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Deidesheimer Maushöhle 2007 Compared

Despite the relative expensiveness (very high tax on alcohol) and the little choice, it is actually possible to have a decent comparative tasting of German Riesling in Kuala Lumpur. All you need to do is… bring your own bottles to Malaysia. So did I and after one of our KL dinners we gathered around an improvised “ice bucket” cooling 2 Pfalz Rieslings. The particularity of this small tasting was that both wines were stemming from exactly the same vineyard but made by different estates. The vines of Deidesheimer Maushöhle comprise about 30,8 hectares and are located not too far from the famous vineyards of Forst; they´re just a little more uphill and also with more slope. The soil is more loam rather than volcanic, but instead it is protected by the nearby forest.

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I already knew the first wine from previous encounters. The Christmann estate´s Maushöhle is rather straightforward, starting with luscious fruit like dried apricots and hints of exotic fruits. The palate is then very concentrated and loaded with intense minerality fading into a very long finish. Acidity, fruit and minerality are in perfect balance in this wine.

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The Maushöhle made by Mosbacher estate is a bit more into broadness rather than steady in intensity from start to finish. The nose is less straightforward, less luscious in fruit then the previous wine. It has lighter apricot scent but instead a very interesting smoke-like note or animal touch, hence it smelling wilder but in a discrete kind of way. The palate then appears much broader, needing your full attention. It has also the same smokiness but then comes up with a very refined minerality : the wine needs to rest some time on your palate. Maybe from this point one could say that this is more of an intellectual wine. The finish then is quite satisfying but not as intense as Christmann´s. Clearly, this wine is much more about the weight and the width on the palate than a steady continuity from nose to finish.

So which of the 2 was the better to me? The Mosbacher wine is obviously the more intellectual, more mysterious, requiring more of your attention. On the other hand, the Christmann wine is a masterpiece of balance, with a nice play between luscious fruit, ripe acidity and intense minerality and there is a certain steadiness in this quality from nose to finish. It should be quite interesting to find out what role the winemaking techniques play in this comparison. Did Mosbacher apply spontaneous fermentation with wild yeasts is one of the questions I’m asking myself? So in the end those were 2 quite different wines made in an excellent vintage. Both are nice if drunk on their own but actually I think it’s a good idea to always drink them as a pair.

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