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Peter Ruhrberg

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Silvaner aged beyond 10y?

by Peter Ruhrberg » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:19 am

A recent tasting of Silvaner from Franken showed once again that it is hard to find Silvaners that will benefit from age beyond 10 years or so. I wonder if people know of some clear conterexamples to this rule.

We had the top dry wines from Ruck (Julius Echetr Berg), Egon Schäffer (Lump), Fürst Löwnestein (Kallmuth), Störrlein (Sonnenstuhl), from 2006, 2004, 2003 (with omissions). They showed mostly well, with little danger of falling apart except for two of the three 03s. Ruck's 03 showed very well though with its sofly caramelized style. Störrlein Sonnsnstuhl 2005 was the only 05, and my favorite of this group of wines (followed by Schäffer 06 and Löwenstein 04).
From 2003 and beyond, the success rate dropped. Sauer's Eschendorfer Lump Auslese trocken 2002 is on the way to nowhere. The winner of the night was Fürst Castell Schlossber 2000. That wine seems to have some more years in it, and may be a genuine exeption to the rule. Ruck 98 showed well, but I would not bet on it for much longer. Schäffer 93 and 90 were both dead.

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Salil

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Re: Silvaner aged beyond 10y?

by Salil » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:46 pm

Peter,
I'm with you. Maybe I have a blind spot for Silvaner, but I really don't get those wines from the handful I've encountered. They can be nice young, a bit herbal, minerally but nothing that I would get excited over - my usual reaction has been 'why the hell am I drinking this instead of GV or Riesling?' The ones I've had with age have just sucked (small sample size, around 6 or 7 bottles with over a decade of age). Some have been oxidised, flat and stale, others just completely uninteresting, and I'm yet to come across one with real age-derived complexity.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Silvaner aged beyond 10y?

by David M. Bueker » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:16 pm

Back in 2001 or 2002 (can't quite recall) I had the chance to drink a bunch of mid-1990s Silvaners. It was an amazing tasting. The consensus at the table (and with the person who provided the wines - a knowledgable importer) was that they were at peak & should be drunk up.
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Tim York

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Re: Silvaner aged beyond 10y?

by Tim York » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:37 pm

Peter, it's good to see you here again.

I can't contribute much to this discussion. A few weeks ago Jean Fisch gave us an interesting dinner with Franconian wines, mostly Silvaner viewtopic.php?f=3&t=46578&p=381995&hilit=franconia#p381995 . None was older than 2007; perhaps for a reason.
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Peter Ruhrberg

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Re: Silvaner aged beyond 10y?

by Peter Ruhrberg » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:45 pm

Yeah, Jean usually knows what he is doing;).

I must say that the Casteller Schlossberg showed a potential to the grape that makes me curious as to how far it can go in exeptional cases. The comparison with GV is interesting. GV ages phantastically well, but as youngish wines, a fine Silvaner can be eye to eye with a fine GV. From just blind tasting it would seem very hard to tell the different aging potentials.
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Dale Williams

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Re: Silvaner aged beyond 10y?

by Dale Williams » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:56 pm

From 2010
1992 Hans Wirsching Iphofer Julius-Echter-Berg Silvaner Spatlese Trocken (Franconia)
I decanted this so bottle shape wouldn't give away, blinded John D with it. His first guess was Alsace Riesling (not bad guess), he quickly got Silvaner once I said it wasn't Riesling. Very floral with petrol nuances, good length, mineral, not at all tired. Not especially deep or complex, but nice mature wine at a bargain price. B+


I wish I had bought more of this , but that's the only aged Silvaner I've really enjoyed (not that I've had more than a half dozen over 5 years)
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Bill Hooper

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Re: Silvaner aged beyond 10y?

by Bill Hooper » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:37 pm

I've had some very nice Silvaner wines with some age, but for the most part they are drunk up pretty young (like Weißburgunder it seems). Aged examples of silvaner can take on some of the savoury, woolly, waxy, chamomile-ish, aloe-vera flavors that Chenin Blanc does. In youth it can be very mineral and very sweaty and those flavors get exaggerated with age. Personally, I like it.

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