Willi Schaefer (2008 times two)

Willi Schaefer is an extremely well-regarded Mosel producer, whose wines have been available ( in Australia) for around the last ten years through Eurocentric. Riesling is their forte, with well-sited blocks producing a wide range of excellent wines. Two wines tasted below demonstrate the cellar-worthiness of even “humble” Kabinetts, and their refreshing delivery of full flavours at modest alcohol levels.

willi schaefer 2008 x2

2008 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprost Riesling Kabinett #2 7.5%
52 g/l residual sugar. Pale lemon/gold colour, this wine shows stonefruit characters, and is an earthier, rounder, softer expression than its sibling below; the palate shows preserved lemon , but this is a delicious easy-drinking Riesling with lovely acidity. While there is no obvious cork detriment, I will not be surprised if other bottles show greater vibrancy, and look forward to testing this in the next few months.

Drink to 2023, and 89 points

2008 Willi Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett #9 7.5%
46 g/l residual sugar. Again this wine is a pale, lemon/gold colour, but slightly brighter. This wine displays a multitude of  scents- stonefruit (nectarine), minerals and drive. The palate really lights up with spices, red apple, green plum, and sweet lemon. Providing sensual approachability, this wine combines finesse with balance.

Drink to 2030, and 92 points

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A Burgerspital duo

It was fortuitous that two Burgerspital wines from the same vintage were opened this week (the glass shown in the photo contains the Kabinett).

Burgerspital is a large winery with an easily-accessible shopfront based in Wurzburg (Franconia, Germany). It has a very extensive wine list, with some museum curios available for purchase. Its wines are very clean, with plenty of highlights! Franconia has many wineries, although its speciality is probably its flavoursome Sylvaners, with Riesling also widely planted.  The dumpy-shaped bottle is the bocksbeutel, but notice that tradition doesn’t run totally rampant; a screwcap seals the more expensive bottle here. A range of dry and sweet styles are made, with minimal importer enthusiasm evident by the invisibility of this area’s wines, at least in Australia.

 

burgerspital duo

2011 Riesling Pfaffenheim Kabinett 12%
A decent cork has helped- this wine has a  bright light gold colour, and shows some restrained mango, waxiness and varietally correct scents (but is relatively dry-tasting). It has light clean flavours, and a touch of phenolics. This wine seems to be drying out, and my advice is to drink up while it retains vitality,

Drink to 2021, and 87 points.

2011 Riesling Stein-harfe Spatlese 9%
It seem that I reviewed this wine in late 2015; notes etc turned out to be similar!

Pale gold colour, this wine is fresh and decadent; ripe tropical fruits abound – mango, passionfruit and nectarine; the palate displays bright citrus fruits, yellow honey, and is an excellent blend of sweetness and fresh acidity. This wine is drinking magnificently right now.

Drink to 2025, and 92 points

 

Xmas message from Hector Lannible, CEO of Stoney Goose Ridge

“It’s easy to dwell on our triumphant successes of Stoney Goose Ridge in 2018; the record growth in sales, ebitda improvements, the dizzying diverse media adulations, new export markets, the multiple launches of new product such as “Terra Nullius”, assorted prestigious wine packaging, marketing campaign and labelling awards, and my own increasing profiled notoriety. Our prolific social media optimisation strategizing continues to befuddle our opposition, with their advocates ineffectively minuscule in influence, visibility and credibility. Our SEO and SEM are bleeding edge.

But I couldn’t have achieved these profound triumphs without my subordinate employees ready, willing and able to act on my numerous compelling insights, decisive actions and time-critical unflagging guidance. Truly, my hand-picked executives owe their bonuses (if any) to my expert micro-management. Yes there is a “me” in “team”, and obviously my own stratospheric performance has been deservedly magnificently remunerated.

The sterling efforts of our team of legal, accounting and related personnel to locate further loopholes to minimise the dead hand of taxation as well as locating extra grants, subsidies, facilitation opportunities, export support and so forth – which we have taken complete advantage over- is extraordinary. The number of legal manoeuvres conducted in fiscal calendar 2018 stands at formidable record levels.

Obviously, Stoney Goose Ridge offers an increasing fan-base of loyal committed customers who continue to reap the benefit of our ever-growing over-delivering suite of labels, and enjoy the fresh taste sensations of our product brandline extension proliferations. This will continue- our data  tracking harvesting and analytics is profound; finding and exploiting any niche opportunities as well as provoking repeat purchase decisions. Brilliant outstanding excellence in customer satisfaction parameters always remains a critically important KPI priority. Our beverage facilitators must take credit for their professional competencies, that allied to my blending expertise embeds the mystique to our SKUs.

