Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In the plane: Lufthansa from Frankfurt, Germany to Washington DC, US in January 2010

Picture: Frankfurt am Main Airport

Lufthansa served 5 excellent sparkling and still wines in business class from Frankfurt am Main to Washington DC in January 2010. On this flight, in contrast to previous flights, all wines served were old world wines – on a route to a new world country.

NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique.

This was the same Champagne as on the last flight, a couple of months ago, a cuvee of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. An excellent champagne. Maturation on the fine lees after second fermentation. Intense straw-yellow color, yeasty aromas and fruity notes of pear and apple. On the palate, the wine is very refreshing with pleasant mousse.

2008 Franken Cuvee Kabinett trocken, Weingut Brennfleck, Germany

The Brennfleck Estate is a top German Wine Estate (3 Gault Millau Grapes) in Franken, with a history of 400 years.

Franken, located in the northern part of Bavaria, is boasting a long tradition and some fine terroirs (mostly shell limestone and Keuper, a kind of marl). Its two leading grape varieties are Riesling and Silvaner. Typically, Franken wine comes in the distinctive, dumpily-rounded Franken “Bocksbeutel” wine bottle and the Brennfleck Kabinett does too. The bottle’s unusual shape dates back to at least the 16th century. The Bocksbeutel may only be used for Franken wines. In Germany, it is a sign of excellence, while in the US, many consumers link this kind of bottle shape to lower quality wine.

This is an unusual wine, a blend of Kerner, Bacchus and Rivaner at the Kabinett level. These three grape varieties belong to the so-called "new breeds" of grape varieties created since the late 19th century. It reminds me a bit of the Edelzwicker from Alscace, where I was a few weeks ago. See here and here.

The wine is greenish in the glass, has a restrained bouquet, is very fruity on the palate, with notes of pineapple, oranges, mango and banana, coupled with marzipan and petrol, pleasant finish.

2008 Friendly Gruener Veltliner, Laurenz V., Austria

This is a wine a bit like the tremendously successful Dr. L. of Ernst Loosen – one of the two German wines that made it to the Top 100 list of the wine spectator in 2009, but completely unheard of in Germany, because it is produced only for the export market. Similarly, the Laurenz V. project was launched a few years ago, with the sole purpose to take advantage of the Gruener Veltliner boom in the world and in particular in the US.

Laurenz Maria Moser V., descendant of the famous Lenz Moser wine dynasty, had been the General Manager of Robert Mondavi’s European operations for many years, when Mondavi was sold to Constellation Brands in 2004. So, in 2005, he started the Lorenz V. project, with two partners. The grapes are sourced from growers in Kamptal, Kremstal and the Weinviertel. Laurenz V. works together with different winemakers; for the “Friendly”, it is Ernst Grossauer.

Grüner Veltliner is Austria's showpiece grape. It makes up one third of Austria’s entire wine production. It is not known for high quality and aging potential, but more for its easy drinking, summer wine qualities. In the US and other countries, it is becoming increasingly popular.

This is an easy drinking party wine, with a restrained bouquet and lots of spices and apple, pear and citrus notes on the palate,lingering finish.

Here is a very interesting and entertaining power point presentation about the wine.

2005 Chateau Barreyres, Haut Medoc, Cru Bourgeois, France.

I had this wine before on a Lufthanse a flight. Ruby red in the glass, light aromas of dark chocolate and cassis fruit on the nose, subtle spiciness and elegant toasty notes on the plate, long finish. A good Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeois in the traditional style.

2007 Rosso Toscana IGT, Villa Antinori, Italy

A wine well known around the world as the “Villa Antinori”. It is made mainly from the Sangioves grape, with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This classis Tuscan wine is ruby-red in the glass, with touches of purple. It has a pleasing bouquet with aromas of ripe berry fruits, vanilla and spices. On the palate, the spices become stronger, with dark chocolate. Pleasant finish.

As usual, I finished the dinner with a Schladerer Kirschwasser, a very nice German brandy which is made on the basis of cherry.

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  1. There are worse ways to spend a flight...

  2. Definitely enjoyed the wine on my flight as well... probably drank a bit too much.

    Went well with the end of meal cheese.

    Check out my blog: