England & Germany

Another interesting tasting at Cambridge Wine Merchants on Mill Road.

Chapel Down NV Sparkling Wine
Very dry, sherbet and fruit with good acid. A fine alternative to the French equivalent, although somewhat pricy at £13.99.
Foundation Estate 2003 Riesling Kabinett, Trabener Würzgarten
The first bottle was faulty! It smelled of poor sherry and tasted oxidised, flat and yucky. I got Allison to try it, and she rejected it straight away. Our glasses got passed around to let everyone see the stark difference, as became apparent when a new bottle was opened. Very fresh, loads of acid, reasonable fruit. This was a QmP wine, so in theory of higher quality (and price – £7.99) than…
Carl Schmitt-Wagner 2004 Riesling Longuicher Maximer Herrenberg
A gorgeous young Riesling, with loads of fruit and acid balancing each other. Better than the previous wine even though only a QbA, and excellent value at £6.50. Graham bought us two bottles.
Burger Wendelstück Spätlese 1992 Weingut Berner Müller Pension
No botrytis on this one, but definite hints of petrol and raisin, and plenty of acid even after 14 years in the bottle. Maybe I should get a couple to keep for a year or two?
Burger Hahnenschrittchen 1973 Auslese Berner Müller
Apparently ‘Hahnenschrittchen’ means ‘chicken step’. An amazing 33 years old, and sadly starting to get a bit fragile. The first bottle had a very mouldy cork top, and a mushroomy nose. On the palate it was gorgeous but hard to enjoy with that whiff. The second bottle opened (apparently) with a sulferous nose, which cleared, but wasn’t quite as full and honeyed on the palate. This would have been a fantastic wine year or two ago, especially at under £20.
Carl Schmitt-Wagner 1996 Auslese
Brought in at the last minute as a replacement for the over-the-hill chicken step wine. Only (!) ten years old, a lovely honey and beeswax nose with good flavours in the mouth and plenty of fresh acid. Another potential keeper.
Chapel Down Pinot Blanc 2004
We moved back to the English wines for the second half. This Pinot Blanc was searingly acid, but I really enjoyed its hints of grapefruit, and I think it would go well with spicy food or rich pate. As with all the English wines, expensive at £10.99.
Chapel Down Schönburger 2004
Very interesting and very tasty. A peachy nose, and a fruity and spicy flavour with bitter peaches coming through in the mouth, good acid and quite a long finish. Apparently the Schönburger produces better wine in England than in Germany, where it can be flabby. This definitely wasn’t, so Graham got two at £8.99 each.
Chapel Down Pinot Noir 2004
Eek! £19.99 a bottle. A brave attempt at an English Burgundy, and the nose and structure were heading in the right direction, but just too austere and thin overall.
Foundation Estate Riesling Eiswein 2003 Waldracher Laurentiusberg
Mmm. Heaven in a glass. I could have sniffed the gorgeous nose all night. My notes got a bit carried away: “rich raisiny nose, hints of solvent. Rich but deliciously acid mouth, buttery and biscuity”. Being naughty, Graham got us two bottles. Yum.

1 Comment »

  1. Graham Said,

    July 13, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

    Yes, with the last (Foundation Estate Riesling Eiswein 2003 Waldracher Laurentiusberg) we were naughty: it was £20 a half bottle.

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