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Tim York

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WTN: Chenin like Alsace Riesling and Rioja Gran Reserva

by Tim York » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:12 am

Alsace Grand Cru Wiebelsberg Riesling 1996 - Marc Kreydenweiss, Andlau – Alc. 12.5%.
This wine has changed a lot since my first bottle in 2007 which I described as bone dry and somewhat unbalanced by dominant acidity. Colour has deepened to medium gold and wax infused acacia and nutty notes have become quite prominent on the nose with perhaps an incipient sherry-like whiff. On the palate there was quite rich medium+ body and decent structural grip and length encasing mature waxy, honeyed and slightly nutty white fruit with the formerly searing 1996 acidity having become merely a lively element of balance. If blind, I don’t think that I would have recognised this bottle as Alsatian Riesling and would have plumped for Loire Chenin, perhaps Savennières, of a similar age where wax notes and oxidative hints like here are quite common. Still very good though 16.5/20.

Rioja Señorío de P. Peciña Gran Reserva 1998 – Bodegas Hnos. Peciña – Alc. 13% -(€22). This Gran Reserva has not quite lived up to my expectations based both on a tasting about 4 years ago and on the excellent showing of its 99 Reserva stable mate. It was certainly richer, more complex and more structured than the Reserva but I felt that purity and elegance was slightly diminished by liqueur touches in its fine berry fruit and by marginally more prominent vanilla in its aromas. Furthermore I wondered if there had not been a little fading since an earlier bottle. Very good nevertheless 16/20++.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Chenin like Alsace Riesling and Rioja Gran Reserva

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:04 am

1996 is such an odd vintage for Alsace (and Germany too!). In addition to the level of acidity, the type/ratio of acidity (malic versus tartaric) was skewed. I've never gotten totally used to the wines. Probably not an issue, as we have not seen a vintage like 1996 since then. Hopefully we won't run into one in my wine drinking future.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.

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