Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2007 German Riesling

The 2007 vintage is hailed as a perfect one with a slow but ideal ripening process. On Saturday, I tried some of the Rieslings from the Moselle and the Pfalz.

Moselle Rieslings are all the rage in the US. They tend to be sweet wines, although not with the lashings of sugar if well made. Dr. Loosen would be the main exponent available in Australia. The entry wines are well priced, but are light and a bit sweet, not to my liking as I said. However, I tried the 2007 Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule (try to say this in a hurry) and this was excellent. The fruit tasted of lemon and spice and had a lot of weight to balance the sweet and honeyed finish.

The Pfalz Rieslings are more suited to Australia and its summer. The entry wines, for example Riesling Trocken by Dr. Buerklin-Wolf or Riesling QBA Dry by Reichsrat von Buhl, are fresh, with citrus and stone-fruit aromas, and good acidity. I particularly liked the Reichsrat von Buhl, a steal at $24/bottle. Mueller-Catoir is a new star producer who achieves great fruit concentration with his Riesling QBA Trocken. A step up were the single vineyard wines from premier cru locations (Grosses Gewaechs). I particularly enjoyed the Jesuitengarten Forst QBA Grosses Gewaechs by Reichsrat von Buhl for its complexity and depth of fruit. Also good was Dr. Buerklin-Wolf Riesling Altenburg P.C.

It is interesting to see the change in Germany. The wines used to be classified Kabinett, Spaetlese, Auslese with increasing sugar levels. Leading producers now emphesize the vineyard location. They might still harvest at high ripeness, but ferment to dryness.

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