This was our annual grosses Gewächs / Smaragd Riesling Tasting. All wines are dry Rieslings from the 2005 vintage. The tasting was blind, but the list of wines was known. No ringers.
Overall impressing of extremely high quality. The comparison with 2004 suggest that the Wachau fared substantially better in 2005, while the Germans in my view also have moved up a notch, making this a fairly even contest. Hard to draw lines, but down to 5th place, I consider the wines as great, with Singerriedel, Herrmannshöhle, and Kirchspiel, near the top of any young dry Rieslings I have come across. At the lower end, the Prager and FX Pichler were not quite to my taste, but they are very serious wines. The Schäfer-Fröhlich did not convince (2 bottles).
Plenty of fruit (yellow plum is prominent). Rich and mouth filling fruit, then minerals towards the finish, good acids (some debate about that). Guess: not sure.
Rank 8, group 8
Citrus, stones, floral hints. Racy, sleeker, more mineral, freshness & grape fruit. Very focussed. Guess: Germany
Rank 7, group 9
Reductive stink, sulphur, yeast, then peach. Fruit seems watery, some suphury bite on the tongue, CO2. Disappointing. Bad bottle(s)? One should try to air this for a longer time. Guess: slate vineyard – Halenberg?
Rank 12, group 11
Gooseberry, cassis, quite perfumed, maybe even a bit loud. Juice fruit, very well balanced, fresh and even playful fruit, minerals show in the aftertaste. Guess: Austria
Rank 4, group 7
FX Pichler Kellerberg
Exotic fruits, banana, some rubber?, quite complex nose. A mix of (over)ripe fruit and less ripe elements on the palate, has citric bite despite the overripe (botrytis?) elements. Guess FX Pichler
Rank 10, group 12
Heymann Löwenstein Uhlen
Nose of spiced (over)ripe apples. Touch of RS, powerful, deep minerality, not so fresh though. No guess.
Rank 9, group 3
Chalky minerals, spice, some lychee even, on the beautifully fresh nose. Quite a contrast to the preceeding wine. Concebtrated minerals, acidity is fully merged/buffered into the stony elements, almost burning intensity (no alcoholic burning), pure and focussed, with delicate fruit in the background. Guess Keller, perhaps Kirchspiel.
Rank 2, group 1
Prager Wachstum Bodenstein
Limey, stoney, acids are prominent. Serious but not easy to like at this stage. Guess: Prager.
Rank 11, group 10
Multifaceted nose of fruits and minerals. Firmly built but good integration of the components, stoney aftertaste. No guess.
Rank 5, group 5
Subtle fruit and minerals, noble terroir, lovely freshness. Not so bold on the attack, but wonderfully delineated, finesse all the way. This wine has power, but it does not trumpet its greatness. Slightly closed but pure delight. Guess Herrmannshöhle.
Rank 1, group 6
Complex nose of spices, minerals. Huge wine, has power and depth, not fully integrated yet. Very serious. Guess Morstein (not sure by whom).
Rank 5, group 3
Fine minerals and fresh spices on the nose. Focussed, freshness and mineral depths, racy and impressive finish. Guess: Hirtzberger or Keller?
Rank 2, group 2