Alsace Grand Cru Wiebelsberg Riesling 1996 - Marc Kreydenweiss, Andlau – Alc. 12.5%.
This wine has changed a lot since my first bottle in 2007 which I described as bone dry and somewhat unbalanced by dominant acidity. Colour has deepened to medium gold and wax infused acacia and nutty notes have become quite prominent on the nose with perhaps an incipient sherry-like whiff. On the palate there was quite rich medium+ body and decent structural grip and length encasing mature waxy, honeyed and slightly nutty white fruit with the formerly searing 1996 acidity having become merely a lively element of balance. If blind, I don’t think that I would have recognised this bottle as Alsatian Riesling and would have plumped for Loire Chenin, perhaps Savennières, of a similar age where wax notes and oxidative hints like here are quite common. Still very good though 16.5/20.
Rioja Señorío de P. Peciña Gran Reserva 1998 – Bodegas Hnos. Peciña – Alc. 13% -(€22). This Gran Reserva has not quite lived up to my expectations based both on a tasting about 4 years ago and on the excellent showing of its 99 Reserva stable mate. It was certainly richer, more complex and more structured than the Reserva but I felt that purity and elegance was slightly diminished by liqueur touches in its fine berry fruit and by marginally more prominent vanilla in its aromas. Furthermore I wondered if there had not been a little fading since an earlier bottle. Very good nevertheless 16/20++.