Rieslingfeier thoughts

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

Rieslingfeier thoughts

Postby Salil » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:08 am

Hard to summarize the last couple of days, with an utterly crazy German Riesling celebration in NYC organized by Stephen Bitterolf.
But this was a monumental set of events. Friday, an amazing dinner with Klaus Peter Keller and Katharina Prum at Eleven Madison Park, with David Schildknecht and the winemakers discussing the wines and their background as we drank.
Saturday morning, a remarkable tasting seminar and panel discussion with David Schildknecht, Thomas Haag, Dorothee Zilliken, Florian Lauer and Andreas Adam, as we tasted through several styles of Mosel Riesling, ranging from a delicate Kabinett trocken to sweeter Kabinett and Spätlese, and various levels of sweetness and richness in between. Following that, a 'Riesling crawl' around various retailers supporting this event, and then a BYOB at Rouge Tomate with the winemakers and about a hundred-odd Riesling fans that I have no words for.

In between, wonderful to catch up with various old friends again, and put some faces to names in other cases. It was a pleasure to meet Lars Carlberg at a few of these events, even though we weren't able to talk too long, and spend time with some of the people behind some of my favorite wines.

I'll add that I'm not yet a Keller buyer, but being able to sit down and listen to him discuss his winemaking philosophy and approaches as we drank various vintages of his Abtserde and G-Max was a special experience and I'm becoming quite an admirer of some of his GGs. I'd add that both Klaus-Peter and Julia Keller are wonderful people, but I felt that way about all the other winemakers I met as part of this event (Katharina Prum, Thomas Haag of Schloss Lieser, Florian Lauer, Dorothee Zilliken and Andreas Adam, among those whom I was able to talk with.)

Being able to sit down and talk with or listen to David Schildknecht was also a remarkable experience - I am honestly awed by the sheer depth of his knowledge on Riesling.

And the generosity of the many people - both winemakers and other Rieslingheads - at Rouge Tomate last night was amazing. I may write a few rough notes up later, but the sheer volume of wine was absurd, and there were some truly amazing bottles - never imagined I would have the chance to taste a 1971 Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr TBA for instance, or have Julia Keller pouring me various Spatlese and Auslese from 1959 and 1966 while we discussed a mutual love for Hans-Gunter Schwarz's Rieslaner and Scheurebe.

Oh, and Willi Schaefer's wines are freaking amazing. But we all knew that. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Salil
Franc de Pied
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Rieslingfeier thoughts

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:57 am

Sounds like a great time. Reminds me of the old GWS conferences, but kicked up 8 or 10 notches. David Schildknecht came to 5 GWS events that i was part of, and it was like getting a download of the internet (without all the errors).

It's always instructive to taste with the winemakers. Somehow the wines just taste better.

And yes, WIlli Schaefer's wines are indeed amazing.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21980
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Rieslingfeier thoughts

Postby Salil » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:08 pm

On Saturday morning, Stephen Bitterolf organized a seminar at Bar Boulud with David Schildknecht and four winemakers: Thomas Haag from Schloss Lieser, Dorothee Zilliken, Florian Lauer and Andreas (AJ) Adam. Eight wines were poured over an hour and a half, as we sat down and listened to the winemakers and David Schildknecht discuss the different styles of Mosel Riesling, issues of ripeness, vinification, yields and lots more.

