The Wine Drinker

This is the Dead Letter Office of my wine writing. These stories ended up not fitting on our company's Facebook page (Piedmont Wine Imports) or website,, for reasons that I think are clear once you scroll through a few posts. Less professional musings, impressions that ultimately never got past the rough prototype stage. Um... enjoy!

Monday, September 11, 2006

All Germany, All the Time

I've noticed the wife hasn't strayed far from her Deutschland tank top recently. This is only partly in support of the German national football team, who defeated Ireland 1-0 last week (an unfortunate own goal off of Keane, who we like, but the right result nonetheless). I think she's also catching my apparently incurable case of 2005 German Wine Fever, a bug that I'll be busy attempting to infect you all with during the first few cool weeks of autumn. Mouth getting dry? Despite the blatant, innate refreshment to be found inside most bottles of German white wine, I find fall (not peversely beery, Muscadet-strewn summer) is when I really dive into these wines head-first, in part becuase of the arrival of new vintage offerings, but mostly because I find them to be really exceptional with autumn fare. Think about it - savory butternut squash casserole, pork tenderloin and Toni Jost Bacheracher Hahn Riesling Spatlese. Appealing, no? How about a glass of Geil Scheurebe Spatlese with your Thanksgiving Turkey? Leave that heavy, tiresome Gewuztraminer behind this holiday season: pick up a few full-bodied and fruity Spatlesen/Auslesen instead, and your palate (and perhaps your wallet) will thank you. Beware of talking wallets, though. . . . German wines remain among the word's best white wine values, in spite of the stong Euro, rising fuel costs, other shadowy forces that conspire against the popularity of all things decent and European. So here's more German wine notes- read at your own risk, I predict any contact with these bottlings will lead to a feverish need to possess at bare minimum a few cases. Prozit!

2005 Pfeffingen Dry Riesling $15 - Good. Refreshing. You want more notes on this? Buy a bottle, and write them yourself. Some wines are simply good, and refreshing.

2005 Pfeffingen "Pfeffo" Kabinett Medium-Dry. $20 I hope that nickname sounds less ridiculous in German. This is tasty enough. It has a really interesting exotic fruit character. I'd buy some.

2005 Pfeffingen Riesling Spatlese $22 Ripe peach, pear and apple aromas. Add to that a touch of honey, and you have something really pretty nice.

2005 Pfeffingen Scheurebe Spatlese $22 Voluptuous, to the point of being to this taster almost a bit cloying on the finish. Tastes like soft fruits on the day before they're too ripe to eat.

2005 Gewurztraminer Spatlese $21 Smells like many Alsatian Gewurztraminers. Intense, maybe even a little over the top for me, but a fine example of German Gewurz nonetheless. (You may be suprised to learn that)I'm not everyone. I can see how others may enjoy this. As time goes by I find that more often than not my Gewuztraminer hails from Italy, Pojer & Sandri, Kellerei Kaltern, Castello Sallegg, etc.

2005 Hans Wirsching Iphofer Kronsberg Scheurebe Kabinett Trocken $18
Definite mineral. Typical dry Frankenwine flavors form the core of this.

2005 Wirsching Iphofer Kronsberg Riesling Spatlese Trocken $16
Not very good. Too dry for me. No fruit. Or not enough.

2005 Rebholz Weissburgunder Spatlese Trocken $30
Hmmm. Hard to read. Expensive. Worth it?

2005 Milz-Laurentiushof Riesling Halbtrocken "180" $18
ok. Has good focus. Refreshing, pure fruit: fun wine for German enthusiasts as well as the innocent bystander. A crowd-pleaser. That's what I'm saying.

2005 Dr. F. Weins-Prum Estate Riesling Halbtrocken $18
Do you care that someone here is a doctor? I do not, but I also don't really care that it is halbtrocken. This definitely shows some slate/other mineral. Dry enough to justify its name, lightish in weight, not special to me but certainly fine. Not every wine can be exceptional. This functions as wine, and to be fair is probably just average in the context of truly top-tier German domaines, the kind lucky tasters like myself spend the bulk of our tasting time with. It's easy to become jaded, with so many excellent options before us.

2005 Wegeler Estate Riesling Halbtrocken "Pure" $19
Noteworthy amounts of citrus. Fine, light & lively, if perhaps a touch one-dimensional. Am I nitpicking or hairspitting? It has laudable qualities, but I won't dream about Wegeler "pure".

2003 Weist Mosel Riesling, made at the Wegeler estate by Norbert Breit $10
Good enough. Granny Smith apple and slate, to cite an overexposed tasting note. It does taste of those things. . . .

2005 Zilliken Wines, poured by Hanno Zilliken

2005 Butterfly Riesling $15
Quite good this year. Greater concentration of flavor than previous vintages I've encountered.

2005 Saarburger Rausch Kabinett $18
Tremendous concentration for Kabinett. A barnstorming, eye-opening, life-changing winner. Good Riesling.

2005 Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spatlese $30
A Classic. Achetype for this wine, with just a touch more citrus/acid than anything else we've seen here. Balance that with the great texture/ripeness of this year's Zillikens, and I predict you have a wine to make everyone happy. All but that friend you have who persistently claims an aversion to sweet wine, as they suck down soda with their swwet and sour chicken. What a loser. I guess the joke's on them. . . .

2005 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Auslese $60
Do you like fresh peaches? The kind you buy on the NC/SC border in the middle of a hot August afternoon, peaches that have to be eaten on the drive home, or if you're living on the edge that evening over homemade vanilla ice cream? If so, you will like this. Hard for hyperbole to convey how good this wine tastes.

Petula (Tootie to friends) needs to go out for some quality playtime with her sqeaky ball, and if you know Petula, you know it's best not to stand between her and squeaky. A faithful companion and fearsome opponent, our tootie. So until next time, thanks for reading!


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