Two inexpensive mature wines

richter s&k

2006 MF Richter Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett AP #35 9.5%
Mosel, and this bottle was found in a mini-stocktake. Few Kabinetts should be kept this long, so I was nervous. Cork was fine, and the colour was developed but not alarming.

Deep gold, but bright. Apple pie, sultana and raisin, citrus peel, sweet spices and mango. It’s full-on for a Kabinett, with 83 g/l residual sugar. On the palate, the mixed sweet spices are prominent, with redcurrant fruits, honeyed peach, mineral and citrus. The wine is surprisingly fresh, with excellent depth of flavour. Fully mature, it’s honest and a welcome surprise. My previous impression was posted on 15 July 2020 – and a relatively consistent note.

Drink up (it may have been better in the past) and 90 points.

1990 Stanton and Killeen Jack’s block (vintage) Port 18.5%
Rutherglen, Victoria 100% Shiraz. A recent – bargain – $33 auction purchase; rated 9.5/10 by the producer, it has assorted trophies and gold medals while the back label modestly proclaims, “optimum drinking around the year 2010”. A note on its sibling – the 1990  Moodemere –  was posted on 19 November 2018 with a similar note; this wine is slightly better!

Cork broke. The colour is developed ruby with bricking on the meniscus, mocha, camphor, floral, blackberry and sweet well-integrated spirit. Dark and dense, blackberry and red liquorice, mixed nuts, lavender, fine chalky tannins and light coffee. Lots of different aromas and intermittent flavours = complexity, and explain the score, I have many bottles from this producer, but can’t resist purchase when reasonable opportunities arise. Mature, but still vibrant and utterly delicious.

Drink to 2030, 94 points

Spatlese – one Mosel, one Nahe

2005 MF Richer Brauneberger Juffer-Sonneuhr Riesling Spatlese AP#22 8.5
Regarded as an excellent “all-round” vintage, this is a super-ripe spatlese (106 g/l residual sugar). Cork was quite wet.

Golden in colour, there’s a cascade of ripe pear, yellow peach, cumquat, and spicy dried fruits, with a suggestion of leafiness. The palate is rich, honeyed, spiced but beginning to show some drying characters.

Drink soon, and 91 points, although other bottles may be better given the state of the cork.

2007 Schafer-frohlich Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Spatlese AP#26 7.5%
From the Nahe – a small area to the south of Mosel, but very similar in style, albeit Riesling is a smaller part of production and there is more focus on drier styles. Donnhoff and Emrich-schonleber are also quality winemakers.

Light straw colour, there’s some flytox, which dissipates, and then there are tropicals – pineapple, nettle, and abundant spices. Palate is red apple and cream, drizzled with honey; lingering, great depth. Hugely enjoyable

Drink to 2025, and 93 points

Nearly Xmas drinks

2006 MF Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese AP #18 9%
Mosel, 106 g/l residual sugar.

2006 richter bjs spat

It’s a bright deep gold colour (like its sibling tasted recently), but the scents include honey, red apple, some white stonefruit, citrus peel and spices; it’s ripe and mouthfilling despite the modest alcohol, and some lime joins the picture at the finish.

Its mature but still fresh, and delivers enormous pleasure.

To 2024, 92 points

1997 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese AP #2 99 7.5%
Mosel. Cork has managed its task. There seem to have been a few variations of this (Cellartracker lists Ap 8, AP 9 and Ap 16). Light lemon colour, with vibrant scents of red apple, and ripe nashi pear. Smoke, citrus, lime, apple, trails of petroleum and abundant mineral make up the package. Mosel wines age with grace!

1997 jj prum ws auslese

A tremendous effort for a mature wine (an auction purchase in 2015), with vitality to spare.

To 2030, and a very easy 93+ points.

Recent drinking

2006 MF Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese AP #7 8%
Mosel, 91 g/l residual sugar.

Bright deep gold colour, showing red apple, a hint of pineapple and spices. The palate is ripe, creamy, with similar ripe red  apple, citrus and a touch of nut puree on the finish.

It’s sweet for the style (2006 in the Mosel was a heavy botrytis year) but retains plenty of acidity. I cannot imagine additional improvement- it’s in the holding zone, and I suggest drinking rather than keeping.

