Category Archives: Inglaterra


Time For Me At The Rebstock

Every year…10 days ‘me’ time…
Friday 26 August
Arrived unpacked and a thai massage to relax the shoulders.
Evenings’ choice…
Tement Zieregg IZ Sauvignon Blanc 2008
South Styria, Austria
Nose of gooseberry and lychee…slick minerals…soft nougat sweetness…never ending pleasure here…someone wrote a wine for experts…but even the normal folk would have to appreciate this goodie.

Saturday 27 August
An annoying fly had kept me awake until midnight…altho…to be honest…it may have been the cigar after the meal….but so nice to sit out until 10pm after the meal.
With just a morcel to eat and then a long walk to
Kappelrodeck. The plan was to stop over at a cafe…but it was closed as they had a wedding…so I continued homeward throught the vineyards.

Soup for lunch on the terrace…then plum tart and coffee along with a cohiba.
Bettina…long standing waitress…was asked to open my choice for the evening…one of the wines I had brought with me. Four hours airing…
Wittmann Brunnenhäuschen Riesling 2011
Rheinhessen, Germany
Nose of yellow fruit…and as always…the Wittmann minerality…this just got better with air…trace of bitter grapefruit…lingering finish. Very drinkable…but give it a few hours in the decanter.
Tomato Terrine and Kotelett
Sunday 28 August
Another hot day….and a walk down the road to a cafe across from the Winzergenossenschaft…then back through the lower vineyards…and a soup for lunch…and a large glass of alcohol free beer.
Outside on the terrace…and we had a quick rain shower.
Keller Abts Riesling 2012
Rheinhessen, Germany
This was the first vineyard purchased by the Kellers after much investigation, but they showed super-human patience in the negotiations. Consider that they bought their parcel way back in 1996 yet were forced to wait nearly ten years for the current lease to end in 2005 before they could produce a single bottle under their label.
Aroma of pears…freshly cut grass…and a touch of lemon.
Elegant with super salty minerality and bright acidity with very long finish. Pure…precise…perfection…

Monday 29 August
Cooler today…and I had breakfast on the terrace. light lunch …soup…at cafe Glatt in Achern…then a walk to the sitting area above the vineyards…

Had this wine a few times…

Ziereisen Jaspis Gutedel 10 Hoch 4 2011
Baden, Germany
Repeat…repeat…like a great White Burgundy. Give it a large glass…and take a large whiff…and an extra large gulp. Only kidding…but this is very good. Butter and caramel aftertaste. Long…long…
Food…Warm Goose liver and Zander Filet
A couple I met last year were there again. They like their wine…so after they were given a glass of mine….they offered back Huber’s Wildenstein Spätburgunder 2010…still wild and complex.
We arranged to meet up for dinner next day.

Tuesday 30 August
Another massage…then into Achern to buy some new shoes for walking.

Tried them out through he vineyards…as I never wear socks in Summer…no blisters…great.
Franz Josef and Caroline arrived…they had brought along a bottle purchased from the Saar.
It was a pleasant opener while we chose the food.
Jumping ahead…I wanted something for the main course that needed little attention…as we would be chatting. The lamb was not the correct choice!
Too much work…
Back to the starters…and I had asked for the Hirtzberger to be given a couple of hours.
Hirtzberger Hochrain Smaragd Riesling 2010
Wachau, Austria
First impression was a little fat….but as it mixed in the glass the hidden acidity came through.
This would have complimented the Warm Goose Liver eaten on the previous evening…

We had discussed a few possibilities for the red…Franz Josef thinking about the Wildenstein 2009…I would have been happy with trying the Tignanello 2007 or the Spanish Ygay 2005…but they let me guide them to Becker’s top Pinot…a wine I had drank with friends a few months ago.
Becker Pinot Noir 2009
Pfalz, Germany
Fuller evolved and ready…oak just about hovering on the nose…and perfect served cooler on the warm evening.

