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The Mosel tasting - Traben-Trarbach, Mosel Region, Germany

May 2001

Notes by Guy Nason and other?


Guy Nason, Philippa Nason, Chris Kay, Ed Kay, James Kay, Quentin Lambert, Roger Jardine, Caf Shafto, Anja Dietel, Mark Masento, George Wickham, Caroline Wickham, Steve Mills, Helga & Wolfgang.



General Items

Thanks to Quentin & Anja for organising such a great venue; thanks and welcome to Helga and Wolfgang for coming along

Next tasting will be the Bath Summer tasting, probably in August.

Next tasting after that will be probably in late November, maybe in London.

Next abroad tasting. Possibilities: Loire, Bordeaux, Burgundy to be investigated by Philippa, Mark and Caf respectively.

Roger Jardine volunteered to upgrade the Vintage Club website to include, amongst other things a forum for members to exchange gossip/ideas etc. Roger is the new VC IT supremo.

To maintain contact with the University society it was planned to offer them a tasting, probably after Christmas when all the serious wine people were still attending.

The Tasting

17 wines in all: 2 dry whites, 3 medium whites, 8 reds, 1 sweet white, 3 sweet reds/fortified. Theme is "foot and mouth" in commiseration and solidarity with our farming brothers and to tell the politicians to get their act together.

Usual lengthy argument about the order of the wines. Some suggestion about having wines out of the standard order, robustly knocked down.

1. AC Montagny Pierre Bouchard Premier Cru,1998
Ed & Chris

Ed takes what feels like 30 minutes to open the wine: superfaf. This is white wine some wit chips in; Mark wants to dump in the dump bucket, apparently. At last, the wine: 8 people say "bit of wood", 2 say "lime cream" (peaches & cream = Dolly Parton, apparently), volatile. Philippa says "its too warm"; Guy says "its too cold, right at the back, you can really feel its burning"; Anja: a wine for a hot summer’s day. Ed & Chris go into the bathroom and chuckle. George says 1st sensible suggestion: "Graves". We then have a vote: Old world vs new, vote is 6 vs 4. Roger glugs his and then says "Please sir, can I have some more". It is burgundy (Mark, Guy, Roger). Roger says wine is "Chardoneigh" – like a horse, apparently a F&M connection.

Wine turns out to be AC Montagny Pierre Bouchard Premier Cru 1998, £10 from Waitrose. Connection is "BOUCHard=French for mouth". Chris wittles on about some other connection to do with feet of mountains but everyone too eager for the next wine.

2. Weissburgunder, Spätlese-trocken, 1998
Helga and Wolfgang

Honey smell (Guy), barley sugar (Steve), rum and raisin ice cream (Caf), tinned peas (Mark). Quite quickly people guess: Germany. Rheinish? Wurtemburg? Maybe not? Silvaner? (Guy), Troillinger? (Steve). Yes, Germany turns out to be correct & Wurtemburg also. Turns out to be Weissburgunder, Spätlese-trocken, 1998, QmP, Weingut Eberbach-Schäfer Laufen, Neckar. Lauffener-Riedesbückle. Connection: there is a little schwein depicted on the bottle.

3. Mosel, Bernkasteler Schloßberg, Auslese, 1992
Mark (although spending kitty money, it had better be good)

Mark says he has no friends, aaaaaah everybody cries. Mark says rubber (no wonder he has no friends), candles (Ed), burnt rubber (Qventin), on the road, old rubber band (Steve). Riesling but wanted to get rid of the old smells (?) George and Caroline were sprayed, apparently (on entry to France), can cars get F&M?

4. Mosel, Bernkasteler Schloßberg, Auslese, 1998
Mark (follow on wine from 3, we’re meant to compare them)

Guy thinks this is older, Steve says it has more colour, Philippa says it’s a bit less complex, pineapple (Qventin), more fruity say Mark, Philippa, Roger, Helga & Wolfgang. Ham and pineapple pizza says Steve, Caf says Hawaiian; more pineapple says Steve. More focussed says Ed. Overwhelming opinion is that the 1st wine is older. WRONG: turns out 1st one is 1992, second one is 1988. The wines were from Bernkastel from Weingut Carl Emlert in Traben [Bernkasteler Schloßberg; Riesling, Auslese, QmP, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, 8.5%] Price £5 each.

General patronisation occurs.

5 Chateau-neuf-du-Pape, "Le Cailloux", 1996

Cherries (Steve), Rubbery (Philippa), Malt bread, fig roll biscuit (Qventin), hot climate (Mark), Chris says its NOT Pinot, Italy (Guy), France (Roger, Mark, Philippa, Chris), salami – Rhone? Anja says "nothing right" but then it turns out to be France, Chateau-neuf-du-Pape, Philippa (got it right), 1996 "Le Cailloux" by Lucien and Andre Brunel. Cost 50DM from Chateaux Brodeaux in Munich.

6. Bulls Blood, NV?
George and Caroline

Bananary? Beaujolais? Bit of spice on the nose? Can get a little bit gamey (can tell the secretary has had a bit as I’ve lost the attributation). Old & New world suggestions: Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French --- no. Turns out to be Bull’s Blood, oh well, somebody thought it was Cru Beaujolais. Everyone agreed that it had come on miles since they last had tried it. And there is no longer a picture of an angry bull on the label but a good F&M connection. £2.99 on the ferry over from Dover.

