Notes from my group’s first tasting of the 2014-2015 season, held last night at my house.
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Feinherb Ur Alte Reben
Youthfully exuberant. Peachy, and off dry. Easy to drink. Ok, easy to chug!
2001 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett
Corked as all heck.
2001 St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett
Drier than the opening Selbach wine. Showed a lot of finishing honey. Kept getting better as it warmed up. Very kabinett in style and demonstrated that kabinett can handle and benefit from more than a few years of age to a group that was not experienced with older kabinett.
1996 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese
Moved into the flight with the Urbans-Hof to replace the Kesselstatt. This was actually drier than the kabinett., and showed a lot of both complexity (flambéed fruit, fusel aromas, minerality to spare) and very ample acidity. This was very divisive, with some finding it too acidic to be enjoyable. I thought it threaded the needle, but could certainly understand their view.
2001 J. J. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spätlese
2001 J. J. Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese
Served side by side the difference in the vineyards was readily apparent, with the spice of the Wurzgarten contrasting the more lemon/apple of the Treppchen. Both wines were barely inching into an early window of drinkability, and in fact were still somewhat closed aromatically for the first hour plus. I was very impressed with the length and precision of both wines.
2009 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese
2012 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese
The 2012 Himmelreich was a late addition when the 1996 Domprobst was moved to the first flight to replace the Kesselstatt. As such, both of these were really too young to demonstrate the effects of aging in the flight. Both were delicious though. The 2009 Domprobst was closed in but had enough stuffing to overcome that. The 2012 Himmelreich was just all guns blazing with fruit and very bright acidity.
2000 Kurt Darting Forster Schnepfenflug a.d. Weinstraße Huxlerebe Auslese
Corked. Not so badly as the Kesselstatt, but stripped and off.
2001 Kurt Darting Dürkheimer Nonnengarten Rieslaner Auslese
I do not see how this wine can get any better than it is right now. It’s full of spice, honey, orange peel and a richness that is balanced by classically Rieslaner (meaning a bit less refined) acidity. This is a wild ride.
2004 Kurt Darting Ungsteiner Honigsäckel Scheurebe Auslese
More primary, bigger, sweeter and just overall a bigger wine than the Rieslaner. Tons of spice, ripe, tropical fruit and all sorts of coiled up intensity. It was like a Scheurebe cobra poised to strike.
2004 Kurt Darting Dürkheimer Nonnengarten Rieslaner Beerenauslese
Darker, more focused on spice and honey. Less complex than the prior two wines, but with more runway. As with all of the Darting hyper-sweeties, this is great value, and something that can be drunk immediately, cellared a few years or held for a decade. I do not suggest holding them for too much longer, as they don’t need it. We wait for so many wines, why wait for the ones where we do not have to.
We also had some great Vermont and (one) California cheese. These are not to be missed.
Spring Brook Farm ‘Tarentaise’
Lazy Lady Farm ‘The Thin Red Line’
Jasper Hill Farms ‘Landaff’
Jasper Hill Farms ‘Alpha Tolman’
Jasper Hill Farms ‘Moses Sleeper’
Jasper Hill Farms ‘Bayley Hazen Blue’
Cypress Grove Chevre ‘Humboldt Fog’
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.