別看史提芬鬼靈精怪，他對品質的要求卻是秉承傳統，擇善固執。新釀好的酒, 還未陳夠火候，絕對不會出窖。2013年的收成，到了2016才可以出售。從收成到釀製好還要再等18個月才可以一親芳澤。他們從來也不硬銷也不促銷。酒在自家的窖中狀態最好。不過每年還是要加價的。對自己這麼要求高的生產商，十來個巴仙的升幅還是可以接受的。尤其是他們產量很少，有一些標籤年產800到1200瓶，而且史提夫是視乎每年收成的狀況來決定遭哪款酒，每一個標籤的年份，不一定連續的。酒迷們癡癡的也得等待18至24個月。2013、2015、2017 三個年份的小傻漿，越釀越成熟、也越精彩。2017年份敢踏入高峰期，享受之餘，同時等待2019的新酒。史提芬從沒讓我失望。
Longing 18 Months
Hong Kong is a very sophisticated market for wine and dine. Real connoisseur will only choose the chefs but not the restaurants. Tianxianglou is an exception. When I was a young, I was a big fan of Mr. Cai Lan. I started reading his works since his column “Serendipity “on the Oriental Daily. When I grew up and went to work, the first restaurant that made me spend all my savings to visit was the Tian Xiang Lou. From the welcome cup of Longjing tea, to the small plate of pickled radish, the appetisers, cold dishes, hot entries, main course, soups, desserts...not one dish you can find any flaws. $800 per person for a dinner in 1987 was a bit too extravagant for a green horn like me. But every few months, I always run off to eat seasonal dishes. No wonder Cai never stop praising. The only complaint is that they discriminate against Cantonese. As soon as they hear you speak Cantonese, they will call Cantonese speaking Uncle Zhong Wuyan to greet you, as if they are thinking that Cantonese knows nothing about Hangzhou cuisine. Well, your voice will always be heard as long as you are a regular guest and a big spender, of course.
Like good wine, I choose winemaker before the brand. A good winery should strive for excellence in every label of wine, which depends entirely on the enthusiasm and skill of the winemaker. There are many famous wineries that always have a flagship label, but the cuvee outside the flagship label is often lackluster. Of course, in business, sometimes it is necessary to satisfy customers who drink for the purpose of being seen. Can enthusiasm and skill alone make you stand out in the wine world? I'm a non-conformist who always like winemakers who are a little neurotic, rebellious, and innovative.
Like sweet and sour pork, the original creator used hawthorn and fatty pork as ingredients. As this recipe evolves, it becomes half fat and lean pork and pineapple, then strawberries, and then retro hawthorn and pork belly end fat with a thin layer of lean meat. This is the signature dish of Foshan 102. Adding creativity and skill on the basis of tradition is the masterpiece that surprises the gourmet the most.
Everyone knows the grape variety Gewürztraminer; （hereinafter Ge) Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and France all have her footprints. Perhaps it is because the Germans are rigorous in their conduct and aggressive in marketing, Ge from other origins are overshadowed by German Ge. Especially the French Alsatian Ge; I think that the terroir of French wine is delicate and graceful, charming, and lovable. Most drinkers are accustomed to seeking after sweetness, rarity, and botrytis, often focusing on Ge ice wine. The thickness, richness and high aroma of ice wine fully reflect the grace and splendour of Ge. However, when Ge falls in the hands of Stephane Bannwarth, it is like Anita Mui under the image design of Eddie Lau.
Stephane has always been mischievous, and his works often surprise people. The “Nature “series is an entry-level version. His Ge under the “Nature” series is both floral and fruity., easily understood with good complexity. The Bildstoeckle series, as the name suggests, is a traditional method of making that highlights the local terroir; it is rigorous yet lively and vivid. The Qvevri series is with the use of Georgian antique pottery amphora buried in the ground for brewing, no oak added, rustic and quaint. The Vendanges Tardives series is the late harvest that made sweet. And the Vignobles Selecion, needless to say, is harvested and made when the Ge grapes are fully ripe, and is equivalent to the sweetness of German TBA. It seems that Stephane has made every different forms of Ge. However, he still wants to surprise you with the” La Vie en Rose “, a rose version of Ge made with the Orange wine method.
Stephen's creativity doesn't stop there! In 2013 he launched the Petite Folie! He made Ge sparkling the orange wine way! He even sealed the bottle with a soda cap, cool enough? This wine is made by natural fermentation of the grapes with minimal human intervention; it is not filtered, and the bubbles are naturally formed. I shall call it a Sparkling Orange wine. The advantage of the bubbles is that it can offset the sweetness, lighten the strong sweetness of lychee and at the same time highlight the spice and aroma of Ge. Gewürz in Gewürztraminer in German means spice and aroma. It offers ginger, basil, and nutmeg that are often very low key in conventional style of wine making.
Don’t be misled by Stephane’s mischievous spirit, but his requirements for quality are adhering to tradition and persistence. Newly made wine will never come out of the cellar if it has not been aged enough. The 2013 Petite Folie will not be available for sale until 2016. It takes another 18 months from harvest to brewing before you can taste. They never hard sell or promote. Wine performs its best in its own cellar where it was born. However, there is still an annual increment on price. For such a demanding manufacturer, an increase of ten percent is still acceptable. In particular, their production is very small. Some labels produce 800 to 1200 bottles a year, and Stephane decides which style to make depending on the annual harvest. Each label vintage is not necessarily consecutive. Some of his fans have been waiting 18 to 24 months. The 2013, 2015, and 2017 vintages of the Petite Folie are getting more and more sophisticated, well made and exciting. 2017 Petite Folie has started its prime drinking window. It is now pretty enjoyable while waiting for the new wines of 2019. Stephane never let me down.
Stephane is like a good chef and every creation is amazing! I couldn't help but write a few lines of jingles for him:
Laurent Bannwarth Petite Folie 2017 0.75L
羅蘭班威夫 小傻漿 2017 0.75L
想了解史提芬如何玩轉瓊瑤漿葡萄嗎？ 歡迎參與訂於2022年7月16日舉辦的 《百變瓊瑤漿》悠長品酒午宴。
Do you want to discover how Stephan Bannwarth play with Gewurztraminer? Come and join our long lunch on 16 July 2022.
Please click here
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