Wednesday 31 August
Long hike to the Zuckerbergschloss….listening to the music I love…Soul and Gospel. Reibekuchen and a beer…

then on the way back…a coffee and apple tart at Huber’ cafe.
For the evening…
Asked for a table in the corner of the terrace. Have a feeling I do not want to converse tonight…and the staff know what I want.
The wine I want is the surprise last time I was here.

Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling trocken 2007

Rheingau, Germany

I loved this…floral notes…peaches…perfect time with the minerals and acidity stroking the Rheingau fruit. Exciting wine…harmonious…just my style.

Points 17.75

Thursday 01 September
Breakfast with Franz Josef and Caroline
The shoes are made for walking…getting a rhythm…at this rate I will sell the car…buy myself a case of Keller’s G-Max. Which leads me into the evening…and I was undecided what to drink. The plan HAD been…to sit with owner Karl Hodapp and share some wines…but yesterday he fell off his bike…and wine was not on the menu for his evening.

I sat on the terrace and both Claudi and Sandro greeted me with…wine is on the house! I threatened a G-Max 2014…which I know is in a mixed case Karl had collected from the property a few months ago…and we laughed. I compromised with a repeat of the Abtserde 2012.

Friday 02 September
Fancied a Pizza for lunch…Pizzeria in Achen…only ate half…look at the size of it!
Friday afternoon…Karl had recovered enough to join me for a cup of tea…and said to leave the two bottles I had brought with me…they are covered up and he has no idea what they are…and sometime in November we will empty them. Karl said he was well enough for the usual glass I send into the kitchen…and suggested Keller’s Silvaner Feuervogel 2015 which has a flinty nose…herby…quite full and juicy…soft smokey minerals…and vibrant acidity. Think it will be ok with warm Goose Liver followed by the Entrecôte.
Points 17
So here I am…slumming it again with Klaus Peter Keller…he would be proud of me!

Saturday 03 September
Walked up to the Hochsitz and ate some on the Pizza from yesterday. When I watch films and people are eating cold Pizza I shudder…but this was not bad. Weather is still warm…but the light clouds are keeping off the sun. It must be a record for my visits…every night eating out n the terrace!
At last…the Quail is on the menu…filled with Blutwurst und Gänseleber…a perfect match for the wine.
Knoll Riesling Pfaffenberg Selection 2006
Wachau, Austria
Last of the three bottles I brought from home.
Yellow with green tinges…gorgeous nose…yellow apples…pineapples…and it continues onto the palate…10 years old…and a point…still quite full…but that is Knoll’s style.

Sunday 04 September
Never tire of the trees viewed from the balcony…
Breakfast on the terrace…but it is cloudy.
The local football team are at home…and an early kick-off. They won 3-0.

Rain came as the game finished…but I was prepared.
No way you could sit outside tonight…so inside to the Stube.
I have been off the red wine…but tonight…last night…a red I tried 2 years ago.
Dominus Estate 2004
Napa Valley, U.S.A.
Nose bacon-like…complex cedar…loads of blackcurrants…creamy…soft and lush…but earthy enough to hold your attention.
Points 17.5
  • Monday 05 September
    And so another 10 years atthe Rebstock. Always a please to me up with Karl
    wife Sandra and son Basti.Their world seems far away from the problems of the
    world…long may it remain so.

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Time For Me At The Rebstock


A successful Marathon for Pichon Baron

Last Saturday was the 32nd Marathon du Médoc. As usual, we fielded a strong Pichon Baron team, of widely divergent sporting experience and ability, but all animated by the same enthusiasm for the event. We were thrilled that one of the members of the Pichon Baron team, Freddy Guimard, won the race, with an excellent time of 2:25…


A successful Marathon for Pichon Baron


Great Douro Vineyard Run – 1st edition

Last weekend I was at Quinta do Noval for the very first Great Douro Vineyard Run. This event was organized by the three Port producing companies: Taylor Fladgate; Symington group; and Quinta do Noval. This was a rather strenuous circuit that started and finished in Pinhão …

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Great Douro Vineyard Run – 1st edition


