TNs: Germanic wines, Serragghia dinner


  • NV Marc Hébrart Champagne Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
    My extra. Similar to previous impressions, i.e., a crowd pleaser as usual but most guessed Pinot and house because of the red fruit and high dosage. (92 pts.)
  • 2013 Rudi Pichler Riesling Smaragd Terrassen - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
    My contribution. Not the best cork / storage from the retailer so a little more advanced than it should have been, but still had the tensile minerality and acidity of the last bottle.
  • 2013 Rudi Pichler Riesling Smaragd Weissenkirchner Steinriegl - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
    Brought as an extra since I complained about the bad fill and leaky cork but the retailer refused to compensate. No fruit, tension and acidity. NR (flawed)
  • 2019 Weingut Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner 1ÖTW Ried Berg - Austria, Niederösterreich, Traisental
    Guessed Austrian Riesling from a warm vintage like 2018/19, not the first and won’t be the last time I can’t differentiate between Austrian Rieslings and GVs. A neutral, inoffensive wine with floral, peachy fruit, but ultimately unmemorable. (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Sweet but a little cloying, guessed a warm vintage Spatlese like 2015. Needed more acid. (89 pts.)
  • 2021 Weingut Keller Riesling von der Fels - Germany, Rheinhessen
    Coincidentally there were two bottles of this - one from a friend and one that I brought for another friend. I opened mine 6 hours before dinner after the unimpressive showing of my last bottle, while my friend’s was popped and poured.

Bottle 1 (friend’s) - Taut citrus fruit with the texture and elegance of a top maker. Immediately nailed the bottle given my familiarity with this.

Bottle 2 (mine) - Interestingly, guesses were all over the place for this and nobody managed to place this as the same wine as the previous one. Slightly rounder with more tropical fruit with more sweetness, much more expressive after being given sufficient air.

Both showed much better than my previous experience, and I can understand why this is touted as a great QPR now. (93 pts.)

  • 2015 Albert Boxler Pinot Gris Sommerberg Wiptal - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
    Brought for a friend. Not as oxidative as the last time I had this, but quite muted with austere tropical fruit like grapefruit, apricot at the moment. (90 pts.)
  • 2020 Weingut Thörle Hölle Spätburgunder - Germany, Rheinhessen
    Easy guess as a German Pinot (out of the 3 possibilities). Smoky nose that reminded me of Markus Molitor, dark and spicy profile with grainy tannins which definitely wasn’t my favourite type of expression of Pinot. (87 pts.)
  • 2020 Shelter Winery Pinot Noir - Germany, Baden
    Again identifiable as a German Pinot despite being made in a completely different style from the Thörle that came before; a more elegant but slightly jammy style that is in vogue now but so candied that it was almost new world-like. Nonetheless, still liked the red-fruited nature of this more than the dense black fruit of the Thörle. (90 pts.)
  • 2001 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermännchen Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Nahe
    Guessed pre-2010s Donnhoff because of the distinctive apricot and orange peel note, and Spätlese because of the honey nectar sensation without being too heavy. An enjoyable sweet at peak. (92 pts.)
  • 2017 Domaine Maurice Schoech Gewürztraminer Alsace Grand Cru Furstentum Sélection de Grains Nobles - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
    Guessed Alsace but didn’t land on the grape - had such a strange nose that I thought this was flawed but when revealed to be a Gewürz it made sense. Lush, exotic fruit but not enough acidity (the reason why I prefer German sweets in general). Really dislike generic wines like this with no focus and character. (80 pts.)

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A truly IYKYK wine and so difficult to source; was lucky to taste across the range - many thanks to Marion for organising and accepting my cheeky request to throw in the sparkling into the tasting. Overall, the skin contacts were by my favourite of the lot.

