2022 Alexander Laible Grauer Burgunder *** SL

The “SL” stands for “Selektion Laible”. Alexander Laible uses the three stars *** to denote his highest-quality wines, which benefit from reduced yields and a thorough selection of healthy grapes. (Alexander Laible is not to be confused with Andreas Laible, whose winery is also based in Durbach but is a member of the VDP.)

Tasting note

Clear appearance. Pale golden yellow to salmon pink in colour. The nose is clean and of medium intensity. It is easy to distinguish the primary fruit aromas: Cantaloupe melon, peach, apple, pear and grapefruit. On the palate, the pinot gris is dry. Typical of the varietal, acidity is on the lower side. I get apple and citrus fruit. It’s pretty primary. Alcohol is medium at 13%. The body and flavour intensity are both medium, as is the finish, which is carried by notes of grapefruit. The Grauer Burgunder *** SL is a good wine for lovers of pinot gris — not high in acidity but fresh and fruity. Cellaring potential is limited, I’d drink it through 2025. DM87.

2022 Alexander Laible Grauer Burgunder *** SL

2019 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet

Clear appearance. Pale to medium ruby red colour. The bouquet is clean and of medium intensity: There are dark cherries, blackberries, dark plums leaning towards the cooked side, and cassis. A vanilla scent indicates this wine was oaked. In the mouth, this Australien Shiraz cuvée has a medium to full body. It is bone dry. The high acidity could have been integrated better. It stands out a little, at least to my taste. Strong tannins and high alcohol. The flavour intensity is medium — you find most of the dark fruits, especially the cherries — but the finish is short. Solid everyday wine that is good with hearty dishes. The wine has improved from a year ago when I last tried it, but it isn’t made for the long run. Drink through 2025. DM85.

2019 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet

2019 Résonance Pinot Noir

In 2013, Maison Louis Jadot started a new project in Willamette Valley in Oregon, where they discovered the Résonance vineyard and decided to produce “new world” Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a Burgundian touch.

Tasting note

The 2019 Résonance Pinot Noir carries the name of the vineyard. It has a clear appearance, typical Pinot transparency, and a pale ruby colour. On the nose, it is clean and of medium intensity. The bouquet is rather charming, however, with cool notes that make this Oregon pinot special. A mix of red and dark cherries, cranberry, and smoky notes as well as refreshing hints of mint. The elegance says Burgundy but the cool smoke and menthol freshness give it a modern twist. On to the taste: Dry, medium acidity and tannins, the alcohol is well-balanced. This has a relatively full body, now more pronounced primary fruit notes, but the wine keeps its elegance and freshness. Red cherries, strawberries and cranberries. The finish is medium, carried by red berries. I liked this Oregon Pinot expression quite a lot. Perfect to enjoy now, with potential for more cellaring. Drink from now through 2029. DM92.

2019 Résonance Pinot Noir

2022 Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus Weißburgunder Bodensee “Edition Schloss Salem”

Clear, clean appearance. Some CO2 bubbles are visible in the glass. I can imagine this was added on purpose to freshen the wine up a little, although I do not know this for a fact. Golden yellow colour. Ripe white fruits, pear and red apples on the nose. Also floral aromas. Overall, the bouquet is surprisingly nice. In the mouth, the wine is rather slender. Low acidity, almost non-existent, and subdued fruit. Nashi pear, just not very prominent. Somewhat watered down on the taste. Accordingly, the finish is (too) short. DM82.

2022 Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus Weißburgunder Bodensee "Edition Schloss Salem"

2020 False Bay Pinotage “Bush Vine”

Transparent, dark ruby colour with thick tears forming in the glass. Dark fruits, mainly blackberry and sour cherry, slighty cooked. Floral aromas and vanilla complement the primary fruit notes. Let’s take a sip: Medium body, firm and crisp tannins. The acidity is overpowered by red fruits which are on the sweeter side. Overall, the taste is not balanced quite as well as the aromas on the nose, owing to a sharp spiciness in the back. The finish, on the other hand, is persistent. For fans of opulent rather than purely elegant wines. Drink now through 2028. DM88.

2021 Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett

Bought from the Nik Weis winery in February. From magnum.

2021 Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett
Well-balanced off-dry Saar Riesling. Starts out with fresh white fruit (green apples) and tangerines. Underlying these primary characteristics, you find subtle floral notes and first hints of more herbaceous elements, although these will probably show better in the future. Try again from 2026. DM89 at present with potential for more.

2021 Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett

South African white wines & preparing for WSET Level 2

As part of my WSET preparations I wanted to taste South African white wines, of which I haven’t tried that many yet. I bought two examples from the same producer at a local wine shop. The wines are from False Bay, which are based in the Western Cape region at the Southern tip of the African continent. There, the cooling climate from the seashore allows for the production of fresh wines despite the generally hot climate.

2022 False Bay Chenin Blanc Slow
A clear, pale lemon yellow. Very clean on the nose, with medium fruitiness. Primary flavours of stone fruit, some orange and pineapple. With a little more temperature and air, great smoky, yeasty and delicately spicy notes also appear. Dust-dry on the palate, medium body, present but well-integrated acidity. The flavour is primarily fruity, yellow fruit, just not as complex as the aromas on the nose. Solid finish. DM87.

2022 False Bay Chardonnay Crystalline
Clear in the glass, slightly darker lemon yellow. Pure and clean on the nose, but somewhat restrained at first. The wine is matured in stainless steel tanks, to my knowledge without long lees ageing. In a larger glass, slightly buttery after a few minutes, with still restrained fruit. Rather low acidity, a little thin overall. Comparatively short finish. DM84.

South African wines

Dinner at Domaine de Rymska

This post is a look back at our dinner at Domaine de Rymska in the Couchois in between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte Chalonnais. Domaine de Rymska is part of the Relais & Châteaux group.

Driving towards the Couchois from the direction of Beaune, you come through the beautiful vineyards of Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet, each of them known for their distinctive interpretations of Burgundy white wines.

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Morey-Saint-Denis: A walk among its Grand Cru vineyards

On Sunday, the last full day of our Burgundy trip, my wife and I took a walk around the vineyards surrounding Morey-Saint-Denis. Incidentally, it was also the day of the Marathon des Grand Crus, which led straight through the town of Morey-Saint-Denis back towards Dijon. That made for some nice impressions of locals celebrating this year’s harvest. There was live music and fun to be had. We were curious about the fact some runners seemed to prefer Chardonnay over water at the supply stand in the village centre.

Clos de la Roche
Clos de la Roche
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2013 Philippe Pacalet Meursault

At Le Carmin, we spent another wonderful evening in Beaune yesterday. The maître d’hôtel was superb. Merci beaucoup, monsieur! Not to mention, they’re dog-friendly, too. From their extensive wine menu, I picked the 2013 Philippe Pacalet Meursault.

Philippe Pacalet is a négociant based in Beaune. He has been making wine since the early 2000s. Today, he processes grapes from around 20 hectares of vineyards. His style of winemaking is natural in that he relies on spontaneous fermentation and not too much new oak.

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