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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by David Lole » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:12 pm

Trimbach 1989 Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling - phenomenal bright straw/extremely pale gold colour followed by a "drop-dead" gorgeous, effusive bouquet featuring Trimbach's famous minerality over succulent yellow peach, ripe juicy pear, some citrus (predominantly lime), lanolin, honeysuckle with top notes of bee's wax, apricot and just a little petroleum jelly. The palate offers up an incredibly bone dry persona with tight focus, amazingly taut, seemingly youthful fruit, although more in a mineral/citrus spectrum with flicks of apple and pear and incredibly good acid cut. Needless to say the finish is crisp and ohso dry but also mouthquenching with extra good persistence. A lovely drop .... but raises an interesting question .... when will this brilliant wine get "old"? An amazing effort considering the botrytis around for the vintage. Perhaps Trimbach picked very early for this label in 1989?
Cheers,

David
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:35 am

Think you Riesling fans will enjoy this article! Very enlightening, some might think controversial?

http://winediarist.com/the-fate-of-swee ... ildknecht/
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by David M. Bueker » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:48 am

As usual an lengthy but illuminating commentary from David Schildknecht. Thanks for the link Bob.

David S. is the person who really got me thinking about the sheer usefulness of wines like Selbach-Oster's Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbrocken. It's not all that sweet, so it doesn't scare off the sugar-averse, it works with a huge array of foods, and it ages remarkably well. Schafer-Frohlichs Riesling "Medium Dry" is a similar take on the theme, though I don't really sense Tim Frohlich's heart is in it, as it has never measured up to the rest of the portfolio of that excellent Nahe producer.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Kelly Young » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:30 am

I'm here to say I am not afraid of a little (or even more than a little) RS in my German wine.

I find some interesting parallels in the move away from any sweetness within wine in Germany to the move away from some of the traditional brewing styles, Märzen and Dunkel come to mind, and towards what are bigger (and yes drier) international players, Pilsner in particular.

In any case it's all about balance isn't it?
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Andrew Bair » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:19 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Think you Riesling fans will enjoy this article! Very enlightening, some might think controversial?

http://winediarist.com/the-fate-of-swee ... ildknecht/



Hi Bob -

Thank you for the link to David Schildknecht's well written response to Steinberger's original article, which I also thought was very good.

Although I do enjoy many of the the Trocken Rieslings from Germany, they can't replace the brightness and the versatility of a great Kabinett. The trend away from vineyard-designated Kabinetts by some producers bothers me - actually, I'm generally less likely to buy a Kabinett without a single vineyard name on the label, because it makes me question how much effort the winemaker has put into the contents of that bottle. Just my 2 cents.

I suppose that some German producers were perhaps hopeful at one point that the Riesling Classic category would eliminate the need for the Kabinett category, which they saw as yet another mistake from the 1971 law, but Riesling Classic (and Selection) does not seem to have caught on very well. Same with Riesling QbA Hochgewächs, which Terry Theise correctly called hogwash.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Andrew Bair » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:22 pm

Kelly Young wrote:I'm here to say I am not afraid of a little (or even more than a little) RS in my German wine.

I find some interesting parallels in the move away from any sweetness within wine in Germany to the move away from some of the traditional brewing styles, Märzen and Dunkel come to mind, and towards what are bigger (and yes drier) international players, Pilsner in particular.

In any case it's all about balance isn't it?



Hi Kelly -

I don't pretend to be knowledgeable about beer, but aren't most Oktoberfests Märzens? Interesting that style is declining in Germany, when so many American craft brewers are making an Oktoberfest these days.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Andrew Bair » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:23 pm

Now, for an actual note:

1996 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Auction
From 375 ml bottle; AP #13. Delicate, botrytis-tinged, tropical fruit and mineral nose. Viscous, sweet, and precise; still very fresh, with vibrant acidity, and a strong mineral core. Certainly is a step up in power and length from your standard GKA. Tastes of tropical and citrus fruits, peaches, cherries, and ginger. Some whipped cream and spice notes on the finish. Excellent/outstanding; one of the best wines that I have had this year.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Kelly Young » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:00 am

Andrew Bair wrote:Hi Kelly -

I don't pretend to be knowledgeable about beer, but aren't most Oktoberfests Märzens? Interesting that style is declining in Germany, when so many American craft brewers are making an Oktoberfest these days.


