Saturday, February 28, 2009

Willi Schaefer Rieslings

This is a weekend of tastings. First up: the wines of Willi Schaefer from the Moselle.

Moselle Rieslings have become very fashionable in the US. Their sweetness, but when well made, dry finishes, make them quite unique wines in the wine world. As a result, these companies have moved to world-wide marketing, and these wines are mainly the wines from Germany available in Australia.

In my view, this is a pity, because the drier wines from the Rheingau and Pfalz are more suitable to the Australian climate and more comparable to our Claire and Eden Valley Rieslings.

I tried two of the Schaefer wines at opposite ends of the spectrum. The first was the 2007 Willi Schaefer Graacher Qba trocken (dry). This wine tastes mainly of lime and is quite perfumed and floral. It contains 7g of sugar; it finishes dry, but not not steely. Quite good summer drinking.

The second wine was the 2007 Graacher Domprobst Auslese #17. This is a $150/bottle wine. It contains a whopping 90+g of sugar. Its fruit is much riper (Auslese means it is picked much later), the fruit tasting of peach, even tropical flavours, a bit like a WA Chardonnay. It is fresh, and has good length, and a clean finish. This wine will gain complexity with time. It can be cellared for at least 15 years. Despite all the sugar, not an overtly sweet wine - amazing. It is an interesting experience, although not quite my cup of tea.

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