Smiling Gods

A red and a white are the usual sacrifices to the Gods of the weekend, and this time the Dieties of rest and relaxation were smiling down on me with both wines a notch above the usual tipples.

White is Riesling (an oft heard cry in the household!) and this one has barely had time to settle after its journey back from Germany two weeks ago, one of the stash of wines I purchased on my Mosel visit in June. The Rebenhof 2009  Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese feinherb Von alten Reben was purchased from the cellar door for €13.25 and was opened so soon (for me) as I’d noticed a little leakage from the Stelvin cap after getting it home – so better to drink it quickly than risk oxidation (that’s the only gripe I have against Stelvin closures, they don’t handle travel & rough baggage handlers as well as cork).

The old vine off-dry Riesling (Feinherb is the in-vogue rebranding for the out of fashion Halbtrocken category) comes in at 11.5% abv and has a clean, buttery nose which mellows into lemon & lime sherbert with just a hint of waxy petrochem’. The texture arrives first, quite full with gentle sweetness and a spritz at the beginning, then dryness on the mid-palate as the acid minerality raises its head, finishing with a touch of grapefruit. Not overly complex but a well made with restrained sugar for the style,  3+ stars (88-89pts).
Winemaker Johannes Schmitz uses 80+ year old vines for his Alten Reben, and if it wasn’t for the leakage I’d have probably put this one away for a good 5+ years to let it develop some extra character, but its drinking very nicely now in its youthful phase.

As for the red, this is one of the older bottles in my collection, having been purchased on a business trip to South Africa in August 2007 for the princely sum of £8.33 (from Bootleggers Bottle Shop, Fourways Crossing, Johannesburg).

The Glen Carlou 2003 Grand Classique is an old-school Bordeaux blend of 50 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 35 % Merlot, 5 % Cabernet Franc, 8 % Malbec and 2 % Petit Verdot, barrel-aged for finesse and longevity.As soon as I pulled the cork I knew I was in for a good time, a sweet, smoky spice aroma jumped out of the bottle. Although this is a dark wine the age can be seen from the rusty edges on the swirl, which also releases chocolate, cool mint, vanilla and a touch of farmyard aromas. In the mouth this is perfectly balanced with a touch of acidity and a little savoury aspect and a big dollop of chocolate with a warming finish – this is a pleasure to drink, a superb wine hardly showing its 14.5% abv and a clear 4 stars (91-92pts).

Slainte!

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