Drinks from different European areas

2008 Schloss Lieser Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 7%
Mosel again, from winemaker Thomas Haag, with a short but serviceable cork. This wine was purchased from Eurocentric quite a while ago, and is in a great drinking phase.

2008 schloss lieser bjs spatlese

Bright gold in colour, it shows lime, icing sugar, and brown spice notes. The palate reveals more apple and mixed white and yellow stonefruit, with some green herb, plus the spices. It is sweeter than many in the spatlese category, but is poised for delight, being all too easy to drink and reach for more – the sign of a decent wine. Its racy, ready for enjoyment and shows no sign of fading.

To 2025, 92 points

2011 Georg Breuer Riesling Auslese 8.5%
From the Rheingau (Germany); another German area where most action is happening with the dry Rieslings – the Georg Breuer Berg Schlossberg is exceptional. But they have a range of sweeter styles too. Pale gold colour; fresh with dominant tropical fruits, particularly just-under-ripe pineapple. The wine still tastes fresh, honest and straightforward – enjoyable without providing dramatic highlights.

Drink soon, 87 points

1997 Trimbach Gewurtztraminer Vendanges Tardives 13%
Alsace (France). Buried in the cellar, and really should have been tackled earlier.

Pristine cork, and a bright deep gold colour. Vendanges Tardives (VT) is late-picked and my guess was around 40 g/l in this example. Tantalizing and unmistakable floral varietal scents – musk, apple, raisin and spices. Age and likely oxidation is showing with some furniture veneer and caramel aspects. Low acidity is a hallmark of the variety, and time has chipped away at this wine’s appeal. There is still rich mouthfeel, but it’s flatter than desirable, making drinking too much effort when othere wines are in reach.

Its peak drinking has gone by, so drink up – you may get a better bottle!

2007 Schmitges Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese** 8%

Another wine from the Mosel (Germany), the ** indicates “more” than a general spatlese level.. The site is around the village of Erden, and “treppchen” means little steps. These have been carved into the steep slope to help the workers in their vineyard travails. A picture is on the Schmitges website.

2007 schmitges

Cork OK, medium gold colour. Fresh, red apple, camphor, wax, blood orange, golden delicious apple, and tropical fruits, especially mango. The palate has more grapefruit, and shows mixed apple and tropical fruits, some glace fruits, creaminess and mixed spices. (85 g/l residual sugar). It’s vibrant and compelling with cleansing acidity. A very, very satisfying, great-value purchase!

Drink to 2026, 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.

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.

2005 Donnhoff Schlossbockenheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spatlese 8.5%

From the small Nahe region (close to Mosel), this is a good age to tackle a quality German spatlese Riesling.

2005 donnhoff spatlese

The wine’s colour is a light gold, and importantly the wine is still very fresh, showing some honeyed development, but the interplay of sugar and acidity ensures  there is plenty left in reserve. It’s a proper, typical, German sweet Riesling, with power and grace packed into its modest alcohol level.

There are some sweet ginger spice notes, candlewax and leaf, with breathing helpfully bringing out more aromatic lime and honeysuckle. The palate is viscous, but with some oiliness too, flavours closely mirroring the aromatics.

The wine is unforced, has delightful persistence  and is highly drinkable, with just some faint, but attractive bitterness adding to its charm.

Admittedly, 2005 produced many terrific wines from Germany, and we are fortunate in Australia that Cellarhand imports a wide range of Donnhoff’s wines.

Drink to 2027, and 92 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.

One from Pfalz, and a Ch Filhot retaste

2005 Bassermann-Jordan Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Spatlese 9%

A wonderful year in Germany, this wine provides extravagant drinking pleasure, even though its from the less-regarded Pfalz area. It still retains a bright lemon colour, and ripples with energy. Lemon zest, apple and flint thrill, with some brown pear and semi-tropical fruit added on the palate. Plenty of time ahead.

2005 basserman spatlese

93 points, and delicious drinking now until 2025

2005 Ch Filhot 14%

I tried this a few months ago, giving it 92 points and a drinking window to 2025.

The wine tasted last week was still a bright amber colour with lemon citrus, nectarine, vanilla bean and quince battling joyously. It is amazingly lush without betraying its origin, and clearly came from a very ripe year. This time – and this bottle- I was wishing for a touch more acidity  as the overwhelming sweetness edged towards, but avoided cloying. No regrets, as this is an authentic Sauternes style, but not scaling the heights of the previous tasting.

Drink to 2020, 90 points.

 

 

2007 Okonomierat Rebholz Von Buntsandstein (sandstone) Riesling spatlese 7.5 %

From the Pfalz area of Germany – not as highly regarded as the Mosel, but not to be dismissed. A lovely “low-tech” label that suggests its hand-written (artisanal).

2007 rebholz

Gosh this is so easy, indeed dangerous to drink. It’s a light gold colour, with the usual suspects making their welcome appearance on the bouquet – an assortment of varied tropical fruits including mango, pineapple, and other non-tropical fruits including red apple and grapefruit. There is viscosity, mixed spices, an appealing amount of sweetness for a spatlese-style (at least) , and its clearly, and cleanly Riesling.

What an excellent match for a wide range of food- and it worked especially well with tandoori chicken and mushroom risotto.

It is not the most complex wine you will strike and there is no improvement in front of it, but its always righteous to strike a delicious wine at its peak.

Drink to 2018, score 89.