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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Wine

Weissburgunder, Peters, 2016

Weissburgunder, Johannes Peters, 2016, White-wine from Germany

6.5 points

Recently, I opened a 2016 Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) by Johannes Peters and was extremely pleased and surprised. What a good wine! At the beginning of my writing on this blog, I described in more detail about the wine regions on the lower Saar and also about the winemaker Johannes Peters Peters, Scharzhofberger, Riesling, Spätlese, 2007, who stands in the shadow of some more “famous” and larger wineries, but has a parcel on the world famous Scharzhofberg, where he harvests a noble Riesling every year. 2016, so not so young for a so-called “quality wine” and still it comes with a refined freshness. Age does well to the wine, you might think that the wine has only just reached its peak. In addition to the surprising freshness, which is not to be confused with sour, the wine is delicate and overall pleasantly soft. A wonderful Burgundian from the Saar, for this quality, fabulously inexpensive and very much recommended, if you do not want a Riesling to your asparagus. It also goes well with roast pork or just on the side.

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Barthenau, Pinot Nero, Hofstätter Vigna Sant’Urbano, 2008

Barthenau, Pinot Nero, Hofstätter Vigna Sant’Urbano, 2008, red wine from Italy

7,5 points

It has been some time since I wrote about a wine from South Tyrol (Alto Adige). Some weeks ago, I ordered a wonderful Kerner and I told myself to write about this very typical South Tyrolean wine sometime soon. And then suddenly, I had a great tasting experience come in between, having opened a 2008 Magnum Barthenau from the winery Josef Hofstätter. Basically, I don’t need to write much about this winery and instead just refer you to my previous reviews: Riserva Mazon, 2006, Pinot Nero, Blauburgunder, J. Hofstätter. But the wine is absolutely top class! It was worth having stored it for so long, because at first it was really thin and a bit too woody. The last few years – I do not know how long I’ve stored it – have done it very, very well. A wonderfully balanced wine that does not remind you of a Pinot Noir in the classical sense, because it is much softer and smoother. Although it has retained the alpine coolness, which I like about the Hofstätter wines anyway, it now has strength and favorable spice. There is hardly any note of fruitiness left, but rather a compact balance of wood, tobacco, dark berries, something like orange peel and a super-fine tannin. Great wine, classically made, but with its very own character. Definitely a wine that gets addictive the older it gets. Or maybe it is at his peak right now. I saw online that you can buy even this particular vintage in some places! So rush!

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Skykitchen, Restaurant, Berlin

Skykitchen, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

7 points

Alexander Hoppe has Richard’s deer. Which is funny because a few days before I finally made it to Skykitchen Berlin, I visited Richard, another Michelin star restaurant in Berlin, and there was no deer there – see here my review about Richard Richard, Restaurant, Berlin

Not that you should get the impression that I go exclusively to starred restaurants, but Berlin makes it quite easy, given that there are a total of 21 restaurants with altogether 28 stars – more than any other city in Germany and currently in 12th place in the world, and in Europe coming in right after Paris, London, and Brussels at number four! This said, I do not think that restaurants are necessarily better just because they have a star. There are many I’ve visited in past years they would easily get one from me, if I were a tester. But there are many cities and places in world that Michelin does not even test. And since I’m not ruining the career of a chef or a winemaker because I may not like what I’m served, with my recommendations you can take them or leave them. A friend from Los Angeles recently visited Brawn in London (Brawn, Restaurant, London) and enjoyed it very much. It is not listed among the almost 80 restaurants with a star there. And it’s certainly interesting to see how different all of the Berlin Michelin star restaurants are – or what makes them similarly unique on the other hand. This kind of field research is best done in my current hometown.

Skykitche view

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Vieux Remparts, Chateauneuf du Pape, 2010

Vieux Remparts, Chateauneuf du Pape, 2010, red-wine from France

5 points

If you try to do a little research on the Internet, you won’t find out much about this wine. And then you ask yourself: why there is so little to read about this wine, since actually it’s not bad at all, in fact quite good. The bottle itself already says a lot — not only the world-famous name Chateauneuf du Pape graces the label — but the papal insignia is also molded above the label, imprinted into the glass itself. If you were to then read the label: Appellation d’Origine Controllée, at least wine experts know that this is not a special or noble wine of this exceptional provenance, but just a simple geographic denomination. And then it hits me: Mann (in English Oh man!), that’s the Aldi wine that I bought so many years ago! Now, I hope every reader knows what Aldi is: a German grocery discounter that expanded in most of Europe and even in the USA.  For Aldi prices, a bottle of this wine was really expensive, favorable for Chateauneuf-du-Pape numbers (not cheap!). Now I also understand why there’s nothing to read about the winemakers, about some great or boring family that has been producing this fantastic wine for centuries, with the unlikely sacrifice and long-standing faith, ever since the Pope built his summer residence in Avignon – of course because of the great vineyards at lower Rhone. How profane: Aldi has in fact let some unknown mass producers produce a large number of bottles of “red” (Grenache, Syrah, Merlot) at the local appellation. That it’s well packaged, as I said, not only makes things at Aldi interesting and eye-catching, but also does the trick in many fine wine shops.