  • 2022 Azienda Agricola Serragghia (Gabrio Bini) Zibibbo Bianco - Italy, Sicily, Terre Siciliane
    More conventional skin-contact in terms of colour and taste profile than the 2020 I tried previously (which was incredibly wild and had every fruit imaginable including watermelon). Expressive and open with orange peel and pomelo notes, tannins stood up to food well (tbh I can only do skin contact wines with food). (92 pts.)
  • 2022 Azienda Agricola Serragghia (Gabrio Bini) Pantelleria Heritage - Italy, Sicily, Pantelleria
    Wow this was a big step up from the normal Zibibbo. Beautiful, lifted nose of yuzu; seamless and elegant palate with a tannic structure that made it a very serious wine. Balance and texture were on point. My favourite of the night. (94 pts.)
  • 2021 Azienda Agricola Serragghia (Gabrio Bini) Pantelleria Fanino Catarratto E Pignatello - Italy, Sicily, Pantelleria
    Red (Pignatello) and white (Catarratto) grapes that were co-fermented. Slightly darker than a rose in colour. Floral aromatics; tangy and juicy fruit with high acid on the palate. Stylistically a cross between a Beaujolais and l’Anglore’s rose. (91 pts.)
  • 2020 Azienda Agricola Serragghia (Gabrio Bini) Pinot Noir Terre Siciliane Riserva - Italy, Sicily, Terre Siciliane
    Ashy nose, so inky and tannic that I couldn’t believe that this was a Pinot. Fermented in amphora, so where did all those tannins come from if not oak use? A brute of a Pinot that I didn’t enjoy. (82 pts.)
  • 2020 Azienda Agricola Serragghia (Gabrio Bini) Carignane Riserva Giotto - Italy, Sicily, Terre Siciliane
    Slightly sweet blue fruit with liquorice notes. A modern, smoothed out tannin profile compared to the Pinot which had more rustic, dusty tannins. But overall another red that felt heavy-handed. (88 pts.)
  • 2022 Azienda Agricola Serragghia (Gabrio Bini) Syrah Onda - Italy, Sicily, Terre Siciliane
    Wow this smelled like a northern Rhone with rustic blue fruit and pepper note but the palate was quite strange, high acidity and salinity with not much body and fruit. (87 pts.)
  • 2021 Azienda Agricola Serragghia (Gabrio Bini) Cicala - Italy, Sicily, Pantelleria
    Cheekily told the organiser if she could throw this in, I’d definitely attend. Generously she did, so I was really looking forward to trying this but came away very confused. Made from Zibibbo using the méthode ancestrale, had barely any fruit but lots of hazelnut, lemon barley notes. Some sherry-like flavours with air. Really strange, like a skin contact sparkling. (70 pts.)
  • 2018 Éléonore Champagne Grand Cru Buveur de Blancs - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
    First of a generous pack of champagnes from Phil in Singapore, brought to compare against the Cicala sparkling. Spent 8 months in oak barrels, disgorged November 2022, I damaged the label so couldn’t make out the dosage. Some star anise, Ricard flavours on the nose, spicy red fruit (possibly from the oak use) that made it seem more like a Pinot-dominant champagne. Dosage also made it a little syrupy, needs more time to integrate overall. (90 pts.)

And a couple of other good-value wines

  • 2016 AR.PE.PE. Valtellina Superiore Il Pettirosso - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Valtellina Superiore (7/6/2024)
    Under Nomacorc. So Nebbiolo, so elegant. Attractive nose with slight VA, light on the palate but not without stuffing. Bright cherry fruit and acidity; gentle tannins with a good minerality. A superb entry-level wine that is in the zone, definitely shouldn’t wait too long to pull the cork on this if you have any. (92 pts.)
  • 2022 Savage Wines Thief in the Night - South Africa, Olifants River, Citrusdal, Piekenierskloof (7/6/2024)
    Distinct Syrah-like purple hue to the colour, but on the palate it was definitely all Grenache. Slightly blueberry fruit on the nose, cool dark fruit on the palate without being jammy. Not as elegant as the previous Savages or the Lourens Family I had the previous day, but still enjoyable. Definitely one of my discoveries of this year. (91 pts.)
  • 2021 Lourens Family Grenache Lua Ilse - South Africa, Olifants River, Citrusdal, Piekenierskloof (6/6/2024)
    Lifted nose with apparent stem use. Attractive, delicate red fruit on the palate, stylistically very similar to Savage. Opened for colleagues and this was a crowd favourite; another great value SA discovery. (92 pts.)


Nice notes as always!
No binis turned mousy? Feel like every single one I’ve had fell apart after 30 minutes.


Only the sparkling for me, but I saw that the restaurant somm who tasted leftovers after dinner did note mousiness for some bottles (his notes are also on CT).

the wines are very clean if you drink them close to where they are made! i have not had the same luck with bottles that have traversed the seas.

probably the best wine i have had from gabrio was the first vintage of the bubbles which he disgorged in his kitchen sink!

bummer about the pinot, i have always been curious about that one. i think he has some young savagnin plantings too…

Spot on description, similar to one I wrote a couple of years ago (except for the drink up part.) This inspired me to open my last bottle, which I have been enjoying over the past few nights. All in all an excellent report, and thanks for the nudge!

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Happy to help Paul, the wine made it easy to write the note :slight_smile: