Sunday, November 1, 2009

In the Plane: Lufthansa Business Class from Frankfurt am Main to Washington DC in October 2009

Lufthansa served 6 excellent wines in business class, a very good selection of both old and new World wines, although most of the wines were the same as 6 weeks ago when I flew from Washington DC to Frankfurt am Main.

Before arriving in Washington DC, Lufthansa offered a Sushi Box. I like Sushi very much, but I found this Sushi Box disappointing, for one reason only--the food lacked the indispensable freshness.

The Sushi Box is prepared under the supervision of Hiroshi Akutsu, Germany's leading sushi master according to Gault Millau. It was a very good selection of food -- very nice sushi rolls, an interesting Asian beef salad and Japanese-style exotic fruits. It was interesting, but had been in the fridge for too long.

NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique.

This is 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.

2007 Riesling trocken, Schloss Rheinhartshausen, Rheingau, Germany.

Schloss Rheinhartshausen has a long history. It started to cultivate wine in 1337, when it belonged to the knights of Allendorf. Successive owners include the Langwerth von Simmern dynasty, the Duke of Westfalen, who built Schloss Reinhartshausen as we see it today, and Princess Marianne of Prussia from the Royal House Oranien-Nassau. Today, the highly regarded Wine Estate is the largest privately owned wine estate in the Rheingau.

This is a Gutswein, i.e. an entry-level bottling at the QbA level, without vineyard specification. It proved very satisfying, with wonderful minerality, crystalline fruit and a great sense of balance and long and lasting finish. A very good table wine. It costs Euro 5.90 ex winery.

2008 Iphoefer Kronsberg Silvaner Spaetlese trocken, Weingut Wirsching, Franken, Germany.

Silvaner is a high-yielding white-wine grape, which is extensively cultivated in Rheinhessen, Pfalz and Franken. Weingut Wirsching has been in the family since 1630, today in the 14th generation. With about 70 hectares it is the biggest privately owned vineyard in the Franken.

On the nose, the wine displays a bouquet of subtle, mineral notes, touches of ripe apple and notes of citrus. On the palate it has a most appealing juicy character, fine texture, fresh acidity and pleasant finish.

It comes in the distinctive, dumpily-rounded Franken “Bocksbeutel” wine bottle. The bottle’s unusual shape dates back to at least the 16th century. The Bocksbeutel may only be used for Franken wines.

2007 Columbia Valley Chardonnay, Red Diamond, USA.

The wine region of Washington State, north of Oregon, has scored a huge upswing in the wine world in recent years. This is a Chardonnay in classic New World style, with pleasing aromas of ripe citrus fruit, juicy pineapple and subtle hints of vanilla.

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

A classic elegant Cru Bourgeois with subtle spiciness, cassis fruit and elegant toasty notes. A classical Haut Medoc in the traditional style.

2006 Quinta do Gradi, Vinho Regional Estremadura, Portugal.

A juicy wine crafted in the New World style. The bouquet is appealing with well-integrated oak spiciness, a little cinnamon and clove, as well as dark berry fruits. It has a touch of chocolate on the palate and well-knit tannins and a good structure on the finish. A wine from an upcoming region in Portugal that is turning to New World style techniques.

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

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