This follows that "what we drink here versus what they drink there" line. Oktoberfest Märzen is a style made mostly for export now. In Munich for the actual Oktoberfest the style is Festbier aka Wies'n (named for the Theresienwiese where the event is held). Fest/Wies'n is basically an amped up Helles; still light gold but a bit higher in alcohol. Oktoberfest Märzen is deep amber, very "chewy", and also slightly higher in alcohol. Every year I tend to buy the Paulaner since they always send the Märzen style. Depending on year the other Munich brewers (according to the rules only the 6 brewers from the Munich city limits are allowed to participate in Oktoberfest proper) will send a Fest/Wies'n. This year oddly enough Spaten sent the Ur-Märzen. You can find the Paulaner Wies'n around (comes in a 1l can with a proper Masskrug).

Paulaner Wies'n (this is what you'd get at the actual Fest)
http://bythepint.com/sites/default/file ... review.jpg

Paulaner Oktoberfests Märzen (primarily for export)
http://greatbrewers.com/sites/default/f ... review.jpg
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Bill Hooper » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:47 am

Hi Kelly,

You’re correct about Pils being the overwhelmingly preferred style of Beer in Germany as a whole, but beer tastes continue to be very regional. In Munich, the water isn’t really suited to Pils, and so the maltier, softer Helles style performs better (the same goes for Märzen and Hefeweizen.) There is actually a very good Brewery in Hamburg now called Duckstein which makes a fantastic Amber lager (effectively a Märzen) as their flagship brew. Hefeweizen is certainly the number two style in the country and almost all of those breweries are in Bavaria. If you go to any Munich beer-hall, Helles, Märzen, Doppelbock and Dunkel are available as are cloudy Kellerbier in some cases. Schwarzbier continues to be very popular with Köstritzer being the biggest brewer of that style, but hundreds of different ones are brewed at smaller breweries around the country. You basically cannot walk into a Beer-Shop (Getränkemarkt) without seeing Köstrizter. It is hard to drink beer other than Alt in Düsseldorf, Kölsch in Köln, and the very traditional Göse in Leipzig is still very strong there (If you haven’t tasted that, find some quick), and Berliner weiße is a mainstay of that fine town. Overall, the quality of even the largest breweries is very high, and there is fierce brand-loyalty in Germany. Some people go their entire lives drinking only one brand of Beer making the people as much an aspect of terroir as the ingredients are. It is true though, that different breweries market different beers for the American Market. A good example is Spaten Optimator, which is not available in Germany. Here it is the Löwenbraü Doppelbock (both owned by Spaten as is Franziskaner).

Cheers,
Bill
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Bill Hooper » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:26 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Think you Riesling fans will enjoy this article! Very enlightening, some might think controversial?

http://winediarist.com/the-fate-of-swee ... ildknecht/


I somewhat agree, but...

David Schildknecht should realize that that lower alcohol-styled Riesling is being made. It is called Qualitätswein and is normally quite affordable and lowish in alcohol (though yes, normally dry.) I’d personally like to see the laws firmed up a bit regarding Qualitätswein (currently 97% of the wine produced in Germany are at least QbA –believe me, not all of them are Quality. I wouldn’t necessarily raise the Oechsle requirement, but do away with chaptalization. Another argument for another time)

Another point that he should realize is that it takes about the same amount of work to produce Kabinett as it does Spätlese. You can often get 1,5 to double the price for Spätlese (and very probably a couple more points from him in the WA.) How much money are people willing to dish out for low-alcohol wines? I don’t think that people are beating down any doors to pay serious money for Muscadet, Steinfeder GV, or Savoie Jacquere either.

Germany is a small country as far as wine production goes (100.000 ha compared to France at 800.000) Though export markets are important, most of the top producers aren’t having too much trouble moving inventory (dry Inventory).

Global warming is also playing a hand in the size of wines. You can pick early, but unripe Riesling is viciously acidic and many producers don’t want to de-acidify if they don’t have to. And you get more complex flavor and more mineral notes from golden berries.

Sweetness was initially used to help balance raging acidity and cover up botrytis. With better farming practices and riper grapes, those problems have somewhat been solved and German producers are generally happy to make wines that they see as cleaner and more expressive of terroir.

