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David M. Bueker

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Theise tasting impressions

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:41 am

Quick thoughts on the 2016 Terry Theise German/Austrian portfolio tasting from yesterday:

First off, it was a blisteringly hot day in NYC, but the air conditioning at Tribeca kept up, so the tasting conditions were quite good. Overall I enjoyed the 2016 wines, though I was not bowled over by many of them. The ones that did set fly above the generally very good level had that extra bit of expansiveness on the palate. There were also a number of other vintages on show (2015 dry wines, and some 2014s).

These are impressions from about 4 hours of concentrated tasting. I cut down on the number of wines I tried this year, and retasted several listed below to confirm my initial impressions. It was still fast work, and so subject to the limitations of the format.

My favorites of the tasting were:

3 stars (my sweet and dry wines of the event):
2016 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese
2015 Kunstler Berg Schlossberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs

2 stars, particular standouts:
2015 Kruger-Rumpf Im Pittersberg Riesling Kabinett
2016 Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Dautenpflanzer Riesling Spatlese
2016 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Spatlese
2016 von Winning Ungeheuer Riesling Grosses Gewachs
2016 von Winning Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewachs
2016 Donnhoff Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs
2016 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese
2016 Kunstler Domdechaney Riesling Trocken Erste Lage
2015 Kunstler Weiß Erd Riesling Grosses Gewachs
2016 Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Alte Reben Riesling Kabinett
2016 Meulenhof Erdener Pralat Riesling Spatlese
2016 Loewen Maximiner Klosterlay Riesling Erste Lage
2016 Loewen Maximin Herrenberg 1896 Riesling Feinherb
2016 Vols Wiltinger Braunfels ‘Vols I’ Riesling Spatlese
2016 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Uralte Reben Riesling Spatlese Feinherb
2016 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese
2016 Strub Niersteiner Oelberg ‘Roter Schiefer’ Riesling Feinherb
2016 Strub Niersteiner Bruckchen ‘Herzstuck’ Riesling Kabinett
2016 Strub Niersteiner Hipping ‘Flachenhahl Riesling Spatlese
2015 Brundlmayer Gelber Muskateller
2015 Hiedler Ried Gaisberg Riesling Erste Lage
2015 Schloss Gobelsburg Ried Renner Gruner Veltliner Erste Lage
2016 Ecker Gelber Muskateller

It’s worth noting that there is not one but two Gelber Muskatellers listed above. People need to drink the stuff. Bone dry wine that has a beautiful aroma is a wonderful thing, and needs an audience. Gelber Muskateller is NOT Moscato!

There were a number of other wines that I thought were very good (as in worth buying and drinking!!), but they did not make the next level for me. I sadly did not get to the tables for Goldatzel or Nikolaihof, as every time I was near their areas they were busy pouring for other attendees.

Producers who had a strong set of wines, despite not being on my listing above:

Darting – year in and year out value champion! The entire lineup was solid!
Glatzer – another producer for great value. The Gruner Veltliners and Blaufrankisch were really good. I really want the Blaufrankisch to just quaff over the next year or two.
Alzinger – shocking I know…Muhlpoint Gruner Veltliner and Loibenberg Riesling very good.
Merkelbach – only tasted a couple of wines, but both lots of fun.
Willi Schaefer – also a small number of wines. I really liked the Himmelreich Spatlese.

Overall I found 2016 to be an enjoyable vintage. It does not have the power of 2015, and so perhaps pales through no fault of its own. That being said, it’s got a bunch of really good wines that are worth having in the cellar or just drinking straight off the boat. It’s not a garish vintage, and is in fact very well balanced.

I lost count of how many times I noted the good balance in a wine. It became a given. On the long train ride headed for home it had me thinking about how vintages have been judged. Without something sticking out (“what power!”, “crazy acidity!”), the vintages tend to fly under the radar and get ignored. Vintages get ranked, and more often than not drinkability gets zero points. People lose the value of a glass of wine on the patio with a friend or loved one, or how a wine might complement, rather than dominate, a meal.

