Wines of Germany
Germany, together with Canada and Russia is the most northerly wine growing country in the world. Comparatively weak sunlight lasting over a long period creates the ideal conditions for white wines with low alcohol content, an acid freshness and a bouquet not blurred by high sugar content.
The secret of successful German wine is the harmony between its sweetness and acidity. Efficiency is the key to Germany’s winemaking success, and sweetness is its concept of quality. Much of the German wine law is precise, and in 1971 the “new” German Wine Law was established. There was a reduction of some 25,000 individually named vineyards to just 2,600, divided into regions and districts. The new regions were 10 larger, and many historical famous areas were lost forever.
Germany is divided into 13 different wine growing regions. From north to south the regions are Saale-Unstrut, Sachsen, Mittelrhein, Ahr, Rheingau, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Franken, Rheinhessen, Nahe, Hessische Bergstrasse, Pfalz, Wurttemberg, and Baden. Most of our wines come from Rheingau, Rheinhessan, Nahe and Mosel-Saar-Ruwer regions. The Rhine River is one of only two rivers in the world that flows north, the other being the Nile River. The unusual twisting of the Mosel River offers a maximum amount of steep south facing vineyards. Riesling is the premier white grape, with small amounts of Muller-Thurgau, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Kerner, Scheurebe, and Silvaner being grown. If it doesn’t say Riesling on the label, then chances are it’s not Riesling. Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) is the leading red grape; other red grapes include Dornfelder, Portugiser, and Lemberger.
There are two broad quality categories of German wine, table wine and quality wine. Table wine or DEUTSCHERTAFELWEIN and DETSCHER LANDWEIN accounts for less than 5% of production, and is consumed locally. The quality wines come from one of the thirteen specified German wine-growing regions are made from riper grapes and subject to higher standards. Basic quality wines, QUALITATSWEIN B.A. (Qba), are excellent values and best consumed when young. Our favorite Qba is 2009 Dr. Loosen Riesling $12.99, a racy style of Riesling that pairs well with spicy dishes. Germans premium quality wines PRADIKATSWEINE or Qualitatswein mit Pradikat represent quality wine with special attributes, six ascending levels of ripeness and quality. The six levels are KABINETT, SPATLESE, AUSLESE, BEERENAUSLESE, TROCKENBEERNALSLESE, and EISWEIN. The 2008 Graff Piesporter Michelsberg, Kabinett is 100% Riesling with aromas of apple and pear.
Try the 2007 Schloss Saarstein Spatlese, from 40 year old vines and blue slate soil.
A Great value is the 2006 Madonna Auslese $14.99, rich honey flavors with a long refreshing finish. For that special occasion try the 2005 Schlink Haus Trockenbeerenauslese $31.99, made from individual berries shriveled almost to raisins. The very rare 2004 Madonna Eiswein is made from grapes harvested while they are semi frozen.
German wines are suitable for every occasion, from a backyard picnic to the most elegant dinner or reception.
Wines of Germany
Wine was one of Spain’s largest resources in the Middle Ages, as it was with other Mediterranean countries. For the next several hundred years’ most Spanish wine was consumed locally. Then in 1868, phylloxera invaded and ruined the great French vineyards. This opened up new outlets for Spanish wines throughout the world. Spanish winemaking techniques also improved, a great number of French growers settled in the best Spanish winegrowing districts. The phylloxera, a root louse, was introduced to the Spanish vineyards as it travelled across the Pyrenees Mountains with the French vines and winemakers. It wiped out numerous vineyards and destroyed Spanish agriculture for several years. Gradually Spanish wine gained ground and today it flourishes alongside the many olive groves. The fourteen Providences in Spain each have its own winegrowing districts. Today Spain has more vineyards than any other country, but ranks third in wine production, behind France and Italy. The arid climate produces very low yields of grapes; and many vineyards are used for table grapes and raisins. Spanish people average about 38 liters of wine per person, per year, which is roughly a bottle of wine per week per person. Today Spanish wine is at the forefront of some of the best values from around the world. Below is a list of six of our favorites, purchase one bottle of each and receive a 10% discount. Plan your own Spanish wine tasting for your friends and we will provide an informative tasting sheet for your guest.
Spanish Wine Tasting
Start off with the Chateau Renni Semi-Secco Cava ($11.99) a refreshing sparkler with aromas of apple, ripe peach and a touch of honey on the finish. The blend of Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada is aged a minimum of 16 months in the bottle. Then travel to Carinena to sample two wines from Agoston, from the foothills of the Iberico Mountains. The 2008 Tempranillo-Cabernet ($9.99) has aromas of ripe red fruit, sweet spices with mature tannins. The 2008 Garnacha-Syrah ($9.99) is made from 15-year old Syrah vines and is both fruity and creamy. Next up is the 2009 Garnacha Esenzia ($11.99), with aromas of boysenberry pair this grilled meats or mature cheeses. A great value is the 2007 Mercedes Eguren Shiraz-Tempranillo ($14.99) exhibits layers of sweet black fruits, chocolate, and plum. This is a must try for any red wine lover. Finally the 2007 Alceno Roble Monastrell/ Syrah ($15.99) is both a Best Buy and Gold Medal winner, with balanced oak and vanilla notes and a soft round finish. To finish the night off add a glass of your favorite Sherry. Let us help you set up a home wine tasting, we may even show up.
