2006 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese goldcap #9, 7.5%

This is wonderful estate, and a magnificent site (commonly abbreviated to BJS). The goldcap indicates a richer selection -other wineries may employ different colour, or lengths of capsules, or stars to show “extra”.

2006 in the Mosel was a high botrytis vintage, but as usual, better makers achieved better results.

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The wine itself is a bright lemon/gold, and has some – entirely harmless- tartrate crystals. The bouquet sang with tropical fruits – mango and more, plus ripe pear, apricot and citrus, and steeliness.

The palate is bursting with vitality, with more passionfruit and stonefruits – principally apricot and yellow peach. Dense, and mouthfilling, the flavours are very persistent, and the high degree of residual sugar ( perhaps 130g/l) is in harmony with the minerally acidity. Pure, fresh Riesling with a long future.

Alas, my only bottle – drink to 2032, and a well-deserved 93 points

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Stoney Goose Ridge – latest releases – Emoh Ruo

Hector Lannible confesses “I’m guilty”

If bringing delight and treasured memories to millions of satisfied wine drinkers is a crime; I confess, then I’m guilty.

But my plea is for forgiveness of the multiple charges. Why??

  • Providing a range of wines to suit all budgets, and over-delivering on quality aspects – not restricted to pricing, packaging, distribution, but even the container contents!
  • Fully supporting diversity within our company, noting
    • We employ MBA’s from 27 different universities
    • 47 employees have honorary degrees (I only have 2)
    • 117 different languages are spoken by our employees, contractors and outsourced entities
    • Our employees have published numerous scholarly articles, and several novels
    • Degrees include accountancy, journalism, media, logistics, jurisprudence, statistics, commerce, advertising, engineering – even science and agriculture!
    • We operate through 14 different time-zones
    • New markets in 2017 include Nigeria, Venezuela and Cambodia
    • Our in-house courses are notorious throughout the industry
    • We are committed to family values – no meetings begin before 7am, and none commence after 6pm
    • A high proportion of our workforce is voluntarily employed on a sessional or commission basis
  • Our financial strategies are outstanding; our associated entities are located in Mauritius, Luxembourg, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, and Jersey
  • Progressive policies and initiatives, including
    • Meaningful reward and recognition, including certificates; and substantive financial incentives for senior executives
    • Zero tolerance for “whistle-blowers”
    • Environmental – reducing our carbon footstamp progressively

If some bleeding-heart politically-correct mental pygmies like to attack tall poppies out of jealousy, so be it. I am proud of Stoney Goose Ridge. As previously headlined, I’m guilty of all of the above. And I’m fully prepared (along with our happy shareholders) to accept responsibility. Guilty as charged.

But today, I’m delighted to launch our newest fresh set of wines– Emoh Ruo.

“Emoh Ruo” has its origins completely shrouded in mystery; is it derived from one of the unique Aboriginal languages? Is it a relic from one of the many obscure dialects spoken by our numerous migrants? What does it mean?  Linguists and cryptographers are baffled. How has this historic phrase infiltrated across the Australian nation, from outback to suburbia? It resonates powerfully.

But whatever the pedigree, we’ve proudly adopted this memorable, essentially dinkum true-blue Aussie vernacular; for those occasions where a quality wine is mandatory but the budget has to be tempered; Emoh Ruo Wild Paddock Red; and Emoh Ruo Open Plains White fit magically into the casual Australian life-style zeitgeist. With an RRP of $7.95, Stoney Goose Ridge has repeatedly shouldered the burden to nail the mark.

Stoney Goose Ridge has monster ambitions for these brand line extensions; there are already strains on the availability of source material to match our sales targets – and we do not compromise on quality; where necessary, in export markets we may source some material from outside Australia. This will exercise my incisive marketing talents – should there be Emoh Ruo Wild Pastures? Is it Emoh Ruo Prairie? Such decisions are weighty and have a direct bearing on the quantum of my bonuses. But as CEO and in my adjunct role as Global Brand Ambassador, fortunately I have the power and insight to guarantee success.

