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Thursday, Aug. 23: Trombley's Van Volxem tasting
John Trombley
John Trombley decants a Riesling into a flask for "blind" tasting.
The official MoCool theme is Tour de France, but it's hard to keep a man as passionate about Riesling in general and German wines in particular as John Trombley from sharing his joy in the Teutonic grape. Having acquired a rare horizontal sampling of dry Rieslings from Van Volxem (the Saar successor to the Wine Lovers' Discussion Group's old friend Peter Jordan at Jordan & Jordan), John invited friends to join him in a blind tasting of the five Van Volxem wines as well as one of Peter's last bottlings and a few other Rieslings for comparison. Most were presented "blind," a useful exercise in rating wines analytically without letting one's prejudices get in the way.

Van Volxem 2000 Wiltinger Riesling - Pale greenish gold. Much CO2 on the glass. Slight aroma, apple blossom. Light sweetness, tart acid.

Van Volxem 2000 Wiltinger Schlangengraben Riesling - Golden, many bubbles line the glass. Petillant, almost fizzy. Soft.

Chateau Grand Traverse 1998 Old Mission Peninsula (Michigan) Whole Cluster Fermented Johannisberg Riesling - Pale straw. Mineral, white fruit, aromatic, peachy; pleasant, idiosyncratically fruit-forward. Tasted only an hour earlier at lunch, it seems different in this context, where its New World fruit stands out.

Van Volxem 2000 Wiltinger Braunfels Riesling Vols - Light brass. Straightforward Riesling aromas, apple and mineral. Off-dry, crisp.

Then, a break for an Austrian Riesling not served "blind" ...

Bründlmayer 1998 Zöbinger Heiligenstein Kremstal (Austria) Riesling - Pale gold. Intense mineral and wool aromas and flavors.

Back to the blind flight ...

Domaine Weinbach 1997 Schlossberg Grand Cru Cuvee Ste. Catherine Cuvee Centenaire (Alsace) - Brass. Musky, aromatic, steel core under velvet.

Van Volxem 2000 Scharzhofberger Riesling Pergentsknopp - Clear greenish-gold. Muskmelon and mineral, prickly, soft.

Van Volxem 2000 Wiltinger Gottesfuss Riesling Alte Reben - Pale greenish-gold. Melon and pine, pleasant aromas, nearly dry with steely acidity.

Prager 1998 Weisskirchen Achlietien Riesling Smaragd (Austria, Wachau) - Cooking apples and overripe white fruit. Full and tart, fruit cloaks substantial acid.

Jordan & Jordan 1995 Wiltinger Gottesfuss Alte Reben Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken - Bright brass. Petrol and white fruit on the nose and palate, zingy acidity.

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