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.