Shouldn’t winemakers have the right to make wines that they like to drink and that their best customers like to drink without concocting something for a Wine Critic? Aren't we all sick of Parkerized wines? Schildknechtized wines doesn't roll off the toungue as well, but Jesus. If anything, it would appear that German wine-producers don't bend over for the WA or WS like other regions around the world.

No matter what anyone says, dryness or sweetness in wine is a matter of preference. One is not better than the other. As long as the wine is balanced and delicious, who is to say?

How many times per week does the average wine drinker drink off-dry Riesling? Unless you are fanatical about it, not many. You drink dry whites far more often than sweeter ones. Even Schildknecht probably drinks far more dry white wine than sweeter. Well, Germans tend to drink German wine, not California Chardonnay, not White Burgundy, not dry Loire Chenin, not Rioja Blanco like Americans or Brits, and they too like to drink dry wine most of the time. If your customers drink dry wine 90% of the time, what are you going to produce?

Let it be known that I really love good off-dry Riesling. I just don’t want to drink it every day.
Cheers,
Bill
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:38 pm

Bill,

You are not familiar with David Schildknecht, are you?

Believe me when I say that he knows everything you mention, and it is only his being (for him) brief that prevented a 10,000 dissertation. David one wrote an 8 page "letter to the editor" of The World of Fine Wine to rebut a 3 page article.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Bill Hooper » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:06 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Bill,

You are not familiar with David Schildknecht, are you?

Believe me when I say that he knows everything you mention, and it is only his being (for him) brief that prevented a 10,000 dissertation. David one wrote an 8 page "letter to the editor" of The World of Fine Wine to rebut a 3 page article.


I admit that I don’t follow any of the critics because I don’t have any real use for them. But I do know David Schildknecht by reputation and that he is a real scholar. I don’t doubt his expertise, I'm just confused by his tone. It’s as if German wine existed only to supply the US and her tastes and I’m just not sure why none of these points ever seem to come up whenever this discussion resurfaces over and over and over again.

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Bill
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:05 pm

Bill,

I am going to completely disgaree with you on your assessment. First of all, tone is tough in writing. David is generally supportive of all types of German wine, but he does point out one very important fact: everybody makes dry white wine, but only Germany has been very successful at the low alcohol, slightly off-dry to sweet wine that characterize the pradikat of kabinett. The German winemaking elite got onto the "oh yeah, well we can make dry wines" bandwagon, and created a snowball effect that has not just led to some fine dry wines, but has also led to this turning of kabinett into a pariah.

As for the costs to harvest and/or make kabinett versus spatlese, if the German foot injury...err...marketing machine ever turned its attention to that unique beast that is kabinett then perhaps prices would rise to a sustainable level.

And as for Qualitatswein, that is a category that has been totally destroyed by both bad producers and good ones who used the labeling conventions to deal wit the dry wine craze.

Much mroe to say, but out of time right now.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Kelly Young » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:29 am

Bill Hooper wrote: It’s as if German wine existed only to supply the US and her tastes and I’m just not sure why none of these points ever seem to come up whenever this discussion resurfaces over and over and over again.

Cheers,
Bill


I don't take Schildknecht's point (and Theise's who has said much the same) to be that German wine should be driven by this particular export market, rather both express a concern that something unique and beautiful that can only be made there might be under threat because of indifference in its domestic market.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by ChaimShraga » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:27 am

My wife will be very displeased if this particular style dies out, and she's no geek!
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[WTN]/Wine Advisor: Minimalist Mosel

by Robin Garr » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:39 pm

Why is German wine such a hard sell? A lot of people blame the label. German wine labels look antique. They contain puzzling terminology, tiny print and so many unpronounceable German words! Who can ask for "Pickelwasser Gesundheitzchen Schnitzelbank Riesling Tövarich Behundertjähren" with a straight face?

But wait! What's this? Here's a spiffy new Riesling in a screw-capped clear bottle just one inch too tall to stand upright on my refrigerator shelf, and the front label (pictured below) bears only a handful of words. <I>In English</i>!

