25 Mar 2008

Pfalz Pouts, Leek Critique

'For some reason, perhaps a Norman prejudice, leeks were considered somewhat risible in the south of England. Shakespeare was in on the joke, mocking Fluellen’s leek in Henry V, where Pistol says he is “qualmish at the smell of leek"...'
[Rowley Leigh]
ENRICA ROCCA, the Venetian Contessa I met back in January invited me back to bring synergy as Sommelier to a recent class. From savoury Manzanilla to red cherry and toffee evoking chilled Loire Gamay, the wine which lingered on most students lips was actually made by a GP, Dr. Bürklin-Wolf. (I joke, Bettina Bürklin isn't that type of Doctor).
This enticing introduction to the showroom of her range of Rieslings comes from the largest privately owned estate in Germany, capitalising on a '400 year history' and biodynamic practises. The '06 Trocken was elegant in the same aspiring way an entry-level saloon Mercedes is.
Made from younger vines strutting their stuff on Grand Cru gravel, it had a little apple pie, dried citrus segments, and a lot of chalky minerality. Glycerous, but not unctious, with plate and palate cleansing acidity [£8.05, Jeroboams].
Also pictured: soft, moist, tropical Parrot fish, tarted-up leeks (which the Riesling complemented), veal escallops hammered thin, elipses of squid being sautéed and red wine, vanilla pod poached pear with ample dollop of vanilla essence infused crème fraîche.

Incidentally, is racy Riesling in the pit stop? I was suprised to learn that Germany is the world’s largest importer of wine, most of it no doubt red.