MF Richter Kabinett Rieslings from 2006

Mosel, and Richter is known for its Rieslings that perform above their formal classification. Labels err on the traditional side.

A visit to Mulheim in 2007 had us revel with a range of their current release wines, and merry purchases of some very fairly priced older vintages. A winery tour including viewing their museum stocks was a highlight. Back in Melbourne, top-up purchases were mandatory. 2006 in the Mosel was a high botrytis year (along with its usual associated other rots). These Kabinetts were cellared longer than ideal, but still worth assessing. An expected highlight 2006 MF Richter Riesling Kabinett from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard was also opened, but was sadly somewhat oxidised (flytox, phenolic and flat). Corks on all bottles were acceptable for age. Basically these wines are ready to drink!

2006 richter kabinetts

2006 MF Richter Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett #5 9%
69 g/l residual sugar. Deep gold, this is somewhat more restrained than its sibling. It shows the ripe apple and trademark spices, with a dash of redcurrant. It shows greater earthy savoury elements on the palate. Texture comes to the rescue here, but it doesn’t quite have the vibrancy, complexity or drinking appeal of the next wine.

Drink now, 89 points

2006 MF Richter Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett #35 9.5%
83 g/l residual sugar, deep gold with some orange/bronze tints. Floral spices, ripe red apple, passionfruit, apricot and some more exotic tropical fruits. The palate exhibits yellow peach stonefruit, and is lush with mixed spices, minerals and clean acidity. It’s an excellent “heavy-weight” Kabinett, mouthfilling although texturally delicate, and has desirable, delicious drinkability.

Drink up, it’s in the zone, 92 points

Unrelated wines – catching up

1983 orlando vp july 2020

1983 Orlando Vintage Port 19.8%
Barossa Valley (South Australia) Shiraz. Solid ruby colour with minor bricking.  aromatic – sweet, fine brandy spirit; fig, plum, stewed rhubarb, blueberry; fruitcake spices. Later, red liquorice, cherry liqueur, and a touch of almond. Lingering fine tannins meshed with that superb spirit.

Delicious drinking but without the magic of the previous bottle (on this blog Dec 2019) albeit similar notes. No complaints at 37 years!

Drink to 2030, 91 points

2008 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett AP#3 7.5%
Mosel, Screwcap, and 48g/l residual sugar. Bright gold; citrus and Jonathon apple lead with brown spices and minerals; the palate shows juicy yellow-flesh peach, wrapped up with zingy acidity. The mineral influence shines through. The wine is easy to drink, but is not as expressive as most of the wines from one of my favourite Mosel producers.

Drink to 2025, 90 points.

 

2004 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett AP #19

2004 jj prum ws kabinett2004 jj prum ap

Mosel, 8.5% Light, bright lemon colour, with vibrant scents of red apple,and  ripe nashi pear.

Lime and mineral reign on a viscous palate that just floats along with apple crumble, spices, and texture. Pure, with plenty of acidity too – what a charmer – this is one of the best Kabinetts I have ever tasted. Although JJ Prum wines are renowned for longevity, and Wehlener Sonnenuhr is a marvellous site, this wine displays the magic of bottle maturation for even the humble, and affordable Kabinett classification.

Its tremendous vitality, balance and complexity, means drink to 2030 in comfort, and 94 points.

German wines should contain an approval number. From left to right the numbers indicate region, village, Estate, the lot number (a bottling number), and year tested (usually one year after vintage). The bottling number (the 19 in my photo) is key, and I have tried to list these with wines tasted. See the excellent Mosel Fine Wines guide for a greater explanation and why the AP number is important. Unfortunately, importers and auction houses do not always provide the information.

Cellartracker lists 4 different AP’s for 2004 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett. From the number of  different wines stored by subscribers, and their scores and comments, it seems I lucked into a superior AP – purchased at a local auction in 2013. I tasted a similar JJ Prum wine back in 2015, but didn’t have the understanding at that time to note the AP number, alas.

Two very different wines

Different ages, different variety, different hemispheres, but both provided drinking interest and satisfaction.

2008 zilliken sr kab

2008 (Forstmeister Geltz) Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett 7.5%
The company’s website is here. From the Mosel, still with a pale lemon colour. Aromatically it shows lime citrus, tropicals, spices and a sense of high acidity. The palate leads with red apple flavours, honeydew melon too, and those spices again, with a dash of pebble. Racy acid ensures the sweetness (60 g/l) is balanced. Some grip on the palate is minor quibble; the wine is drinking well.

To 2024 and 90 points.

2017 deen botrytis sem

2017 De Bortoli Deen Vat 5 botrytis semillon 11.5%
This wine is the junior brother of De Bortoli’s Noble One – more affordable , at well under $20 for a half bottle – and on its day capable of shading its more famous sibling on the wine show circuit.

The Riverina (inland NSW, Australia) is an established home of exotic botrytised Semillon (and other varieties). Lillypilly, McWilliams morning light, and other examples are worth trying. There are also some terrific VFM red wines from the Riverina, with Durif to the fore.

The style here (Semillon with heavy botrytis) is usually much sweeter than Sauternes -not as long-living, or as refined as the best examples- but significantly cheaper. They still have ample acidity to accompany the sweetness.

This wine is golden in colour, ripe with apricot, marmalade and crème brûlée. The palate shows rampant ripe tropical pineapple, and cumquat with some green fruits too. While drenched in sweetness, there is abundant citrus-led acidity to keep this wine fresh for at least another five years. It’s a rich wine style crafted to tickle the senses. Great value.

