WTN: A Champagne and a Mosel

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WTN: A Champagne and a Mosel

Postby Otto » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:36 pm

Tarlant Brut Nature Zero
Yup. This is good stuff. "A third each of Chardonnay and Pinots Noir and Meunier; from Chalk, Sparnacien and Limestone soils; 2007 vintage and reserves; aged on lees for four years; disgorged in February 2012". What an uncommonly informative back-label!

Brut Natures aren't universally loved. They can be tough, lean and uncompromising. But with these better producers they are IMO also some of the most exciting Champagnes: pure, elegant, precise, linear. And these better examples aren't just citric acidity and green apple aromas; this has lovely bready and leesy aromas and some broadness on the palate. It is bracing, but not painfully so. Great stuff. And a bit of something fat on the plate certainly is a good idea (prosciutto did the trick tonight!).

At under 40€ in the most expensive monopoly in the world this is relatively speaking a steal!

Immich-Batterieberg Riesling C.A.I. 2011
All wine drinkers will have certain wines or styles they just don't understand even though everyone else is singing their praises. The Trocken-craze from Germany, especially Mosel, is one such style I can't understand. I love the dry, austere, almost painful Rieslings that e.g. Trimbach and Loew make in Alsace; I like the dry Austrians made in a more elegant, less powerful style; I even like some Australian dry Rieslings. But for some reason that is very difficult to explain I have always found German examples difficult at best (ok, the Pfalz perhaps being an exception).

The C.A.I. 2010 had been praised by practically everyone I know. So I tried it at Vin-Vin when it was available there by the glass. To say I hated it would be wording it too strongly. But I did find it lacking in charm and felt that it must have been a better wine if it had had more sugar in it.

So I was a little bit wary about opening a 2011. But knowing that 2010 was a year of pretty extreme acidity and that 2011s generally are softer and more friendly I plucked up my courage and unscrewed the bottle.

And you know what? It's actually pretty damn good! It's one of those rare exceptions to my rule of "drink only sugary Mosel"! Very ethereal Riesling aromas, light, delicate and very pretty. Dry and pleasantly, instead of annoyingly, austere. I'm very happy drinking this. And it is one of those very rare Mosel trockens where I don't feel with every sip that this needs more sugar and less alcohol.
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Re: WTN: A Champagne and a Mosel

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:58 pm

I too found the 2010 CAI a bit lacking in charm. Haven't had the 2011 though.
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Re: WTN: A Champagne and a Mosel

Postby Clint Hall » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:01 pm

Otto, your dry Riesling generalization pretty much mirrors my own experience which, simply stated, and over-generalized, is Alsace is where I would buy most of my dry Rieslings if I could find them, I've had some wonderful Australians, but they are even harder to find, while German Trockens, which are readily available, mostly let me down.

And then there are the Austrians, which I would like to find and drink more of so I could have an opinion. Some of the Terry Thiese ones have been charming.
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Re: WTN: A Champagne and a Mosel

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:13 am

Otto wrote:Immich-Batterieberg Riesling C.A.I. 2011
...ethereal Riesling aromas, light, delicate and very pretty...

Tonight I had some of this and it left a very good impression. It was my first wine from immich-Batterieberg and even if not the most complex it was very pretty as you describe and left me wondering what their single-vineyard wines must be like. Glad to have the experience!
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Re: WTN: A Champagne and a Mosel

Postby Andrew Bair » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:57 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I too found the 2010 CAI a bit lacking in charm. Haven't had the 2011 though.

I actually liked the 2010 CAI - perhaps not a stunner compared to their single-vineyard wines, but certainly something that I'd buy again for $20 or so. Then again, I can see how the recent Batterieberg wines would not be to everyone's liking, especially in the more acidic years like 2010; and presumably, 2012. I can certainly respect that David did not like this wine as much as I did.

For whatever reason, I tend to prefer German and Austrian dry Rieslings to most of those from Alsace; Freddie Emile being a notable exception (Clos Ste. Hune is well out of my price range). Otto: you'll need to fill me in on Loew sometime - I am not familiar with their wines at all.

As for Australia, Grosset Polish Hill is excellent, although I have yet to find anything close to it from that continent. (Leeuwin Art Series is very good, but not on the same level; Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut is the other Aussie Riesling that I'd go out of my way to buy, but it's definitely not dry.)
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