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Merlot, Stekar, 2013

Merlot, Jure Stekar, 2013, red-wine from Slovenia

7,5 points

Jure Stekar often reminds me that I should finally write about his wine. And he’s undoubtedly right, because he produces one of my favorite Merlots. Merlot is such a widespread grape that there are understandably many sommeliers and wine lovers who have no particular affection for this grape variety. Due to the worldwide cultivation of this sort we can experience many different good and interesting wines. In the meantime, there are more than a few wineries in Germany who produce Merlot, including some that make very good wines such as Aldinger from Stuttgart (Bergmandel, Lemberger GG, 2012, Aldinger). Their Merlot of course tastes completely different compared to an unfiltered Merlot from Newton, California for example. What connects the two wines, however, is the proud price, even if the German is much better off.

Jure’s Merlot is not only a very special one because it has its very own character and is made entirely biologically and naturally (even without sulfides), but it is also an inexpensive price for its great quality. Though I probably shouldn’t mention that here because the price of the wine could always go up. However, what might prevent a rise in prices would be the rarely ugly label.

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Katzebosch, Grauer Burgunder, 2011, Jürgen Leiner, (2nd review)

Katzebosch, Grauer Burgunder, 2011, Jürgen Leiner, German white-wine

7 points

I wrote about this wine three years ago when I started this blog: Katzebosch, Grauer Burgunder, 2011, Jürgen Leiner. Since I have stored some bottles and open one occasionally, not only to see how the wine has developed, but also simply because I felt the desire to drink this wine now, some thoughts about it could be interesting. Certainly not on every topic or wine, but if much has happened, much, as in the case it did with the Grauer Burgunder of Jürgen Leiner, then why not. I also write several reviews at restaurants each time I return. Just as I did the last with the Hisa Franko (Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Stelo (3rd report))

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“P”, Guccione

“P”, Azienda Agricola Guccione, Perricone, Red-wine from Italy

5,5 points

Uh, this one is sour. Really sour. This is, frankly speaking, the first reaction upon tasting this wine. But you could probably also just call it: “I wasn’t expecting that.’

“P” by Francesco Guccione is an extraordinary, if not an unusual, wine. Not a wine for beginners, as I provoked on Instagram when I posted a photo of the label. P stands for the Perricone grape variety, also known as Pignatello, which, as far as I know, only grows in Sicily. Find out more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perricone.

The wines of Francesco Guccione are perhaps the most radical organic wines from Sicily, where you can find some “world-famous” organic wine producers, such as Occhipinti and COS. Everyone who read my last post about COS (Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016), knows about my friendly acquaintance Joanna. When we spent a very nice evening in the wonderful garden of Bar Sabadi at Modica, she introduced me to Francesco Guccione’s Trebbiano, which is truly wonderful – such a fantastic wine. Because of this, I decided to order two or three bottles of each of his wines, and I tasted “P” in recent days.

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Cuvée Hautes Terres, 2011, Chateau Fourcas Dupré

Cuvée Hautes Terres, 2011, Chateau Fourcas Dupré, Listrac Médoc, Bordeaux, red wine from France

2 points

It is perhaps easier to write about something beautiful, good, and tasty — because when you write about something ugly, bad, and inedible, you can be driven by anger. Anger in turn is not a good guide and of course not good for the nerves. Often you cannot change it anyway, because usually the cause of annoyance or anger is in the past. However, fuck it! Yesterday I was angry and before others do too, this short text may at least be a well-intentioned warning.

Last night I opened a Cuvée Hautes Terres 2011 of Cháteau Froureas Durpé. Not a special or well-known wine from Bordeaux. No idea, frankly, where I got this bottle from.

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Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016

Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016, white wine from Italy

7,5 points

Until now I have not written about COS, although I am a big fan of this winery. Not only because of the great wines of Azienda Agricola Cos, but also due to the presence of Joanna Dubrawska, who for many years was not only responsible for marketing and sales for COS but could also introduce wines in a very special way. She left COS a few months ago and is now working somewhere in France. Behind the winery are actually three founders, C. O. S. is a reference to their surnames.

DSC_5247.JPG

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