I know it sounds like I am making apologies for 2016, but I am not. I am focused on the pleasure of the wines, rather than the attention grabbing features of a given wine. I have an overstuffed wine cellar, and so have to be very selective. If I did not, I would be happy to have a bunch of 2016 wines in the cellar, and buy through the range, from dry to feinherb to sweet.
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Dale Williams

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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Dale Williams » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:31 pm

Thanks. I actually need Germany to have a terrible year so I won't buy more. I am out of space. But sounds like I need to find some space for '16s.
I think I've had one Gelber M. , from Heidi Schrock.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:35 pm

Make room for that Kunstler GG.
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Rahsaan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:29 am

David M. Bueker wrote:On the long train ride headed for home it had me thinking about how vintages have been judged. Without something sticking out (“what power!”, “crazy acidity!”), the vintages tend to fly under the radar and get ignored. Vintages get ranked, and more often than not drinkability gets zero points. People lose the value of a glass of wine on the patio with a friend or loved one, or how a wine might complement, rather than dominate, a meal.


Indeed. This is the logical end point of so much cultural 'analysis', focusing on abstract status as opposed to how things get used/drunk in the real world.

Thankfully, we can fight against the tide with our mouths!
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:11 am

Dale..I need not worry about finding space as many will not show up here in the north :( .
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Timo Olavi

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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Timo Olavi » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:45 am

Wise words.

For the balance, weight, ripeness, acidity, etc of the German '16 vintage, are there any meaningful comparisons with other recent or recent-ish vintages?
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by David M. Bueker » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:08 am

That is always a tough question, as I tend to see each vintage as unique.

2011 but with better balance is about as close as I can come. 2011 was very pretty but too soft for its own good (or too ripe for its acids). 2016 is higher in acid but not high.
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Roberto Vigna

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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Roberto Vigna » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:33 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
3 stars (my sweet and dry wines of the event):
2016 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese


Just yesterday arrived the usual buying group list about 2016 Germany.
Names: Donnhoff, Schafer, JJ Prum, Merkelbach, Fritz Haag, Kunstler, Johannishof and others.

About Donnhoff the available Auslese is Niederhauser Hermannshöhle Auslese Goldkapsel 375 ml (€ 29 delivered), and we always have this label.

May I assume there is also a NH Auslese non GK?
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Joe Moryl » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:28 am

Thanks for the report. I was given a splash of an inexpensive Kruger-Rumpf trocken in a store tasting recently and it was really nice for the money. IIRC, it was a '16.
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JC (NC)

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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by JC (NC) » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:47 pm

Thanks, David for sharing your impressions. I will look back at this thread when making purchasing decisions. I too have to be selective with an overflow of wines on hand.
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:49 pm

Looks like a good thread, keep all the news coming forumites.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:01 pm

Roberto Vigna wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:
3 stars (my sweet and dry wines of the event):
2016 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese


Just yesterday arrived the usual buying group list about 2016 Germany.
Names: Donnhoff, Schafer, JJ Prum, Merkelbach, Fritz Haag, Kunstler, Johannishof and others.

About Donnhoff the available Auslese is Niederhauser Hermannshöhle Auslese Goldkapsel 375 ml (€ 29 delivered), and we always have this label.

May I assume there is also a NH Auslese non GK?


Nope. Donnhoff uses a gold capsule on all his Auslesen, so you are being offered the same wine I liked.
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Roberto Vigna » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:09 pm

Thanks.

We have two new names:

Falkenstein (Saar)
Dr. Hermann (Mittelmosel-Erden)

but I don't know anything about them.

Sadly, three leaks

Schloss Lieser
Weins-Prum
Karthauserhof :(
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by David M. Bueker » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:44 pm

I don't know Dr. Hermann, but Hofgut Falkenstein is an up and coming producer making some pretty good wines at very reasonable prices.
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:41 pm

David, I presume these wines have just been bottled (April May) so could one see a slight difference in say 6 months?
Have to add we have some Kruger-Rumpf wines up here from previous vintages.
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Re: Theise tasting impressions

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:16 pm

All of the 2016 wines were very recently bottled, or were cask samples.

No doubt they might change over the next six months, year, two years, ten years, etc.
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