Flanking a semi-abstract graphic that looks like a stream flowing between stacks of flat rocks, we read:

Clean Slate
2010 Riesling
Mosel, Germany
a region of steep slate hills
and winding rivers


That's it! And to tell you the truth, the back label isn't that much more informative. As the front label disclosed, it's a Riesling from Germany's Mosel region, 2010 vintage. It's brought into the U.S. by Winebow Inc., a respected New York City importer, and the language "Selected, Shipped and Imported" reveals that Winebow worked with a German partner or partners to assemble wines from the Mosel into a regional-generic Riesling, not that there's anything wrong with that. The alcohol content is a gentle 10.5 percent, the Surgeon General offers his usual stern warning, and there's a bit of ad copy that I won't quote here but that you're welcome to read on the Clean Slate website.
http://cleanslatewine.com/region.php

"Clean Slate" contains a vinous pun of sorts, representing both its English connotation of a fresh start on a blank piece of paper, and a possible tasting note for a typical Mosel Riesling, known for its clean, fresh flavors and the minerally stony nuances that slate soil purportedly imparts.

It's a nice idea, and at a buck over $10 in this market (a few dollars less in some regions), it's an excellent introduction to Riesling in the Mosel style.


Clean Slate 2010 Mosel Riesling ($10.99)

Transparent pale gold. Good aromatic fruit scents, peach and a whiff of mango, fresh but not over the top. Flavors are consistent with the nose, fresh mango and tart acidity, and perhaps just a hint of that fabled Mosel slatey stony character in the background. If there's sweetness there, it's hard to pick out against the zippy acidity. Light 10.5% alcohol makes for easy sipping as table wine or aperitif, and there's a gentle peach-pit bitterness in the finish. U.S. importer: Winebow Inc., NYC. (Oct. 27, 2011)

FOOD MATCH: Riesling may be the most versatile white wine for food matching, and this fresh, crisp model would serve across a range of food companions from freshwater fish to seafood to pork, turkey or duck, cheeses and even spicy fare. We enjoyed it with an offbeat Asian vegetable dish, Chinese okra (fresh loofah) stir-fried with onions, garlic and ginger and a touch of Thai spice.

VALUE: While I have no complaints for value at this price, it's worth checking around if you can order online; Wine-Searcher.com finds it at U.S. vendors as low as $7.64, with many sources under $10.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Clean ... g_site=WLP

WHEN TO DRINK: It's made for immediate enjoyment, but the combination of good balance, a sturdy screw cap and Riesling's natural ageworthiness could probably support several years under good cellar conditions.

WEB LINK: Moselland and Winebow, partners in Clean Slate, jointly operate this informative, brochure-style website.
http://cleanslatewine.com/

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and locate vendors for Clean Slate Riesling on Wine-Searcher.com.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Clean ... g_site=WLP

To find specific retailers in your region, try this handy tool on the Clean Slate website.
http://cleanslatewine.com/find.php
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by ChaimShraga » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:16 pm

Marc Tempe, Alsace, Burgreben, Riesling, 2001

As always, the honeyed apples on the nose, along with some botrytis funk, make me anticipate a dessert wine and belie the dryness of the palate. An overlay of minerals and an additional layer reminiscent of green tea add further complexity. I don't have much experience with mature Alsatians but this is a very lovely sample, even if it doesn't appear to have changed a lot in the last couple of years.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by David Mc » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:37 pm

Recommendations for drinking order of my recently purchased Reisling? I'm new to German wines and want to see if I can differentiate between the three regions and the Prädikatswein classification. Should I go by region and then Prädikatswein or drink the Kabinett's from each region, the Spatlese from each region, etc.

Thanks

Mosel
2009 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtropfchen "Erste Lage" Kabinett
2003 Karlsmuhle Kaseler Nies'chen Auslese

Pfalz
2007 Messmer Muskateller Kabinett Feinherb
2007 Minges, Theo Burrweiler Schlossgarten Spatlese

Nahe
2008 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermanchen Kabinet
2003 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Spatlese
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Rahsaan » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:50 pm

David Mc wrote:Recommendations for drinking order of my recently purchased Reisling? I'm new to German wines and want to see if I can differentiate between the three regions and the Prädikatswein classification. Should I go by region and then Prädikatswein or drink the Kabinett's from each region, the Spatlese from each region, etc.