Our striking range of support material for Emoh Ruo encompasses bunting, posters, standees, balloons, archway columns and headers, corflute signage, ticket heads, shelf stripping, inserts, pens, badges, magnets, cups and other POS necessities. Plus our usual support for YOY sales increases, incentive bonuses, shadow shopping rewards, volume inducements, multiple customer competitions, and our suite of modern social media direct one-to-one targeted pin-point marketing, As ever, I will scrutinise our SEO and SEM analytics microscopically.

I repeat – I’m heavily guilty of success, not just in sales, but in leadership talent co-efficients, concern for staff welfare, and overall brand growth munificence.

Emoh Ruo adds to the corporate lustre of Stoney Goose Ridge and slots incisively into our carefully positioned suite of beverage product offerings.

Emoh Ruo  Wild Paddock Red; and Emoh Ruo Open Plains White are available from nearly all fine wine outlets with an RRP of $7.95.

 

1986 Morris (rare) Muscat

The Rutherglen quality classifications run upwards through Rutherglen, Classic, Grand and Rare. So what lies beyond? Museum? Icon? Antique?

Brown muscat (muscat a petits grains rouge), picked very ripe, fortified with neutral spirirt, then barrel aged for as long as necessary; slowly oxidising and becoming more concentrated; freshened up with younger material from time to time. Simple? By no means, as the wines are then usually blended, which is an entire mystic art. Each year, the winemaker makes decisions about the presumed destiny (quality level) of batches, conducts blending trials, samples spirits, and much more.

I once asked a Rutherglen winemaker the secret to making decent fortifieds of this style “Start at least 20 years ago…then take your time”.

Vintage muscats are uncommon; Morris released versions from 1982, 1986 and 1988 when aged about 5 years; but this example has been aged 30 years! Morris possesses older materials, eked out into blends where a splash makes a world of difference. A good introduction to the classification of Rutherglen muscat is here.

And a recent, lively and informative article by Sean Mitchell on Rutherglen muscats complete with reviews on wines from multiple producers at the different classification levels is here.

oay morris muscat

Firstly this “money can’t buy” wine requires some coaxing before it weasels out of the bottle.

The colour is a black hole – a dark, dense caramel, and we’re truly into non-wine territory. How can gradual oxidation and concentration make this dense, but still fresh fortified wine? We have concentrated mocha, there is condensed raisin, dried fig, walnut, and a slight sense of coconut oil. The texture is extraordinary – rich and luscious are puny understatements. The (neutral) spirit is fully integrated, just one of the wine’s facets.

It’s an experience to swallow, and then wait minutes to for the flavours to subside. The freshness however insists that further indulgence is necessary. By no means painful, describing this wine is akin to bowling to Bradman in his prime- intimidating. The glass is stained with residue. Remarkable.

Drink now, and 98 points.

2002 JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Eiswein 7.5%

Weingut Joh Jos Prum is one of the most renowned Mosel estates. Stephan Reinhardt’s comments about drinking JJ Prum “ is to enjoy a springtime of the heart and mind…a combination of lightness, finesse, elegance and (most of all) energy…these are gracious, charming wines”. JJ Prum wines can be a bit sulky at initially; sometimes a bit reductive.  Time, and a decant work wonders. Their longevity is extraordinary.

Eiswein is the legally-defined term that refers to a non-chaptalized wine made from grapes picked with at least 110-128° Oechsle (the minimum level depends on the region and the grape variety) at a temperature below -7°C and which has also passed a sensorial test by the authorities. Eiswein is a sweet to noble-sweet wine, with >130 g/l of residual sugar. Botrytis plays no part in the style – it is just essence of Riesling. Occasionally the harvest can extend into the “next” calendar year, but the wine is labelled as the previous year. Eiswein is uncommon, tantalising and expensive.

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This wine is still a pale lemon colour; the enduring mystery is how such a myriad of flavours is contained in a low-alcohol wine. There are “spinal-tap-esque” exaggerated florals; mixed tropical fruits and candle-wax, lemon essence and lime “run-off”. Then a rush of ripe red apple, and nutmeg spices. So dense, and the pure stony flavours persist for minutes, dwindling to some stonefruits and perhaps light apricot.  Eiswein is indeed rare, and the residual sugar in this wine is not known – 200 g/l? but the acidity carries this with aplomb. Fabulous.

