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Message in a bottle: Winetasting at the ÷kologischer Weinhandel H.-J. Montag in Darmstadt

All pictures can be found in my gallery

Not long ago I got to hear that friends were looking for 2 more people to go to a Weinprobeabend / Winetasting evening. This was even a special type of wine: ecological wines from all over the world. “Green wine” so to say.

It’s been a while that I’ve been out to try out different types of wine. To be honest, it was 20 years ago and we were driving around in France, in the famous Beaujolais-Cru wine area around Macon. The lovely Saint Amour and lots of other Beaujolais-Cru wines (Brouilly, Ch√©nas, Chiroubles, C√īte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juli√©nas, Morgon, Moulin √† Vent and R√©gni√©) are being cultivated there. I remember it was a great pleasure to go from one Chateau to the other one, test a bit, collect a box of bottles and then drink them in the evening with a great dinner. These wines were all very young but had a soft, strong taste, very fruity as well. The “Cru” points out that they are the “Upper-class” Beaujolais-Cru, so expect to pay a bit more than the max. EU 5,- for a “normal” Beaujolais wine.

This Winetasting evening was guided by Mr. H-J Montag, who had not only looked after selecting all the wines, but also prepared a lovely dinner with some very nice and tasty food to go along with the wines. As usual with wines (and the food that goes along with it):
You start with the “weakest” tasting wines (in this case the Sekt), and work yourself through from white wines, via Rose to Red, ending with a Red Barrique wine, or, on request, the sweet white Desertwines at the end.
The important three things here were that you only get a little bit of wine, just enough to taste the full taste, and if you didn’t like it, you could poor it away. Also the glasses needed to be rinsed with water in between two different wines. Ofcourse you’ve got to drink a lot of water as well, if only to clean the previous winetaste ‘away’.

For this special evening our “wineguide”, Mr. H-J Montag selected 15 wines. I’ll go through the list with a picture, the winedetails (year and location), the description on the paper we got beforehand, and my own remarks. As I wanted to make some hidden advertisement, I’ve put the prices for ordering (per 6 or 12 bottles) online as well, but these might vary.


Name: Frizz
Picture: see above: At the outter right of the row of bottles.
Year: 2007/2008
Producer: Weingut Knotbloch
Location: Rheinhessen
Price: EU 9,95 (6)

Description: It’s riped in the bottle, it’s a fine wine with fruity bits, mostly Riesling.

My experience on this wine:
Smell: It was so bubbly I preferred not to try to smell it :)
Taste: Very heavy bubbling white wine with a soft sweet, but bitter-strong fruity bite.

White wines

Name: Riesling
Year: 2009
Producer: Weingut Knotbloch
Location: Rheinhessen
Price: EU 5,95 (6)

Description: Riesling that’s not that sauer.

My experience on this wine:
Smell:I must have a bad taste, or a bad nose, because this one reminded me of wet towels and bedsheets. But as inhaling wine doesn’t bring very much, I better tried it.
Taste: It had a light bubble, the taste was short, sour and with a bite of fruit.

In the meanwhile the dinner was brought by the host: Ravioli with porcini mushrooms and a cream sauce; it tasted lovely with the following wine(s)!

Name: Sauvignon-Moscatel DO
Year: 2009
Producer: Parra
Location: Mancha
Price: EU 4,95 (6)

Description: Fruity, spicy with primary aromas from Sauvignon-Blanc and Moscatel (Gold Biofach 2009)

My experience on this wine:
Smell:I must like Sauvignon, because it smelled good for a white wine.
Taste:An absolute winner in the White Wine category for me. It’s slightly yellow, ligth sweet, soft fruity taste, a bit of a tender bubble but a good long taste.

Name: Weisser Burgunder
Year: 2008
Producer: Weingut Knobloch
Location: Rheinhessen
Price: EU 6,20 (12)

Description: Light & fruity, goes good along with food

My experience on this wine:
Smell:A bit of vanille and flowers
Taste:It made me think of Champagne, it had a smooth and fine taste.

Name: Chasselas
Year: 2009
Producer:Ludwig Missbach
Location: Baden
Price: EU 6,80 (6)

Description: A Gutedel from the Markgraefler Area.

My experience on this wine:
Smell: not much
Taste: It had a far hint of old apples, a very short taste, and it left some soapy feeling in my mouth.

Name: Traminer
Year: 2008
Producer:Gebr. Dr. Becker
Location: Rheinhessen
Price: EU 7,80 (6)

Description: 13% = 7,7Z -5,7S (Which means as much as 13% alcohol, 7,7g/L restsugar and the measured acidity in g/L, also 5,7g/L)

(thanks for the rectification, Mr. H.J. Montag !)

My experience on this wine:
Taste:Lichees! Sweet and smooth.

