7 August 2012
From Commercial Property Blog
When a friend of mine Michael de Massey suggested that I join him on a 2,400 mile round trip from Manchester to Slovenia it seemed only sensible to suggest adding a further 600 miles by taking in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and Alsace on route.
A Ford Transit would not have been my first choice of vehicle but as Michael had arranged to collect 60 cases of Slovenian wine in Ljubljana there was little alternative.
The German leg involved visits kindly arranged by Justerini & Brooks to Willi Schaefer in the village of Graach, close to Bernkastel-Kues; Maximin Grünhaus estate of Carl von Schubert close to the junction of the Ruwer and the Mosel rivers; and Zilliken in the Saar. The French leg took in Domaine Weinbach and the famous Trimbach estate in Ribeauvillé.
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and Alsace are best known for single varietal Riesling ranging in style from bone dry (6g of sugar/litre) through to extremely sweet German Trockenbeerenauslese (360g/litre); however, irrespective of style the overall outcome of our tastings might be summarised as being a case of ‘Germany 1 France 0’. There can be no doubt that German Riesling is, with few exceptions, superior in terms of quality to its French rival and cheaper in terms of price.
As much as I enjoy a glass of Riesling there is a limit and so the final evening of the trip was spent at the superb Michelin-starred restaurant JY’s in Colmar with a glass of red in hand and a 6 course tasting menu to follow (€78).
The first wine Savigny Les Beaune, Vielles Vignes, Nicolas Potel 2008 (€60) was disappointing: spent match nose with cherry; light fruit with strawberry like flavours; short finish; overall quite simple.
The second wine Lynch Bages 2007 (€175) was far better. Michael’s notes were more detailed than my own: ‘Deep colour with a small ruby rim. The nose is concentrated blackcurrant, liquorice and cedar with immense purity and freshness. The mouth feel is tight and concentrated. The tannins sit very close to the acidity and it has a peppery finish. As it opens up there are chocolaty notes on the nose. Overall the acidity is very upfront however on balance it is a satisfying wine.’
Jean-Yves’s food capped off a fantastic whistle stop European tour perfectly. More on the Slovenian leg to follow after a comprehensive tasting of the cargo…