Glorious German whites + old Bordeaux
Is there a finer bargain in the world of wine than off dry German Riesling?
I’d argue that few other wine styles will live as long and give as much pleasure over their lives as this most noble of wines.
Or at least I think so.
So whenever an opportunity arises to sample a few of these beauties I naturally oblige.
The following wines were tasted at one of the infamous Ultimo Wine Centre Saturday tastings, this particular Saturday was very well attended indeed…
Wittmann Estate Pinot Gris 2008 (Rheinhessen, Germany) $36
This is what Pinot Gris should taste like. It’s a sweet, ripe and full style but impressively varietal – ripe pear, peach and some tropical fruit. What I like is that it’s sweet but not cloying, juicy and ripe but finishing clean and dry. Lovely wine and great value for money. 17.8/92
Heymann-Löwenstein Riesling Schieferterrassen 2008 (Mosel, Germany) $55
Amazing wine. Even better than last year. Big sulphur hit on the nose which fans out to a rich, textured riot of a mouthful of guava, mango, orange. No shortage of flavour here.
But whilst there is no questioning the intensity or complexity of the wine itself, what I find admirable is that it finishes dry. Dry, long and spicy, this is one of the most entertaining white wines I have had this year. Drink it early – I can’t see this getting any better – and revel in the array of flavours. 19/96
Georg Breuer Riesling Trocken Grand Cru Berg Schlossberg 2008 (Rheingau, Germany) $155
Sitting at the very opposite end of the spectrum to the Heymann-Löwenstein, this is bone dry and delightfully so. It smells, and please stop rolling your eyes, of its terroir. It smells of rocks, slate, bones and more rocks. Tastes like it too. Rocky, dry and precise with such detail and length. Long. Long long. Long long loooonnngg, with a fullness on the back palate (that will be some welcome residual sweetness). May live forever. Awesome wine. 18.6/95
Dönnhoff Riesling Spätlese Oberhäuser Brücke 2008 (Nahe, Germany) $130
Going further down the sweetness line and again a stunning instalment. Initially dry then gets sweeter and juicier, with lemon lime in a very linear, slatey line. Very fine, perfectly delineated and just such a perfect wine. Stunning. 18.8/95
Moric Blaufränkisch 2008 (Burgenland, Austria)
Yum. Double yum. Think old vine cru Beaujolais (like this) and add some spicy tartness. Lovely unforced wine with a simple, but unquestionably pure flow of red fruit, with the same ironstone like depth of good Morgon. It’s not especially long, which is why the score is moderate, but it is true, clear and delicious. 17.5/92
Château Montrose 1975 (St Estephe, Bordeaux, France)
Not my favourite style of wine but I can see the appeal. Old Cabernet nose with cedar and just a hint of red fruit. Old but not tired in an elegant style. Still has some grainy tannins too. Elegant, unforced old fashioned red. Pretty even. Good. 17.5/91
Château Pichon Lalande 1975 (Pauillac, Bordeaux, France)
Quite a bit sweeter and more generous after the Montrose, but without the tannic backbone. More youthful even. Lighter and more fruit perhaps, but not quite with the same tannin refreshment as the Montrose. Still quite impressive old red. 17/90