Region: Ahr Valley
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. Cheap 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.