Tuesday, May 06, 2008

WBW#45 Old World Riesling


Region: Ahr Valley
Country: Germany
Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: €12.00-15.00
Closure: Cork

The wine blogging wednesday theme (hosted by Tim at winecast.net) for this month is old world Riesling (in essence Germany, Austria and France's Alsace). Of all the white varieties I can't think of a variety that I love and hate (at the same time) more. When well-made Riesling wines are superb, when done badly they are terrible. C
heap brand names such as Blue Nun and Black Tower, as well as wines designated Liebfraumilch, have really given the reputation of Riesling a hammering in the past. Thankfully things have changed since then with Riesling now some of the world's most undervalued wines.

For this theme I decided to pull out a bottle that I have had lying in the cellar for quite some.
I purchased this wine when travelling on a wine tour to the Ahr Valley in 2001. It was at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, one of the stops on the tour, that I tasted a lovely 10 year old Riesling that really caught my attention. I ended up buying a half case of the 2001 Dernauer Pfarrwingert Riesling Auslese Trocken based on that experience. This wine is interesting in that it is an auslese (late harvest) trocken (fermented to dryness) - where late harvest (auslese) fruit is fermented out to dryness. Here are my thoughts:

Pulling the cork revealed some tartrate crystals typical of aged wines. Nice clear, intense gold with some hints of green - it almost reminds me of a dessert wine. The nose is almost botrytis-like with hints of petroleum. Quite powerful and full-bodied on the palate with green apple and steely, mineral-like characters. Quite a dry wine with good acid balance that reminded me somewhat of a dry tokaji I had in Hungary a few years back. All-in-all an interesting style that I thought went quite well with the homemade fish and chips we ate with it.

3 comments:

winecast said...

Thanks for pulling an aged Riesling from the cellar, Rob. I'm going to do the same with one of my '01's and compare with an '06.

Cheers,
--
Tim Elliott
Winecast

Mad Wino said...

Thanks Tim. It was a great topic choice, and I look forward to the writeup and trying a couple of other Rieslings.

Dale Cruse said...

Sounds like you had as much fun with your German Riesling as I did on this Wine Blogging Wednesday!