Mar 26, 2011

2004 German Riesling Ratings

On March 22, we had a small but dedicated group come out to taste some 2004 German Rieslings.  It was a fitting wine to help us say goodbye to winter and welcome in spring (even if the weather outside didn't play along).

Our guest speaker for the evening was Anne Martin. Anne is an expert on German wines and revealed to us that out of all the wines out there, German Rieslings were her favourite.  Currently, German Rieslings are under-appreciated wines but are also under-priced, partially in thanks to global warming making them more accessible.  Anne explained the often difficult and confusing classification system that the Germans use to identify their wines.  According to Anne, the 2004 vintage was much better than the 2003's (which suffered from too much heat).  2004 saw cooler temperatures during a rainy summer followed up by an Indian summer in the fall, which were perfect conditions to make truly great Rieslings.

Awaiting each person at their table the night of the tasting were some great wine tools that were provided by German Wine.  Everyone received a new corkscrew, a DropStop pouring assist disc, a red and white aroma wheel, and some great literature on German wine regions and wine classification.

The final results were, all in all, pretty even right across the board. There was never more than a once place difference between the groups rankings and Anne's for any of the wines that we tasted.  The groups' pick of the night was the 2004 Scharzhofberger, Egon Muller (Saar).  Anne said that wine had a slightly higher acidity then the others, but that it was perfectly balanced by the level of sweetness.  It had hints of star anise and ripe apple on the nose and had, what she describes as, a "salivating finish, which left us thirsting for more".


Name of Wine (in order poured)
Group Ranking
Guest Ranking
2004 Durkheimer Michelsberg, Kurt Darting (Pfalz) 7 8
2004 Winkeler Dachsberg, Prinz von Hessen (Rheingau) 8 7
2004 Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus, Balthasar Ress (Rheingau) 6 5
2004 Urziger Wurzgarten, Dr Loosen 5 6
2004 Ockfener Bockstein, von Othegraven (Saar) 4 3
2004 Scharzhofberger, Egon Muller (Saar) 1 2
2004 Berncasteler Doctor, Dr H Thanisch Erben Thanisch (Mosel) 2 1
2004 Bacharacher Hahn Riesling Spatlese Kabinett, Toni Jost (Mittel Rhein) 3 4

Mar 24, 2011

Spanish Reds - Modern Developments

Spain is such a fascinating, colourful and beautiful country with its history, geography, food, music, art, artists, and wine.  It simply has everything!  "When phylloxera destroyed the French vineyards in the 1860s and ’70s, many Bordeaux winemakers moved south. They brought with them their vines, their winemaking skills and the Bordeaux bottle. A century later, in the 1970s and ’80s, Spain decided to join the contemporary viniculture world, and Spanish wines began to improve."   NY Times, Frank Prial, Jan. 3, 2008.  Today, many Spanish wineries are very highly prized by oenophiles throughout the world.  Next month - April 12 - the Toronto Vintners Club continues its exploration and education of  Spanish modernist wines and focuses on red wines from several new and innovative winemakers.  Click on the links below for details about our event as well as to register and to join TVC if you are not already a member.

Theme: Spanish Reds - Modern Developments
Date:  Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Time: 6 PM
Where: Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks St., Toronto
Cost: TVC Members $69; Non-Members: $85  (NOTE: the price includes appetizers)
Register / Buy Tickets:  http://www.onlineregistrations.ca/tvcevent4/
Join TVC http://www.onlineregistrations.ca/torontovintners/

Mar 16, 2011

German Riesling Kabinett with Anne Martin

Our tasting of 2004 German Riesling Kabinett is just around the corner on March 22, as is Spring!

Theme: 2004 German Riesling Kabinett
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Time: 6 PM
Where: Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks St., Toronto
Cost: Members $37; Non-Members: $47 (NOTE: there will be NO appetizers offered at this tasting.)
Register / Buy Tickets

We are fortunate to be joined by Anne Martin as our guest speaker.  Anne is a certified sommelier with over 15 years’ experience. She became one of the first female sommeliers in Toronto, at Prego della Piazza, and went on to serve as head sommelier at the highly regarded Canoe Restaurant.  Next month, she is participating in a symposium: Taking Charge: Women Leaders in Business, sponsored by the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario so we are very fortunate indeed to have her impart her expertise and knowledge to Toronto Vintners. 

Anne Martin, Sommelier