To the countless people submitting CV’s begging for consideration as unpaid interns, note that an MBA or equivalent is highly desirable; stellar achievement in multidimensional start-up  disintermediation or transnational taxation law will also meet with some approval. Few will find a position available, so I wish you well in future endeavours.

We exist in a market full of competitors, but if the Good Lord had wished them to prevail, they would have been bequeathed talent. They can only watch, and wonder “what happened?” as Stoney Goose Ridge rushes past, dwarfing their misplaced puny misguided efforts. Stoney Goose Ridge has rigorously exposed and vigorously highlighted the personal scandals, fiduciary lapses and reckless law-breaking of our rivals solely from the compulsions of our ingrained philanthropic social responsibility obligations.

On a personal note, my TED piece this year on “the China Syndrome” has deservedly been an internet sensation. It’s gratifying to be compared with Warren Buffett, Nelson Mandela and Cormac McCarthy , though I freely admit I have some distance to surpass their respective achievements, and the exultation they deservedly receive.  Plus, several of my own verbatim dictated spare-time fictional writings have been optioned by a Hollywood studio- but details are embargoed until final A-list casting decisions have been confirmed for these serial blockbusters.

There is always WIP.  Succession planning is incomplete – even mentoring my hand-picked executive subordinates has not yet seen a clear front-running pecking order emerge from the wolf-pack domain. So watch this space as we discard the dead wood in our ranks, and parachute in fresh talent eager to action my plentiful charismatic initiatives.

I particularly thank my small, lean, agile team of executive assistants, media liaison, stylists, publicists, administration support, legal services and biographers for their loyalty, and unflagging commitment to help me fulfil my entitled destiny.

Next year, Stoney Goose Ridge  will continue to unveil innovative alcoholic  beverage concepts and aggressively pursue double-digit momentum at a raw minimum. My opportunity lens is unshaken, aggressively leveraging domestic and international prospects continuously to allow Stoney Goose Ridge to double-down and move the needle forcefully.

To all our direct and indirect employees, agents, free-lancers, contractors, consultants, joint venture outworkers and partners, I wish you and your families a festively merry season, and may you return refreshed and enabled to put your best feet forward to the grindstone, offering your complete subjugation to my compelling vision.

In 2019, onwards to repetitive victories, your worthy leader – Hector”.

 

Mixed drinks, recent short impressions

2003 Joh Jos Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 8%
Very pale lemon in colour, there is an array of the usual petroleum (not kero), and faint smokiness mixed with tropical fruits of mango, passionfruit, a pull of citrus, flint and warm spices. The palate is sweet, fresh, viscous  and long-lasting. The wine got better as it sat in the glass.

Its not easy to resist the style, one of my favourite Mosel vineyards plus the combination of freshness and bottle-aged complexities. It’s a triumph of old vines and winemaking nous over the heatwave European 2003 vintage.

95 points, and drink to 2030.

2014 Chateau La Tour blanche 14%
Sauternes (83% semillon, 12% sauvignon blanc, 5% Muscadelle; 130 g/l r/s)

A great VFM Sauternes producer, and a wonderful result from an excellent vintage. Light gold in colour, the wine displayed vibrant nettle, stonefruit, pineapple rind and bright lemon icing sugar. The palate showed more barley-sugar, and some vanilla pod to add to the aromatics. Rich, sweet, balanced with much more pleasure to cover over the next ten to fifteen years.

The range of fruit flavours, the complexity and balance makes the wine a delight.

94 points, and drink to 2030 (at least)

2014 Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey
Sauternes (93% Semillon, 6% sauvignon blanc, 1% Muscadelle)

Served (masked) at the same occasion as the La Tour Blanche above, this wine looked darker in colour, showed greater – and simpler- tropical fruits, and custard apple. The palate was sweet, fresh and supple, but with greater oak presence, some hardness, and some bitterness. Time may help, but the contrast did not help its cause.

87 points, drink to 2023.

1952 Saltram Pinnacle selection Show Muscat 18.8%
Barossa muscat, stored in small oak, believed to have been bottled sometime in the 1980’s.

Colour (after decanting) was a bright khaki, and the wine showed caramel, toffee, mocha. Some raisin character, and a degree of vanillan oak and rancio.

Served masked as usual, the mix of attributes made it difficult to decide style between muscat and tawny; the lushness pushing for muscat, the rancio pointing to tawny. Revealed as muscat,  the wine itself was excellent, and a nice piece of Barossa history.

90 points, drink now.

2003 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port
A devastatingly hot year in Europe, but most Port producers declared the vintage. Cork – or storage- struck; the bottle I sampled was strong, powerful in colour, but the flavour impact was tertiary mixed mocha and coffee grounds; and the wine looked plain, young, raw and lacking finesse. A hasty look at remnants from another two bottles opened showed more expected fruit flavours of violets and dark cherry, but time and the amount left conspired against further contemplation

Not rated, but I will have other opportunities!