El Paso de Robles, today known as Paso Robles, is known by the locals as simply Paso. With a rich history of the Old West, the hot springs are still running enticing weary travelers. Paso is twenty four miles inland along the Salinas River in the Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range of central California. Winemakers agree the temperature fluctuation is one of the key factors of successful grape growing. During the day the temperature range is 80 to 100 degrees, with a drop of 40 to 60 degrees at night. Location to the ocean, its valleys, rolling hills and varied elevation also give Paso Robles the prefect climate for grapes and wine-making. Paso Robles has grown to nearly 200 wineries on 26,000 acres, on which about 40 varietals of wine grow.
The wines of Paso Robles California have been a favorite of the UPL staff for several years. We had made several trips to the Old West and discovered many new exciting wines to bring back. Our last trip leads us to the wineries of Tobin James, Opolo Vineyards and Vina Robles. We made new friends and tasted many wines before deciding what to bring back to Indy. We are proud to be the first in offering these wines to our Indiana customers.
They say good fences make good neighbors, but on day Rick Quinn told neighbor Dave Nichols, “I just planted 10,000 grapevines in Paso” the two soon became partners. Dave bought vineyards next to Rick’s; together they own about 280 acres of vineyards. They are now neighbors in two different counties.
Pinot Noir …………..$15.99 Grenache ……………$ 15.99 Zinfandel ………$ 15.99
Maestro, blend of Grenache, Syrah and Counoise…………………………..….$ 19.99
Fusion, blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot ……………$19.99
TOBIN JAMES CELLARS
Toby grew up on a vineyard in Indiana, and knew at the age 18 that he would own a winery. It all started with an extra six tons of grapes, a lowly assistant winemaker at the time, Toby asked if he could have the grapes and make wine for himself. The owner replied, “sure kid, knock yourself out”. Toby’s first Zinfandel won gold medals, and after working at Eberle Winery and becoming founding winemaker at Peach Canyon he opened Tobin James in 1994. Come and visit Toby and let him know your Hoosier friends at UPL sent you.
Sauvignon Blanc………..$ 9.99 Merlot …………….$ 12.99 Syrah …………$ 12.99
Zinfandel …………………. $12.99
In 1996 Hans Nef, a Swiss restaurateur and developer purchased the oak studded land which became Vina Robles. Hans searched the world for the perfect place to grow Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. The first estate wines were crafted by Swiss winemaker Matthias Gubler in 1999. Vina Robles craft wines that represent a stylistic bridge between the Old and New worlds, with the finesse of Old World and the bold natural flavors of Paso.
Sauvignon Blanc …….$ 11.99 Red 4 ……………….$ 11.99 Roseum ………$ 5.98
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every wine producing country, in a wide range of climates. The grape is a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. From southern France the grape travelled to Bordeaux, where it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc to make some of most expensive and recognized wines in the world. The grape then travelled to the new world and settled in California’s Napa Valley, Australia’s Barossa Valley, Chile’s Maipo Valley, and more. The small, thick skin purplish berries have a low ratio of juice to skin, which holds the grapes flavor and accounts for its high level of tannins. Cabernet also has a large pit (seed), with a pit to pulp ratio of 1:5, the lowest of any red grape. Cabernet ripens easily, is resistant to rot and frost, and grows in a hearty vigorous fashion. When Cabernet ages in small casks it takes on additional toast, vanilla and cedar flavors along with wood tannins that can add structure to the wine. Oak aging is a natural process of oxidation, which in a brash young Cabernet can take some of the sharp edges off the texture and mouth feel. With aging the tannins link together to form a longer tannin chain, producing a softer finish. Cabernet can be like the awkward, seemingly unremarkable kid who grows up to be a Rhoades Scholar.
Join us on Friday August 27th at the Mansion at Oak Hill for a blind tasting of 16 different 2007 California Cabernet Sauvignons. The tasting will include a specially prepared buffet and opportunity to help pick the favorite wine of the night. Call Hamilton Beverage at 844-0872 to make a reservation. $25.00/person
Three of our favorite Cabernet Sauvignons are 2006 Josh Cellars ($14.99), 2005 Buehler ($24.99), and the 2005 Whitehall Lane Reserve ($73.99).
2006 Josh Cellars
Growers, that I call friends, all lend a hand in this, “winemakers wine”, what we jokingly refer to as a “vin de garage”: a handcrafted wine we make just for ourselves. Created in a Bordeaux style blend, it offers ripe black currant flavors, and deep dark fruit nuances, accented by spice and smoke. GREAT VALUE !!!!
2005 Buehler, Napa Valley
Established in 1978, the former Bechtel executive John Buehler purchased the estate as his retirement home. After several years of growing and selling grapes, son John Jr. built a small winery. The 2005 has a mix of spicy currant, blackberry, cedar and mineral notes, with a hint of anise on the finish. 90 points Wine Spectator
2005 Whitehall Lane Reserve
Two brothers, Alan Steen and Art Finkelstein, constructed this striking, modern, redwood winery in 1980. This wine displays finesse, smoothness and the power that has become the signature for Whitehall Lane Cabernet. The wine has flavors of wild blackberries, cassis and an underlying spiciness from American and French oak. The wine is sealed with the revolutionary glass closure, Vino-Seal.
SPECIAL OFFER 2 bottles for $99.98
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