Friday, 12 November 2010

Wijn Antiquariaat

Gerard has been squirreling eclectic and ideosyncratic fine wines away in his shop near the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for decades and consequently has built up a fantastic inventory of great wine for those looking for something with some bottle age.

Inevitably there are legions of Bordeaux and Burgundy but also rarities such as Colares which makes Wijn Antiquariaat different from other similar operations. Not only that, Gerard knows his stuff and has visited the respective areas (including Colares). He is another of the rare enthusiasts one sometimes meets who are more inteersted that you should enjoy a nice bottle of wine than in extracting the last penny from you, making nonesense of the ditty

Never do business with the Dutch,
They give too little and take too much.

Gerard is also a real character. He has a clockwork torch for looking at labels in dim corners. He also holds tastings and invited us to one of Rioja the afternoon we were in his shop (unfortunately we couldn't stay).

We asked him if he know the best place to buy Dutch wine and he said that everywhere would be closed but that if we wanted he could lay his hands on some very good Dutch wine. We are sure he could

In fact we had taken the precaution of going to Gall & Gall, the store we had discovered on a previous visit and bought a bottle of Colonje Johanniter.

Johanniter is a crossing of Riesling and Seyve Villard and is quite common in the Netherlands. Also available was Knapse witte also from Colonje (whose vineyards are in Groisbeek in the south of the country).This consists of a blend of two other hybrids which were completely unknown to us, Helios (progeny of Merzling, Seyve Villard and Muller Thurgau bred in the Staaliche Weinbauinstitut, Freiburg-im-Breisga)and Riesel (a Swiss crossing by Valentin Blattner of varieties which seem to have been kept confidential).

Gerard probably wouldn't approve but we had to start somewhere with Dutch wine.

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