Federer-friendly whites

Anyone else have to delay their evening meal because of this afternoon’s tennis? And while we’re on the tennis – and I’m not trying to take anything away from the achievements of Roger the Dodger – did anyone get to a stage in that final set where they just wanted the whole thing to finish? OK, I did have some potatoes in the oven, but they were swimming happily in duck and wine juices and didn’t object to the extra cooking time, but non-tennis loving heretic that I am, I have to confess that after it got to 8-8, I did get a bit bored. No matter, the potatoes and the duck (legs – poached then grizzled up under the grill) were interesting, as were the accompanying wines.

First up was Joachim Flick’s Wickerer Mönchsgewann Riesling Erstes Gewächs 2003 from the Rheingau in Germany. And despite 03 being a warm vintage in the region (not to mention elsewhere in Europe), this had pithy citrus acidity to back up the voluptuous, peachy, tropical fruit and mineral flavours, and reminded me of top-notch Alsace Riesling. You might find some of Flick’s wines at The Winery in Maida Vale, but they’ve probably run out of this gem.

Equally duck-friendly was the 2006 Stift Göttweig Grüner Veltliner Gottschelle from Krems in Austria. This comes from an estate founded in 1083 which received a new lease of life recently when its vineyards were leased to a group headed by Fritz Miesbauer of Weingut Stadt Krems. In the couple of years since I last tasted it, the plum and peach flavours have fleshed out, but there’s still a savoury, mineral tang, the classic peppery overtone, and the potential to develop further in bottle. O W Loeb are the UK agents (and if you get the last glass from the bottle, beware – it’s already throwing lots of tartrates)

I’m not sure what Roger would have been supping this evening, but he’d have struggled to match these two intriguing and tasty whites.

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