In the meanwhile a bowl of freshly cooked chesnuts came on the table. They were so fresh, it was difficult to get the skin of :)

Name: Auxerrois “TOPAS”
Year: 2007
Producer:Weingut Knobloch
Location: Rheinhessen
Price: EU 9,90 (6)

Description: a fruity grape, a “thick” wine, a result of the reduction of grapes and leaves while it’s growing in the summer. The remaining grapes get all humus, water and sun.

My experience on this wine:
Smell: It smells a bit like fruits
Taste: The taste however was “thick”, similar to high quality fresh applejuice. The taste didn’t vary much, it had a little bubble.

Out with the white wines, in with the Rose wines! They came along with some very nice black olives and green olives with sardines in there.


Name: Lo Bartas Rose VdP
Year: 2009
Producer:Brueder Delhon
Location: Languedoc
Price: EU 6,10 (6)

Description: Cinsault and Shiraz/Syrah grapes from the area around Herault (Domaine Bassac)

My experience on this wine:
Smell: It smelled to me like Bastogne cookies, a deep spicy smell. The wine was very pale for a rose.
Taste:A sweet sour taste, with some fruit, very light.

Name: Rosado Classic DO
Year: 2009
Producer:Albert i Noya
Location: Penedes
Price: EU 7,95 (6)

Description: Dark colored, one of the most strong, tasteful rose’s, goes along well with food.

My experience on this wine:
Smell:Another one you shouldn’t smell – wet sand for me (which doesn’t have to be bad)
Taste:Dry, strong, long taste

End of the White and Rose Wines, we’re out and about for the red wines, my favorite!

Name: Villa Solana Rosso Toscano
Year: 2008
Price: EU 4,95 (6)

Description: Sangiovese grapes, with 11,5% a light wine

My experience on this wine:
Smell: berry genever (Bessenjenever)
Taste: A very young wine, italian, light, just about to start to taste good (or served a bit too chilled?)

Name: Melisseo Rosso DOC Ciro Superiore
Year: 2008
Producer:Cantina de Luca
Location: Kalabrien
Price: EU 6,80 (12)

Description: From Gaglioppo, the most important grapetype of Kalabrien. Fruity.

My experience on this wine:
Smell: Round and sweet
Taste: Not sour; fruity and with a light sweet taste.

Name: Chateau Pech-Latt Rouge AOC Corbieres
Year: 2009
Price: EU 8,50 (12)

Description: Carignan, Grenach, Syrah and Mourverde, bio from 1991 onwards already.

My experience on this wine:
Smell: A hint of honey and earth
Taste: Difficult to describe, but it did fit the black olives Kalamates perfectly!

Name: “L’Orphee” Pic Saint Loup AOC
Year: 2007
Producer:Mas Foulaquier
Location: Herault/Languedoc
Price: EU 12,50 (12) (special price)

Description: From the best areas of the Languedoc, Wine from Carignan, Gernache and Syrah. Slightly “modified” by reduction of leaves and grapes, concentrated wine, full of the special aromas from the Garrigue.

My experience on this wine:
Smell: A bit of cherry
Taste: Strong fruity, present, sharp but smooth.

Name: Mas de Caraita DO
Year: 2007
Producer:Bodegas Porsellanes
Location: Alicante
Price: EU 5,95 (6)

Description: From Tempranillo, Syrah and Garnacha, riped in the wooden winebarrel, a new wine.

My experience on this wine:
Smell: Wood smell
Taste: Typical “woodened” wine, rather sharp, might need to be older and warmer.

Then the last wine, Odyssee 2008 from Tsantail, Thraki, Greece, was unfortunately “corked”. This was a pity on one side, but on the other side a good experience for the people to get to know the typical smell and taste it has got.
I explained to one of the people that this one smelled like horsesdump – a great laugh was the result. I had to grin when she got to smell the wine and got quiet, had to admit it smelled like horsedump ;)
It’s a pity when a good and maybe expensive wine is “corked”, however that makes you realize once more it’s a product of nature.

Instead, our host served the Agathon, I haven’t got much details, but you can ofcourse get them from the host (contact details below)

Name: Agathon – Limnio/Cabernet Sauvignon
Year: 2006
Location: Mont Athos, Greece

My experience on this wine:
Smell: Heavy
Taste: Also a typical “woodened” wine, rather sharp, might need to be older and warmer.

As we had to grab the last tram back home, we couldn’t try any other anymore. However, all the opened wines were ours. And uh, how dutch is it to ask for a box and then carry 6 opened wines with you? :)

It was a good fun evening, with interesting wines, people and tastes, really worth it!

If you want to know more, have a look at the website: or contact Mr. H-J Montag via mail: montag[at] or per telephone: 06151 3737 84
Opening times: Friday from 15-19h and appointments.

All pictures can be found in my gallery



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