Wine not?

Hello winelover! If you feel that wine-speak is not for you, you will be happy to know that I talk about wine like I talk about people and nature. Communicating in simple terms works best for all of us. Wine is so much fun and that's why I am so serious about it!

Effi drinks wine and she loves it.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The "Riesling by the River"

 Every day is a perfect day for Riesling, but a sunny day by the River with a glass of Weingut Staffelter Hof in hand can only be described as ideal.


 I was introduced to Jan Klein (@moselriesling) by Meeghan Murdoch (@WineSagasu), one of the most passionate and energetic wine aficionados, especially Riesling’s, I have met in London. She organised the debut of Jan in the UK with great success, starting with a tasting by the River in Barnes Bridge.That would be the second tasting of the day for me, as we very early started a company tasting with wines that it was a shame to spit.

I kept my stamina up and left Chelsea with a perfect-little did I know- bus plan to make my way down to Cowley Road. Getting off at Kew Gardens wasn’t a bright idea, although I already knew I needed to take two buses to get to the tasting room… Well, these buses never passed; they may not even exist, as far as I know. So, I walked (…) on Mortlake Road, then turned left to Lower Richmond Road and finally found the Mortlake High Street after almost an hour. The sun was bright and warm and my blazer was very dark blue…

When I entered the tasting room I was already embarrassed to arrive half an hour before its finish, even more for looking like a mess (no photos of me from that day). Meeghan was kind enough to listen to my marathon story and introduced me to Jan Klein, the winemaker of his family owned winery, Staffelter Hof. I was handed a glass of Riesling Sekt 2009 (12.5% vol), from his Heraldic Wines range. It was simply delightful, very fine and delicate, nice small bubbles dancing in my glass; a very easy-going wine.
Meeghan and Jan minutes before the tasting finished
We quickly started discussing the new wave of German winemakers, pointing out that unfortunately there are still people who prefer to chaptalise their wines to end up with higher alcohol levels. A real shame, when Germany’s climate is favoring low-alcohol wines. He told me about his 20 years of experience in winemaking in Germany. I was very impressed to listen that his winery dates back to AD 862, being one of the oldest wineries. The name Staffelter comes from Stavelot; a monastery close to the Mosel, to which the winery was donated in 862. Riesling is dominating the vineyards with the majority grown on the steep slopes of the Mosel. Jan is loyal to the German winemaking heritage but feels that German Riesling should keep moving forward and become more modern but still stay true to its roots.   

Hildegunde (Gundi) Klein, Gerd Klein and Jan
 This was exactly the style and character of the wines we tasted on the 21st June and some of them re-tasted during the UK Riesling Summit, organised by the Wines of Germany on the 27th June.

Steven Spurrier meets Jan at the UK Riesling Summit
2010 Alte Reben S dry (13.5% alcohol) is what I think of a typical German dry Riesling; clean and pleasant fruity aromas; grapefruit and lime blossoms with a hint of ice bob-bon.  In the mouth the freshness reminds you of the cool winds during the winter in the Mosel. The complex notes are dancing in harmony with a nice finish.

2011 Kröv Steffensberg Spätlese (8.5% alcohol) is described in the winery’s website as a festival of senses. This is an elegant and sweet wine with 79.8 g/L residual sugar. I very much enjoyed its golden yellow colour, kind of took me back to my German summer of 2009. A bunch of jasmine flowers, honeysuckles and elderflower found their way into my glass.

2006 KrövSteffensberg Trockenbeerenauslese (6.8% alcohol) is the diva, the Merilyn Monroe of Staffelter Hof’s portfolio, having received the Trophy of best Sweet German Wine at Decanter WWA 2009 and very high score points at numerous wine magazines. With 377 g/L residual sugar, this Trockenbeerenauslese made me think of flower bouquets, forest honey and hints of fine orange blossoms. What a treat!

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