Therese and Hans are wonderful gracious hosts with a fine collection of hand crafted, estate bottled wines and with a stunning food menu in their dining room to complement each.
After delightful lunchtime dining on Sunday September 8th I tasted through ten wines.
Hans Herzog Sauvignon Blanc 'Sur lie' 2010
Nose: A softly spoken wine with a floral layer and citrus core.
Palate: Crisp, floral and textured with the lees ageing adding complexity as well; medium+ acidity, crisp with razor sharp acidity and a lengthy finish. Overall a gentle wine despite my commentary.
Hans Herzog Sauvignon Blanc 'Grande Duchesse' 2011 (100% New Fr Oak - 500 litre Puncheons)
Nose: It's a bold move to have a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in 100 New French Oak, buts this works! A floral bouquet with a citrus undertone and naturally plenty of oak - but not invasive.
Palate: The power of citrus fruits punch through the oak flavors like a hot knife through butter; medium+ acidity and length make for a thoroughly interesting Sauvignon experience. I would suggest this more as a food oriented wine although I am sure it will pair well with appetisers and some vege-oriented soups.
This is a limited release wine and available through the cellar door (mostly)
Hans Herzog Viognier 2011 (Link is to the 2010 as the vintage rolled to the 2011 at cellar door this weekend - 2011 wine is made in much the same way as the 2010)
Nose: Very floral and very citrousy at its core; mandarin peel and tangerine aromas then a softly unfurling apricot and stone fruit layer.
Palate: Very much a reflection of what the nose suggests with a little more emphasis on the stone fruit (apricot) messages, but still with a lot of citrus as well; moderate acidity and a layer of spices from the oak (100% New French Puncheons); finish in this example is oak driven.
4.1 StarsHans Herzog 'Mistral' Viognier Roussanne Marsanne 2011 (100% New French Puncheons)
Nose: Quite floral overall, this example - with the R&M components also displays a light saline suggestions (typical for in this kind of blend); the oak is dominant in this example and I feel that the wine requires further cellar time to allow a calming of its forwardness to also allow the fruits and subtlty that is somewhat hidden right now, to develop.
Palate: A reflection of what the nose suggests; a little more acidity (M+) supports the potential for this wine to age for a further 2 years before it can be enjoyed; the finish is floral with medium length and mild fruit characters.
3.7 StarsHans Herzog Riesling 2010 14.5% (50% New Oak in 500 liter Punchens, 50 % Stainless steel, Wild Fermentation)
Nose: I really like the nose of this example - lime and lemon, green apple and a gentle apricot stone note; there is also a soil character - stony dry soils undertones.
Palate: A reflection of what the nose suggests with all the fruits of the tree and citrus described above; a spice note mainly from the oak adds both complexity and individuality; sound medium++ acidity and medium length. A wine to cellar till 2015 or enjoy now with food.
Hans Herzog St Laurent 2011 (50% whole berry in the fermentation)
Nose: The use of whole berries in this wine's ferment shows with the high toned wild red fruits bouquet; as with many St Laurent wines there is a Pinot Noir light red berry selection suggestion as well (dark cherry); overall fruity and individual.
Palate: This is a dry wine, but the burst of red fruit flavours soon pull the tasters attention to the core of this wine - red fruits; there is a little Malbec-like suggestion with a peppery kick; medium+ acidity, tannins and finish. A very youthful wine that will reward more if cellared till sometime in late 2015 or a great companion to rare game meats in the meantime.
4.0 StarsHans Herzog Pinot Noir 2009 14%
Nose: A specific Pinot Noir with a Hans Herzog signature of wine making style - lovely ripe fruits of cherry, raspberry and strawberry followed by savory and oak spiced laden undertone, medium+ complexity.
Palate: A wine just beginning to come into balance - it is still very tanse and youthful - medium+ acidity, tense tannins and masculine in nature.
A quick change to a Burgundy balloon changes this wine's bouquet and taste to a softer rounder and more floral expression.
Hans Herzog 'Spirit' 2004 (Merlot Cabernet Franc) (link for this wine is to the 2003 'Spirit' - the 2004 notes have not yet been posted to the HH site)
Nose: A youthful appearance and bouquet to match; warm dark red fruits with layers of brown spices and an inviting violet lift to the bouquet; complexity builds in the wine as I swirl the glass over and over - nice!
Palate: Immediate harmony on the palate with soft rounded red fruit flavors, a hint of bitter chocolate from the CF and a collection of brown spices, moderate+ weight and intensity. Overall a very generous wine with a mix of fine tannins from both oak and fruit with a longish finish.
Hans Herzog Montepulciano 2009 (24 months ageing in partly new French Oak)
Nose: A ripe and slightly rustic bouquet with aromas of dark berries, aged strawberry and hints of meat-e-ness with floral overtones - an interesting and captivating beginning.
Palate: Dry and focussed with flavors reminiscent of the nose; medium+ acidity keeps this wine youthful on the palate and the blend of fruit flavors alongside some rich and attention seeking tannins shows a wine of great promise for the future (5+ yrs cellar time).
Decant for service before 2015
Hans Herzog Zweigelt 2011 (Zweigelt is a cross of St Laurent and Blauerfrankish created by Dr. Zweigelt in1922)
Nose: A little smokey and youthfully fruity with a mix of dark berries and juicy light red fruits; warm and velvety in nature.
Palate: Dry with medium+ fine tannins and acidity; a wine that is generous and fruity in a very Hans Herzog style - plenty of character and complexity with a large dollop of oak; balanced and well made.
A flagship wine from the HH stables
By the way - my wife and I enjoyed the Gruner Veltliner and Viognier with our lunch - we especially enjoyed the Gruner - dry, crisp, varietal and balanced. The Viognier was particular with a fragrance of mandarin and tangerine peel, floral highlights and oak nuances. Both highly recommended.