2001 Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling Auslese (goldcap) 9.5%

The cork had behaved; its colour was copper; but in this case evidence of botrytis, not oxidation. I’m not very familiar with the Rheinhessen area of Germany; haven’t visited, and haven’t tasted much – more homework is needed!

The Rheinhessen is  Germany’s largest wine-growing area, often used  in making mainly innocuous white wines, but has undergone a re-evaluation with some very serious winemakers (such as Keller).

Its Australian importer Cellarhand has some helpful notes on the producer, site and winemaker here. The gold capsule indicates the wine is “more” than a basic Auslese.

2001 gunderloch auslese gc

The wine presents with raisin, red apple, dark honey, orange peel, and fruitcake spices, plus a hint of syrup and wax; the palate is vibrant and unctuous; stonefruit impressions add to the mix. Bounteous residual sugar is balanced by acidity; the compelling richness and freshness tempts further sipping, analysis and enjoyment. No hurry to drink (cork permitting).

94 points, and drink to 2028 (cork permitting).

1997 Stanton and Killeen Vintage Port 19%

The vintage was rated (by this Rutherglen winery) as 10/10, with a suggested drinking window between 2022 and 2026.  Their first vintage fortified to include a healthy proportion of traditional Portuguese port varietes (60% Shiraz, 25% Touriga, 5% each of tinta cao, tinta barocca and Durif), it was awarded 3 trophies and 13 gold medals at Australian wine shows. “Considered as one of the finest ever produced at Stanton and Killeen. Careful cellaring will reward the patient passionate port lover”.

1997 S&K vp

The cork is short, but in excellent condition. The wine has a deep ruby colour with some bricking; decanting removed a modest crust. Initial aromas included rose-petal, blueberry and raspberry  The palate is bright and fresh, showing sweet (but not overly sweet) red cherry, rhubarb and blueberry fruit, light milk chocolate, choc/mint and an occasional tease of plum, with still appropriately assertive tannins. Spirit is well absorbed.

The complexity and sustain makes this an outstanding wine, with a long future.

95 points, and drink anytime to 2032.

Recent drinks, mixed

Here are some very brief notes of wines recently consumed where I had little opportunity for leisurely contemplation, and sometimes dim lighting!

Stanton and Killeen are based in Rutherglen (Victoria), and continue to make a Vintage Fortified  (their first vintage was 1971), including some traditional Portuguese grape varieties since the mid 1990’s.  They have conducted several retrospective tastings, and from notes they have published, the cepages, vintage ratings and their – conservative- optimum drinking spans have been included below. They have a number of older vintages still available for sale (here). 

1990 Stanton and Killeen “Moodemere” Vintage Port (100% Shiraz)
The vintage was rated as 8.5/10, with a suggested drinking window between 2010 and 2015. (Stanton and Killeen also released a “jack’s block” Vintage Port from that year, rated as 9.5/10)

Served blind, I estimated this wine to be around 25 years old. Deep red colour with some bricking; camphor, lavender, musk, salted almond; dark fruits, mocha, spirit, cocoa. Plenty of time ahead – drink to 2030 and 92 points.

2004 Stanton and Killeen Vintage Fortified (30% Shiraz, 19% Durif, 21% touriga, 10% each of tinta cao, tinta roriz and tinta barocca).

The vintage was rated as 8.5/10, with a suggested drinking window between 2020 and 2024, and was awarded 5 gold medals and 4 silver medals at various Australian wine shows – “decadence, cocoa, relatively dry, wholesome”. Drink to 2030 and 93 points.

2005 Stanton and Killeen Vintage Fortified (32% Shiraz, 32% Durif, 16% each of tinta cao, 10% tinta roriz and 10% touriga).

The vintage was rated as 9/10, with a suggested drinking window between 2022 and 2026, and was awarded 1 trophy and 10 gold medals at Australian wine shows. Cocoa, raspberry and blackberry jam. This wine was amazingly vibrant, chewy with beautifully integrated spirit and fine tannins –  a long decant and further cellaring is highly recommended. Drink to 2040, and 95 points.

2015 Pressing Matters r9 Riesling
Tasmanian (Coal river valley) with around 9 g/l residual sugar; (the company also typically releases an r0, R39, r69 and r139 Rieslings), abundant vitality, clean citrus notes and the level of sweetness sits well with its framework of acidity; while it will keep, I would drink this wine while it is in a vibrant phase; anytime to 2025, and 89 points.

2005 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 7%
Excellent winemaker, excellent site, and an excellent vintage in the Mosel, so I had high expectations. The wine is pale and youthful, with exciting viscosity, a touch of petroleum overlaying ripe red apple, flintiness and delicacy. Irresistible, so 93 points and drink anytime to 2030.