June 12, 2009

Howard Ripley Germany 2008 tasting

Last Thursday I tasted 50+ german wines at Howard Ripley tasting, I have dealt with Sebastian Thomas there for years now and it was a pleasure to be able to make it – even if I had to cycle across town due to the tube strikes!

The tasting was with the odd exception (one 2007 Riesling and a few Blauburgunders – Pinot Noir under another name) all 2008 German Rieslings. This is a style of wine I love and drink regularly but…I’m sure in common with a lot of people I don’t know the regions, producers or vineyards that well. I just know I like them….
I won’t list all the wines and notes as it would be very monotonous, not to mention long. I will pick out my favorites and most noteworthy:
Pinot Noir/Blauburgunder:
2007 Malanser Blauburgunder Reserva, Peter Wegelin (Bunder Herrschaft, Switzerland) – 16+, beautifully fresh lightness of touch with red fruits, a little oak but in a classy way…balanced.
2007 Pinot Noir, Thomas Studach (Bunder Herrschaft, Switzerland) – 16-17, Very classy, halway between NZ and Burgundy in style.
Dry Rieslings, I didn’t taste many as I knew it was all going to be quite an onslaught:
2008 Maximin Grunhauser Abstberg ‘Superior’, C. von Schubert (Ruwer) – 16-17, Slightly reductive (no bad thing), lovely fruit from this good producer.
Traditional Wines:
2008 Maximin Grunhauser Abstberg Kabinett, C .von Schubert (Ruwer) – 16++, from the sam vineyard as the above, alreday showing a Petrol character, rich and decadent.
2008 Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett, Fritz Haag (Mosel) – 16, Quite high residual sugar for a Kabinett, promises to be a delightful early drinker.
2008 Oberhauser Listenberg Kabinett, Hermann Donnhoff (Nahe) – 15-16+, Lovely texture and good richness.
2008 Robert Weil Kabinett, Robert Weil (Rheingau) – 16+, Classy, good balance.
2008 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Spatlese, Karthauserhof (Ruwer) – 16-17, Good fresh Riesling fruit, good palate, good freshness and length, impressive.
2008 Schlossbockelheimer Kupfergrube Spatlese, Herman Donnhoff (Nahe) – 16-17, Claass, lovely fruit character, good minerality.
2008 Kiedrich Grafenberg Spatlese, Robert Weil (Rheingau) – 16++, Rich, almost Auslese in taste profile, a bargain.

2008 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spatlese Auktion Goldkapsel, Schloss Lieser (Mosel) -17,  Only available at the Auction in Germany but interesting to taste, beautiful texture, great length.

2008 Lieser Niederberg Helden Auslese, Schloss Lieser (Mosel) – 16+, Slightly reductive, petrol showed a touch, good on the palate.
2008 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese, Selbach-Oster (Mosel) – 16++, Richness, good minerality…stones? Very nice.
2008 Erdener Pralat Auslese, Dr Loosen (Mosel) – 17+, Cloudy and in many ways unfinished, very impressive though, almost a spitz, great acidity and floral too.
2008 Graacher Domprost Auslese No11 Auktion, Willi Schafer (Mosel) – 17++, Great combination of freshness and acidity but with density too, really classy and long.
Into the realms of the very expensive and very rich!!
2008 Westhofener Morstein Auslese***, Keller (Rheinhessen)
Nuts!! a gramn first for me to taste nuts, noble rot and lemon – spectacular.
2008 Westhofener Kirchspiel Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) (Rheinhessen) – 17-18, Very late harvest in style, very true to TBA, some nuttiness very vicious…fascinating.
Two Eisweins – not really my thing to be honest!! Very sore teeth…the acidity really does it’s thing!!
Tomorrow we have Olivier Leriche of Domaine D’Arlot in Nuits-Saint-Georges coming into the office to present his wines should be great!!

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