Imagine coming back from holiday and a supplier asking if you’d like to attend a large Riesling tasting featuring some of the best German producers (with a few ring ins). Well that is what happened, and feeling myself Riesling to the occasion of course I said “Oh God yes!”. It is after all the best way to ease back into the working cycle (don’t believe me? Try it for yourself).
|This is what the grape in question may look like.|
In my mind Riesling is the ultimate terroirist – it transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown so faithfully. Couple this with the fact that Riesling tends to reject outright any wine maker influences that could cover these natural characters (think new oak or malo) and you’ve got the a pretty unstoppable force.
Might I also add to this that Riesling is delicious!
So many highlights… So much lovely Riesling.
JL Wolf –Dr Loosen’s sister estate in Pfalz. Brilliant wines. Wachenheimer Riesling 2009 was so amazing. Pure, clean, mineral, great perfume and great balance. Just so drinkable, but the balance points to a long and healthy life ahead of it.
Donnhoff Nahe based, they make trocken (dry) styles and also QMP wines (ask what this is). Their mango and tropical, off dry, fleshy and intense Norheimer Kirschheck Spaltese 07 was excellent and certainly lingered in my mouth after I had spat. Equally good was their dry Niederhauser Hermannshole Grosse Gewaches 08, spices and herbal, tight young, citric and texturally appealling.
Heymann-Lowenstein Making dry wines from the Northern part of the Mosel known as the Terrassenmosel (not surpringly the vineyards are terraced in this area). These guys make some truly amazing Riesling!. The entry level Schieferterrassen had it all. Very expressive wet stones (in a good way), pepper & spices, stonefruits. It is long, dry, intense, silky and just a hint of bitterness. The Von Blauem Schiefer was the next step up in intensity and presence. The Rottgen was dense, grapey and appley, floral. The perfume dances over your palate. Superb wine! Their Kirchberg was similar to the Rottgen but had more of everything and great length. The best was last for sure. Uhlen Rothlay showed floral, apples, grapes, spice. So young and pure. It’s youthful simplicity coupled with an amazing mouthfeel made this wine a pleasure to taste.
|This is what they mean by Terrassenmosel.|
A. Christmann Another of the Pfalz brigade (it is a really great and underappreciated region!). The whole line up of trocken wines were perfumed, and full of finesse and class. The Grosse Gewaches in particular are worth mentioning. However we were treated to a very small (but still, extremely generous) taste of his Idig #1 Eiswein. A wine made from grapes left to freeze on the vine. Sauternes like concentration and intensity. Really complex, really satiny mouthfeel. A little taste is often enough because the flavours lingers for so long. Beautiful!
Wittman calls Rheinhessen home. their wines are pure and direct. Some good perfume lift with some more ‘funky’ sort of notes too. They had an interesting Silvaner on tasting too. Nice to try some of these quirky varieties.
Brundlmayer So these guys are Austrian, not German. But the wines are really, really good. A couple of pretty Gruner Veltliners (Yum!) and some mineral laden, clean and fruitful Rieslings.
Georg Breuer Those who are paying attention may remember we’ve sold some of these wines before. I do love the wines from Breuer. This time there was only the Berg Roseneck to taste, but it showed all the hallmark pretty florals and fruits with the underlying structure and power.
|Berg Roseneck in all its glory|
Huber Germans making Pinot Noir? And Pinot Blanc? Yep, that is what we have here. They were brilliant too. The Noir was like a light and minerally Mercurey and the Blanc was spicy, white fruited and citric with and oaky/creamy finish.
Pittnauer Austrian Reds Zweigelt and St Laurent. Hard to compare to other varieties. They are both dense, savoury, meaty with a savoury undergrowth character. The St Laurent is more silky and dense. The Zwiegelt leaner and more savoury.
Sadly I did not get to taste everything, but I was easing myself back in after all…