Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Just back from a 2005 and 2006 German Spatlese Riesling wine tasting at Vin Vino Wine wine shop in Palo Alto. For those not very familiar with Rieslings, they come in 6 levels of sweetness - #1) kabinett - the least sweet; #2) spatlese; #3) auslese (typically this and further levels are dessert wines); #4) beerenauslese; 5) trockenbeerenauslese; and finally 6) eiswein (ice wine). The prices start at kabinett and progress upwards toward the sweeter wines.
After having had a very nice spatlese (1996 Bert Simon Spatlese Serriger Wurtzberg) several days ago at a neighbor's all-boys night, naively I was expecting similar goodness out of the entire line-up today.
After having tried 7 wines tonight, boy, was I unimpressed. All but one tasted like varying degrees of apple cider, mostly cloying and flat. (To be fair, I skipped Jon. Jos. Christoffel - #7 in the line-up, since I already have it in my wine cellar). Of the rest, the only one I liked (really liked!) was Hexamer Schlossbockelheimer In Den Felsen Riesling Spatlese, 2005, which had excellent spritzy minerality, very good acidity and the least amount of sugar.
Which begs the question for all of you experts out there -- why pay extra for Spatlese wines when Kabinetts cost less and have more refreshing taste?!!!