Johannes Leitz makes lunch at home in Rudesheim (oh, yeah and we get to try his 2011 rieslings)

Aug 08, 12 Johannes Leitz makes lunch at home in Rudesheim (oh, yeah and we get to try his 2011 rieslings)

Posted by in Food and Wine, German wine, Travel

Johannes Leitz ebulliently came out to greet us as we pulled up to the family home in the town of Rudesheim am Rhein, with lots of smiles and handshakes, he ushered us into the open kitchen/den where we were to have our winetasting. But first, lunch… I was a bit surprised when Johannes disappeared and then reappeared with salad ingredients and began to prepare our lunch. I’ve never had a winemaker make lunch right in front of my eyes but Johannes is a man of many talents. A bright, fresh and surprising white asparagus and strawberry salad with citrus dressing was an amazing combination of flavours – I was a bit dubious but it was an explosion of flavour. That was followed with a Thai coconut curry soup with prawn paired with the 2009 Rudesheimer Burg Rottland spatlese. The sweetness of the soup was countered by the acidity and balance of the wine, a great match. It’s commonly asserted that riesling goes well with Asian food and this was a prime example of the cuisine and wine working together. But wait, there was more! Johannes brought out a rack of lamb with potato dauphinoise. Johannes gave us 2 wines to pair with that –2011 Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg and the 2010 Rudesheimer Drachenstein Auslese. Johannes believes his wines are all about the terroir and the land certainly comes through in these wines. You can almost taste the stones while you drink the wine, beautifully structured, deep and intense with excellent minerality. Johannes told us a bit of the vineyard history over lunch. The Leitz family has been making wine since at least 1744 but it wasn’t until after WW II that his grandfather rebuilt the winery. Johannes’ father took over the winery later but died suddenly in 1966, leaving the vineyard to his wife who had her hands full with a flowershop, family and vineyard to run. It wasn’t until 1985 that Johannes took over the winery and began to rebuild it. Since then, he...

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Mystery German wine….

Torsten, The Winerambler, likes his German wines and he likes to trip me up with his unusual and rare finds so it was with much anticipation that I arrived at his house last night. He had promised a mystery wine and he swore I wouldn’t be able to guess what it was. Well, I have to say the cards were stacked against me, seeing as other then my favourite Riesling, I don’t have that much experience with German wine blind tastings but I was game. I had had various obscure wines at Torsten’s before so I thought I might have a fighting chance. I had seen the label briefly so I knew it was a VDP and it looked like a Weingut Knipser but that’s all I knew. While we waited for the risotto to cook, Torsten poured the wine. A clear vibrant yellow, it looked like a bright summer’s day in a glass. Nosing it, not too aromatic, bit of apricot and overripe peach, you know when it get’s to that point when it’s just about to turn and go off, not unpleasant just very sweet and slatey, you could smell the rocks. On the palate, more of the very ripe peach and apricot but with great acidity and honeyed toasted notes. Did I detect a hint of petrol? Aged riesling!? no, too obvious….a rather oily, mouthfeel…hmmm, Semillon? Viognier? No. A finish of bitter Seville orange marmelade…pinot gris aged in barrel (well, he did say it was unusual)?  Nope. Oaked chardonnay? Not-uh. By now I just started naming off all the white German varietals I could think of, sylvaner, pinot gris, gruner even! I did get into the ballpark with it’s age, guessing it to be about 9 -10 yrs old, it’s 8 yrs old, a 2003. Although Torsten  was enjoying this guessing game, he finally put me out of my misery and did the great reveal…..the Knipser 2003 Gelber Orleans Auslese. The what? Gelber Orleans? Yeah, like me or anyone outside of...

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