7. D'Oc, Wild Pig, 1999

Watery, dilute, thin (Roger), tasteless bubble gum (Guy), lost fruit, dry (Guy, Ed, Steve), French Sangiovese (George), Cabernet (Philippa), cherry (Guy, also Sangiovese). We get down to French but it turns out to be Shiraz, Wild Pig 1999 from D’Oc £4.49 and groovy F&M connection.

8. Rioja, Vina Lanciano Reserva, 1995

Universal acclaim; Italian (Steve), Rioja (Qventin, George, Philippa), claret (Ed & Mark), although Ed "I may be wrong", new world (Caf, Wolfgang & Helga). Ed moves camp to Rioja. Then people say "not claret, not chilean". It is a Rioja, it is revealed. Then we go through the traditional game of "Name that Rioja" (Marques de blah blah blah etc), usual random year selection. Turns out to be Vina Lanciano. 1995 Reserva at £17. F&M connection a cheeky little plastic bull ribboned to the neck of the bottle. Good one Rog.

9. California, Clos La Chance, 1997
Ed & Chris

Bitter chocolate nose, cherries [everyone does cheers with James], wine turns out to be "more Chris’s", buxom (Mark), nice, Scotch whisky (Steve), polished leather (Qventin). Very diverse list of wines suggested. Turns out to be a Californian nutter, 100% Cab Sauv but nobody really got it, almost every person chose something else. Wine is Clos La Chance 1997 from Clos La Chance wines, nice though… Cost £15. I think there might have been some connection with F&M and Chance but couldn’t remember.

10. Piedmont, Chiarlo, 1996
Guy & Philippa

Chocolate, with chocolate & chocolate on top (Roger), cabernet (Mark), Claret (Steve), in-out-in-out-shake-it-all-about (James, Chris, Ed); bitter cherries (Ed), coffee, choc cappaciano (Chris), Italian (Ed), marachino cherries (Caf), no morello (Anja), Claret (Mark). People sort of home in on possible connection if the wine was Italian: Piedmont (foot of mountains) & wine is revealed Chiarlo from Piedmont, £23 from Averies, 1996, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco.

11. Australia, Darrenburg Footbolt, vintage?

Strawberry marmalade (everyone agrees), Guy interrogates Steve over Australian wine possibilities; others think is it South American. Definitely not English. Its Australian, come on Steve tell us what it is: Steve wimps out. Shiraz only says Philippa and she is right. McClaren Vale (Mark). Turns out to be Darrenburg FOOTbolt (another good F&M connection). Price £7

12. Australia, Darrenburg Dead Arm, 1998

Hugh wine (Guy, presumably meaning Huge), makes Philippa’s eyes water, Strong (Guy), It’s a Penfold’s wine says Ed; Its not a Penfold’s wine says Chris, Shiraz (Guy). Usual diversity of australian shiraz’s get mentioned. Turns out to be Darrenburg again (hence Steve wimpout in the previous wine, for some reason). Name of the wine "Dead Arm" which Steve wittly makes the sick connection "Dead Farm". 1998, £15 from Oddbins.

13. Mosel, Cröv Beerenauslese, 1976
George and Caroline

Sweet white. James likes this wine. Germany/France (Mark), old world (Caf) Have we established it is English someone twittily says. Turns out to be 1976 Cröv (Mosel) Beerenauslese, from Weingut Paul Weißkopf, Riesling. 60DM. Very nice….

14. Rheinpfalz, Effinger Ofterburg, Rülander TBA, 1976

White grape? Red grape? Prune juice (Chris), Trockenbeerenauslese (Mark), "really honey" Philippa, Huxelrebe (Anja), puzzled (Chris), Warm glow but not Riesling (Caf), orgasmic (Rog), Qventin and Anja depart for a quick snog (lie), although Anja is heard to mutter "How much do you want to pay me?" Turns out to be 1976 Effinger Ofterburg, Rülander TBA, Rheinpfalz, QmP, 39DM. Ex!

15. Port, Offley LBV, 1994

Tawny (Rog), Who makes port we all say. Is it Oz or Portuguese? Guy, Chris & Mark suggest it is Oz. LBV (Chris). Turns out to be Offley 1994 £8.50. Connection is "OFFEL"ey. 'Offely' good connection said Steve, and everyone disagreed.

16. Madeira, Malmesey Vintage Madeira, 1933
Mark – Mr Auction

Macadamia nuts, linseed oil, glue, maggi stock. Marker pens (Caf), 1939 Chateaux Margaux (Ed), Mark says though that we are committing vinfanticide. Then Ed says "Maderia". Yes, it is Maderia from 1933. This is Malmesey, single vintage £30 at auction although probably would set you back £95 at the vigneron: "Mad Eine"!!


Then followed general finishing up, quaffing the rest as Wolfgang went off to sleep!!

Best white wine (1 vote each)

Wine 4 from Mark (kitty) 1988 Bernkasteler Schloßberg Riesling [8 votes]

Best red wine (2 votes each)

Wine 8 from Roger, 1995 Rioja Vina Lanciano [lots of votes?]