  • 2011 Schloss Lieser Riesling Kabinett trocken - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    A scent of bright florality and orchard fruits suggests something sweeter, but it's bracingly dry on the palate, though never austere. Thomas Haag mentions that this comes from higher yielding younger vines at a higher altitude, as older vines in a higher end vineyard would not provide for such a light, delicate wine. It's very light on its feet, lean but complex with great purity and a really filigreed, crystalline texture. Lovely.
  • 2011 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    A fascinating contrast with the "Diabas" bottling. Dorothee Zilliken says this comes mainly from older vines on slate in the Rausch, whereas the Diabas parcels are more volcanic stone. This has a broad palate presence; it's rich and powerful with ripe pear and lime fruit and a solid stony mineral base beneath. Impressive, though not particularly charming.
  • 2011 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling “Diabas” - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    This has 17 g/l residual sugar (the Rausch GG has 8), and the difference is striking - this feels lighter on its feet, the sweetness is just barely noticeable and it has a much more polished, almost creamy palate presence without the hard edges of the GG. Really nice, I liked this a little more than the dry wine.
  • 2011 Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Riesling Neuenberg Faß 17 - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Florian says this is from a parcel in the Kupp with southwestern exposure on the foot of the hill, with finer, weathered slate soil and trellised vines. The wine's lovely; a scent of spring flowers, lower toned fennel-like notes and that sponti yeast funk, and great depth and balance on the palate with ripe melon and stone fruits matched by more savoury and stony elements, and bright acidity.
  • 2011 Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Riesling "Kern" Fass 9 - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Older vines here on harder, more stony soil than in the Neuenberg (Florian says the 'Kern' vines here are 70 years old, compared to 30 years of age on average in Neuenberg.) There's a core of ripe peachy and red apple fruit, and a sense of real sappiness to the flavours. Up front it's bright and sweet, but it turns more savoury and slatey on the back end, and the balance is wonderful.
  • 2011 A.J. Adam Dhroner Hofberger Riesling feinherb - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    A ripe, opulent and floral scent, and so layered and polished on the palate. There's a real sense of freshness and juiciness to the fruit flavours, though it does feel a little creamy and soft on the palate. Andreas mentions he's usually made this with a little more skin contact, but used less skin exposure in 2011 given the ripeness and lower acids. About 30 g/l residual sugar in this, though it doesn't taste particularly sweet.
  • 2011 A.J. Adam Dhroner Hofberger Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Riper, more floral and exotic than the feinherb, there's quite a bit of sweetness here (Andreas later says about 60 g/l residual sugar) with a spicy accent to the ripe fruit and florality. Nicely balanced, but for me this comes across more like a ripe Spätlese.
  • 2011 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very ripe, primary and sweet right now with lots of ripe fruit ranging from red apples to riper melon and nectarine flavours, and an overlay of bright florality and a little sponti yeast funk. The sweetness here feels closer to a ripe Auslese (Thomas Haag says it has 90 g/l residual sugar), but it's nicely balanced with a very polished, glossy mouthfeel and impressive length.
User avatar
Salil
Franc de Pied
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Rieslingfeier thoughts

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:24 pm

Thanks for notes re 2011s
Sounds like a great event. Got an early notice re the Rouge Tomate event, but besides being pricey not sure I had wines to measure up! Then other events mostly sold out quickly.
Maybe next time
User avatar
Dale Williams
Compassionate Connoisseur
 
Posts: 7851
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: Dobbs Ferry, NY (NYC metro)

Re: Rieslingfeier thoughts

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:26 pm

Sounds like a really interesting tasting.

90 g/l of RS in the spatlese...my gosh how times have changed. I don't like focusing on the analyticals, but I can recall when a "normal" spatlese had 40 g/l of RS (to use a median number). I wish I could fast-forward for a day to some time in 2035 to see what these supercharged Rieslings turn into with age.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21980
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Rieslingfeier thoughts

Postby Salil » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:32 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Sounds like a really interesting tasting.

90 g/l of RS in the spatlese...my gosh how times have changed. I don't like focusing on the analyticals, but I can recall when a "normal" spatlese had 40 g/l of RS (to use a median number). I wish I could fast-forward for a day to some time in 2035 to see what these supercharged Rieslings turn into with age.

I'd guess they'd just age like Auslese does - isn't that what they essentially are? :)

Was a great tasting, and also quite fascinating to hear both David S. and Thomas Haag talking about the issues with old, low yielding vines and 'great' sites in terms of producing delicate, lighter wines with less ripeness and sweetness.

I'll write some impressions up later on a few of Rouge Tomate wines (though after a couple of hours it just turned into an onslaught of Riesling, and more great wines than anyone could keep track of - what an insane night.)
User avatar
Salil
Franc de Pied
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Rieslingfeier thoughts

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:44 pm

Salil wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Sounds like a really interesting tasting.

90 g/l of RS in the spatlese...my gosh how times have changed. I don't like focusing on the analyticals, but I can recall when a "normal" spatlese had 40 g/l of RS (to use a median number). I wish I could fast-forward for a day to some time in 2035 to see what these supercharged Rieslings turn into with age.


I'd guess they'd just age like Auslese does - isn't that what they essentially are? :)


Probably. I may be over thinking this.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 21980
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut


Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 24 guests