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[becker]JB Becker 1993 Wallufer Walkenberg Riesling Kabinett Trocken 010 94 (Rheingau) — I’ve had this at three different trade events over the last year or so, and the only thing I can be definitive about is that it’s highly variable; some bottles are totally oxidized, others are full of sweaty, almost meaty bass thud. This is one of the latter, and though there’s a brace of acidity helping it cling to the memory of when it used to be able to hit the high notes, this is definitely a band who’s had to take everything down a half-dozen steps. When it’s good, though…it’s OK. (5/16)

A Winkeler & a nod

[spreitzer]Spreitzer 2007 Winekeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese (Rheingau) — Very, very ripe apple, pushed to the verge of tropicality. A metal band dins in the background. There’s enough acid, more than enough sugar, and it feels like it’s going to tip over at any second. But it doesn’t. Wait? Sure, why not? But it’s fun now, too. (4/16)


Spreitzer 2007 Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese 025 08 (Rheingau) — Biting metallic apricot, a spot of cream. Brace, but also weight. Very “Rheingau,” says the friend who brought it. I agree. Age it longer if you crave that sort of thing (and I sometimes do), but the midpoint here is fun. (4/16)

Neipper tucker

Grafen Reipperg 2005 Neipperger Schlossberg Samtrot 004 07 (Württemberg) – A nippy, yappy little sipper, awkward but goofily appealing in the way of, say, a cool-climate hybrid grape. The appeal degrades quickly, though. (8/12)

Brücken promise

Dönnhoff 1999 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese 007 00 (Nahe) – Thick mineral stew with a peach glaze, over-reduced and tedious. Utterly devoid of useful acidity (meaning there’s not none, just not any that will rescue the wine). (6/12)

Hooked on a feeling

St. Urbans-Hof  2002 Piesporter Goldtröpchef Riesling Spätlese 034 03 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) – Bottles come and bottles go of this wine, which I bought in quantity a while back on very deep discount, and both the goers and comers are variable with a side of disappointment. This is just as variable as the rest, but less disappointing than most, showing a liquefied aluminum base on which have been sprinkled some lemongrass-infused apple salts, plus a more stone-fruited finish. Does any of the previous mean or say anything of relevance to the terroir? Well… (6/12)

Badstube the good toe

Dr. H. Thanisch 2007 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 15 08 (Mosel) – Iron-jacketed lime, iron hammers on steel. Ultimately, though, kinda boring. No, not kinda…a lot boring.  A stage? One hopes. (5/12)

Busch league

Anheuser 2008 Kreuznacher Scheurebe 024 99 (Nahe) – Fruit salad and sugar, makrut lime, fading to more abrupt leafiness in the finish. Surprisingly primary, though its my recollection that this possessed more duration when it was young. (2/12)

Green Panama

Schloss Johannisberg 2001 Schloss Johannisberger Grünlack Spätlese Riesling 009 02 (Rheingau) – Powerful. In the battle between molten metal and Cream of Age, the skyscraper material is winning. Not at all dry, no, but there’s so much liquid steel and seething acidic lightning here that it’s difficult to notice or care much. And yet, it’s not – in the pantheon of German riesling – all that acidic, given the place and time whence it hails. The balance is, right now, just about perfect, but I think it’s very far from full maturity. Nonetheless, it’s ready for exploratory encounters, should one now wish to begin same. (2/12)


St. Urbans-Hof  “Urban” 2010 Riesling (Mosel) – Step into the sulfurous cloud. Emerge a while later, a bit shaken but still on your feet. Pick up the paint-a-riesling-by-the-numbers canvas in front of you, and start painting. Done? Good job. Your colors are a bit thin, but they’re all correct. (1/12)