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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Wine

Columella, 2001

Columella, Liberatus in Castro Bonae Spei, Vindemia 2001, Red Wine from South Africa

7,0 points

I don’t know very much about South African wines. Once in a while, my friend Grant Hill – who is the most generous wine lover I know – and I spend an evening together, tasting wines and talking about the world! He always opens some rare wine that I haven’t tried before, sometimes I can even surprise him with a wine he doesn’t know.

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Grant is from Australia and therefore much more open to wines from the so-called New World. He simply knows many more wines from there than I do. Maybe it’s also that he’s a bit older than I am, so he’s had the chance to taste more broadly.

Continue reading “Columella, 2001”

Magnus Merlot, 2011, Villa Tolnay

Magnus Merlot, 2011, Villa Tolnay, red wine from Hungary

5 points

One of the most beautiful areas in Hungary is located between Tapolca and the north-western shore of Lake Balaton: hills, soft valleys often with cottonwoods, beautiful views – a place of relaxation and peace.

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The countryside is a mixture of Mediterranean views and volcanic landscape. Lovely: wine almost everywhere, mainly still owned and cultivated by private families – not as winemakers but private gardeners. Continue reading “Magnus Merlot, 2011, Villa Tolnay”

Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, 1993

Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, Valdicava da Vincenzo Abbruzzese, 1993, Red wine from Italy

7 points

Drinking wine, enjoying wine is so often also an emotional experience. Particularly if it’s a good wine! There are these special moments in life when you know afterwards why life is so beautiful, sometimes so grandiose …. Berlin, one of “the” towns of the world, Friday night, finishing work late, hungry for a “platform” for the transition from a heavy working week to a weekend! Relaxation is needed, but you cannot simply decree this to yourself. Too hyper to sleep, but also too tired to sleep.

Music is another element of emotional cognition. Friendship, too. On a recent Friday night, I rang the bell of Nobelhart & Schmutzig after midnight – a nice welcome, without any attitude like “hey, we are just cleaning up, almost closed, it’s “nice” to see you, but…”. Crossed the cleaned public kitchen area, seated at the bar next to Billy, who asked what I would like. Red. I got Adrianna Occhipinti. Sicilian wine. Wine experts among readers know it, and probably also know that this is a very good wine. I need to write about it, as this is also one of my favorite Italian winemakers. More importantly, someone tries to describe your sentiment, combines it with their own, the wine is in the bottle, and it smells delicious – although you already know it, or is it because you know it?

The restaurant is almost shut down for the night, the rest of the staff leaving, saying good night. Reduced light, the blue reflection of the screen of your friend’s laptop and – excellent music! A conversation among friends is never something about only one subject but so many at the time. A mixture of private, professional, daily, but also long-term things, all at once, slowed down by every sip of wine.

Continue reading “Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, 1993”

Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel, 1999

Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel, 1999, Red wine from France

7 points

For starters, here’s a link to my review of another Pinot Noir from Nicolas Potel – Clos Vouget Grand Cru, 1997: Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel, 1997. If you like, please read this review, perhaps even first, because I wrote about Nicolas Potel, his wine-making philosophy, and the area. So I won’t repeat all of that here.

This particular wine of his is from 1999 and comes from vineyards of the area in northern Burgundy called Gevrey-Chambertin, so, still very much in the middle of famous Burgundy wine region. Continue reading “Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel, 1999”

Mayacamas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979

Mayacama, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979, Red wine from USA

7,5 points

The first thing my friend Grant said was that he doesn’t really like Cabernet Sauvignon and, in particular, the ones from California. The second thing he did was to put a bottle of a Cabernet Sauvignon of Mayacamas on the table. When I saw the vintage, I piped down for a moment: 1979. He had opened the bottle some hours before, so it had enough time to breathe.

I have never had such an old American wine. I also think that Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is vastly overestimated and certainly much too expensive. Most of the time, these wines are too heavy, too fruity, too oaky – plump and show-off wines. Continue reading “Mayacamas, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1979”

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel, 1997

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel, 1997, Red wine from France

7 points

I’ve hesitated to write about Nicolas Potel since there are already so many interesting articles and reports online about him. I also missed two chances to meet him in person. I’ve appreciated his wine-making for a long time, although it has to be added that I haven’t tried any of his wines younger than five or six years. Part of his biography is quite affecting as – according different sources – he experienced the early death of his father, whom he was meant to succeed as the operating manager of the Domaine de La Pousse d’Or in Volnay. He made his way and actually became one of the most relevant and legendary winemakers of Burgundy. His name on any label ennobles excellent reds from the Cote d’Or vineyards. He did not become owner of his “own” vineyard or winery, but, since very the end of the nineties, he’s been producing his wines from purchased grapes and wines. Someone called him a négociant – although I guess the real meaning of this description would fit the wine “dealers” in Bordeaux better than the passionate winemaker  Nicolas Potel certainly is.