Thanks

Mosel
2009 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtropfchen "Erste Lage" Kabinett
2003 Karlsmuhle Kaseler Nies'chen Auslese

Pfalz
2007 Messmer Muskateller Kabinett Feinherb
2007 Minges, Theo Burrweiler Schlossgarten Spatlese

Nahe
2008 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermanchen Kabinet
2003 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Spatlese


Too many moving pieces. Pradikat, region/vineyard/terroir, and vintage.

So I would go by vintage in this case. However you slice it, the sample is too small to learn much. So I'd drink the 03s together, the 07s together, and then the 08 and the 09 whenever you get a chance. You'll definitely notice differences across pradikat and vintage, although you'll probably need more wine (things could be worse!) before you get a handle for the region. (Typically the Mosel is the 'lightest' of these regions, but you have some very ripe vintages there in 09 and 03).

At the end of the day, there's no perfect way to do this. Just enjoy the wine! (You could also open them all at one party).

Or, open
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Joe Moryl » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:58 pm

I'd better post notes on couple recent Rieslings before the month is over:

2006 Rudesheimer Berg Rottland, Riesling Spaetlese, Weingut Johannishof (Rheingau):

A bit worried when I pulled the cork and found it wet 3/4 of the way; the color of the wine was a suspiciously concentrated gold. However, the wine is still quite fine, perhaps saw a bit more oxygen than is normal. Shockingly ripe for a spaetlese, with creamy apricot/tangerine notes, a chalky/lanolin texture and nice length. Just barely enough acidity to offset the richness and sugar. Surely some botrytis. Nice wine if you realize this is more in the auselese style. 9.0% abv.

A few months ago we also had a '09 Charta Riesling from Johannishof that was delightful, with great intensity and focus for a sub $15 bottle. Anyone here have opinions on Johannishof?

2010 J.R. Dill Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes:

Driving by Seneca Lake earlier this summer I was planning to nip into Damiani for a tasting but it was too early and they weren't quite open yet. Just down the road I spotted a relative newcomer, J.W. Dill and decided to give them a try. The winemaker recently morphed from a serious amateur to a commercial producer (attn. Howie) and has a lineup of mostly Riesling, Cab Franc and some blends. Overall a mixed bag, but this was my favorite from the current offerings. A very solid effort, with bright lime and orange blossom flavors set against some nice slatey minerals. Has 0.8% RS but you can call this dry due to the zingy acids. Nothing super complex, but it is still very young. 12.2 % abv.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Patrick Martin » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:04 am

Just had a couple of terrific rieslings, one of 'em epic actually...

2002 Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Scholssberg Riesling Spätlese
In a good place now. Zesty, fresh, lacy, balanced, floral, I just loved this. Ready to drink but no rush either. Is Leitz great in every vintage as it was in '01-'02?

1976 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Josephshofer Riesling TBA
This was sensational. One of my top dessert wines ever. Has a bouquet (and color) redolent of molasses-like PX, yet only moderately sweet to taste with epic acidity and length and this dried yellow grape taste that beguiles the palate. Awesome.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Howie Hart » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:30 am

Joe Moryl wrote:...The winemaker recently morphed from a serious amateur to a commercial producer (attn. Howie) and has a lineup of mostly Riesling, Cab Franc and some blends....
Ah... the dream. My friend, Don DeMaison, is about to open his winery, Long Cliff, on the Niagara Escarpment. His labels were just approved by the gov't and he will open his doors as soon as he gets the labels back from the printer - probably next week. I will be helping out there. At my urging, he did a whole cluster press of Pinot Noir and will be turning a portion of that into a Blanc des Noir.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Salil » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:26 am

2010 Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese
Very impressive. Layers of ripe peaches, citrus and red fruited flavours accented with exotic perfumed floral notes and a stony mineral element; there's superb balance here with the high acidity buffered by plenty of richness and sweetness, and all the components combining together seamlessly.
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Re: October Wine Focus - Riesling, Riesling & more Riesling

by Salil » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:34 am

2006 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese
A spectrum of fruit ranging from fresh apples and limes to riper pineapple and other tropical flavours, floral accents and a core of solid slate. It's certainly ripe and sweet, but there's a remarkable lightness of touch here and a sense of purity and freshness that I've found in very other 2006s (certainly not in many Spätlese). Fantastic wine that I'm certain will age superbly.
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