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Tim York

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WTN: 2 delicious Spätlesen, dry whites and sweeties

by Tim York » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:37 pm

I continue my survey of festive wines with whites and sweeties.

First two Spätlesen which illustrate what I look for in that prädikat, namely gentle ethereal sweetness balanced by racy acidity with slightly more weight than Kabinett. These are becoming increasingly rare (like true Kabinett) with the growing tendency to downgrade wines of Auslese must weight to these lower categories.

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I know that I risk expulsion from the ranks of serious Mosel lovers by liking a wine from Dr. Loosen but his Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese - 18 – 1995 – Alc. 8% was delicious; brightly focussed fruit and minerals with bracing acidity and discreet backbone making me barely conscious of the sugar alongside secondary aromatic undertones and a dab of petrol. Excellent 17.5/20.
Lorenzhöfer Riesling Spätlese – 13 – 2002 – Karlsmühle – Alc.8.5% was a wine in a similar vein but slightly rounder bodied and more tender with less backbone and focus. It has come together better than a bottle drunk and noted in 2009. Very good 16.5/20.

Here are two very good bone dry whites.

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Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur lie 2010 – Domaine de la Touquetière – Alc.12 – (c.€10 for 3) was maybe a touch crisper than the 2009 and equally mineral showing salt and iodine notes, together with some juicy fruit and a touch of “gras” and it complemented perfectly the "moules marinières" (mussels), a typically Belgian dish demanded by the family before their return to exile. Good 15.5/20+++ QPR!!!.
Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Corps de Garde Chardonnay 2010 – Goisot – Alc.13% - showed superb tension, focus and minerality and is an excellent Chablis substitute. Very good 16/20.

And some excellent sweeties –

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Tokaji Azsù 5 Puttonyos 1988 – Château Megyer – Alc.13% - was rapidly substituted for a corked Côtes de Duras moelleux and proved far superior than a pristine bottle of that wine could have been. It was complex, concentrated and unctuously sweet with a butterscotch undertow but was beautifully balanced by lively moreish acidity which gave it a certain elegance. This was a wine from the communist period and Tokay is said to be doing much better nowadays but it is hard for me to see how. Excellent 17.5/20.
Quarts de Chaume 2000 – Baumard 13.5%. This Anjou chenin from a mediocre vintage was delicious; medium bodied with notes of minerals, wax and apricot and showing marked sweetness with enough acidity for balance. It was less concentrated but more refreshing than the Tokay and New Year’s Rayne-Vigneau. Very good 16.5/20.
1997 Vintage Port Vau Vintage – Sandeman – Alc.20%. This was the wine which taught be how exuberantly attractive vintage port can be in its first youth. At the beginning of its 16th year (still quite a youngster), it had retained most of its exuberant fruit and had civilised its tannins which nevertheless remained attractively firm. Excellent first with Stilton and then with chocolate. My last bottle, alas. Very good 16.5/20.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: 2 delicious Spätlesen, dry whites and sweeties

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:37 pm

We won't kick you out for liking Loosen. Just don't do it too often.

What happened to the Pechstein?
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Clint Hall

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Re: WTN: 2 delicious Spätlesen, dry whites and sweeties

by Clint Hall » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:14 am

It's unfashionable to like Loosen? Guess I'm not one of the congnoscenti. But then I haven't had a Loosen in a few years. Or is this an in joke?

Yes, 2000 was a bad year for Loire Chenins, but at the moment I can't recall any year that was bad for Baumard Quarts de Chaumes, including 2000. And what bargains they are. At a couple of shops in Portland the 2000s in 375s are only $23.61.
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Re: WTN: 2 delicious Spätlesen, dry whites and sweeties

by Tim York » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:30 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
What happened to the Pechstein?


I wrote a TN on it with the New Year wines. Sorry about mismatch between pics and TNs so here is the note again -

Forster Pechstein Riesling Auslese – 13 – 1990 – Weingut Dr. von Bassermann Jordan – Alc.11% surprised me by its freshness, relative lightness and restrained sweetness. There was lovely fragrance mixed with nice petrol notes, very lively juicy acidity, gentle roundness and sweetness and good length. This estate was one of the Pfalz’s revered three Bs when I started my wine hobby but was supposedly much in decline in by the early 90s. Perhaps in their heyday there would have been more weight and sweetness but for me that’s not necessarily a plus. With the Stilton the mid-palate seemed hollow but with and after the fresh light dessert it worked much better than the Sauternes of the Eve. Very good 16/20+++
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Patrick Martin

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Re: WTN: 2 delicious Spätlesen, dry whites and sweeties

by Patrick Martin » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:04 am

I haven't had enough to form a strong opinion, but many/most of the Dr. Loosen rieslings I have had have been really quite good. The 2005 kabinetts were terrific juice for the money, and the 2006 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese was one of the better balanced 2006's I've tried (and it cost only $20 with a discount). I've often thought of Loosen when reading threads on "best wineries without enough rep".

Okay, they can't rumble with Germany's finest**, but I think of Loosen as good (or perhaps better than) as second-tier weingarts like, say, Florian Weingart, Strub, Monchhof, Minges, Meulenhof, Hexamer, or Richter.

**qualifier: I live in the USA, so I only know what is reasonably available states' side.
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Re: WTN: 2 delicious Spätlesen, dry whites and sweeties

by Tim York » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:30 am

Clint Hall wrote:It's unfashionable to like Loosen? Guess I'm not one of the congnoscenti. But then I haven't had a Loosen in a few years. Or is this an in joke?



It's not entirely a joke :wink: .

I've heard quite a few disparaging remarks about Loosen in Germany and elsewhere and have also read some on boards.

I was very happy with the stash of 95s I bought at the Loosen estate in 1996 where I was courteously hosted by his brother, Thomas I think. However I haven't bought any from them since then preferring Haart, Grünhaus, Zilliken, Prüm, Schäfer and so on plus, of course, Dönnhoff from the Nahe.

Have I been subconsciously influenced by the comments? Perhaps.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: 2 delicious Spätlesen, dry whites and sweeties

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:05 am

Loosen wines tend to the overly creamy in recent vintages.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.

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