Several times I had the opportunity to take a sip of Robert Weil’s First Growth (Erstes Gewächs) Riesling from the Gräfenberg in Kiedrich which is one of Germany’s best Riesling-Terroirs. It is a dry Auslese wine which has a unique style and character. It has a rather filigrane body with a nice minerality and determined but not overwhelming fruit and although it feels light and filigrane it has a certain power which at the right moment pokes your palate to underline its grace.
Now if you don’t want to spend 30 Euros on a bottle or if you’d like to have an everyday version of this First Growth wine there is an option: the Gräfenberg Kabinett. It has about the same style but is just more rough and basic, as if the First Growth was a masterpiece painting and the Kabinett its sketch.
Still there are some small differences to its big brother. This Mini-Gräfenberg is a little more emphasized on the dryness, with a little less fruit and slightly more acidity (which most Kabinetts are of course). But the core of a good Rheingau Riesling is there: the “Spiel”. Oh, and “Spiel” – literally translated- means game and is the German wine-term describing the dynamic interaction between several taste components in a wine, but mostly when talking about Riesling it describes the interaction between minerality, acidity and fruit.
So this Kabinett has everything the First growth has, but to a lesser extent. It has a delicate peach nose (even the empty glass has a very intense scent), feels fresh and crisp on the palate and has a dynamic minerality-push which already initiates a satisfying finish. I think I would rank it somewhere between 87 and 89 points, as for a good food match, I believe it would make a good companion for Asian dishes with a little spice (well if they’re too hot I’d rather drink beer