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Dhron & quartered

[grapes]AJ Adam 2008 Dhron Hofberg Riesling Spätlese 04 09 (Mosel) – Light salt, white pepper, and very fruity pineapple, elevated with power and vibrancy. Very self-confident. (12/09)

Hom hom hom

Bretz 2005 Bechtolsheimer Homberg Spätburgunder Rosé Eiswein 048 08 (Rheinhessen) – The pong of botrytis wrapped in silk flowers, strawberry candy, and layers upon layers of eventually unbearable sweetness. There’s big acidity, but nothing can save this wine from a fate likely to resemble a Jolly Rancher. (12/09)

Brücke shields

Dönnhoff 2000 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Eiswein 021 01 (Nahe) – From 375 ml…but that’s really all you’ll ever need. Exposed iron strata with crystallized strawberry, awesome acidity yet exquisite balance, and infinitely long. Breathtaking. (12/09)


[vineyard]Knoll “Weingut am Stein” 2007 Silvaner (Franken) – Salty, spicy, and strikingly vivid. There’s a green edge, but it’s a ripe greenness, and it’s thoroughly dominated by the mineral salts and lively aggression of the wine. Really good, and not just for sylvaner. (10/09)

Finkenauer, or two if you need them

Finkenauer 2005 Kreuznacher Osterhölt Riesling Spätlese Semi-Dry 18 06 (Nahe) – Straining and stretching, seemingly forcing itself into a misty, photo-negative role it’s not quite built for. Its minerality is worn on the exterior, the apple skin and gale-force winds that comprise the wine’s “fruit” are in the interior. This is a reversal of riesling’s usual form, and while it’s interesting, I’m not sure it’s to the wine’s benefit. Emphasis, in that last sentence, on the “not sure”; I’m more than a little uncertain about how to assess this wine? Good? Trying to hard? I dunno. (10/09)

Wehl, en, let’s take a look

[vineyard]Studert-Prüm 2006 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2 07 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) – Sweet flowers made of metal and cold sunshine, but it’s the steel that’s growing ever more dominant in this wine, which is insistent and powerful despite the apparent lightness of its carriage. It’s still difficult for me to accept that this is the weight one must expect from a Spätlese, but I guess that’s the modern paradigm. Drink very soon, or let it age. (8/09)

Fired Golf Channel interviewers

Kesseler 2005 Lorcher Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett 009 05 (Rheingau) – Riesling on fire, and I don’t mean that in a qualitative way; if a wine at this fairly low alcohol level can be said to have a little excess burn, this would be a top candidate. Along with the heat comes the inevitable weight, and this is far from the balance it would need to show its ripe, steel-jacketed apple and walnut character in any sort of presentable form. (10/09)

Catch hheck

Dönnhoff 2001 Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese 006 02 (Nahe) – Fairly creamy (already, which is pretty common for Dönnhoff), ranging from slightly underripe stone fruit to a salt-sugar mix that slightly muddles the structure, though I can’t say that the wine really suffers much as a result. Not an intellectual wine, but not really an emotional one either; mostly, it’s about overt and superior pleasantness. (7/09)


Selbach-Oster 2007 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 027 08 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) – From 375 ml, and a gift from a friend who thought I’d either gotten it wrong or had an off bottle in a previous note. At first, there’s an almost milky aroma and texture to the wine, as if cidered steel had been squeezed from a Teutonic cow. Then there’s warming, which brings out both intensity and a surprisingly bit of cream for such a primary wine (guess that cow hasn’t left the vineyard). There’s just a bit of plastic to the finish, and it definitely detracts, but otherwise this is powerful, intense, and balanced…albeit miles from anything that would have been thought of as a kabinett in years gone by. (7/09)

Left in the Lorch

[vineyard]Kesseler 2004 Lorcher Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett 009 05 (Rheingau) – Fruit salad (mostly peach and pineapple, with some crisper stuff lurking), yet not lurid, just approachable. Sweet cream, a few liquefied rocks, but definitely more about its fruit than its minerality or structure. Acidity is more apparent later on. Big. There might be (some) future here. (5/09)