Farnsburg Restaurant    August 2003

Landgasthof & Vinothek
4466 Ormalingen
Tel.  +41 61 985 9030
Fax. +41 61 985 9031
Farnsburg Site

Set at the top of a hill about 25 minutes from downtown Basel in the direction of Zürich; you take the Rheinfelden exit and then head for Maisprach and Buus, just out of Buus you'll see the sign for Farnsburg. At the top of the hill is the ruin surmounted by the Swiss flag, lower down the hill is the Landgasthof Farnsburg

It's worth a trip round the cellar before eating, you might not then need the winelist. 'Farnsburg' has a Wine Spectator award for their winelist - not always a sign of quality I'm afraid to say - but do not fear, this cellar is superb. Bordeaux section, Burgundy section, Italian section - super wines - a nice separate tasting area too. As an aperitif the owner's choice was;
1996 Domaine Dujac, Morey-Saint-Denis Blanc
Deep golden colour. The nose is deep and fat with lanolin and and getting close to a gunflint note. The palate is equally big and robust - this is a wine that takes no prisoners. Not amazing length but nicely balanced and quite involving. Drinking very well now, a very good wine.

We sat inside despite summer warmth - I don't know about you, but even if the food is exquisite, I really feel that dining outside is just not the same ! The benefit of sitting inside was that the owner was said we could then use the 'good glasses' - this mean't Reidel Burgundy Sommeliers! The service was very good, and the only thing that bothered me, was the attention of half a dozen flies - I'm sure that this would have been much worse outside though. From the carte both chose a fixed menu; I'm writing this three or four days later and at the time made no notes, hence, the descriptions are a bit 'woolly'.
  • a healthy sized salad with warm cooked chicken pieces, tinged with citrus
  • a thick, cold and quite refreshing soup
  • two 6/7mm thick slices of Galloway beef from the farms own cows if I'm not mistaken, together with a lovely creamy risotto
  • a plate of mixed cheeses followed by a tasty expressso
  • The whole lot was complimented by bottle of;
    1993 Domaine Leroy, Pommard Les Vignots
    The price was very interesting, and I'm sure much less than current retail prices! Medium-plus cherry red - if I hadn't seen the label from the colour I would have guessed this was a 1999. The nose was very individual, starting deep, perhaps a little oaky and definitely quite gamey and mushroomy. It took close to two hours (by which time there was very little left) for a red fruit compote nose to develop, further development gave redcurrant. The palate has excellent acidity and very smooth tannin to match. For the first 1 hour+ I was a little concerned whether there was enough density of fruit for the long-term. When we started on the beef course (with a little risotto) the fat improved and the wine took on the appearance of more concentration. Only medium plus length and showing in a very young and very atypical way. Very good food wine and very interesting, but I probably wouldn't be looking to stock my cellar with this wine.

    So, a resounding 'thumbs-up', I look forward to further exploring the contents of this cellar, and just in case you feel you need to walk off some of that food, there's a wide selection of walks to choose - but watch out for the Bison - I kid you not !!!

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