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January 24, 2011

MyPfalz: Johann F Ohler

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MyPfalz (2) Winery January:
Weingut Johann Ohler
Gimmeldingen, Pfalz

I got curious about this winery after I had been offered a glass of their Mussbacher Eselshaut Riesling Kabinett trocken during an event. An easy to drink, everyday wine, nothing fancy, BUT! so clean, clear, crisp, fruity, refreshing and lean! (Getting thirsty again...)

Since 1758, the Ohler family is involved in the making of wine. Sabine Jost-Ohler took over after her parents and since 2007, she has together with her husband invested lots of time, work and money to modernize the estate. 100% comitted to quality, quality, quality. No compromize. 

6,2 ha of vines are found in well known vineyards around Neustadt, like Mussbacher Eselshaut, Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten and Königsbacher Idig. Parts of the vines are up to 40 years old, with very limited yields, which result in wonderful wines with distinct minerality. 

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The special edition JFO, that comes in small quantities only, is something to look out for! They are exclusively available in vintages where everything was perfect. That standard is set very high by Sabine and Stefan, the wine maker, and smallest deviations will lead to that those wines are not launched that particular year. No compromize - as said before.

JFO wines 2010 include a:
- 2009 Riesling, that was spontanously fermented and thus giving for additional aromas and flavours (this is a wine with residual sugar)
- 2009 dry Chardonnay, that was aged in barrique
- 2007 Spätburgunder Alte Reben (Pinot Noir old vines), unfiltered 

60% of the estate's vines are Riesling. The grape variety that thrives best in the soils of the respective vineyards. Spätburgunder counts for ca 20%, the rest is split between the white burgundy varietals and some Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine prices range from € 4,70 to 60. 

This small but fine estate is perhaps not so easy to find, but it is well worth getting to know further. Visit the website: and say hi from me!

January 17, 2011

MyPfalz: Dr. Wehrheim Riesling Rotliegendes

MyPfalz (1) Monthly Riesling January:
Dr. Wehrheim
Rotliegendes Riesling S 2008

Birkweiler, Pfalz
ca. 13,50 €

Terroir! If you like a wine that tastes of where it comes from, this is your wine. Of course, you have to like Riesling, too, but would you be reading this if not?

Dr. Wehrheim Rotliegendes Riesling 2008 is a dry wine with a pale color of straw. Nice mineral, hay and yellow stone fruit aromas of medium intensity open the nose to continue on the palate, where also citrus fruit is coming into the picture. The typical high Riesling acidity is incorporated and the overall impression of this light- to medium-bodied wine is very pleasant, summery-fresh, with quite some length. (13% abv.) I really like it!

We had it with smoked ham and aromatic cheeses, but it will match any chicken or fish dish with herbal seasoning too. Salads with nice vinaigrettes, smoked salmon will also pair well. Or just enjoy it as it is!
Rotliegend (red colored sedimentary rocks) is the term for the soils on which the vines for this wine are growing.
These sediments date back to 280-250 mill years ago, when the Pfalz (and everywhere else) still was desert. Heat and pressure have formed metamorphic rocks, slate. Many millions of years later, when the earth opened up to form the Rhine valley, those old red rocks resurfaced, here at the southern border of the Haardt mountains. The soils are dark red, iron loaded and they store the heat. But otherwise poor, they allow for limited yields only (40 hl/ha).

The name of the vineyard site with Grand Cru status: Kastanienbusch
(translate: chestnut bush), named after all the countless chestnut trees growing in this area. Here, 14 parcels of vines (9 ha) belong to Dr. Wehrheim. The vineyard at ca 320 m above sea level has best possible conditions, sloping ca 30 % to south, south-east, and is protected by the higher mountains to the west.

The Kastanienbusch has a mixture of soils, other parcels are Spätburgunder sites. The total size is about 80 hectares.

Dr. Wehrheim, a VdP member, believes in sustainability and is in the process of changing to biodynamic wine making. Read more about the winery and the wines.

January 16, 2011

MyPfalz: Map of vineyards and Deutsche Weinstrasse

© Maximilian Dörrbecker
This is a great map of the wine region Pfalz, which I found here  Marked with red = vineyards, yellow = Deutsche Weinstrasse (German wine route),which starts (or ends) in the North at Bockenheim and ends (or begins) in the South at Schweigen. As you can see, Neustadt is the town that is very central, which is from where I am writing. The small picture shows where the Pfalz is situated in Germany.

January 11, 2011

Mundus Vini closed!

Bad news for me this morning, opening the local newspaper 'Rheinpfalz': my favorite wine bar/-restaurant in Neustadt did close for good. Owned by the publisher house Meininger, the source of many big wine and restaurant magazines, and initiator of the Mundus Vini wine awards, the place will be re-opening under new management. Just before Christmas, we girls had a Sekt-lunch there - little did I know it would be the last one :-(. 

Let's hope, the new team will have a good selection of wines and Sekt!

Click here for previous posts regarding Mundus Vini. 

January 05, 2011

New: MyPfalz

New Year, new ideas...

In 2011 you will find a new series of postings under the theme: MyPfalz, where I am introducing to you a:

* monthly winery
* monthly Riesling
* monthly Sparkling

- all from, yes!, the Pfalz.

The positive feedback I received from readers who feel it is exciting to learn more about the region and who appreciate the English language, pairs well with my own personal interest about the region I call my home. And in the best case you get some inspiration too!

January 04, 2011

Winter Vines

We took this photo during a walk along the wine fields just after returning home from Sweden. Someone has been busy despite the cold weather... There is hope! The vines are being trimmed for the new season to start and soon we will see things happening around here. Location: Königsbach, Pfalz
Santa's helpers?

January 02, 2011

Happy New Year

I wish you a happy and healthy 2011! May all your wishes come true and your choice of wines be good! Hopefully, you had wonderful holidays and got time to relax and 'just be'.

We celebrated Christmas at my parents-in-law's summer house in Sweden. About 2 hours west of Stockholm, this unbelievable cozy place lies in the middle of (almost) nowhere. Lots of fire wood was being burnt up to keep everyone warm. The temperatures went as low as -26 C one night... We sure did get into the winter mood!

This is how we keep our wines cool
My mother-in-law is an excellent cook and we enjoyed lots of good meals and tons of baked goodies. (Time to start working out!) Everyone in the family (over 18) likes to have a glass of wine, but no-one really fancies wine. So all wines we had during the days, were moderate in price and style. It seems, the favorite was Mugler's Riesling Kabinett trocken, Ruppertsberger Linsenbusch. Everyone liked the fruity style, with it's good acidity and some residual sugar. It was agreed upon that this is a good match for many different dishes.