Savored…Cool and Dry Van Volxem

I love a good Riesling, but actually, I really do not know too much about it. But I know I enjoy most in a Riesling that is subtly sweeten, floral, mineral, crisp, slightly nutty and maybe with touches of oiliness and kerosene. Those difficult-to-remember-and-pronounce-and-impossible-to-spell German words that describe the degree of sweetness are not exactly helpful in getting to know them better. But nonetheless, I try my best to take note. But I often will go by my personal taste and how well it pairs with Chinese and Singapore local cuisine. So when I received an invitation to attend a lunch tasting session of Van Volxem wine paired with Dim Sum, I RSVP’d right away. What an excellent opportunity to get to know Riesling better, and I have soft spot for Dim Sum.

I am normally very good with timing, but this day being a work day, I was so caught up with my to-do list that I left the office later than I anticipated. I walked into the private dining room of the Chinese Restaurant and was greeted by a chest. He stuck out his hand and shook mine, and I looked up. Wow, what a tall man.
Van Volxem Roman NiewodniczanskiMay I introduce to you, Mr. Roman Niewodniczanski, one of most passionate and dedicated proprietor and winemaker. A man not afraid to speak his mind, and immensely proud that German Riesling once commanded the price on par if not higher than Chateau Latour, and DRC.
Quickly, I took my seat next to him and the first Van Volxem wine was served. It was a sparkling, 1900 Brut, and I was pleasantly surprised by it’s honey notes laced with lemon tart flavours. The dryness was quite elegant with fine minerality and firm acidity. This bottle is not available in the market anymore. How nice of Roman to hand carried this only bottle for the lunch.
Van Volxem SparklingWith our palate nicely fizzed, we began the Riesling tasting. Here are the ones that stood out for me.
Van Volxem Scharzhofberger
The Scharzhofberger was really impressive. The general texture was dry, which took me by surprise particularly for wines from the Saar and Mosel region. I was anticipating lots of sweetness, fatness and astringent-like. The 2011 revealed mineral like sweetness, dusty, nutty, flinty framed by aromatic floral notes. The 2012 had more fruit structure but maintained a certain amount of restraint in sweetness that was actually very alluring and elegant. But the 2009 took my breath away with drops of citrus creaminess (and I was thinking of lemon honey curd) that echoed lushness, balance and finesse. This vintage found a way to my wallet.
Van Volxem Altenberg
The Altenberg Alte Reben Riesling’s best asset was its aromas and liveliness. The 2011 had the best aromas by far of honey, slate, mint and, not a bad thing, pork crackling. It took me a while to sip it because I could not stop smelling it. The 2012’s only fault was its youth. It was lively, playfully sweet but cool at the same time. Not quite ready.
All Van Volxem Riesling had the dryness that is elegant and extremely enjoyable. It was even more enjoyable and amusing to hear how Roman compared his wine to 1989 Haut Brion or some of the best Montrachet. Really? Seriously? But Roman is definitely quite a character and luckily, I took notes of some of his interesting comments: “I don’t care about point”, “Our wines are too elegant for pig” (I was not sure what he was referring to.

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Savored…Chui Huay Lin Restaurant, Singapore

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The theme was Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris or New World Pinot Noir for the 11 on Monday dinner gathering. We meet once every two months and this group is 14 years old. We were meeting for authentic Teochew cuisine in a Teochew Club. Teochew is a form of dialet spoken by a chinese from a particular part of China. This cuisine is known for its delicate and pure flavors. It turned out most of us brought Riesling, and it was an appropriate match to the different Teochew dishes.The highlight Riesling was a bottle of 1971 vintage and a couple of bottles of California Pinot Noir, but I am saving that for another post. Nonetheless, these four labels were delicately sweetened without being overwhelming and the right amount of acidity to enhance the cuisine. Mild candy like flavors, laced wtih fine mineral notes. The approach of the Rieslings were bold but silky at the same time.

Thank you for sharing. Let see what we can come up with in August with Japanese Cuisine.

Savored…Windsor Road, Singapore

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I was talking to my dear friend Grace about the wine theme for the next 11 on Monday dinner, she suggested Old World Riesling, Gewurzertraminer and Pinot Gris for whites because the nature of the cuisine would be an excellent pairing. We will be having food such as cold crab, steam pomfret, shrimp and liver roll, fried flat noodle with chinese pickled vegetable and so on; hence having more unique white options will make a very interesting evening. I will definitely share the most unique ones here. But the conversation and a fellow member’s replied with the name of the wine he is going to bring to this gathering evening reminded me of this gorgeous bottle from Germany I had in February with my brothers.

This came from my youngest brother collection. Drinking this in the evening (around 530pm) tenderly chillled as we chatted with my younger brother who just came home for a short trip with the brilliant colors of sunset in the background was simply heartwarming. It was delicately sweeten, velvetily long in the finish, and with acidity that was refreshingly crisp. A really special bottle for a very special moment in my life.