Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

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Postby Rahsaan » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:18 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:It should be a more reliable guide to the actual taste of a wine than any word on any label. Here’s how it goes:
ONE ( 1 )
Signifies barely discernible sweetness.

TWO ( 2 )
Signifies sweetness which is discernible but not obtrusive..

THREE ( 3 )
Signifies sweetness important of itself. Remember, I reject any wine of grotesque or vulgar sugariness.

FOUR ( 4 )
is bona-fide dessert wine.


The scale is only useful if you know the palate of the person making the evaluation.

I have friends who consider any evidence of r.s. to be 'discernible, obtrusive, and important' sweetness that makes it a bona-fide dessert wine, as much as I protest.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Joy Lindholm » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:40 pm

Rahsaan wrote:

The scale is only useful if you know the palate of the person making the evaluation.

I have friends who consider any evidence of r.s. to be 'discernible, obtrusive, and important' sweetness that makes it a bona-fide dessert wine, as much as I protest.


Very true - it is about as relative as the Parker 100 point scale. I do find it quite helpful when looking at the hundreds of wines in the Theise portfolio, though. Even if it is his palate, it still is a guide for me to look at a wine I haven't tasted yet and say "well, does this spatlese taste as sweet as that spatlese?" and hopefully gain some insight from someone who has tasted every single one. How many other Riesling importers do that?
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Tim York » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:55 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
You want information, but have a problem with designations of dryness?



Absolutely! Don't you too? What's the use of the information if the definition of "dry" is too liberal; see my TN on ZH's Gueberswihr at the beginning of this thread.

As for due diligence, that is fine for the ultra geek, but if someone with averagely geekish awareness like myself can make this mistake, what about the mass of consumers out there?

Thanks, Joy, for posting about the admirable Terry Theise's SOS chart. It would indeed be very useful when choosing from his list once one has calibrated his palate against one's own.

There is actually a tool which would be less bad than any other around and that is the International Riesling Foundation's sweetness scale. If that were mandatory worldwide, we inadequately geekish consumers would make less mistakes and perhaps Riesling consumption would increase.

Apologies for this thread drift for which I am largely to blame.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:49 am

I know Terry Theise failry well, and have drank wine with him (not just at tastings) on a few occasions. Believe me Tim when I say this, you would need a lot of calibrating. Terry has a liberal palate when it comes to sweetness (one of the many reasons why his portfolio is out of favor with the hipsters), and it's quite likely that anything beyond an SO of -1 would be considered too sweet for dinner based on what I have read in your posts over the years. Not that I think you should be drinking sweeter wines with your food, but the scale (as Rahsaan pointed out) is relative to the individual who is using it.

There is also this pesky issue of ripe fruit aromas/flavors that mimic sweetness. I've seen more than a few people reject very dry wines as sweet because they showed fruit, not sugar.

Anyway, at least with trocken and halbtrocken there's a legal framework to fall back on that gives some indication of what you're going to get. Feinherb has no such legal framework, so buyer beware with that word.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Tim York » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:24 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Anyway, at least with trocken and halbtrocken there's a legal framework to fall back on that gives some indication of what you're going to get.


Let us be thankful for that; but less thankful for the fact that the VDP and its imitators consider it hip to omit this guidance :evil: .
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Salil » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:36 am

Tim York wrote:Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese – 08 – 2001 – Reinhold Haart – Alc.8.5%.

Although very good, I was nevertheless a touch disappointed with this Riesling from one of the Mosel’s best terroirs

I'd also add that if you're looking for lighter wines with less sweetness/ripeness/density, then the idea of picking out the 'best' vineyards may not be the best route... at a recent seminar, Thomas Haag and David Schildknecht were talking about how the 'great' vineyards like the Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr, Piesporter Goldtropfchen or Erdener Pralat usually produce wines that are quite ripe and opulent with higher must weights. For dry wines that are lower in alcohol or off dry wines with less ripeness/sweetness, they were talking about looking to higher altitude vineyards and those with higher yields/younger vines.

So rather than looking for a wine from a 'top' site like Goldtropfchen or Zeltinger/Wehlener Sonnenuhr, I'd guess you may enjoy a lighter wine from say, Kinheimer Rosenberg or Zeltinger Himmelreich (say, Selbach-Oster's Kabinett halbtrocken from there) a lot more.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Tim York » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:54 am

Salil wrote:
Tim York wrote:Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese – 08 – 2001 – Reinhold Haart – Alc.8.5%.

Although very good, I was nevertheless a touch disappointed with this Riesling from one of the Mosel’s best terroirs

I'd also add that if you're looking for lighter wines with less sweetness/ripeness/density, then the idea of picking out the 'best' vineyards may not be the best route... at a recent seminar, Thomas Haag and David Schildknecht were talking about how the 'great' vineyards like the Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr, Piesporter Goldtropfchen or Erdener Pralat usually produce wines that are quite ripe and opulent with higher must weights. For dry wines that are lower in alcohol or off dry wines with less ripeness/sweetness, they were talking about looking to higher altitude vineyards and those with higher yields/younger vines.