Drink to 2040, and 98 points

2007 Domaine Stirn Gewurtztraminer vendanges tardives 12%

Gewurtztraminer is destined to remain as a minor grape variety; the wines can often have a pinkish tinge, and provide, easy, usually obvious appeal to people beginning their wine education. But it has more merit than that, especially in its spiritual home of Alsace.

Australia has some Gewurtztraminer planted, but results overall have been disappointing, with only occasional outliers from careful cool-climate producers Pipers Brook (Tasmania), Delatite (Upper Goulbourn), Lillydale (Yarra Valley) and Seppelts Drumborg (Henty, Victoria) providing flashy, memorable excitement.

When I visited the winery, winemaker Fabien Stirn (freshly off the tractor) presented Gewurtztraminer wines from Brand, Mambourg and Sonnenglanz (with his ambition on further sites) and had dry wines from these sites (Riesling too) and (blended) sweeter wines on an extensive tasting list. Plus his English was noticeably superior to my schoolday French. Notably, I failed the “terroir test” at the conclusion of the tasting.

IMAG0653This wine is a lovely golden-coloured example of the late-picked style, displaying the typically charming, exotic grapey aromas of musk, Turkish delight and roses.  The palate is moderately sweet, but definitely is a rich juicy mandarine-flavoured style with the acidity preventing any sensation of cloying. Slightly oily, and faintly chalky, this wine has been caught in its prime, and it’s well suited as an unusual aperitif, or matched to a light dessert, or certain cheeses.

A neat surprise- drink to 2018, 90 points.

 

1985 Fonseca Vintage Port 20.5%

Fonseca (or more correctly Fonseca Guimaraens) is a highly regarded Portuguese Vintage Port producer, and its excellent website, with notes covering this vintage is here.

I look forward to finding an occasion – and enough enthusiasts for the style- to warrant opening a vintage Port. The cork has fulfilled its task, and came out in very nearly one piece; decanted for several hours, the wine was tackled in several passes over several days, but always with delight.

1985 fonseca.jpgIts colour is still a robust dense ruby, with no bricking. An array of scents includes fig, cocoa, almond meal, chalk, and dried herbs. The palate is medium bodied, but voluptuous, with blueberry and liquorice adding to the picture. The finish is extensive, and fine, the spirit folded in seamlessly.

There is no need to rush this delicious 32 year-old wine; it will remain in thrilling form for many more years.

Drink to 2032, 94 points.

1953 times two

Two wines each 64 years old, and I tasted these rare, expensive wines thanks to a generous friend.

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1953 Massandra White muscat 12.9%

Massandra is a winery based in Crimea (Ukraine), with extensive stocks of old wines, capable of lasting many decades.

This wine’s colour was a light amber (but with lots of sediment), just so fresh, floral and grapey -hard to believe its so old; there is orange peel and cumquat, ginger, and a suggestion of ginger beer, plus light caramel. Apparently 240 g/l of residual sugar, but still very light on its feet. It seems indestructible, but further change is unlikely. Its youthful flavours totally belie the colour, and the palate with its sensations of icing sugar, is more straightforward than the bouquet.

Drink now, 90 points (add a few points for historic merit)

1953 Barbeito Boal Madeira

Madeira lies 1000 k southeast of Portugal, and has a tropical climate. Grape varieties used in making madeira wines (from driest to sweetest) are sercial, veredlho, bual and malvasia.

Vintage-dated Madeira must be aged at least 20 years in barrel, undergoing gradual oxidation and concentration.

A very useful link is here.

This wine is quite confronting for people unused to fortified wines, and comparisons to an old amontillado sherry are inevitable.

Dark toffee coloured, initially the wine was quite spiritous, with a range of awkward aromas- freshly grated parmesan cheese, pine nuts, green olives, almonds, coffee and then a rush of mixed dried fruits. VA is unavoidable, but here is quite tolerable, mingled with the rancio.  With some breathing, the nuttiness begins to drive through and quite overt acidity balances the residual sugar.  Matching with food would be futile, it’s a wine to savour on its own.

Drink now, 91 points (perhaps more for people with more experience with this style)