This was the first of three workshops that were held earlier this year at the 2006 Frankland Estate International Riesling Tasting in Sydney. These notes were going to be posted on another website that I’ve been working on, but due to the dearth of posts here, they have found a new home!

These wines were selected by winemaker Philip Wittmann and Riesling fanatic and wine writer Stuart Pigott as examples of wines from Germany’s young and/or daring winemakers that are leading the way in the adoption of new vinification methods and technology and willing to experiment with defying tradition. In many cases these are third or fourth generation family winemakers who are looking to make their own mark on a one hundred or two hundred year old family label.

Some of these wines were pretty “out there” and it was certainly a confronting start to my morning (a 9.30am start after having tasted 57 Rieslings the afternoon before). To be fair, I think with food some of these would show better. If you like some funk and strange things happening in your Riesling, some of these could be for you. If nothing else it makes the notes a bit more interesting to write!

In the structured order of pouring;

St. Urbans-Hof Leiwener Laurentiuslay Sp├Ątlese trocken 2004 – (Mosel):

This was the first of the interesting noses – apricot, apples, pear, steel shavings and earth. On the palate it was like dry apple cider with just a touch of sweetness in the mid-palate. Good balance, with a medium length finish.

88/100

Clusserath-Weiler Trittenheimer Apotheke Auslese *** 2004 – (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer):

Nose is fairly intense and wild – funky, sweaty and cheesy as well as some minerals and ripe peaches. A full, rich, slightly broad mouth feel. Good length finish.

87/100

Josef Leitz “Magic Mountain” Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg Spatlese trocken 2003 – (Rheingau):

Nose has some florality to it, but is also quite reductive with minerals and has strong glue aromas. Palate is light in body and goes up and down, dry at first then some mid-palate over sweetness and then back to dry for the finish.

83/100

Joachim Flick Wickerer Nonnberg QbA trocken 2004 – (Rheingau):

It had a strange pungent, earthy, herby nose. Palate is also confronting, intense and also herbaceous, yet with a core of acid based purity running through it to the finish.

87/100

Tesch Laubenheimer St Remigiusberg Spatlese trocken 2004 – (Nahe):

Dips back into the realm of Riesling normality. The nose is quite tight, some lemons and some floral perfume. The palate is dry with lots of acidity. Hard to rate this one at the moment but it seems like if the acidity comes back into balance and the nose opens up, it could be better than average.

87/100

Schafer-Frohlich Monzinger Halenberg Grosses Gewachs 2004 – (Nahe):

This was the palest of yellow in colour. The nose was comprised of smoky minerals, chalk and wet slate. This wine had amazing, striking, stunning purity on the palate – clean, balanced, excellent length and most importantly it wonderful to drink. I would love to try it with some added complexity from age.

92/100

Wagner-Stempel Siefersheim Heerkretz Spatlese 2004 – (Rheinhessen):

Pears, nectarine, peaches, floral notes and a touch of phenolic herb type characters on the nose. Palate is medium bodied and has good length. Acid is slightly out of kilter with the sweetness at the moment.

87/100

Frieder Dreissigacker Geyersberg Spatlese 2004 – (Rheinhessen):

We are back to the “far out” noses. Showing crushed violets, some beer like yeastiness, ripe tropical fruits and herbs with melted butter. An imposing, concentrated, rich palate that takes hold of your mouth and won’t let go.

88/100

Wittmann Westhofener Morstein Grosses Gewachs 2004 – (Rheinhessen):

Minerally, pure peach and apple fruit on the tight nose. The fresh, zingy palate exhibits very good focus and balance – a wine of restrained power that has precision but also intensity. Exhibits excellent length and is really a seductive wine.

91/100

Klaus Schneider Terrassen trocken 2004 – (Pfalz):

Has a tight nose, showing hints of peaches and smoke. The mouth feel is rounded with good length and balance, but it just seems a bit simple.

86/100

A. Christmann Konigsbacher “Idig” Grosses Gewachs 2004 – (Pfalz):

This wine had an intriguing, complex nose of peach, pear, lime, kiwifruit, passionfruit, spice, minerals, slate and hints of yeast. The palate has intense flavour and a beautiful line of acidity cuts through any hints of over-richness. Finish lingers for a long time.

91/100

Johann Ruck Iphofer Julius-Echter-Berg Spatlese trocken 2003 – (Franken):

Floral perfume notes along with spice and yeast. The palate is like lime cordial without the sweetness (ie that fake lime taste that is close but not quite right). A touch of spicy heat on the finish disrupts the line.

87/100

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to have nightmares about having a job proof reading German wine labels (and spend more time on transcribing the names of the next lot of wines than I will on the actual tasting notes).

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Nice list & some interesting reviews. Looks like that was a fun wine tasting.

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