What a nice evening with only bottles of Riesling. It was my mom’s birthday and a few friends came over for the occasion. Naturally, I seized the occasion to experiment a bit with the effect of different Riesling styles on our guests. Here are my quick notes:
2008 Von Den Terrassen Riesling, Weingut Castel Peter, Bad Dürkheim, Pfalz – Sleek and lean. Less on the riper side and thus a typical 08 I’d say. Good minerality, a bit lighter in weight as well but nonentheless a good introduciton to this estate I’ve never heard about. Also, a nice first wine for refreshing the palate.
2009 Ludwigshöher Teufelskopf, Weingut Braun, Rheinhessen. Although I had a very positive impression when tasting this wine at the estate, I would never have thought it would be the most appreciated wine of the night. With a hint of residual sugar and intense aromatics as well as a good weight this Riesling was somewhat of a crowd pleaser, if not the favorite wine for our party-crowd! Very well defined fruit paired with compelling weight and mouth-feel. The winery has just been taken over by the younger generation who are eager to apply a high quality philosophy. An estate to watch. Kudos!
2009 Westhofener Steingrube Riesling, Weingut Seehof, Rheinhessen – This wine is produced by the young winemaker Florian Fauth who recently entered the family business and could well follow the path of Keller and Co. as a rising star in Rheinhessen. As Keller, the estate owns vines in the acclaimedMorstein and Kirchspiel vineyards. But this one was coming from lesser-known “Steingrube” and still managed to be the second crowd-pleaser of the evening. It Felt a little sweeter than the average dry Riesling, but still had good weight and structure, length and depth. Fruit meets minerality, one could say. Also an estate to watch.
2007 Mittelheim St. Nikolaus, Weingut Peter Jakob Kühn, Rheingau – Still not a wine for the masses. I would have hoped it would find more fans, but it seems humanity is not ready for heavy herbs and tobacco noses and a powerful body. OK, maybe a slight bitterness in the finish might have repelled a few. A little more sweetness could have been tipping the scale for more popularity but for me it was very appreciable. I know it is still a baby and has a long long way to go. The bitterness will eventually leave. Rheingau biodynamics at its best.
2005 Wachenheimer Altenburg PC, Weingut Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, Pfalz – I loved the dense and complex aromatics of this wine. Our young-wine-drinker in the round gave it a renunciative look. He wasn’t the only one. But I’d still say, and would claim it to be an “objective view”, that this is a 2005 blockbuster that is in a very good drinking phase. Weight and Balance are perfectly adjusted and within this frame opulent fruit sweetness and heavy minerals are showing their A-game. Undeniably, this one also had some austere elements reminding tobacco, but it only adds complexity in the end. I would have loved to spend more time with this one. It emptied way too fast and would have deserved its own quiet stage.
2008 Kallstadter Saumagen Kabinett trocken, Weingut Koehler Ruprecht, Pfalz – the scapegoat wine of the night. And it truly was a bit hard to defend it since it appears utterly dry and for sure reminds a bit the likes of Breuer with its style. Except that this one also has a big hint of oxydativness – you might want to put it in a blind tasting of Jura wines. But it definitely transports immense minerality and also some aromatics you dont get so often in Riesling, such as almonds with herbs. So it has a mysterious edge to it but is the total opposite of a crowd pleaser for our rather mainstream-wine-lover crowd that night. Also, I have to admit I put it at the wrong place in this tasting. My bad!
2009 Rüdesheimer Bischofsberg, Weingut Leitz, Rheingau – The much needed refresher after a bone-dry Saumagen. This was also dry, but everything is relative and it appeared very balanced with fruit and lots of minerality. it is one of Leitz’ entry level wines and it is indeed a good value. No wonder Johannes Leitz was awarded the title winemaker of the year by German Gault Millau magazine.
2006 Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Spätlese, Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich, Nahe – Finally, What a nice ending! Nothing better than a well-made Spätlese after so many wines. And this Felsenberg which I discovered with the Vimpressioniste is still as good as it was back then. Ripe fruit, brilliant acidity as well as enough mineral and some smoky funk in the nose. This just emtpies itself on its own and should be called a steal at 16 Euro!