To 2024, and 90 points

1973 Kaiser Stuhl Vintage Port
Shiraz, Barossa Valley. The company no longer exists – corporate shenanigans.

From an average year, the surprise is the longevity. It’s not the most complex wine, but it shows the stylistic sweet, ripe liquorice and blackberry fruit, suggestions of mocha, raisin and camphor, and warming brandy spirit. A surprise that this humble wine from an average vintage still provides pleasure after 47 years!

Drink now, 87 points.

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

A pair of 2006 Rieslings from Max. Ferd Richter

The Richter winery is based in Mulheim, in the Mosel, and when I visited – and tasted- had an extensive range of back-vintages available for purchase. Richter produce richer wines than typical Mosel producers, and are very well known for their Helenkloster Eiswein, which – unusually- is produced in most years.

The wines below made an educational pair- the technical/analytic numbers are reasonably similar; the wines (from a year with plenty of botrytis) are very different. Corks were respectable for their age.

2006 richter pair

2006 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 8%
91 g/l residual sugar
Light gold colour, and highly aromatic- camphor, wax, tropical fruits especially mango, and a little petroleum. Palate is varietal, clean, lively and delicious.

Drink to 2025, 90 points

2006 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 9.5%
106 g/l residual sugar.
A slightly deeper gold colour than its sibling; and a bit shyer aromatically, but displaying  honey, and minerals., The palate is weightier, fleshier, creamier and richer, with brown spice, mineral, ripe apple and blackcurrant. This wine is drinking beautifully.

Drink to 2030, 92 points.

2001 MF Richter Mulheimer Helenkloster Riesling Eiswein 9.5%

Eiswein is a rare beast; grapes are left out to freeze (picked when at least 8 degrees Celsius below freezing), running the dangers of assorted undesirable rots, birds,  and greatly reduced yields.  Picking (in Germany) usually takes place in December, and sometimes into the next year. Eiswein is  troublesome to make, and expensive to purchase, with the residual sugars generally between BA and TBA levels.

Richter (from the Mosel) is blessed with a site (Helenkloster) that usually produces an Eiswein -(sometimes more than one- that may be differentiated on the label by an ** and of course the AP number). And several Richter wines are imported into Australia, although I am more familiar with their rich Kabinetts and Spatlese Rieslings.

I visited the Richter estate in 2007 and was treated to a range of wines, a lightning tour of the winery and its museum, and left with a purchased armload including several back-vintage wines.

2001 richter eiswein

Information kindly – and promptly- provided by Dr Dirk Richter about the wine “grapes were picked on 24 December at minus 13C; 255 g/l residual sugar, 12.1 g/l acidity” and a meagre 200 litres were made. These are very serious numbers! An eiswein ** was also made with equally sobering statistics.

The wine is a light copper colour with a khaki rim; there are exotic aromas of raisin, dried fruits, even coconut. The palate is still lively, with assertive apricot, orange citrus, and with some breathing, more lime characters. Brisk, clean, dense, and delightfully decadent.

While this style can live for decades, with its inherent acidity, on the evidence of this half-bottle, I favour the conservative side of the drinking window.

Drink to 2025, and 94 points.

 

 

 

 

2005 MF Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 8.5%

From a terrific year in the Mosel, this wine provides extremely attractive drinking, and shows the magic that time can generate. We visited the cellar door (via appointment) in 2007, and were struck by the quality, then the astonishing range of back vintages available. A quick tour of the winery and the small library of museum stock left us breathless.

2005-richter-bjs-spatlese

Golden in colour, this wine possesses varied attractive and complex attributes -there is certainly the TDN (petroleum) character, and a mélange of green (nettle), yellow (peach and further tropicals), plus red (blackcurrant) fruits. The palate also displays these, as well as a dense minerally stony texture. I continue to be surprised at how much flavor can exist in such a light frame. And a key bonus attribute is the wine’s vitality and freshness, with crunchy acidity neatly offsetting the 106 g/l of residual sugar (my speculation was 90 g/l). All -around deliciousness saw the bottle contents diminish rapidly.

This wine is in its prime, expected to thrive till 2026, and 92 points.