So rather than looking for a wine from a 'top' site like Goldtropfchen or Zeltinger/Wehlener Sonnenuhr, I'd guess you may enjoy a lighter wine from say, Kinheimer Rosenberg or Zeltinger Himmelreich (say, Selbach-Oster's Kabinett halbtrocken from there) a lot more.


Very interesting! Or maybe "top" sites in lesser vintages...?
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:13 pm

Not a lot of "lesser" vintages anymore. Even high acid years have very high must weights these days. The result is big wines, often with substantial residual sugar.

"Lesser" sites is likely your best option.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Salil » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:27 pm

Yup, what David just said. Even when there are 'lesser' vintages now, the problem is too much ripeness rather than too little - some of the 99s and 2000s I've had are pretty big wines, and of course there's 2003.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Tim York » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:53 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Not a lot of "lesser" vintages anymore. Even high acid years have very high must weights these days. The result is big wines, often with substantial residual sugar.

"Lesser" sites is likely your best option.


Sounds like good advice for future purchases. However, it doesn't solve the problem of getting through my existing inventory, most of which are "top site" Spätlesen and a few Auslesen. I may resort to drinking a glass or two after dinner in place of dessert. I can think of worse finishes :D .

Luckily there is a lot of Grünhaus, which generally seems less opulent.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Salil » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:58 pm

That's a nice problem to have.

I'd just age them - at the end of it, top site Spat/Aus like that Haart are going to be amazing wines with 20 or 30+ years of bottle age. And aged Grunhaus Riesling (for me at least) is one of the world's truly great wines.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:47 pm

Tim - do you want to post (or send privately if that appeals more) a list of the wines you have, and perhaps Salil and I can offer some insight as to what might be in the bottle! :D
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Kelly Young » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:37 pm

Salil wrote:
I'd just age them - at the end of it, top site Spat/Aus like that Haart are going to be amazing wines with 20 or 30+ years of bottle age. .


I got started in this wine thing too late I think.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:03 pm

Salil does have the advantage of being 27.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Tim York » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:16 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Tim - do you want to post (or send privately if that appeals more) a list of the wines you have, and perhaps Salil and I can offer some insight as to what might be in the bottle! :D


Thanks for that, David. Since my computerised cellar book crashed a few years ago, it will take me a bit of time to compile a list. I'll send you and Salil a PM because I think that my cellar contents risk boring others.

Salil, 20-30 more years are likely to do much more good to the wines than to me :( .
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Bill Hooper » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:33 pm

Personally, I love the stage when Spätlesen/Auslesen become so developed that they start drinking 'drier' for a savory, main-course meal. For those of us that can't wait, there is always trocken or the much hated FEINHERB.

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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:51 pm

Here is a write-up on a recent Riesling off-line in London (UK wine board).

http://www.wine-pages.com/ubb/ultimateb ... p=1#000003
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:00 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:the much hated FEINHERB.


I don't hate feinherb. I just wish it had more definition. I still buy the wines though.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Joy Lindholm » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:47 pm

2008 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg, Quarzit "Reserve" Riesling, Nahe 9.5% abv This wine is such a delight! Beautiful straw yellow color with hints of gold. Tart apple and kumquat aromas, with a touch of petrol and a saline quality when first poured out of the fridge. As it warmed, honeyed apricots, baked apples and pears, lanolin and a stony minerality start to emerge. I don't think I have ever had such an intriguing Riesling Qualitätswein before. This is a wine you you think about while you are sipping and are a bit sad when you finally pour that last drop. Also an incredible match with spicy foods - Indian is my pick.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:25 pm

Love the Quartzit. Great QPR.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:23 am

David M. Bueker wrote:Love the Quartzit. Great QPR.

+1

Think Dale has posted on previous vintages?
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What happened to my Prum?

Postby MichaelA » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:22 pm

JJ Prum 07 Riesling Kabinett
I have heard before about a burnt rubber character in wines before but never experienced it. This wine was hard to handle, solid cork, very light and crystalline in color, faint nose......then the taste!!!????? old burnt tires......what happened? It just overwhelmed the wine. I tried it over three days and it just got worse.

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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:20 pm

Michael,

You just had a young and very reductive wine.
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Re: Wine Focus for February: German(ic) Riesling

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:09 am

2002 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese A.P. # 2 612 0411 008 03. 7.5% alcohol by volume. Medium to deep gold color. Beautiful wine with a touch of subtle petrol, peach and apple and non-cloying sweetness. Apple cider meets peach juice.

2009 Schloss Reinhartshausen Erbacher Hohenrain Old Vines, Rheingau Riesling. Qualitatswein. A.P. # 32091 023 10. 12% abv. Imported by Esprit du Vin. Sale price at Macarthur's Beverages/Bassin's in DC was $15.99. Macarthur's website had this listed as Trocken but bottle notes say grapes picked at Spatlese level, made in an off-dry style from 40-year-old vines. Glass stopper. Pale to medium gold color with clarity. The descriptors on the label are pretty accurate: peach, apricot, and citrus fruits. It finishes on a dry or tart note. Appealing if not compelling. Worth the modest price.
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