No Riesling from Volker

As promised…the next meeting…and Volker had been reading the blog.
He offered to open proceeding…bottle screw cap…and most definitely not a Riesling.
Sauvignon Blanc?…there was some lychees in there…a crazy Sylvaner?…we finally ended up with a Chardonnay. What a beauty…

Friedrich Becker Chardonnay Minéral 2010
Pfalz, Germany

Becker reds I know…but…and I miss very little…I had missed this white.
Rich and creamy on the nose…and it does what it says on the body…it offers you super minerals. This was probably a little fat in it’s youth…but now there is a complete balance. Still some oak on the palate…but so lovely with it…a crowd-pleaser…a wine-freak pleaser. I could have stayed with this all evening.
Points 17.5

Robert tends towards northern Spain / southern France.

Chêne Bleu Aliot 2012
Vaucluse, Rhione, France

60% Roussanne, 35% Grenache Blanc, 5% Marsanne and some Viognier maybe…but that would mean my maths are not good.
White peach, honey, spicy. Volker craved for seafood with it…non available.
Quite rich on the palate with some ginger…and as always from Monsieur Robert…a wine to test you…just it’s bad luck to have followed Mr. Becker
Points 16.75

Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2003
Rhone, France

Old style…roasted meat instantly out of the glass. Colour would not have helped the guys guess the age. Red fruit and the spicy dark plum of classic Pape.
Points 17.5


No Riesling from Volker



An important tasting was held at the Cave Vila Viniteca in Barcelona in June 2015, attended by the owner of the cave Joaquim Vilà and his team and four of the key tasters from La Revue du vin de France. The results have just been published in the issue 600 of the magazine (April 2016). Joaquim Vilà brought together (buying the wines on the Place de Bordeaux) the wines of the Premiers Crus of Bordeaux and seven other properties, mostly Seconds Crus they considered to be challengers.

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Drink The Wine, Not The Bottle

Late post on our last meeting early April…but as the next one is due…I had better pull my finger out.
Volker always brings a white…and a Riesling…and it is good to have some stability in our monthly meeting. Robert on the other hand always produces some rarity and it takes us a while to nail it down.
Dönnhoff Hermannnshöhle Riesling GG 2014
Nahne, Germany
To be honest…this too young…and was showing its best an hour later as it warmed. I find Dönnhoff’s. wines tend to some restsüsse…and in their youth are a little unbalanced. Negatives by side…this was an aggreeable starter.

Alfredo Arribas Trossos Tros Blanc 2013
Montsant, Spain

Robert always brings something not readily available…usually from Spain…and he was recently in the area. After we guessed North Spain…it made the grape guess easier…Grenache Blanc…and he told us the vines were up to 80 years old. I can usually taste the aged ones…and this threw up some creamy fruit. Ripe peaches and with pleanty of depth. Very interesting.

Now…as you know…our meeetings are great fun as we have to guess what is hidden inside the covered wine.
I had been asked to bring a red…and anyone who has been around wine over the last 20 years will know the bottle size from Au Bon Climat. The punt at the bottom is a finger long. The kitchen foil would have been a waste of time. My two friends should work for their success as I have to with their wines.

My red needed a decant…which it got a couple of hours beforehand…BUT….it was decanted into an empty white wine bottle from Austria with a screwcap!!!

This bottle got the kitchen foil…and I was ready to go.
Whenever you are asked to guess wines…you look for all the help you can get…and I guess Volker and Robert eyed what was before them.

They guessed Pinot Noir…and in the normal bottle would have said ‘New World’ Au Bon Climat.

Now…what do you think happnened? They went all over the world!

When they finally ended up in Santa Barbara County…I nodded. ‘But the only wine we know like that is Au Bon Climat…and there are no slim bottles with screwtop’
Did I say there was. My giggles had started by now and I revealed the label.

Laugh…my sides were hurting. They love me for my humour…and even when we said goodnight…I could still not stop smiling. In the middle of the night I let out a roar.

The wine…well…showing some age… Meaty…eucalytus…still soft biting tannins…

What awaits me in our future tastings?. I will be on my toes!

The REAL Bottle
The FALSE Bottle


Drink The Wine, Not The Bottle