Drink to 2025 and 90 points.

Mid-priced imports

 

midrange imports

We’re recently allowed some small gatherings, but I opened these two wines at home recently; they are not monstrously expensive – (Kabinetts $35-70 depending on brand; the Fonseca LBVP was around $50 recently) – but sweeter German Rieslings and the uber-fashionable dry GGs can easily exceed $100; Vintage Ports from the sensational 2016 and 2017 vintages are, alas, closer to $200.

2008 JJ Prum Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 8.5%
Gifted to me a while ago; my go-to Prum is the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, with occasional deviations to Graacher Himmelriech (Bernkastler Lay can be special too). 2008 was an “open” year, but Prum is usually backward, fully priced but usually delivers. Mosel Kabinett is “off-dry” but Prum tends to be sweeter than expected, and can still last many years.  Very pale, there is the tell-tale red apple and petroleum, nettle, earthiness and spice notes. The palate is highly acidic, with some grippiness- nashi pear, citrus, apple. Varietal, distinctly Mosel, but drink up while the fruit remains intact- the acidity is pretty dominant, which won’t be to everyone’s favour.

Drink to 2023,  88 points

2011 Fonseca Late-bottled vintage unfiltered 20%
2011 was a mighty year for Portuguese Vintage Port; late-bottled is an easier, more approachable, (and more affordable category), with a longer time in oak (or tank) to ameliorate some of the tannic stuffing. Confusingly, the LBV wines may be ready on release – or capable of cellaring. Unfiltered is a clue that some ageing is expected – yet there was no discernible sediment here, and the stopper was another surprise.

This wine was bottled in 2016, and is nearly crimson in colour. It displayed fig, blueberry, plum, violet and mixed spices and wild herbs; the palate showed cherry, milk chocolate, spices and sound spirit integration. 108 g/l residual sugar is neatly balanced with the fruit, and alcohol. Fine tannins add further interest. I was hoping for greater concentration, but it’s so easy to reach for another glass – a great test of a wine’s engagement.

Drink to 2025, and 90 points.

 

 

 

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

More recent random “theme” drinks

2008 Schloss Lieser Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett 8%
Cork Ok, and another 2008 Mosel riesling ready for action.
Light gold colour, abundant ripe red apple, white flowers and lemon aromatics; the palate is light-bodied but full-flavoured, with  red berries, apple, honey and willing acidity. Purchase notes indicate 63 g/l residual sugar. Irresistible, but drink up while it’s still bursting with energy.

Drink to 2023, and 91 points; I’m quietly purring that I have some of their higher-end wines from that year too….

2010 Petaluma Fortified shiraz 20%
half bottle, cork, and probably a cellar-door wine as the “Petaluma” brand is buried in the back label.

This is a very smart wine from the Adelaide Hills (South Australia); abundant ripe black cherry melded with sweet brandy spirit. Irresistible.  And then the subtleties emerge; this is pristine-  blueberry, mulberry, morello cherry. Whispery, very fine silky tannins. A modern, seductive, classy fortified with supreme balance that will mature gracefully over many more years. Juicy, fleshy and the “drunken cherry” flavours are wondrous.

Drink to 2030, and 93 points.

2005 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett 8.5%

Another white wine under screwcap, and age has not harmed this lovely and utterly convincing Riesling Kabinett from a sterling year in the Mosel.

2005-fritz-haag-bj-kabinett

It’s still a pale lemon colour, and there is ripe apple, some tropical guava, and some “fruit tingle” too. The palate is appropriately light for this category of sweetness, and resounds with crunchy, stony limey citrus character (“mineral” is out-of-favour, despite this word being clearcut and descriptive). Delicious, bright, tangy, with terrific length and everything under control. A benchmark from this well-known estate.

Drink to 2025, 91 points

2008 R Haart Goldtropchen Kabinett Riesling 8.5%

An excellent wine from well-regarded winemaker, from a terrific site in the nondescript Piesport village of the Mosel.

Still lemon in colour, its from a year that has always been “user-friendly”, skipping the usual Riesling dull patch that often settles after a few years and last a few more.

2008 haart kab

Red apple and pear, tropical fruits approaching ripe pineapple, and there are more stonefruit characters on the very long palate, and intriguing marzipan notes. Its quite sweet for a Kabinett, but has the acidity to keep it balanced. So delicate, so fresh and so interesting. The contents of the glass magically disappear.

Why wait when it drinks so deliciously?

Drink to 2021, 91 points.

2003 Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 8%

This was a strikingly hot year in Europe, which took many producers by surprise, rushing to pick grapes before they became over-ripe and lost acidity, plus dealing with hot grapes, refrigeration issues and the usual vintage problems of not enough fermenters of the correct size.

loosen 2003

The Mosel was not immune to these difficulties. This wine is not quite “entry-level” but it routinely provides excellent typificity and VFM. It’s a light straw colour, and its aromatics of lime-juice, citrus, and Jonathan apple burst from the glass. There are some earthy undertones and pebbly/slatey elements too, while some mango is evident on the palate.  There is enough acidity to make this a very refreshing wine, and no kero, despite clear bottle-aged characters of light toast.

Its another lesson in the longevity of these flavorsome low-alcohol wines, and a tribute to the skills of Ernie Loosen and his team to triumph over the adverse conditions of the vintage.

Drink to 2017 while the acidity is vibrant, and score is 90 points.