwind week with lots going on! Fortunately, we were also treated to some very special wines which made things seem much better. Here are a few of the highlights.
2002 Robert Denogent Pouilly Fuisse “Les Carrons” MAGNUM
The other night we had a terrific opportunity to taste some older rustic red wines at VINO. BYOB wine tastings can be such fun!
1997 Domaine de la Grange des Peres
Owner/winemaker Laurent Vaillé has rather quietly gained cult status for his ‘tour de force” Cabernet-Syrah-Mourvedre based red wine from his vineyard in the l’Hérault of the Languedoc near Aniane which he purchased in 1989. Here, “the limestone is hard and abundant and the soil poor, no one thought he would ever have any success planting a vineyard on his plot of choice. Though it took dynamite and bulldozing to clear twice the amount of limestone, boulders, and glacial scree that was found in his neighbor Aimé Guilbert’s Daumas Gassac vineyards, he found ideal terroir for his grapes“. Having worked & studied with such masters as Jean-François Coche-Dury (Meursault), Gérard Chave (Hermitage), and Eloi Durrbach (Domaine Trévallon, Provence), therefore sourced his Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussane cuttings from Gérard Chave and his Cabernet from Domaine Trévallon.
With White Burgundy, I am always amazed at how the terroir really shines through again after the fruit & oak has had an opportunity to resolve itself with additional bottle age. Furthermore, I also really enjoy how harmonious & even more delicious they can become.
Last night was a golden opprtunity to sample 3 slighly aged white Burgundies.
1996 Amiot Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru “Les Caillerets”