Sunday, 25 April 2010

A delightful Riesling from the Mosel

When you mention German wines to most people, they instinctively think of Hock and Liebfraumilch, which is a shame really, as they produce some fantastic wines from the Riesling grape, such as the Dr L Riesling 2008, from the Loosen bros.

The grapes used to produce this wine come from the Mosel valley, near to the village of Bernkastel where the soil is predominately composed of slate. Because of this the root eating phylloxera louse can’t survive in these conditions and the vines remain on their own root stock instead of being grafted on to a phylloxera resistant one.

Many of the vines they have on their estate are well over 120 years old, with the average age being 70, this means the vines are far less vigorous producing lower yields of better quality fruit, and more expensive wines. Unfortunately the grapes from these vines aren’t used to make this wine, as they use purchased grapes from other local growers in the area, but it does produce an excellent wine.

In the glass the wine has a very pale lemony green colour, with reasonably pronounced aromas of stone fruit and citrus. On tasting you get the impression that the wine is sweeter than it actually is due to fruit flavours. The wine is actually more an off-dry style than a med. sweet wine, with fantastic flavours of peaches and nectarines with a touch of citrus coming through as an after taste. Combine these with the low levels of acidity and alcohol and you get a beautifully balanced, refreshing wine which goes down perfectly with a Thai curry.

So what do I think of this wine, for an entry level Riesling it is absolutely outstanding, especially at around the £7 price mark you can’t go wrong.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A Classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

I was in my local Sainsbury’s recently, when I spotted that they had Shelter Bay New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2009 on a half price offer, at only £4.99, and me being me couldn’t resist in buying a bottle or two to enjoy at home.

As you may have realised from previous posts I’m a big fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to get it on my blog. Coming from the Marlboro region at the northern end of the southern island, this wine showed why we all love this wine so much.

On pouring into the glass you get these wonderfully pronounced aromas of gooseberries and, I hate to say it, damp nettles (thank you Jilly Goolden)! On tasting, these aromas come through with great intensity and lasted on your palate for some time, with a good level of acidity this wine went on to be delightfully balanced and thoroughly enjoyable wine.

This is a classic example of how good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc can, and should be. Would I recommend it, of course, even if it wasn’t on a half price offer, but that just goes to show how such good value it was. If you can still find any left at that price grab it while you can, I doubt there’s much left though!