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Trimbach 2002 Riesling (Alsace) – Past it. (5/11)

Trimbach 2004 Riesling (Alsace) – Teetering but still clinging to its youthful vibrancy. Where there was iron, stone, and dust, a fierce wind has blown in, though, and away, leaving a photographic memory of same. It’s still everything one expects from négociant Trimbach, but it needs to be gulletized real soonish. (5/11)


Red Newt Cellars 2007 Dry Riesling “Reserve” (Finger Lakes) – The petroleum factory called. They’d like their tank back. I want to like this, because the structure is so nervy and vibrant, but the wine is just buried in gasoline. A shame. (5/11)

She turned me into a riesling!

Red Newt Cellars 2009 Riesling (Finger Lakes) – There’s data on the back label! Let’s see what it says: 3.4% residual sugar, 8.7 g/l total/titratable acidity, pH 3.1, mking the wine medium-sweet on their helpful scale. Since sarcasm could easily be considered my baseline tone, let me issue a corrective: I kind of love this level of information, and wish that more wines with definitionally ambiguous sweetness levels would provide this or similar information. Alsace, I’m looking at you, with a sideways glance at Vouvray, certain Sancerrois…and we could keep going along these lines for a while.

Unfortunately, in this case I think information outpaces quality. There’s a froth-textured and dilute salinity that is, for me, characteristic of riesling that’s not developed enough…I use that word rather than “ripe” on purpose…to bring the grape’s natural precision to the fore. Thus, the sweetness doesn’t soften the impact of a sharp edge, as it does in better rieslings, it just hangs about in bored indifference. By the second glass, I’m equally bored. (5/11)

Haag und das

Fritz Haag 2002 Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett 3 03 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) – Hints of Rainier cherry and yellow plum very quickly give way to anonymous sweetness, general lightness, and a slight “push” to the structure that, ultimately, amounts to pretty much nothing. Getting cotton candy-ish in the finish, which for me is never a good sign from German riesling. Good thing I only have, oh, eight or nine more bottles… *sigh* (4/11)

Ling Ling

Trimbach 2004 Riesling (Alsace) – Slight threads of oxidation woven into wet iron, though the iron itself is that sort of stale, dried blood character that riesling can sometimes show as it peeks into its decrepitude. An underperforming bottle, though I do think it’s time to drink this wine if you’re holding any. (4/11)

Trimbach 2004 Riesling (Alsace) – Iron, steel, stale water, radish greens, and a short finish. Drying out. (5/11)

Leitz out

Leitz 2002 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken (Rheingau) – The ever-so-slight touch of cream is a little surprising in this wine, given that it’s so young, but it works wonders in terms of textural cohesion. Everything else is still primary…gravel and dried white flowers, weight and presence, steel under lidded eyes. Surprisingly approachable, and yet nowhere near what it will become. (9/10)

A Bastian of sanity

Mathis Bastian 2008 Riesling “Grand Premier Cru” Wellenstein (Luxembourg) – Bright and vibrant. Crisp acidity, not overly sharpened, with flaky limestone minerality and ripe lemon flavors. Pretty impressive, and by a fair margin the best Luxembourgeois wine I’ve tasted. (3/11)


Trimbach 2008 Riesling “Réserve” (Alsace) – Sulfurous, though mildly so. Yet it does obscure. Underneath that sulfur there’s a heck of a wine…powerful, iron-cored, bracing…but I think this has been treated for the long haul, which it should have no problem enduring. Now, it’s just sulfurous. (3/11)

Trim the sails

Trimbach 2004 Riesling (Alsace) – Salted iron. Starting to wobble a bit, but it’s a nervous wobble, and the wine’s not without life. This is the second bottle in a row that’s shown a small but marked decline vs. a long (and recent) run of at-peak performance, which might be bad luck, or it might be the beginning of a trend. Time will tell. (2/11)


Prinz von Hessen 1999 Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling Auslese 018 00 (Rheingau) – Creamy and well into its dark copper stage. In other words, much older than it probably should be, but not showing apparent damage as a result, only mature lusciousness and ambered sweetness. Completely spherical, without any sort of interior void. I admit to being surprised by this wine, and in a very pleasant way. (2/11)