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John S

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WTN: JJ Christoffel, FW Gymnasium and Villa Maria

by John S » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:54 pm

A few recent wines:

  • 2005 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese * - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (8/30/2014)
    Hazy notes from last week. Still young, but quite lovely. Great complexity, and an interesting menthol note to add to the citrus and stonefruit on the very elegant, medium-bodied palate. Drier and less viscous than a normal auslese, but none the worse for these differences. Great now but will get better. (A-)
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  • 2011 Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (7/25/2014)
    Early days for this wine, but this was drinking very well last night. Didn't take notes, but this was a medium bodied, balanced, off-dry wine with stonefruit, citrus and mineral flavours. Fairly light and refreshing - almost a 'real' (i.e., old school) kabinett in style! (B+)
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  • 2009 Villa Maria Cabernet Merlot Reserve Gimblett Gravels - New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay, Gimblett Gravels (7/21/2014)
    Popped and poured, this wine was first rather soft (low acid), with a nice velvety texture but quite modern and anonymous. The second night it was much more structured and interesting. Medium bodied with blackcurrant, plums, cherry, chocolate and some green notes, but not enough to be off-putting; some oak/vanilla notes too, but again, it is integrating pretty well. A solid if unspectacular cab/merlot blend from the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay. It should last several years yet. (B+)
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: JJ Christoffel, FW Gymnasium and Villa Maria

by David M. Bueker » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:06 pm

Normal for Auslese is a moving target these days.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Andrew Bair

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Re: WTN: JJ Christoffel, FW Gymnasium and Villa Maria

by Andrew Bair » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:42 pm

Thank for the notes, John. Never had any of the FW Gymnasium wines, but they were one of the largest landholders on the Mosel. (Pretty sure that Karl Marx went to school there.) From my understanding, it's been a long time since their wines were consistently reliable. Would be nice to see a turnaround here, since they definitely have some top sites to work with.
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Lars Carlberg

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Re: WTN: JJ Christoffel, FW Gymnasium and Villa Maria

by Lars Carlberg » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:05 am

Andrew, you're right. Karl Marx went to school there. The wine estate was purchased by Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier several years ago. For more details, see the website of Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium, which I translated last year.
Last edited by Lars Carlberg on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JC (NC)

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Re: WTN: JJ Christoffel, FW Gymnasium and Villa Maria

by JC (NC) » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:14 am

I have had nice Pinot Noir from Villa Maria but didn't know they made Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
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John S

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Re: WTN: JJ Christoffel, FW Gymnasium and Villa Maria

by John S » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:49 pm

JC, they have a very large range of wines that cover almost every NZ wine region, from Auckland, Marlbourough, Central Otago to Hawkes Bay: the latter region focuses very much on red Bordeaux varieties (and more recently, syrah).

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