Continue reading “Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Nicolas Potel, 1997”

Colle Vecchio, Offida Pecorino, 2007

Colle Vecchio, Offida Pecorino, 2007, white wine from Italy

5,5 points

I never believed that this experiment would end well! Two or three years ago I discovered that I still had one bottle left of a rather typical – certainly not top – white wine from Cocci Grifone, vintage 2007. If someone had asked me – even five years ago, I would have said that this wine had very likely gone bad. I would have been wrong. And I was wrong. From the first nose it was clearly not off. But would it be a good wine? To my great surprise, the wine was still very good and, due to its age, had probably become something special.

Continue reading “Colle Vecchio, Offida Pecorino, 2007”

Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir, 2014

Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir, 2014, red wine from Canada

3 points

Some of my friends recently said ‘Canadian and wine are two words which don’t really go well together’. I am afraid it is true in certain regards. This Pinot Noir comes from an area not really well-known for wine: British Columbia in Canada. Quail’s Gate sits on the west side of Okanagan Lake, a 3 1/2 hour hour drive northeast from Vancouver. I haven’t been there yet and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get there. My knowledge of this wine region is very limited – perhaps Stefan Hartmann – the former chef at Berlin’s restaurant Hartmann, currently chef at Vancouver’s restaurant Bauhaus, can contribute some interesting notes on the area.

qg-panoramic-9-14x5.jpg Continue reading “Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir, 2014”

Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006

Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006, Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Red wine from France

4,5 points

This wine is much nicer than I expected! Spicy, dark berries, very dry, with strong tannins, but still very enjoyable. There is tobacco and even a note of bitter chocolate. The wine is full-bodied and quite potent. However, somehow it’s like a volcano that just can’t explode due to being covered by a huge layer of stones. You’re always expecting that something might still happen with this wine, but it doesn’t. For what it is: it’s good wine! A Bordeaux blend which is affordable, made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and little bit of Petit Verdot. In other appellations, the winemaker would add Cabernet Franc, which of course could make the wine a bit more elegant. This certainly wasn’t the intention of this maker; therefore it’s a rather bulky if not a fat wine. If I were asked what’s missing, I would say: some elegance. Continue reading “Chateau Brillette, Moulin de Médoc, 2006”

Visellio, Tenute Rubino, Primitivo Salento, 2006

Visellio, Tenute Rubino, Primitivo Salento, 2006, Red wine from Italy

7 points

I am actually surprised at myself — for giving this wine 7 points. For a Primitivo! But it’s an honest score. Many years ago, together with my team, we visited the Tenute Robino winery. What a noble name: “Noble Estate” – although it strongly contradicts the location of the winery. If you’d expect a charming, romantic estate somewhere in Apulian hills, surrounded by vines and olive trees — well, you’d be quite mistaken. Unfortunately, Tenute Rubino’s location is in the suburbs of Brindisi, which are really ugly. There are so many beautiful places, villages and towns in Apulia, but the worst are the suburbs of Bari and, even more so, Brindisi. Visually a killer, socially probably very problematic — and, like in the industrial areas of such cities, completely faceless and dusty. Although the building is quite modern and very functional, it lacks any flair. It reminds me of Cosimo Taurino (https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/06/01/patriglione-salento-2001-cosimo-taurino/), which I also visited some years ago – another unattractive place. But both produce good wine.

Continue reading “Visellio, Tenute Rubino, Primitivo Salento, 2006”

Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013

Freakshow, A „Michael David Joint“, The Strongest Man on Earth, Lodi, California, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Red-wine from USA

3,5 points

I began my last review of “The Seven Deadly Zins” with this note: “Art and design are certainly a question of taste.” (The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel) I certainly didn’t expect anyone to top that last label!  And it’s the same winemakers who have created this – let me say – impressive label. You can call them courageous or perhaps just possessing a strong instinct for kitsch. In any case: another remarkable wine label, it’s unforgettable!

Continue reading “Freakshow, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013”

The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel

The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel, Lodi, California, Red-wine from USA

5 points

Art and design are certainly a question of taste. Once you’ve seen the label of this wine, you’ll definitely be able to find it again. Personally, I find it really ugly. From a marketing point of view, it’s quite successful — since you can be sure that everyone will recognize it the second time around. This should also apply to the name of the wine also, shouldn’t it? Isn’t it funny? No! It is not! You can read the back label about the wine and its motto. Perhaps it’s only to sell more bottles, or whatever they think encourages people to drink. In any case, the only comment I can make is this: even in America (or: particularly in America) the Catholic Church and good wine seem to have a close connection.
Continue reading “The Seven Deadly Zins, 2013, Lodi Old Vine, Zinfandel”

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