Forget about the Slanted Door, Cowgirl Creamery, and whatever else they proffer in the Ferry Terminal Building. The real jewel of SF’s Embarcadero is Pier 19. Where we drink German wine…
Today’s event was to unveil some 05s, but they weren’t really my favorite producers, so in fact the “extras” gave me the most pleasure…
1959 Kloster Eberbach Schonberger Herrenwinger Auslese Auction
This caresses the tongue with weathered yet firm and juicy delicate celery/caraway seeds and just keeps pumping and pumping over several hours. Not the most complex, but the texture is so comfortable on my tongue. May I have another pour…
1966 Kloster Eberbach Rudesheimer Hinterhaus Spatlese Auction
Smoky and dusty, the fruit has left the bottle, a bit sour, a curiosity…
1975 Erben von Beulwitz Kaseler Nies’chen Spatlese
This needs air to open up, but when it does it laces the tongue with a lovely story of elegantly sour and spicy seeds, a lacy wispy firm pucker of a wine. Nice.
1976 Kloster Eberbach Kiedricher Grafenberg Auslese Auction
This needs tons of air as it is an unformed blob on opening, but with time it firms up and becomes juicy and delicious, gaining structure by the minute, but should really be left alone.
2004 Staatsweingut Assmannshauser Hollenberg Fruhburgunder QbA Auction
Some of us were wondering what this $44 early-ripening pinot noir clone might have to offer, as it comes from what is supposedly the best vineyard for pinot noir in Germany. So, pop went the bottle, and tastes all around of the porkiest smokiest pinot noir I have smelled in a while. It was fun and juicy expressive porky funk, with some structure lurking beneath, but I didn’t sense much nobility and for the price I’m not convinced.
2002 Robert Arnoux Bourgogne Pinot Fin
Here’s some “real” pinot noir, although it’s not showing much at the moment, juicy but astringent and severe tannins in the back of the mouth that need time to settle themselves.
Ok, I guess the main theme had to be broached eventually…
2005 Stefan Gerhard Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Spatburgunder Weissherbst QbA Trocken
Pinot noir with no skin contact, and it’s not that bad, considering the fact that I don’t usually like wine from these people. Chewy savory herbs with a round palate and transparent clarity. This could serve the same role as Muscadet in terms of fresh crisp evening-starting white, but at $17 it doesn’t convince me.
2005 Stefan Gerhard Al Alba Vincero Kabinett Trocken
Similar bright savory herbs as above, but a touch more tropical and richer chewier fruit. Unfortunately it finishes with a bitter note that I find off-putting, although Walt Nissen calls it “chalky” and digs it.
2005 Erben von Beulwitz Kaseler Nies’chen Kabinett
Sour lemon jade like one might expect from kabinett, but then it manages to combine a fun slushy texture with the corners turned into full-on ripeness and no discernable spritz/prickle. Some might like this expression of kabinett for the vintage, but it was just a bit boring for my severe purchasing standards.
2005 Knebel Winninger Rottgen Kabinett
Ripe exotic fruits with a bit of sourness lurking in the background and those fully ripe low acid corners. If you like that, this could be fun, but not for me.
2005 Fred Prinz Hallgartner Jungfer Kabinett
Ripe chewy and juicy but still fresh. Plenty of material, nice hedonistic wine, but not really something I need to buy.
2005 Knebel Winninger Rottgen Spatlese
Juicy and forward but fresh and crisp on finish, more impressive than the Knebel WR kabinett, but I still don’t need it.
2005 Stefan Gerhard Hattenheimer Hassel Spatlese
Oily and sweet but relatively focused and direct, not as slutty as these people often are in the spatlese category. But still not for me.
2005 Erben von Beulwitz Kaseler Nies’chen Alte Reben Spatlese
This is nice crisp fresh ripe slate, but not exciting enough to purchase.
2005 Knebel Winninger Rottgen Spatlese Alte Reben
Slutty and big boned, crunchy acids, not much focus, and not at all for me. YMMV.
2005 Stefan Gerhard Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Spatlese Alte Reben
Yeasty (should this be trocken/feinherb?) tropical and loose. Not my style, but very intense, if that sounds promising.
2005 Fred Prinz Hallgartener Jungfer Spatlese
Juicy tropical and fresh, nice wine, like the kabinett, but just not fine enough for my taste buds.
2005 Fred Prinz Hallgartener Jungfer Spatlese Goldkapsel
More intense than the regular spatlese, lacquered yet fresh. Again, this is nice wine, just not fine enough for my taste buds.
2004 Grans-Fassian Piersporter Goldtropfchen Spatlese
Nice crisp fresh and racy. Not going to seduce many people, and not at all profound, but a drinkable way to start an evening.
2005 Knebel Winninger Rottgen Auslese
Tropical and rich, very loose, and not at all my style. You might need other critics more attuned to the various qualities of these XXX Gems to get more reliable notes.
2005 Knebel Winninger Uhlen Auslese
Richer and chewier than above WR auslese, but still in the loose sloppy idiom. See above caveat.
2004 Keller Dalsheimer Hubacker Auslese
Rich but nice and precise. I’d be happy to drink this after dinner, although I would not seek it out at $40-50 per bottle.